Jon Snow, You Mow Nothing
The great thing about winter is that you don’t have to get out and mow the lawn as much.
With the limited sunlight hours causing a drop in chlorophyll production, your grass will grow slower all winter long, leaving you with more free time to take care of your green duties.
- Remove, clean & store your battery for winter
- Clean out all of the caked on grass, leaves and mud from the underside (NOTE: always remove the spark plug lead wire from the plug before doing this)
- Add fuel stabiliser to the tank or run it dry before storing
The Red Shedding: An Opportune Prune
Gardens are much more responsive to the climate of their external environment than humans, and trees are no exception.
The same decreased chlorophyll production that makes grass growth slow during winter also causes deciduous trees to drop their leaves.
If you want to achieve more spring growth., the period when tree and bushes’ metabolisms slow down is the perfect time to trim dormant growth back
A few winter pruning tips include:
- Cut back rose bushes at the end of June/July by at least a third for maximum flowering
- Take care of pruning your hydrangeas, wisteria and grapes, gardenias in August
- Prune vigorously growing plants lightly (this will encourage less growth) and sluggishly growing plants hard (for maximum grow back)
- Prune grape vines, kiwifruit, peach trees and nectarine trees every year
- Prune apricot and plum trees every second year
- Prune apple, pears, cherry, and quince trees once every 4-5 years
- Deciduous fruit trees will fruit whether pruned or not, but pruning helps make the fruit more accessible, so don’t neglect it!
Head Off With A Stark Garden
With summer highs in Brisbane averaging 30 degrees and humidity that peaks at uncomfortable levels during the warmer months, winter is the best time to get outside and do the hard work in your garden.
Get your stumps removed early in winter, so that you can take advantage of the spare space to put in some new garden beds, lay a path, install a water feature or roll out spring turf.
Tree & Shrub Removal
If you’ve been meaning to get rid of overgrown trees and shrubs, now is the time to do it.
Not only will the job be easier in the cooler months, but without tangles of branches, dropped leaves and other detritus in your way, you’ll also be able to complete other jobs faster.
- Clear access to pathways will mean you can get around to doing that pressure wash you’ve been thinking about.
- Snails will have nowhere to hide once your garden is clear, so you can nip slugs and snails in the bud wherever they are popping up. The same goes for mosquitoes – take this time to eliminate any spots where water may pool.
- With fewer branches blocking the sunlight, your lawn and other plants will get the much-needed sunshine they have been craving in the colder, darker months.
Just make sure that once you’ve done your tidy up you remove branches and leaves from the ground because, if they are left to lie and rot, they could harbour disease or fungus and undo all of your hard work!
Game of Gnomes: Accessorise Your Garden While Nurseries Are Discounting
Once you’ve removed excess growth around your garden, you’ll have a clearer view of what your outdoor area sans foliage (hardscape) is missing.
Winter is the best time to invest in your garden stock as many plants including fruit and feature trees are usually discounted by up to 50%.
And, why not do a quick check up on all of your tools to if you’re going to make the trip to Bunnings anyway?
Where Would You Be Without Winter Planting?
Winter is the best time to spend a day outside digging holes for your newly bought and heavily discounted trees. Because Brisbane rarely frosts, you don’t need to worry about giving trees time to work their roots into the ground before it freezes, and most species can be planted in Winter.
Species of tree that will do exceptionally well with a winter planting include:
- Australian wattles
- Hardenbergia violacea aka native sarsparilla
- Persimmons, medlars, quinces & tamarillos
- Bare rooted trees (these will require a prune straight away to make sure the tops match the pruned roots)
Just follow these basic winter tree planting tips to keep your plants healthy until spring has sprung:
- Make sure that you don’t over fertilise in the winter months (wait until spring to really get stuck into it).
- Don’t prune plants that you’ve just put in the ground.
- Make sure your winter plants still get enough water – drying out is the biggest killer of newly planted trees.
- Put mulch around the base of plants that are particularly sensitive to the cold; this will keep them insulated.
- Always keep the roots of a plant moist.