If your polyanthus and pansies are like mine and limply struggling after our recent bout of wet weather, give them a light dressing of dried blood or, if soil is not too sodden, a liquid fertiliser to encourage flowering well into spring.
Winter is a good time to plant members of the protea family, such as leucadendrons and leucospermums. Plant in a sunny, airy, well-drained spot with free-draining soil, and you can also dig in a little well-rotted compost – but don’t add fertiliser to the planting hole.
Cut back untidy growth of perennials, divide and replant.
Towards the end of the month plant gladioli, dahlias and calla lilies for summer flowering – gladioli will flower approximately 100 days after planting.
Pick a fine day and start pruning roses and shrubs such as hydrangeas and fuchsias.
Protect roses with Champ DP and Conqueror Oil to guard against scale, mites, aphids and fungus diseases.
Sow seeds of wallflower, delphinium, nemesia, snapdragon, dianthus, stock, larkspur, primula, salvia and sweetpea.
Plant out seedlings of pansies, primula, sweetpea, lupin, stock, lobelia, larkspur and dianthus.
Keep up with planned tree and shrub planting as the weather allows. The earlier in the season you get plants in the better, except for those that resent cold conditions.
Fruit and vegetable garden
Continue to plant garlic, shallots and asparagus crowns.
Don’t forget to get some early potatoes sprouting in a sunny spot ready for planting out later.
Sow seeds of broccoli, turnips, cabbage, swede, broad beans, silverbeet, cauliflower, spinach, peas, lettuce, onions and radish.
Plant out Jerusalem artichoke tubers – it can take several weeks before green shoots appear – so be patient. They grow without fuss and produce cheerful, yellow, daisy-like flowers in late summer or autumn. It’s a good idea to plant them in a large container or an out of the way corner if you have a small garden – Jerusalem artichokes will grow up to 3m tall.
Seedlings of cauliflower, lettuce, onions, silverbeet and cabbage can be planted out.
Continue planting your new fruit trees – citrus, apples, pears, plums, peaches and nectarines.
Plant and divide chives.
Strawberry plants can also be planted this month.
Prune deciduous fruit trees and protect from pests and diseases with Champ DP and Conqueror Oil.
Renovate and re-sow towards the end of the month.
Get any planned shifting of larger dormant or deciduous plants, including roses, completed. Root growth may start underground in some plants by the end of July.