In collaboration with Yarra Valley Water we bring you tips for your Winter Garden – Wattle you waiting for?
We hope you’ve been enjoying the landscape as we have together with our partners Yarra Valley Water. Now it’s time to consider some healthy tips to get your natural landscape ready through late winter to early spring as the soil starts to warm up and the wattles burst into flower…
How are you saving water?
Now’s the time to mulch ready for spring before the sun starts to shine down onto the bare soil and discourage weed growth. Mulching can also help to put healthy nutrients such as nitrogen back in the soil and increase water retention.
Planting in the late winter is a great time to consider development. Plants have been dormant and are starting wake up with warmer soil, better still, it’s soft and easy to work with. Increased rainfall in the southern states of Australia such as here in Victoria can help naturally establish plant life. Ensure you have a consistent program for watering for the initial first few months. Planting the right palette can see you turn the tap off once establishment takes place. Here we can adapt a landscape to survive off rainfall alone, such as this Banksia robur (as pictured).
As we start to explore further into fringe planting, such as subtropical plants and Australian native planting, working into our homes or under the pergola. It’s a great opportunity to utilise the many self watering or wicking planters that are now available. This builds on water consideration and gives a plant’s roots more frequent availability to water which is especially helpful for these types of situations where rainfall is not available.
Want to warm up over winter?
The end of winter marks the time to cultivate the soil to allow last year’s remaining mulch to break down further, also increasing the oxygenation of the top soil. This helps soil organisms and insects play their part in soil health.
As the soil warms up and plant life starts to come out of dormancy, it’s the right time to get the last of those pruning tasks completed.
It’s coming around to feeding season, it’s an important time to give your plants a general feed up ready for spring – good quality slow release fertiliser will help to ensure available nutrients are available and your plants are building strength leading into sunnier days.
What do you think about plants?
With end of the season fast approaching it’s a beautiful time to consider crop rotation in the Vegie patch to get some nitrogen back in the soil pre spring. Before planting leafy vegetables, plant some legumes such as peas, beans, and lentils. Legumes feed lightly and have the ability to ‘fix’ nitrogen into soils, improving the nitrogen content for future plantings.
Consider planting some beautiful late flowering plants to bring the birds back into the landscape, to enjoy or to pick for yourself and put inside. Such as the Correa reflexa (as pictured). Nectar and pollen rich plants such as Banksia’s, Acacia’s and Callistemon’s are all fantastic plant groups because they produce lots of pollen and nectar. Macadamia and Leptospermum don’t have much useful pollen but they’re very rich in nectar whereas some Acacia species (wattles) are also packed with pollen.
Plant succulents closer to the house for water wise planting, bringing in a burst of colour and interest. Succulents are great plants to add architectural shapes and interest to the foreground of the garden. They can help create unique colour interest and guide your eye through the softer textural planting.
Plants for texture contrast and local habitat consider planting Correa reflexa or Poa lab (as pictured)
Plants for colour contrast and local habitat planting consider Luecophyta brownii (as pictured) and Malalueca lanceolata.