Sunday, 2 April 2017

April in the Australian Garden

Flowers and Shrubs
Plant trees for autumn colour while you can see them at their best. Feed established shrubs and trees. Cut back geraniums with spotty, diseased leaves. Spray with fungicide. Prune and tidy day lilies, Easter daisies, lavender, phlox and other perennials that have finished flowering.

Plant pre-chilled bulbs into pots or garden beds. Plant the rest of your spring-flowering bulbs. Plant Flanders poppies to commemorate Anzac Day. Mix some compost or old manure into the soil to get it ready for new roses. If soil is acid, mix in some lime. 

Cut back anything that’s dead or has damaged foliage, including flowers and vegies. Feed plants with Dynamic Lifter pellets to encourage replacement growth. In frost-prone areas, begin protecting tender new growth. Check for any pests such as azalea lace bug, aphids, thrips and scale.

Fruit trees and vegetables
Fertilise vegies every two weeks with soluble plant food

Feed lawns with a good quality lawn food. Water well to carry the fertiliser down to the roots. Spread lime over gardens or lawns, where soils are heavy or mix in organic matter. Feed and mow lawn less. Set mower blades higher. Take care of weeds. If brown patches emerge, aerate and reduce Ph with sulphur.

What to sow this month
Agerathum, alyssum, anemone, aquilegria, arcototis, bluebell, calendula, candytuft, Canterbury bells, carnation, cineraria, coreopsis, cornflowers, cyclamen, daffodil, delphinium, dianthus, everlasting daisy, forget-me-not, foxglove, freesia, hollyhock, honesty, impatiens, larkspur, linaria, Livingstone daisy, lobelia, malope, nigella, pansy, poppy, ranunculi, sweet pea, stock, strawflower, watsonia, viola

Broad beans, broccoli, cabbage, cress, garlic, herbs, leek, lettuce, mustard, onion, peas, radish, shallot, spinach, spring onion, turnip

Birth Flowers for April

Traditional - Daisy
Innocence, simplicity, modesty. 
The daisy was said to spring from the tears of Mary Magdalene.
Opening closing with the sun's rays, it was known as 'God's smile' and 'Day's Eye'.
Associated with Venus, it is used as a lovers' divination, plucking the petals while chanting "s/he loves me, s/he loves me not".

Australian - Native violet (Viola hederacea)
An easy to grow ground cover. Blueish-purple and white flowers on short stems.

Quote of the month
"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So, I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.”   Nathaniel Hawthorne

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