The winds of late winter and early spring are upon us.
Check any trees you planted recently as bare-rooted and ensure stakes are solid or stake any in a windy location.
Use two stakes either side of the trunk about 20-30cm away from the trunk and positioned so they are at right angles to the prevailing wind.
Use a wide, flexible material to tie the tree to the stakes and position the tie about two-thirds of the way up the tree so the top can still move with the wind.
Tie it in a figure of eight around the stake and the tree and not so tightly that there is no movement at all.
The tree should be established and the stakes can then be removed after one growing season.
Sweet scents for indoors
Daphne, Chimonanthus praecox (wintersweet), Sarcococca confusa (sweet box) and Viburnum x bodnantense deben or dawn are all sweetly scented and flowering now. Cutting helps prune them to shape and provides great fragrance in the house.
Jobs to do now
Continuing on from last week with the maintenance theme, now is also a great time to tidy up the garden shed. Always hang up your tools wherever possible to help keep them dry. Stack plastic pots to reuse for cuttings and take spares to the recycling centre.
Continue planting bare-root roses trees and shrubs. Prune roses straight after planting to encourage growth from the base in later years.
Spray peach and nectarine trees with copper oxychloride or lime sulphur (both have low environmental impact) to prevent leaf curl. To be effective, spraying must be done when the buds first start to swell – once the buds begin to open it is too late.
Continue pruning roses – don’t get too uptight about it, though. Roses are tough plants and will survive even if not pruned, although certainly the modern teas will flower better with a winter prune.
For all rose types, remove any dead wood and any shoots thinner than a pencil as they will not support many flowers.
Once-flowering roses are best pruned after they finish flowering. For repeat-flowering roses, reduce the shoots by around two-thirds and cut just above a healthy outward-facing bud. See the last edition for after-pruning care.
The Armidale Garden Club has its next meeting for 2018 scheduled for Thursday, August 23 at the Uniting Church Youth Club Hall, starting at 7pm; doors open from 6.45pm. All are welcome.
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