There have not been many frosts yet this winter and the ground is still retaining some of its warmth from summer, so there is still time to move plants. Water them well and use a thick layer of mulch. Remember to stake large trees or shrubs if they are in an exposed place.
If you haven't ordered deciduous trees, shrubs, roses or fruit trees for planting as bare-roots in July and August yet, there is still time but don't leave it too much longer.
If you have ordered your roses and bare rooted trees, you can start preparing the ground for them now. Dig a generous sized hole about twice as wide as, but no deeper than the roots, so the roots will be able to lie in the hole without being cramped.
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Break up the bottom of the hole to loosen the subsoil and work in plenty of well composted manure or organic matter into the soil in the bottom.
Then put the rest of the soil back in the hole and leave it to decompose until your trees / shrubs arrive. It will be easy to dig out again and will be enriched ready to nurture the roots of your new plant. Don't add any fertilizer at this stage.
Once annuals and perennials such as sunflowers, Cosmos, Zinnia, Lupins and Aquilegia, have gone to seed, it is a good time to collect the seeds for sowing next season.
Ensure the seed head is fully dry, cut it off and shake it over a piece of paper so the seeds fall off. Shape a funnel with the paper and tip the seeds into a paper bag. Seal the bag completely, label it and store in a dry, protected spot until you're ready to sow next season.
Lift, divide and multiply bulbs such as Eucomis, Zephrantes, Clivia, Amaryllis and Hippeastrum after flowering.
Before replanting divisions, spread a 5 to 8 cm think layer of rotted compost or well-rotted manure over the ground. In heavy clay soils it is a good idea to line planting holes with a 5 cm layer of grit or gravel to assist drainage.
Mulch, water well and label plants so you know where they are when they have died down.
The Armidale Garden Club's next meeting is on Thursday, 24th June at the Uniting Church Youth Club Hall at 7:00 pm. Everyone is welcome!
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