As I write this, the prediction is for a maximum of just 4 degrees in Armidale, 3 in Walcha and only 1 degree in Guyra on Thursday, with rain and snow and wind. Definitely time to crank up the heating, settle into a comfy chair to peruse the seed catalogues and start planning for next season.
This year the winter solstice, the day of the year with the least number of daylight hours, will be on Monday, June 21, and we will have 10 hours and 10 minutes of daylight.
The earliest sunset at Armidale was on 10 or 11 June, when the sun set at 4:59pm and the latest sunrise will be around July 1 or 2, at 6:51am. These short days are another good reason to make the most of the longer evenings by planning any changes you want to make in the garden and browsing the catalogues for your summer and autumn bulb purchases.
Cut back on watering your indoor plants in winter. Use your finger to test the moisture levels in potted plants before watering, to avoid waterlogging.
Nearly all plants need less water in winter than when they are actively growing. Some plants such as succulents need next to no water in winter unless its unseasonably warm or they are being kept in a heated room.
Most plants that we grow indoors come from warm climates, so it can help to use water that is the same temperature as the room your plants are in.
Move your indoor plants away from heaters and remember that it may be colder if you put your plant very close to a window. A bright spot that's gets plenty of light from a window, but not touching it, is best.
It's worth spending the time to insulate garden taps and exposed pipes to prevent them freezing and bursting in the event we get a double-digit frost, if you haven't done this already. Wrap with several layers of hessian or use one of the products for insulating outside taps, from your local hardware store.
The indoor plants in the collection pictured, including the popular Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) and several types of Elephants Ear (Philodendron), are happy and doing well in a brightly lit location that is not too close to the glass door.
The Armidale Garden Club meets next on Thursday June 24 at 7:00 pm at the Uniting Church Youth Lounge for the club's regular monthly meeting. All members are encouraged to attend and new members & visitors are most welcome.
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