It's the ideal time to re-plant potted plants, particularly any that have been in their pot for many years.
The nutrients from the old potting mix will be spent, the roots will possibly have filled the pot and the plants and their roots will need a good tidy up and prune and fresh potting mix for new vigour and better flowering.
Sometimes the plant's roots will have even grown through the holes at the base of the pot, preventing drainage.
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You can plant into a larger pot or trim the rots and pop them back into the same container.
Remove the plant from the pot, trim any broken roots, tease out congested and tangled roots, shake off the old potting mix and prune off any dead or ratty-looking leaves. Re-pot using a premium-grade potting mix, pressing the mix down firmly down around the roots to get rid of any air pockets and water with liquid seaweed. Re-stake the plant and raise the container onto bricks or pot feet to discourage the roots growing through.
If your pot is really big and heavy, you can avoid repotting by removing 20 per cent of the tired potting mix and replacing it with fresh potting mix or fine compost. Top-dress with a handful of pelletised chook manure or rock dust.
Re-pot perennial herbs such as rosemary, lemongrass and mint so they have the whole summer to grow. For best results, use a premium potting mix and feed regularly with a flower and fruit fertiliser.
It's also time to feed your houseplants with a weak solution of liquid fertiliser.
As the weather warms up, ensure any bare soil is mulched to reduce weed growth and to retain as much moisture as possible. Soils left bare can very quickly lose moisture, especially on warmer, windy days. If any garden beds have already dried out, be sure to water them well first, before mulching. Thick layers of compacted mulch, such as thick biscuits of hay, can be as good at keeping water out, as at in keeping it in and you may find that only heavy falls of rain will penetrate it.
Armidale Garden Club's next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 23 at 7pm in the Uniting Church Hall, COVID restrictions permitting. Please be assured that all COVID guidelines will be adhered to. All welcome!