Pruning, potting, planting, mulching, watering; there are plenty of jobs you can add to your list of things to do in the garden at this time of year.
Making lists can help keep track of what you need to do and great satisfaction can be had, not only in stepping back and admiring the finished task, but also in ticking it off on the list!
If there's any time left for outdoor projects, you could use it to pot up some attractive containers for eco-friendly, low-cost Christmas gifts this year.
More gardening with Dar:
Flowering annuals and shrubs can make terrific Christmas presents and buying them now means they'll be looking lush and lovely come Christmas time.
Scented plants such as gardenias are always popular as gifts or try busy lizzies (Impatiens), Fuchsias, Hydrangea, lavender, Pelargoniums, Petunias, Zinnia or a small shrub underplanted with annuals such as Alyssum.
Liquid feed and water regularly to keep them healthy and by December, they'll be looking gorgeous.
Now that frosts are over it's time to prune winter / early spring-flowering shrubs such as Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias and Daphne.
Normally these shrubs only need a gentle thinning out of the canopy and tidying up the shape of the plant rather than severe cutting back.
Start by removing frost-damaged, old and diseased branches to allow light into the centre of the plant. Next, remove any branches that are rubbing against each other as these will encourage diseases.
Then remove side shoots that are crowding the plant as well as those that give the plant an uneven look. Trim older stems by a third to encourage new shoots to develop lower down on the plant.
Don't cut all the stems to the same height; stagger your cuts to different heights for a more natural look. Cut stems just above a healthy bud and close to the main branch so you don't leave short little stubs.
Tip pruning shrubs and perennials will keep them dense. Doing it before the new growth gets too long, and pinching out just the top two or three leaves, means the plant recovers quickly and you get a dense, well-shaped plant and no need to trim back long, leggy stems later on.
Keep deadheading bulbs that have finished flowering and liquid-fertilising the leaves to encourage good flowering next season.
The Armidale Garden Club's next meeting is on Thursday, November 25 in the Uniting Church Hall and everyone is welcome!
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