The cooler conditions of autumn are ideal for planting, transplanting and for dividing perennials as the soil is still warm and the plants have a chance to establish before winter cold sets in.
Autumn is an ideal time for transplanting shrubs.
If you're unhappy with the position of a shrub or tree in your garden, the best time to move it safely is at the end of summer or early autumn when the weather is cooler and the soil is not so dry.
Dig the largest root ball you can and replant to the same level. Apply liquid seaweed.
Remember to water newly transplanted greenery every day for a month until roots are established. If it's still very dry in your area, wait until there's more moisture in the soil before transplanting.
Plant native trees and shrubs now so they have time to settle in before winter. Look for winter-flowering species and buy them from one of our local nurseries to ensure they are well-suited to our area. Correa, Eriostemon and Prostanthera are great shrubs for smaller gardens.
For a native alternative to traditional box hedging, try some of the Westringias. Westringia fruticosa, W. fruticosa "Zena" and W. fruticosa "Wynabbie Gem" will grow 1 - 2 metres tall if allowed, while the more compact cultivars such as Grey Box and Aussie Box will grow up to 50cm.
All will naturally form a roundish shape but can be clipped to a tight ball and are tolerant of both frost and drought.
Order your winter purchases of trees, shrubs, roses, perennials and spring-flowering bulbs, if you haven't done so already. Bare-rooted plants which will cost you much less that the same plants in pots.
Read more about gardening:
Get flowering shrubs back into shape at this time of year, as pruning will help bring on fresh autumn growth.
Give priority to removing dead wood and severely diseased or pest-ridden material.
Tip prune summer-flowering natives once the flowers are finished to keep plants compact and stop them getting "leggy". Trim flowering gums and bottlebrush behind the finished flowerheads to keep them a compact shape.
The Armidale Garden Club's next meeting is 7:30 pm on Thursday 24 March at the Uniting Church Youth Club Hall, off Rusden St, behind the Uniting Church. Call 0412589414 for more info; otherwise just come along!
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