Winter Garden Woes

There is no doubt the winter of 2016 has been cold and wet, with Adelaide recording one of it's wettest July's for some time.  Older gardeners might remember that it's been this way before, and those of us whose memory is not what it once was, forget that this is winter in Adelaide!  

Many, many customers are commenting how bad their gardens are looking.  There are water logged lawns, now sprouting moss for all it's worth; hail damaged plants with succulents and large fleshy leaved plants showing the most damage; insipid looking leaves barely hanging on (a result of extreme cold and lots of water!), and yes, in some cases, there have been garden casualties - usually caused again, by excess water resulting from poor drainage.

One of the joys of gardening in Adelaide is the change of seasons, and before we know it our water logged, insipid gardens will be flush with spring flowers and summer produce, and we will have forgotten our winter woes.

There are a few things you can do to help your garden through winter, and get it off to a good start in spring.  You could try:

  • applying Seamungus:  fabulous for revitalising plants.  A real health tonic, and perfect to apply in winter
  • apply Droughtshield for newly transplanted species, or if you live in a frost prone area
  • apply fortnightly applications of Seasol for plants showing stress or those you think will suffer from stress over winter
  • improve your drainage by digging trenches to encourage the flow of water away from your plants
  • improve your drainage by applying gypsum at a rate of 1kg per square metre to clay soils
  • move potted plants to a warm north facing wall
  • planting species appropriate to our climate .... tropical plants don't always do well in our cold winters, but we are able to grow fabulous bulbs, camellias, daphne, coprosma, lavender ... and so many other plants which don't blink an eye in our cold weather
  • use frost cloth to protect susceptible plants from strong, cold winds (and also from frost!)
  • Treat the moss in your lawn before it takes over, and if you can, improve the sunlight to that area (or plant something else there!)
  • sit inside with a cuppa and a garden magazine and make plans for your garden  next winter - where do you have 'holes', where do you need colour, what can be removed altogether

Finally, be patient.  Gardens are living, evolving things.  It would be fair to say no garden looks amazing all of the time.  The quiet of winter will be followed by a flush of spring growth and a profusion of colour, and before you know it you will have forgotten about your winter garden woes.  

If you need assistance with plant selection and advice on plant health over winter, and indeed, throughout the year, be sure to speak with our qualified garden staff.