August is a fabulous month in the garden. The signs of spring are beginning to happen around us as the days lengthen and the earth begins to warm.
Even before sleeping deciduous trees spring to life, the winter landscape is transformed as native plants herald the arrival of warmer weather with wonderful explosions of colour. Wattles showcase their brilliant golden glory. Native plants such as Grevilleas, Callistemon, Melaleucas, Leptospermum and Banksias are delighting birds and insects as they burst into flower.
Boronias are fantastic native plants that announce the promise of spring as brown and yellow flowering varieties are covered in fragrant flowers. These are a great plant to bring indoors as a fantastic natural air freshener while flowering.
Chamelaucium is another wonderful Australian native plant to brighten the winter garden. Two favourite varieties are the Geraldton wax (Chamelaucium uncinatum) and Esperance Wax (Chamelaucium axillare) that bring colour to gardens from late winter to spring. As the common names suggest, these plants come from Western Australia and produce an abundance of pink or white flowers. The long-lasting flowers have stiff and thick pedals and hence, are called ‘wax flowers’
Boundaries, borders and edges define our spaces. They shelter us, protect us, and keep us secure. Plants are living fences. There is a fantastic selection of screening and hedging plants that will quickly have our living spaces defined by fresh new growth and colourful flowers. Some favourite hedging plants include Lily Pilly, Murraya, Photinias, Pittosporums, and Viburnums. Great avenue and taller boundary plants include evergreen magnolias, conifers and hedging camellias.
There are often less appealing areas of the garden that we wish to hide. Beautiful flowering climbers such as Hardenbergia ‘Happy Wanderer’, Pandoreas, Pyrostegia (Orange Trumpet Vine) and sweetly fragrant Jasmine are all beginning to flower and will quickly transform unattractive fences or structures into stunning walls of colour.
The cooler months are fantastic for northern gardeners with a great selection of food crops growing happily before the hot weather arrives. Northern tomatoes become a highly prized commodity as southern gardeners continue to wait for the warmth of spring before planting. Herbs, berries and small fruits are producing an abundant harvest.
Capsicum, Chilli, Eggplant, Pumpkin, Tomato and Zucchini can all be planted in warmer areas of the country. There is a huge selection of different tomatoes to suit every taste and purpose. As well as all the old favourites, there are some exciting gourmet tomato varieties to keep things interesting. Blueberry Tomatoes are free fruiting cherry tomatoes that produce abundant clusters of blueish fruit. These look fantastic on the vine and are ready to eat once they ripen to red.
In the Southern Edible Garden
August is a busy time in the vegetable garden in cooler regions. Cold month vegetables such as Artichoke, Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Onion, Peas, Radish, Rhubarb, Silverbeet, Spinach and Snow Peas can still be planted. Potatoes can also still be planted as the risk of frost damage passes.
Small fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, currents, kiwi fruits, strawberries and guavas can all be planted now in suitable regions. Check with your local garden retailer for the best local advice and tips for success.
Growing fresh and tasty herbs at home is very rewarding. There are lots of herbs available to plant now as the weather begins to warm. Dill, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Marjoram, Oregano, Rocket and Mint are some of the favourites to look for.
Rocky Point Sugar Cane Mulch is the perfect mulch for around your vegetable and herb plants. Sugar Cane Mulch looks great, it is weed free, will help to retain moisture, to suppress weeds and help to keep new seedlings warm and protected.
Prepare for the Season Ahead
Spring will soon be with us. Now is the time to prepare the edible garden beds that will be planted during the spring. The more natural goodness added to the soil now – the more home-grown goodness will be produced. Dig in plenty of organic compost and animal manure to prepare garden beds for the season of growth and abundance ahead. Rocky Point ActivGrow Soil Improver is the low fuss way to prepare vegetable and herb beds. Rocky Point ActivGrow is supercharged with over sixteen active ingredients including a blend of organic compost, composted chicken and cow manure, blood and bone, gypsum, fish meal, seaweed extract, iron, zeolite and trace elements. This ensures your plants are healthier, producing brilliant colour and increased yields. Rocky Point ActivGrow is suitable for all garden types.
The gardens in southern parts of the country are beginning to wake from their winter slumber as the deciduous trees begin to come to life. The first of the buds are beginning to open and the bare branches will soon be covered with the spring blossoms as the landscape is transformed into a spectacular showcase of spring colour and freshness.
Deciduous Magnolias are a standout in late winter and early spring. There are more than 200 species of magnolias including both deciduous and evergreen varieties. The flowers of the deciduous varieties appear early on the bare branches and trees are covered with a magnificent display of fresh colour as they announce that spring has arrived.
The first buds are beginning to open on deciduous fruiting and ornamental blossom trees. These trees are preparing for the warmth of spring and will soon be covered in bright fresh colours followed with fresh new growth. As the season begins, now is the time to fertilise for abundant results. A generous application of an organic fertiliser such as ActivGrow Fertiliser Pellets is perfect for this task. This goodness packed organic fertiliser is a healthy blend of composted organic Poultry Manure, Natural Gypsum, Sulphate of Potash, Fishmeal, Feathermeal, Meat Meal, Zeolite & Seaweed. All of these ingredients combine to create a balanced nutrient rich growing environment to ensure spectacular colour and growth.
If pruning of deciduous ornamental and fruiting trees is required, there is still time to complete this project before the spring arrives.
Roses should also be pruned, and this can be completed now if it has not yet happened. Roses are just beginning to produce new growth and pruning will have the rose bushes nice and compact with lots of beautiful blooms to delight the senses. There are still lots of new season’s roses available for planting.
This is also the time to prune and to tidy up Summer flowering shrubs. Give these a good cut back and apply a generous application of ActivGrow Fertiliser Pellets now. They will soon be covered in lots of fresh new growth as the spring arrives.
There are many plants that add colour and brightness to our winter days. Pansies, polyanthus, primulas, dianthus and violas are looking great in gardens, pots and hanging baskets. Japonica Camellias are covered in big full buds and beginning to burst open. Azaleas are loaded in buds with early flowering varieties beginning their displays of brilliant colour and freshness.
Diosmas, Brachycomes, daisies and Hellebores are just some of the many shrubs flowering now.
Spring Flowering Bulbs
Spring flowering bulbs are pushing their way through the cool winter soil ready to explode into colour. Many garden retailers have a great selection of potted flowering bulbs. These are great potted features indoors while they are flowering. Once flowering is complete, they can be planted in the garden to enjoy for years to come.
Indoor Winter Oasis
Plants in our homes bring colour, life and freshness to our lives. Cymbidium and Phalenopsis (moth or butterfly) Orchids are spectacular flowering plants to brighten our indoor living spaces at this time of year. These are available in so many colours and shades and are wonderful décor features in the home. Cyclamen are continuing to produce stunning flower displays that will continue until the warm weather returns. Beautiful Kalanchoes, African Violets, Anthuriums and Spathiphyllums are also just some of the standout plants to bring winter colour to our lives. There are many great foliage plants including ferns, palms, cordylines, monstera, figs, succulents and cacti to add life, texture and excitement to our Urban Jungles.
Most indoor plants are grown in pots, containers and hanging baskets. Now is the perfect time to repot indoor plants ready for the season of growth ahead. Plants will only grow to the quality of the potting mix that they are growing in. Always use a premium quality potting mix for the best results. Rocky Point Coco Pro Professional Potting Mix contains premium quality slow and controlled release fertilisers and feeds and nourishes plants for over 14 months. Discover the difference that Coco Pro makes to your indoor plant family.
Rocky Point is proudly an Australian family owned, award winning business. Our mission is to make the earth we cultivate, and the earth we live on, better for this and future generations by growing and providing healthy and sustainable products. Discover the Rocky Point difference in your garden this August.