gar­den in the

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Outdoor Inspiration -

Mulch, mulch, then mulch some more. Us­ing an or­ganic prod­uct such as pea straw or lucerne hay is still one of the best ways to re­tain mois­ture while im­prov­ing soil con­di­tion. Get a hedge es­tab­lished

in a sunny spot. Not a fan of trim­ming? Try a no-clip pit­tospo­rum, such as ‘Golf Ball’ and var­ie­gated ‘Hole in One’. Sow the world’s tasti­est

tomato, ac­cord­ing to many: the award-win­ning ‘Sun­gold’. Seeds of this wilt-re­sis­tant tomato are now avail­able in Aus­tralia through Mr Fothergill’s, mr­

Check lemon trees for scale and, if present, spray with white oil or pest oil. Spruce up in­door plants with a dust and a wipe with a moist sponge. If you spot in­sects, use a sponge dipped in soapy wa­ter.

Start grow­ing a few

pots of herbs to be­deck in rib­bon and give away as Christ­mas presents in De­cem­ber. Re­pot cym­bid­ium or­chids that have grown too large for their pots. Keep the colour com­ing dur­ing sum­mer by plant­ing marigold, pe­tu­nia, snap­dragon and ger­bera.

Prune camel­lias that have fin­ished flow­er­ing to keep them in shape.

Prune roses and other spring-flow­er­ing plants that have fin­ished bloom­ing. Fer­tilise pas­sion­fruit

but re­mem­ber, the roots wan­der wide, so fer­tilise well out from the plant. Help pol­li­nate toma­toes

by briskly shak­ing the plants. This should be done once flow­ers have opened. Plant up sum­mer hang­ing bas­kets us­ing a goodqual­ity pot­ting mix, bas­ket liner and seedlings of colour­ful per­form­ers such as lo­belia, ver­bena, pe­tu­nia and cal­i­bra­choa. Look for fab­u­lous flow­er­ing hy­drangeas

that are start­ing to ap­pear in south­ern nurs­eries, for adding zing to your Christ­mas gar­den.

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