What to sow, grow and harvest in August.
If you’re snuggled up indoors, try buying plants online in their dormant stage, such as deciduous maples, fruit and blossom trees, raspberries and grapes. A great resource is the Fleming’s Nurseries website (flemings.com.au). For flowering perennials try Lambley Gardens and Nursery (lambley.com.au) and The Diggers Club (diggers.com.au).
Fix bindi-eye in your lawn now so you’re not cursing come summer. This painful weed has light green ferny leaves and spreads like a low ground cover. Dig out by hand, or use a selective weedicide like Lush from Yates. Seek advice if you want to use a hose-on weed and feed sprayer, as these can kill buffalo lawns.
PUT IN PRETTIES
Despite the cold, there are some stunners blooming outside. Camellias are flowering now and many make beautiful potted plants. Other Asian natives flowering now include quince and Taiwan Cherry, the first blossom to open in late July through to August.
WOW WITH WATTLE
These plants are in full flower during August. They are fast growing, perfect for instant screening and provide a wonderful habitat for seed-eating birds. There are many different forms, from ground covers to tall timber trees. Go to the Australian Botanic Gardens website (anbg.gov.au/acacia/) or visit their Wattle Garden in Canberra.
PLANT BROAD BEANS
These are stunning when picked fresh, and both shoots and pods are edible. Plant in a cradle or frame to stop them falling over and pick for weeks – as the more you do, the more you reap.
Buy crowns from garden centres, wrapped in peat and hanging with bulbs in net bags. This under-grown perennial needs about a square metre patch – and your patience for a few years while the clump thickens up. Cut the fresh spears as they emerge at the base and more will sprout.
It’s worth growing this bitter but pretty green, along with its cousins radicchio and chicory. Plant seed or seedlings and feed with a liquid seaweed solution to encourage fast and furious growth.
Sprinkle carrot seeds directly in situ – they do well in old potting mix in old polystyrene fruit boxes. Try heirloom types, which come in yellow, purple, red and orange.