GET CRACKING IN THE GARDEN
Landscape architect Sophie Greive of Think Outside Gardens says if you’re after a showstopping garden to host family at Christmas and want to call in the professionals, then there’s no time to lose.
“If you are considering getting a landscape architect or designer in to redesign your garden, allow a couple of months (to get the job done) depending on the scale of the project. Larger-scale works requiring council or certifier approval will require even more time,” Sophie says.
If your garden is already the way you want it, start planning maintenance jobs such as oiling the deck and cleaning outdoor furniture into your calendar leading up to December.
If you’re handy with a garden spade, Sophie says you should get your hands dirty now if you’re hoping for a colourful Christmas outdoors.
“Spring-flowering annuals could include geraniums, marigolds or petunias; check what’s flowering at your nursery,” says Sophie.
“Spring is a great time to plant fruit trees, all types of citrus and flowering or fruiting vines such as star jasmine which will flower in November, as well as passionfruit.”
And for a bumper crop of vegetables for the Christmas table, now is the time to consider planting tomatoes, carrots, lettuce and herbs such as basil, parsley and thyme. But first, Sophie says, you need to prepare the soil.
“Vegetables like a loose, free-draining soil high in organic matter so the roots can spread easily,” Sophie says.
“Consider testing the pH of the soil — vegetables prefer a pH of six to seven.
“You can lower or raise the pH by adding aluminium sulfate or lime.” For a lush lawn, get started now. “Spring is a great time to lay turf or start establishing a lawn as temperatures are mild and the grass will be actively growing and can establish a deep root system. Regular mowing and watering will have it looking lush by December,” Sophie says.
However, considering the dry state of NSW, Sophie says keeping the garden green could be challenging this summer and she advises homeowners to check any water restrictions with their local council.
Garden beds can be kept in top condition by adding compost, manure and slow-release fertiliser in spring to encourage plant growth.
“Top up mulch to help maintain moist soil and prevent evaporation,” she says.
Start now to make sure your deck, lawn and garden is in top condition in time for Christmas, says Sophie from Think Outside Gardens.