The garden diaries: New South Wales in August

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The garden diaries: New South Wales in August

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Gardening is terrific in August in New South Wales. At this time of year, it’s all about preparing for spring as well as setting the garden up to help drought proof it for summer. Do this by adding mulch and manures to the soil to help stop it drying out.

Hero plant this month: camellias

This month it’s all about camellias, azaleas and gardenias.

With their attractive evergreen foliage and delicate flowers, camellias are a great plant for New South Wales. They have a long flowering season, are hardy, and can be grown in pots, as specimen plants or hedged.

Some species, such as Camellia japonica prefer shade or filtered light, others, like sasanquas flourish in full sun. Or you might try Camellia sinensis, the leaves of which are used to make tea.

plants

What else to plant

August is a good time to plant roses too. Whether you like standards, climbers or bush roses, they are available as bare rooted specimens now and are ready to put in the ground. Be sure to dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the roots and plant into well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter.

And don’t forget the vegies - including edibles like corn. It’s best to plant corn in a block, rather than a long row to help with pollination. Quick growing varieties like radishes, and lettuces are always good to have on the go. Favourites include mignonette and a salad mix.

plants

Maintenance

There’s also plenty of jobs to do in the garden in August. Check for frost damage on your plants. But wait until all chance of frosts have passed before removing or pruning any damaged foliage.

Check watering and fertilising needs of camellias and azaleas. Fertilise roses to give them a boost before they start growing. Check in store to find out which is best for your roses. Be sure to mulch after you’ve fertilised to help protect the soil.

Mulching is great for the entire garden. It keeps the weeds down and the moisture in and protects the soil.

Spray stone fruit at bud swell just before the leaves appear for peach leaf curl and against fungal diseases. Ask in store for the best products to use for this.

Once things warm up at the end of August, use a liquid or granular feed to encourage strong, healthy growth in your lawn.

vegetables

Harvest

In August keep up with the harvest.  It’s time pull leeks, pick silverbeet  and onions. Pick these when the onion tops have fallen over and turned brown.

So the good news is,  August is a great time to garden with plenty to do. If you need any advice, pop in and see the in-store gardening experts.

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Health & Safety

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Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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