The Garden Diaries: South Australia In December

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The Garden Diaries: South Australia In December

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It’s December in South Australia, the start of summer and the festive season. There is lots to do in the garden this month, here are a few tips to get you started.

Hero plant this month: Poinsettias

December is party season and it’s all about colour. So this month, the focus is on poinsettias with their festive, colourful bracts. Colours include white, orange and showy red. Inside they need indirect light, to be watered when dry, pruned back hard after flowering and fertilise then too. Plant out in a pot or in the garden.

Poinsettias make an ideal Christmas gift or centrepiece for your table.


What else to plant

Bougainvilleas are another good choice for planting this month. With their bold colours, they pack a punch for impact. Plant as a ground cover or let your ‘bougie’ climb a trellis. There are also compact and smaller growing dwarf varieties that suit pots. Some say they thrive on neglect, but plant in full sun for good results.

Southern cypress pines, Callitris gracilis, are also good to plant now. They likes sandy, well-drained soil and can reach up to 15m high so keep that in mind when planting this tree.

For hardiness, agapanthas are a sure bet with their showy blue, white or purple flowers. Use as a border plant, and plant in a sunny position. Remove spent flowers so the seed doesn’t spread.

Don’t neglect the vegie patch either. Quick growing radishes are a beaut project for the kids. Get in some spinach and celery, which is easy to grow. Plant carrot seed straight in the ground. Also plant beans and sweet corn too.

Potted plants


Give plants a good dose of liquid seaweed. It will promote root growth and makes plants resilient against the summer heat.

Monitor water needs in the garden regularly. Water deeply to encourage stronger root growth and keep an eye on pots as these tend to dry out more quickly.

If you haven’t already, then it’s the perfect time to check irrigation systems and make sure they are in good working order. Check with your local authority about any water restrictions in your area.

Mulch any beds that need it. This will help retain moisture in the soil. It also helps to protect plant roots from the hot sun.

A person watering the garden


During the festive season, there’s no better time than harvesting fresh fruit and vegies form the garden to share with family and friends. Rocket makes great salad, strawberries are sweet and juicy. Pick lettuce and Asian greens too.

It’s summer in South Australia. So get out into your garden and enjoy it.

Fruit and vegies

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

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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