The Garden Diaries: South Australia in January

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The Garden Diaries: South Australia in January

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Hero plant this month: Australian natives

January is a good time to plant some Australian natives or hardy plants. In store this month, there is a great variety of trees and shrubs. With a bit of water and love they should thrive at this time of year. Good choices are callistemons or grevilleas.

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What else to plant

If you are just getting started in your garden and looking for some hardy choices, then try the Mighty Tuff range. Not only are they easy to look after, but they look good too. For example, blue stars lily (Aristea ecklonii), with its strappy foliage and bright blue flowers. Golden diosma is another favourite for rockeries and rock rose, with its fragrant flowers, is known as a tough shrub that thrives on neglect.

Another good option for this time of year is the flying start tube stock range. Super hardy, they come in a range of species. A few to check out include red hot pokers, acacias and daisies.

There’s nothing like picking edibles straight from the garden. Try planting some herbs, put them in a sunny spot in well-drained soil and you’ll be harvesting in no time. Parsley, basil and coriander are good choices. Mint likes a shady position and is better contained in a pot Add some spice to your life with chillies. If you’ve got some space, plant a passionfruit.  Beans, lettuce and corn can go into the garden too. 

If the weather is hot, keep an eye on watering needs of young plants, or leave them in pots in a sheltered spot until the scorching days have passed.

Potted chilli plants


To keep your garden well maintained and looking good in January, a good tip is to water regularly in the morning.

If it’s been dry, get into good habits and give the garden a good drench to keep the soil and plants hydrated. Deep watering encourages roots to grow more deeply, helps plants avoid sun burn as well as attacks of mildew and other fungal diseases.

Adding some mulch will help the soil retain moisture. Use pea straw or sugar cane that will improve the soil as they break down.

Another tip is to harvest fruit and vegies, such as leafy greens in the morning so they stay crisp and store longer.

Remember when you’re working in the garden to protect yourself from the sun and stay well hydrated, so drink plenty of water. 

A person watering a garden bed


If you’ve got fruit and vegies growing, keep an eye on what to pick. Stone fruit should be ripening, so be sure to pick the produce before the birds do. Netting can help protect fruit. In the vegie patch, capsicums, cucumbers and tomatoes should be ready to harvest for the perfect summer salad. 

After all the hard work, things should be looking great, so get out in the backyard and enjoy your garden.

Tomatoes, zucchinis and capsicums

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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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