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Potted hydrangeas with flower buds
It's summer and the ideal time to get into your garden in Victoria. Here are some ideas for getting your garden into shape this December.

 

It's a great time to plant poinsettias

Nothing says festive like poinsettias with their striking colours. Poinsettias are a favourite with their rich, green leaves, followed by showy bracts. The flowers are pretty, but quite insignificant compared with the bracts.

In store, and looking great, poinsettias make the perfect Christmas gifts or centrepiece for your table. Keep them indoors in a spot that gets indirect sunlight, prune back and fertilise after flowering, and put them into a bigger pot, or plant them in the garden.

Close-up of poinsettia flowers

What else to plant

Another hero of the summer garden are hydrangeas, with their beautiful blooms in shades of pink, blue and white. What's interesting about hydrangeas is that it's possible to change the flower colour. Hydrangeas growing in alkaline soil tend to pink, whereas in acidic soil, the flowers are blue.

If you haven't got them in already, put some vegies in too. Tomatoes are still good to go, just remember to stake larger growing varieties. A great tip is to plant basil near your tomatoes as they are great companions in the patch. Plant other members of the solanaceae family too. This includes eggplant and capsicums. Also put in sweet corn and cucumber.

Zucchini and pumpkin like to spread, so give them some room. Keep the water up to pumpkins for good production. 

Close-up of a young basil plant

Maintenance

With Christmas around the corner, it's the perfect time to keep up with maintenance and your garden in ship-shape.

This month, with the warmer weather, the focus is on watering. Check sprinklers and irrigation systems to make sure they are in good working order. Before turning on the irrigation, check with your local regulator about water restrictions in your area.

Mulch around fruit trees and other areas in the garden. It helps the soil retain moisture and protects plant roots. Use pea straw or sugar cane mulch.

Inspect fruit trees for pests. As the weather warms, pest insects like scale become more active. Spray with a white oil or eco oil but avoid doing this on a hot day as it could burn the foliage.

Select a cool day to feed lawns to encourage growth. You'll be the envy of family and friends when you're entertaining over Christmas.

Bunnings team member spraying orange fruit tree with eco-oil

Harvest

In December, there is plenty coming into season to pick for the table. Garlic is ready when the tops die down. Beans are also ripe for picking, harvest lettuce, potatoes, leeks and sweet, juicy strawberries too. Pick herbs, as regular harvesting of the leaves encourages more growth.

There you go, relieve the stress of the week and get out into the garden. You'll benefit from being outdoors and the plants will love the attention.

Harvest of various fruits and vegetables including garlic, strawberries, potatoes and beans

Our Perfect Plant Promise

Remember the Perfect Plant Promise. All our plants (except seedlings) are guaranteed for 12 months. If you're not 100 percent happy, return your plant (with the receipt or tax invoice) and we'll refund it.

Start planting today

Check out the wide range of plants online or visit your local Bunnings Warehouse to find out how you can bring your garden to life.

 

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. 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.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.