Autumn leaves provide nitrogen rich mulch for vegetable gardens and flower beds. Simply put the catcher on your lawn mower to collect and shred the leaves before spreading them straight onto your garden or adding to the compost heap for a richer mixture.
An ideal small tree for the south coast is the crepe myrtle. Drought and heat tolerant, the crepe myrtle is also disease and pest-free. It provides a beautiful floral display in the warmer months - white, soft pink, deep pink, mauve or red blooms. A deciduous tree, its foliage offers a beautiful autumn display, and bare in winter, the silver and tan trunk can be fully appreciated. The crepe myrtle enjoys full sun and depending on the variety chosen and care, can grow to a height and spread of 4-10m.
Avid veggie growers beware! Do you know that there are good and bad ladybugs (also known as ladybirds or ladybeetles)? Ladybugs help to control aphids, mites and scale insects, but if you see one with 28 spots, this is the leaf-eating ladybug. Handpick them from your plants.
Here’s a couple of simple tips to care for your roses. If aphids are a problem, they can be removed with your fingertips or a soapy rag. If your roses are showing signs of black spot and other fungal diseases, remove the infected leaves and dispose them in the garbage.
Over the summer months, we have been seeing a beautiful display of hydrangeas. Have you ever wondered why the colour variation? Hydrangeas will flower pink in alkaline soil to blue in acid soil. It is possible to change the colour of your hydrangeas. Adding organic matters will turn soils more acid and you can neutralise acid soils with the addition of lime. Cream/white hydrangeas remain that colour.
With the hot, dry summer we are experiencing here on the South Coast, property owners are looking for signs of water stress and keeping the water up to their gardens. Always remember that it is preferable to water in the morning. Evening watering encourages fungal diseases and daytime watering is less effective due to increased evaporation rates. Deep watering and mulching will help your garden survive the summer heat.
Vaughn loves to transform outdoor spaces. He has studied aspects of horticulture and with plenty of experience tending South Coast gardens, he can maintain and help your garden reach its full potential.