We are in another 6 weeks of lockdown here in Melbourne – supposedly due to lift on 13th September. At least the winter bulbs have started flowering, so there is some positivity in the air.
Winter is the best time to prune your deciduous trees, and unsightly shrubs, as this is when the plant is dormant or at its slowest growth point.
Pruning can be a daunting prospect for the inexperienced, but it’s really not that difficult. Even if you make a mistake, your plants will be forgiving.
The first thing that you need to do is ensure that you have clean and sharp tools. You may use a pruning knife (suitable for smaller branches and roses), secateurs (suitable for small branches) and a pruning saw (suitable for larger branches/bigger jobs). Make sure that you are wearing a long shirt, and a sturdy pair of garden gloves. (I recommend that you wear glasses to protect your eyes).
- Remove any dead branches, flowers and leaves.
- Remove any canes (branches), which are growing in towards the centre of the plant. (You are aiming for a vase shape – unless you are cutting a topiary).
- Cut back the remaining canes (branches) by up to two-thirds.
- Cut above a knot in the branch.
- Fertilise the plant if it needs it.
Winter is here. Yes, I know, it’s hard to believe that we are almost half way through another year.
So, what do I need to do throughout the colder months to keep the garden in good shape? Here are a few suggestions:
Berries: Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberries
Fruit Trees: Cherries, Apples, Pears, Citrus, Stone Fruits
Jobs to do:
- Clean tools
- Clean out potting shed
- Check use by dates on seeds and garden products
- Work on paths, check garden edging
- Outdoor maintenance
- Prune fruit trees
The weather is just starting to turn cold here in Melbourne, and I’m taking advantage of the COVID-19 shut down to get all of my garden work under control before Winter. Now is the time to start pruning those fruit trees and planting the next round of crops. It’s also your last chance to plant flowering bulbs for the Spring. I managed to paint some of my deck furniture before the storm (with hail) descended upon us.