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
It’s over for another year. I’ve harvested the last of this round’s cabbages and cauliflowers and prepared the beds for my summer tomatoes, basil, eggplants, and zucchini. I’ve even chucked in some sweet corn and radishes.
I still have beans and peas on the go, but they should be all done by the start of November.
I was a little surprised to discover that the dwarf Meyer lemon I bought a little while back, is, in fact, a cumquat tree.
Something extra to add to my citrus marmalade.