- Towards the end of winter you can start planting berries such as blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries, silvanberries and strawberries. As always when introducing a new plant to your garden, start them off with improved soil and lots of organic matter. Some, such as the brambleberries, will need a trellis to support them as the canes get longer.
- Broad beans are a great crop to plant out by seed now, as they thrive in the cooler conditions. These seeds are easy and fun for children to help plant, as they are large enough for little fingers to work with and are fast growing – who’s broad bean plant can grow the tallest?
- Winter roses (Hellebores) will brighten up areas of light shade under deciduous or larger evergreen trees. Flowers adorn the plants in a range of pink, purple, white and green, en masse providing a carpet of colour across your garden bed. For more winter colour ideas, see our article Cool Colours here.
- Flowers to plant now include; Arctotis, Alyssum, Bellis, Calendula, Iberis (candytuft), Cineraria, Cyclamen, Delphinium, Lobelia, Lupins, Nemesia, pansy, Polyanthus, poppy, snapdragon, sweet pea and Viola.
- In the vegetable garden, brassicas such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are the classic crops. You can also plant lettuce, parsley, and silverbeet.
- Get stuck into a little winter pruning. Remove finished flowers from shrubs and perennials, but be careful not to cut back hard into older growth at this time of year. For more winter pruning tips, see our handy guide here.
- Divide and repot ferns before new growth appears. Replace the potting mix with a good quality blend to reinvigorate the plants. Perennials can also be trimmed, lifted and divided where needed. These include Salvias, Sedums, Euphorbia, Asters and Delphiniums. Make sure you use a sharp knife and ensure there are at least two buds on each division. Healthy sections can be replanted straight away into improved soil in a sunny spot or given away to friends for their garden.
- Cymbidium orchids will be at their full glory now. Enjoy the stunning flower spikes for a little longer by moving the pots into a sunny (but protected) position.
- Give your garden a feed with some all-purpose, slow-release fertiliser to get it ready for the spring revival.
- Snails and slugs may be a problem now. Keep then under control with products such as Multiguard or Baysol. Alternatively, set beer traps, pick them up by hand or use copper strips to line pots and garden borders.
- Sweet, crunchy snow peas are a delicious and nutritious snack just as they are, or a fresh side dish to more hearty meals.
- Lemons and limes make warming winter teas, zesty, fresh dressings or a delicious flavouring when roasted with chicken and root vegetables.