The Ornamental Garden

  • Prepare soil, remove any weeds and plant out summer and autumn annuals early this month, and apply mulch.


  • Water new plantings as necessary.


  • Continue to deadhead roses. Support new water shoots on roses with stakes and ties. Watch for sucker growth from below the graft and always remove.


  • Dahlias can still be planted, including cutting-grown plants.


  • Dianthus can be layered or cuttings taken at any time during the growing season, usually late summer to early autumn.


  • Look for autumn-flowering bulbs such as colchicum, sternbergia, lycoris and nerines for planting in the coming two months.


  • Finish pruning spring-flowering shrubs and evergreens.


  • Deadhead annuals and perennials to prolong flowering.


The Kitchen Garden

  • Continue to make regular sowings of autumn-maturing vegetables. Thin earlier sowings and control weeds.


  • Make a late planting of tomatoes and capsicums just before Christmas in the warmest spot for a good late crop.


  • Begin to harvest crops as soon as they are of usable size.


  • Sow more seeds of beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, leek, parsley, potato, pumpkin, radish, silver beet, sweet corn, zucchinis and parsnip (to mid-December).


  • Make first sowings of winter vegetables in seed boxes. Only sow enough for your needs and so save space and water.


  • Keep watering fruit trees. Netting will prevent bird damage to stone fruit. Check for insect infestations and act to protect your crop.


General Maintenance

  • This month will see the first touch of really hot weather.


  • Mow lawns regularly at a high setting. If you are going away, arrange for someone to mow the lawn for you.


  • When watering the lawn, apply Saturaid or a similar product to make the best use of your water. Mulch all those areas not already covered and keep soil lightly aerated under the mulch to help water penetrate.


  • Water wisely, preferably when it’s cooler. Adjust timers on automatic systems.


  • Plants are an unforgettable gift but a pair of good quality secateurs will give years of service. The Canberra Gardener is also a great gift for anyone wishing to create or maintain a garden in a cold climate.