January Gardening

Updated January 1, 2013, 12:00 am betterhomesgardens


New year, new you, new garden - it's time to get out and spruce it up!

In your garden

  • Add a cool summer touch with a hedge of deep blue-flowered Plumbago auriculata ‘Royal Cape’. Flowering in summer, autumn and spring with blooms that resemble clusters of phlox, it’s hardy and needs little more than an occasional shaping trim.
  • Give ponds nocturnal pizzazz by installing underwater lights (available in kit form), or perhaps a spotlight directed on them from a nearby tree or wall.
  • Create tropical pot appeal with the new Tradewinds hibiscus from Colourwise (www.colourwise.com). Bred to produce a better habit when grown in a container, it has a reduced bud drop compared to other hibiscus and comes in colours ranging from white, yellow and orange, to red and pink.
  • Attract butterflies into your garden by planting nectar-producing favourites such as candytuft, dahlia, catmint, sedum, verbena, alyssum, heliotrope and flannel flower – and avoid spraying insecticides.
  • If mowing is getting you down, check out the dense-foliaged Liriope muscari ‘Isabella’. It creates a lush foliage that requires mowing only once a year to keep it at about 21cm high, or twice a year, if you’d like it shorter. Considered by many to be a better alternative to mondo grass, it’s available from Ozbreed. Visit www.bestplants.com.au for stockists.
  • Water wisely over summer. If you’re concerned about your garden’s water, invest in a Neta Litre Meter. It allows you to monitor water by volume as you use it. Simply set the arrow on the dial to zero and begin watering. You can use it with your current spray-gun or buy it pre-assembled with a Neta spray-gun.
  • Like to test your topiary-growing skills? All you need is a container, a good-quality potting mix and an English box (Buxus sempervirens). As it grows, clip and coax it into a shape, watering and feeding regularly with a foliar fertiliser. You can encourage the branches to grow in your desired direction by using a soft wire.
  • Clean out excess plants from your pond that have exploded in number from extra sun. You can use them to make a highly nutritious mulch for garden beds.
  • Collect seeds from your favourite annuals. Store them in an envelope in a dry spot for sowing next spring.

Plant Now

All zones: Alyssum, marigold, petunia, portulaca, salvia, verbena and zinnia.
Zones 2-6: Ageratum, amaranthus, aster, coleus, dahlia, gerbera, impatiens, linaria, nasturtium, pansy, phlox, poppy, primula, stock, sweet pea and wallflower.

Zones 7-8: Begonia, cosmos, gomphrena, sunflower, torenia and vinca.

All zones: Beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cress, leek, lettuce, radish, rhubarb, silverbeet and spring onion.
Zones 2-6: Beetroot, Brussels sprouts, carrot, endive, herbs, kohlrabi, parsnip, swede and turnip.
Zones 7-8: Artichoke suckers, capsicum, celery, cucumber, eggplant, kohlrabi, marrow, melon, okra, potato tubers, squash, sweet corn, sweet potato tubers, tomatoes and zucchini.

Summer savvy

Add a splash of style and charm to your summer garden by merging the formal and the tropical in a beautiful container. A standard hibiscus in a pot gives the structural look of a topiary, while those fabulous showy flowers add unexpected zing to the scene. Don’t be too particular about rounding off the top growth – let it flower first, then trim it back to shape when the blooms finish. For a gorgeous planting in the base, try a begonia, such as ‘Bonfire’ (used here), to create a heat-loving combo that will look spectacular throughout the season.

In crop protection

If you’re having trouble with your crops, the solution could be an Easy Net Tunnel. It helps protect crops from predators and the sun, and conserves soil moisture. The tunnel is available in two sizes. To order, call 1800 726 687 or visit www.gardenware.com.au

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  1. Graham07:54pm Thursday 10th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Hi Graham, I really appreciate all the knowledge you share with us all. Could you please remind me of the Zones as I have forgotten what/which belongs where. Thanks Graham. all the best for 2013 to you and the BHG Team. Lyn

  2. Marie-Jo02:47pm Thursday 10th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Easy net tunnel, thank you! What a great idea!! This could be the answer to my poor vegetables

  3. Gunner05:09pm Tuesday 01st January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Is it too late to put in Tomatoe plants in Victoria?

  4. Glib09:58am Tuesday 01st January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    The time to do anything in your garden is whenever it's convenient. These garden "experts" go on with a lot of nonsense.

  5. 10:29am Wednesday 18th January 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    growing native bush foods is my next endeavour

  6. M06:40pm Sunday 08th January 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    And vegetables


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