Lismore Garden Club News

As we head to the shortest day of the year (winter solstice) and the beginning of winter you will have noticed the sun crossing lower in the northern sky. This creates cool shade on the southern side of shrubs, trees and buildings. When planting sun-loving seedlings in winter to check they get at least four hours of sunshine every day. It may benecessary to move some of your outdoor potted plants (including orchids) from full shade into full sunshine. Indoor plants need less watering and more light in cooler weather. Water only if they are dry to touch and water in the morning with tepid water.

Nights are getting colder. Water your garden in the morning so that the soil has a chance to warm up through the day. In frost-prone areas it will be necessary to protect frost tender plants by covering them at night. If you are fortunate enough to have a shade house you will find the plants will benefit by wrapping the shade house in plastic until winter passes.

If you are contemplating doing any large structural jobs in the garden you won’t get better outdoors working conditions than from now until spring. Traditionally we don’t get much winter rain and the winter sunshine is a joy to work in. It’s good to get a little winter sun each day to keep up our vitamin D levels.

It’s important to give thought to the application of fertiliser to your garden. In the cooler months, back off from fertilising except when establishing seedlings. They can be given a few weekly applications of half-strength soluble fertiliser in tepid water. Many of your garden plants are in a semi-dormant state and it would be a waste of time and money applying fertiliser now. Wait until spring. In the cool weather, gardens and potted plants will respond to application of a plant tonic such as Seasol, as well as composting and mulching them.

The Lismore Garden Club meets on the second Thursday of the month at 1pm at the Lismore Workers Club. The June meeting guest speaker will be Carla Tipping from Precious Plants Nursery. New members most welcome. For more info phone Ray on 6625 1773 or Rosemary on 6629 3353.

Finally: “The best remedy for stress is to escape to your garden.”

Happy gardening, Ron Burns

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