About the Garden Winter 2024 Magazine

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Issue 109 TM Front cover image: Princettia Queen series, ‘Hot pink’. Contributors: Ashley Searle, Jillian Coomb, Diggers, Pohlmans, Austraflora, Proven Winners, PMA & Plantnet. Magazine Manager: Alana Searle Design & Layout: Alana Searle ATG Group Co-ordinator & Advertising: Jason Searle About the Garden is published seasonally by JC & AT Searle Pty. Ltd. ABN 14 002 898 893 4914 D’Aguilar Highway, Kilcoy or P.O. Box 183, Kilcoy Qld. 4515 Ph: (07) 5422 3000 atg@aboutthegarden.com.au About the Garden Magazine is proudly produced from sustainable resources. New releases p4 Winter Flowers Bare root planting p13 At your local - In season plants - Flowers 4 - Foliage 8 - Natives 9 Native for indoors /shady spots 10 Winter harvest Winter greens 12 Bare root planting 13 Growing asparagus 14 Winter vegetables 15 On the table - recipes Easy chicken & mushroom risotto 16 Cauliflower spiced bake 16 Creamy lemon crumble squares 17 About winter - Edibles 18 - Flowers 19 - Dirt doctor - Weeds 20 - Climatic zones 20 FOLLOW US ON The material appearing in About the Garden is subject to copyright. Other than as permitted by the Copyright Act, no part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of the publishers. No responsibility is accepted by JC & AT Searle Pty. Ltd. for the accuracy of information contained in the text, illustrations or advertisements. Although believed to be accurately and correctly sourced, thereof disclaims any liability against itself, editor/s or employees arising from any person acting on the material herein. The opinions expressed in the magazine, or by contributors, do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. ©Copyright 2024 JC & AT Searle Pty. Ltd.
For more fruit & stunning roses searlesgardening.com.au Feeds
Better plant establishment Ideal for pots & gardens

see what’s new at your local gardening outlet

The bright and colourful Princettia makes a return to brighten up any space indoors or outdoors for the winter season.

Princettia is a new style of Poinsettia with vibrant flower colours including the whitest white, best pinks, and a beautiful cranberry red. This naturally

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Queen series, ‘Hot pink’ ‘Pure Red’


An amazing collection featuring upright blooms, marbled evergreen foliage and prolific forms that withstand the heat better than traditional forms. Bred specifically to suit Australian conditions. Flowering throughout winter and early spring, plant one or plant them all for the perfect way to brighten a dull corner or shady zone in the garden. These plants make excellent gifts and can be kept indoors for up to 3 weeks in a well-lit room before being planted into containers or garden beds. Position in areas with morning sun and afternoon shade. Plant in Searles Platinum Potting Mix for potted displays or Searles Planting Mix for garden beds.

12 colours available I

Lavinnova ‘Fairy Wings’

Bred to be early and free flowering, compact and fragrant, ‘Fairy Wings’ will bring a little magic to every garden. The ‘Fairy Wings’ Collection is an ideal choice for small containers, courtyards, low hedging or pathways and planted either en masse or individually. Easily cared for and dry tolerant.

Plant in a sunny location in well draining soil. A light prune after the main flowering flush will encourage a bushy habit. A boost of Searles Flourish Soluble Plant Food - Flowers & Foliage fortnightly in late summer/early autumn will optimise performance.

SIZE 70cmH 70cmW
www . pma .com.au
Images courtesy of www.pma.com.au

Cosmos ‘Choca Mocha’

Cosmos atrosanguineus

This perennial features dancing rich, dark, flowers floating above soft, green foliage. Walk past this cosmos and behold a strong scent of chocolate in summer. Its colour and flower habit lends itself very well as a filler by providing contrasting colours, texture, and movement. Ideal for containers and mass planting. Long-flowering through spring, summer, and autumn with a brief dormancy in cooler zones during Winter. Easy to grow and maintain in full sun. Heat tolerant when established. Remove spent flowers close to the foliage to promote further flowering and maintain plant habit.

Dahlia ‘Dahlightful’ Series

Dahlia variabilis

Be delighted by the dark, dense foliage offsetting the tall, richly coloured blooms of Dahlia ‘Crushed Crimson’, ‘Lively Lavender’, and ‘Tupelo Yellow’. This annual has a long-flowering season from spring through early autumn and is exceptionally resistant to powdery mildew. Its tall, tidy, and upright habit is ideal for potted displays, cottage gardens and cut flowers for indoors to appreciate.

Plant in a full sun position, sheltered from wind if possible. Keep soil moist but not saturated, especially in container plants. When flowering, apply Searles Flourish Soluble Plant Food - Flowers & Foliage every two weeks for better displays. Remove spent flowers to prolong the flowering period.

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SIZE up to 30cm FULL SUN SIZE 100cmH 50cmW
‘Tupelo Yellow’ ‘Lively Lavender’

David Austin

‘The Ancient Mariner’

English Shrub Rose

The ‘Ancient Mariner’ is an impressive variety bearing masses of large, many petalled blooms on a bushy, upright shrub. The blooms are a lovely glowing mid pink at the centre, paling towards the edges with a mediumstrong myrrh fragrance. Over time, they each reveal a cluster of golden stamens. The name of this rose was inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. A vigorous rose for the back of border planting. Repeat flowering during the year.

David Austin


English Shrub Rose

‘Imogen’ has pretty, lightly scented with fruity tones, soft-yellow blooms, fading almost to cream. The many delicately frilled petals are arranged around a button eye. It forms a sturdy, upright shrub with glossy foliage. Repeat flowering during the year. Named after the character in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline.

Mona Lavender is a standout feature plant for those hard to fill shaded areas. Its distinctive lavender coloured flowers are a prominent feature against the ornamental foliage of deep green leaves with dark purple undersides from late summer through to autumn.

Mona Lavender is a particularly attractive form of Plectranthus that does not spread like other members of the family, but rather forms a neat low shrub with an upright, erect habit. A wonderful solution to shaded areas in the garden as well as making an ideal container or basket specimen for sheltered patios or entertainment areas. Place around shaded water features or use as borders for shaded paths or driveways. 80cmH 60cmW

SIZE 100cmH 100cmW SIZE up to 175cm
Images courtesy of www.pma.com.au FRAGRANT
NEW colours

Another plant for the collectors, this Monstera has striking dark green veins and silvery patches. Will want to climb onto a totem or hang from a basket.

A perfect plant for indoors,

Syngonium Neon

is an evergreen, trailing perennial with stunning arrow shaped, pastel pink leaves. This hardy, easy to grow plant is perfect for pots located in warm, well lit, humid areas with filtered indoor light.

Yukon Frost

Rex Begonias have striking, almost painted leaves making each plant unique. They make for a great garden plant in the shade as well as periods inside the home on display in pots or as a gift. Flowers are incidental with the leaves being the main showstopping performer.

Simply Beautiful Coleus

For lush foliage success <<

The Simply Beautiful range of coleus have uniquely coloured and shaped leaves that come in a variety of sizes, offering low-maintenance, high-impact colour for containers and landscapes.

They also bring seasonal colour as an indoor plant. The bold foliage colours mix well on their own or with other plants.

They prefer a sunny to part shade location with fertile well drained soil.

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Wizard® Coral Sunrise Wizard®
Velvet Red Heartbreaker

Grevillea ‘Carpet Layer’

is another one for the collection of free-flowering, low growing plants which cut out the extremes of ground temperature variation in summer—and do it beautifully.

Attractive divided foliage is festooned with large deep pink ‘toothbrush’ flowers, so large they dwarf some of the honey-eaters that crowd in for tucker during spring, summer & early winter. Happy in cool temperate, sub tropical and semi arid climates in moist well drained clay or sandy loams, neutral to low acid ph. Carpet Layer is very frost tolerant and quite likes a sea view.

Lomandra filiformis

‘Bluey’is produced from a superior selection of seed grown Lomandra filiformis. This stout, wider leafed little lomandra, with a stunning blue appearance will be sure to fill gaps or visually please on mass in cottage, coastal and native gardens. Australian native success

Scaevola aemula ‘Purple Fanfare’

This attractive ground cover produces lush green foliage complimented with masses of fan-like flowers from spring to autumn. It is tough as old boots, ideal to add to rockeries, sloping sites and general garden planting where the dense mat of foliage can be free to grow. A plant that is adaptable to dry conditions once established.


Tongue orchid (Dendrobium linguiforme) has flat leaves and stunning, large sprays of white flowers, grows as an epiphyte (on trees) or lithophyte (on rock faces) and is hardy.

Most gardeners think of Australian natives as plants for outdoors, but here is a list of shade loving beauties for your indoor and shady area. Think of native plants; many go straight to grevilleas, banksia, kangaroo paw and many other sun-loving natives.

Australian native plants are not just sun lovers; the list of shade lovers will amaze you with their volume and surprise you with their beauty. Did you know many types of maiden hair ferns are Australian native plants, love the shade and flourish indoors? Some of the following listed plants may have you thinking of native plants in a different light. It is important to mention Latin names for the following, as page 10 Viola betonicifolia

Native monstera (Epipremnum pinnatum). Grow vine on post, prune to keep shape.

common names of these plants can be the same for half a dozen other plants and most are not native.

Surprisingly, several ferns used for indoors are native to Australia, such as the bird nest fern, also called Asplenium austrlasicum. The forms of maiden hair that are natives include Adiantum aethiopicum or atroviride or formosum; when you look at a maiden hair fern, you do not usually think of it being native to Australia. The kangaroo fern or Microsorum diversifolium is another surprise addition, and the walking stick palm Linospadix monostachya and Kentia palm Howea forsteriana are for height and elegance in a room.

If your indoor space is getting a bit crowded, move onto the shaded areas outdoors that need some greenery; again, natives can spruce up an area easily. The Brisbane lily (guess where it is native to?) and the lovely native violets Viola betonicifolia or banksii or hederacea are winners for these areas. Kidney plant Dichrondra repens are an unassuming ground cover, extremely hardy, and will tolerate some sun. One of the loveliest ferns is the Drynaria rigidula, or basket

Hoya australis is a native Australian indoor plant

It’s green waxy leaves, fragrant, small star-shaped flowers that hang or clamber produces stunning displays if hung at eye level.

fern, which hangs in a wire basket and is magnificent. The Dianella caerulea, or blue flax, has a sweet blue flower followed by blue berries, bringing in the birds and pollinators. You can even add some native swamp orchids, Phaius australis and Bernaysii, to show the diversity of Australian native plants for shaded areas.

The list goes on, with some Peperomia species even being native, such as native ‘radiator plant’ Peperomia leptostachya. Many of these plants will surprise and inspire you to use them in your shady garden or indoors.

Adiantum aethiopicum Dichrondra repens Drynaria rigidula (Basket Fern) Brisbane Lily Dianella caerulea

Have fast growing winter greens for harvesting within several weeks with this list of veggies to start your productive crop.

Herbs – most herbs can be picked shortly after planting seedlings. For winter growing herbs, plant chives, dill, parsley and chervil in all climatic zones. Rosemary, thyme and mint will also survive the winter.

Lettuce – harvest within weeks. Harvest younger leaves for better taste and encourage more leafy growth. Grow any time of the year for all zones except the middle of winter in cold zones.

Dwarf Beans – pick young and often for a more productive crop and encourage flower production. Harvest in 4-6 weeks from seedlings. Can be sown during winter in warmer zones. For cooler climates grow in spring and summer or in a protected shade house during the colder months.

Spinach – easy to grow cool season crop, water regularly and in about 4-6 weeks, you’ll have fresh spinach.

Arugula is a fast-growing cool-season salad green with a peppery taste. It is ready for harvest 30 to 40 days after sowing.

Bok Choy is a great super-grower because it can produce a mature harvest in around 30 days. Plant now in all climatic zones.

Kale – You can pick baby greens from kale or mustard greens in only 25 days or wait for mature leaves in about 50-65 days. Suitable to be planted now in all climatic zones.

Spring onions or green onions (also known as shallots and scallions) take around 6 months to produce full-size onions. But you can get green onion stalks at around 3-4 weeks. Great for garnishing soups or added to stir-fries. Shallots – can be planted during winter in all climatic zones. Harvest within 12 weeks or earlier if planted from seedlings.

Snow Peas / Peas – Peas are best grown in cooler seasons. Being a climber, support their growth by installing a trellis before planting. Liquid feed with Potash to boost flower and pod production. Harvest in 9-11 weeks. Pick the pods every day to increase production.


Broccoli loves the cold. Harvest broccoli when the head is still tight and compact. After harvesting the main head, a smaller pair of heads will sprout, so keep watering and fertilising.


Plant cabbage in full sun and in well drained soil. Before planting, dig plenty of 5 IN 1 Organic Fertiliser into the soil to feed these hungry cabbages.


Cauliflowers are best planted in late autumn and early winter to enable flowering heads or curds to ripen in cold weather. Plant them in full sun with good drainage and in nutrient rich deep soil to accommodate their extensive roots. Protect them from frosts. As the head grows, wrap the large outer leaves around it to protect it from the sun and prevent it from becoming discoloured. Cauliflower heads don’t like the wet, so water at the base of the plant if possible. Watch out for cabbage white caterpillars.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels spouts grow better in areas that receive frost in winter. Drainage and sunlight are the prerequisites for successful growing.


Plant in autumn and winter to ensure that the leeks grow during cold weather and mature as the temperature heats up. In colder climates, leeks can also be planted in spring for a second harvest.

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Winter is a great time of year to purchase bareroot trees and fruit trees. There are generally many more varieties of deciduous trees available and at lower prices than in spring/summer when they’re available in pots. Planting when dormant will give them the best chance of being replanted successfully. They are also easier to transport and transplant into their final position in the garden.

During winter, all bareroot trees should be pruned back by 1/3 upon planting to reduce dieback. Dieback happens because of the damage to the roots when the tree is dug from the ground initially. Pruning balances out this damage to the roots and means that the roots are sustaining a more manageable amount of tree, therefore regrowth is faster.

A fruit that always looks fantastic during winter is Dwarf ‘Silvan Sunset’ Peach. It’s nicknamed the four seasons peach because it has something totally different to offer every season. In winter it has gorgeous red wood contrasted by delicate buds; in spring it has amazing pink blossoms; in summer its’ green leaves harden off to a brilliant yellow; and in autumn it produces lovely golden queen-like peaches. It’s suitable for cool and temperate climates and up the east coast to about Coffs Harbour. Also great for areas like Toowoomba.

More info on deciduous trees care, see page 18 or scan QR codes for how-to directions for planting.

Winter is an ideal time to plant new bare-root roses.

Prepare ground by digging into the soil Searles Fruit, Citrus & Rose Specialty Mix.

Before planting, soak roots with diluted solution of SeaMax.

Fertilise with Searles Rose & Flower Food at the end of winter to promote new spring growth.

Winter Summer Spring Autumn

Asparagus is an easy crop that can last for decades. Often considered an oldworld crop, it is a winner for the veggie gardener. The only setback is it can take up to four years to become a productive crop. There are a few ways to start your asparagus crop, which depends on your patience.

You can grow asparagus by seed; it is produced on the female asparagus plant and consists of small red berries produced in the autumn. Once you have planted your seed, mark the area with a stake or signage, as it will take two to three years before they are apparent. Many purchase asparagus crowns from their local retail garden centre and save a few years, but even then, patience is a virtue. The crown is part of the root system and the yummy spear sprouts from this. The male plants produce the best edible spears; many remove the female plants unless they are collecting the seeds.

When planting the crowns, preparation is the key, which is done in winter. The soil

must be free draining with lots of organic matter dug through. When preparing, dig through 5 in 1 Organic Fertiliser according to the directions on the bag and let the area rest for a week. It is then time to dig a trench with a depth of up to 20cm. Plant the crowns about 40-50cm apart on a mound inside the trench. This spacing is to guarantee that they have adequate drainage. You will see the shoots appear in spring; if you are planting seeds, this is also the time to plant them. Once the crowns are planted, mulch the area and water in using a SeaMax Liquid Organic Fertiliser solution.

Asparagus can also do well in large pots, at least 50cm pots. They can be planted in pots or in the garden in part shade or full sun, all over Australia. There won’t be any crop for the first few years, but when they start to produce spears that are 1cm wide, they are ready to begin harvesting a crop.

They will start to yellow off at the end of the season and into late autumn. Treat them like ginger or turmeric and cut them level with the ground. In late winter to early spring, they will sprout again, so add a layer of compost and mulch. Regular watering and fertilising with 5 in 1 Pellets will give you a bumper crop.

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Winter can be such a productive time in the veggie garden and with weed growth slowing and temperatures mild, it’s easier to keep your crops healthy and nutritious.

The hero of the cool season garden is invariably the brassicas, and while cabbage and cauliflower can take up a large amount of space, their ‘mini’ counterparts are much quicker to harvest. Look for Cabbage ‘Mini’, Cauliflower ‘Mini’ and Cabbage ‘Early Jersey Wakefield’

If you love to gather a consistent supply of crops for the table from your garden, look for productive plants that can be harvested one leaf at a time, like Silverbeet Five Colour Mix, Tuscan Kale, Spinach ‘Bloomsdale’ and Lettuce Heirloom Mix

Other popular crops with exceptional performance in the winter garden are peas. Climbing peas will out-yield bush peas, but they do require a trellis. If space is limited, grow Pea ‘Sugar Snap’ as you can eat them whole while young, like a deliciously sweet snow pea, or allow them to swell and eat as succulent podded peas. New to the Diggers Heirloom Seedling Range is Pea ‘Yokomo Giant’. This enormous snow pea produces pods up to 14cm long and 3-4cm wide. A vigorous climber to 2m, this is a great variety for those who love to cook stir-fries.

1. Protect seedlings from snails and slugs.

Top tips for a bumper winter harvest:

2. Don’t overcrowd. Space plants according to the label.

3. Plant in a soil enriched with aged manure and compost.

4. Mulch the soil to reduce weed growth.

5. Grow something. If you have the space, plant something to help keep your soil active.

Diggers Heirloom Seedlings are available at all good nurseries and garden centres.

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Cabbage ‘Early Jersey Wakefield’ Cauliflower ‘Mini’ Sweet Pea ‘Yokomo Giant’ Spinach ‘Bloomsdale’

simple recipes made from garden kitchen produce

www.aboutthegarden.com.au for more recipes, visit

For a sweet treat packed with nutrition. Dip citrus fruit, bananas or your favourite fruit in melted chocolate and sprinkle with pistachios.

Spice up your cauliflower side


1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

¼ cup olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon cumin

Preheat the oven to 220˚C. Line baking tray with baking paper.

Place florets into large mixing bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the florets, and add the seasoning, toss together.

Pepper and salt to taste

Spread evenly on the tray. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the edges are browned and crisp. Stir once or twice during the cooking time.

500g chicken thigh, diced

1 cup mushroom, diced

1 cup arborio rice

2 cups chicken stock

Salt & pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 220˚C conventional setting.

Heat a oven-proof frying pan with olive oil. Cook chicken until browned. Add in mushrooms and cook until slightly softened.

Add in rice and stir to heat for 1 minute. Add stock and stir to combine.

Cover frying pan and transfer into oven for 25 minutes or until rice is absorbed and cooked through.


Serve hot with your favourite fresh herbs.


1 1/4 cups plain flour

1 1/4 cups traditional rolled oats

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup castor sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed


Preheat oven to 180˚C and line 20cm square baking tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl, add flour, oats, salt and baking soda. Mix in sugars, then add vanilla, butter and mix all together.

Press half the mix into the baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes. While bottom crust is baking, mix together condensed

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

395g tin condensed milk

2 tablespoons lemon zest

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 large egg yolks

milk, lemon zest, lemon juice and egg yolks. Add to baking tray once it is finished baking. Finish by adding the remaining crumble evenly over the top.

Bake for an additional 25 minutes. Refrigerate to cool before slicing into squares.

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Plant bare-root deciduous plants, such as, apples, pears, plums, apricots, figs, mulberries, cherries, pomegranates and nut trees. Plant rhubarb and asparagus crowns. Before you buy bare root stock, check its roots and stem health to ensure better establishment and plant health in the soil. Soak roots before planting with a half rate solution of SeaMax Organic Fertiliser to increase root establishment.

> Look out for gall wasp damage on citrus trees, remove affected branches and burn or bin them.

> Before bud burst on all pome fruit, stone fruit, and even pomegranates, they will benefit hugely by controlling a whole string of diseases including leaf curl. Spray once at leaf drop and once in late winter. Spray with Lime Sulphur during dormancy period to bud swell stage to prevent or control leaf curl on stone fruit and blackspot and powdery mildew on apples and pears. For citrus, control white louse scale.


Fruiting in late winter is Lemon ‘Heaven’, and Maestro Mandarin’, both available as full sized and on dwarfing rootstock. Lemon ‘Heaven’ is more readily available. It’s a seedless eureka lemon. A great choice for gardeners looking for a practical lemon tree with no hassle when squeezing, plus it is very prolific.

Rhubarb needs a period of frost to make the stems juicy and bring on stem maturity, so they grow well in temperate and cooler regions of Australia. They can be grown in warmer climates in a shadier spot.

> Pruning can take place at the end of winter on 2+ year old trees, focusing on dead, diseased, and damaged branches, after this, looking at shape. Prune deciduous fruit trees, grape vines and figs. Apricots are better pruned in autumn when it’s dry. In areas where there is winter rainfall, watering will still need to take place every couple of weeks as the soil dries. If you don’t water, it takes too long to build up the water content in the soil going into spring, and gardeners can experience poor flowering and fruit set.

> Plant rhubarb crowns into well-drained soil, late autumn and early winter, about 75cm to one metre apart to allow for their stem and leaf growth. Sufficient airflow around the plants will also keep diseases and fungus at bay. They love well-composted soil. Dig 5 IN 1 Organic Fertiliser into the soil two weeks prior to planting for a rich healthy soil base.

> These herbs will grow right through the winter period and beyond - parsley, sage and rosemary. They make lovely plants for Mediterranean plantings and mixed garden plantings. Oregano and thyme make great ground covers. For bay leaves, grow in pot to restrict growth and spread.

> Remember to water your plants correctly – neither too much nor too little – this will give them the best chance at producing well-formed, mature vegetables.

> Enrich your soil with 5 IN 1 Organic Fertiliser to provide nutrients for healthy plant growth. For quick and delicious results in pots, raised beds & gardens, plant veggie seedlings in Searles Herb & Vegetable Specialty Mix which will fuel veggie growth for up to 9 months.

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> These eye catching winter flowering natives are on full display now - Grass-Leaf Hakea (Hakea francisiana) a large shrub with pink-red brushes. Small-leafed Clemetis (Clematis microphylla) fast growing vine with star like white flowers, ideal for fences and as covers. Eucalyptus caesia ‘Silver Princess’ displays red and glossy young branches with older growth being covered in a white residue and finally peeling in curled strips revealing green underbark. The flowers are stunning large showy pink to red with yellow at the tips of the stamens borne in spring. These suit drier arid, cool and warm temperate climates.

Australian Heaths (Epacris spp.) displays vibrant pink, white or the combination pink/white tubular flowers along its stems. They grow well in light shade positions, suiting cooler to sub-tropical climates.

Darwin Woollybutt (Eucalyptus miniata) suits tropical climates with vivid orange flowers appearing at the start of the dry season.

• salvias

• pansies/violas

> One of the stars of the winter garden is the Winter rose (Helleborus spp.). Their small and delicate cupshaped flowers are a plenty, and are available in an array of colours to brighten up semi shady positions in pots and under deciduous trees. Suitable for cooler, arid and temperate zones.

> Winter is a good time to give deciduous plants a prune for warmer weather regrowth. Hydrangeas, roses and grape vines benefit from a good prune early winter. Use sharpened clean blades on your pruning tools to minimise stem damage and reduce disease exposure.

> For large clusters of scented pink flowers (that resemble hydrangea) and smooth large foliage, try a new variety called Luculia pinceana ‘Pink Spice’. Grow it in a part shade, frost-free spot. Great as a hedge or screen or plant it alone as a single magnificent specimen, growing to 3-5m.

> Grevillea ‘Winter Delight’, banksias, emu bush, correas, epacris, croweas, buddleja, salvias, native wisteria, Hardenbergia violacea (purple coral pea) are gorgeous winter bloomers for the native wildlife.

> Spread some winter aroma around the garden by growing winter-perfumed luculia (great for frost-free areas), Daphne odora (for cooler regions) and Osmanthus fragrans - fragrant tea olive (delicate winter flowers on evergreen shrub that smell like sweet apricots). Some Camellia japonicas are lightly scented. One deciduous tree with sweetly scented flowers during winter is Wintersweet or Chimonanthus praecox. They grow well throughout southern or eastern Australia.


• hakeas (cool areas)

• pincushion hakea

• sweet peas

• pansies/violas

• Camellia japonicas

• cyclamens

• hellebores

• polyanthus

• Banksia ‘Birthday Cakes’

• orchids

• lobelias

• dianthus

• calendulas (pictured)

• magnolias

• french lavender

• flame vine (Pyrostegia venusta) (warmer areas)

• correas/croweas

• magnolias

• rondeletia

• Hamamelis mollis (cool areas)

• hyacinth (cool areas)

• daphne (cool areas)

• boronias

• poinsettia

• snapdragons (warm areas)

• nasturtium

• red hot pokers

• sedum

NOTE: This may vary in different climatic zones.

Eucalyptus caesia ‘Silver Princess’ Hakea francisiana

Most lawn weeds begin their germination and growth in winter, especially bindii, clovers and broad leaf weeds, so this is the perfect time to commence an eradication program for a weed free lawn through the spring and summer seasons.

Winter lawn growth is slow, so you can afford to keep the lawn height longer to keep out the weeds in the first place.

The first step in selecting the appropriate spray is to try to identify weeds. If you cannot identify the weed, you need not worry as most sprays will kill a wide range of weeds. Check out Searles Lawn Weed Control Chart (scan QR code) for what sprays control what weeds in which lawns. A handy chart to have on hand.

Most importantly, identify your lawn type, as not all sprays can be used on all lawns. Once you have identified your lawn type, select the sprays that are suitable for use on that lawn type. If you cannot confidently identify your lawn type, test spot spray a small area first to ensure the spray does not damage the turf before spraying large areas.

The time of spraying is very important. The best time to spray is about 3-4 days after mowing and on a clear, fine day with no sign of rain. After weeds are mown, they will start to re-grow immediately and it is while they are in their growing phase that they are most susceptible to sprays.

Repeat spray for new weeds that have germinated after the initial spray. Repeat spray a few weeks after the initial treatment.

For best results when spraying, always add a wetting agent such as Spredmax Spredmax will make the spray stick to the weeds better which gives a better weed kill. Use a pressure sprayer for best results.

> Winter is milder here, so grow some of your larger varieties of tomatoes to take advantage of the slow down in pest and disease activity.

> Broccoli and cauliflower should be planted early winter to take advantage of the coldest part of the day. If growing cabbage, harvest before the warmth returns in August.

> Citrus, custard apples and guava are nearing maturity. Watch out for fruit fly if fruits are still on the trees late in the season. Liquid fertilise fortnightly to keep growth strong.

> During periods of wet weeks in winter, watch out for powdery mildew on ornamentals and edibles. Reduce winter watering and spray mildew with Searles Mancozeb Plus.

> Lemon myrtle, small-leaf tamarind, finger limes, warrigal greens, native mint and native thyme are all ideal for easy bush tucker growing.

> If their is a snail invasion, hand remove, insert beer baths or use Searles Snail & Slug Pellets to stop vulnerable young seedlings from the munch.

> Pruning of roses, citrus trees, deciduous trees should be done now. Remove dead, damaged and rogue branches and prune back by a third.

> The beautiful Camellia japonica will be in bloom now. Visit your local gardening outlet to choose your favourite colour and form. Camellias love acidic soil, so prepare soil with Searles Azalea, Camellia & Gardenia Specialty Mix for gardens displays and pots.

> Plant chamomile, comfrey, dill, garlic bulbs, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, parsley, oregano, sage, and thyme.

> Plant spring flowering bulbs, such as hippeastrum and daylilies.

Emerald Rockhampton Gladstone Hervey Bay Brisbane Grafton Port Macquarie
page 20 TM

> Keep up the water to fruit trees, like bananas, black sapote, mango, star apple, guava, fruit vines and citrus trees during the drier winter period.

> Now the dry season is here, the veggie patch can be filled with most vegetables. Plant seedlings of beans, broccoli, beetroot, peas and leafy greens. Plant capsicum, tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant.

> Tropical loving edibles can be harvested late in the season when the leaves die back. This includes galangal, ginger and turmeric. Trim back lemongrass to encourage new shoots. Grow Thai basil and coriander.

> Visit your local gardening outlet to pick up annuals and perennials that love the drier time.

> Bougainvilleas, cordylines, frangipani are on full displays.

> The drier season is here, aerate your lawn and sprinkle Searles Penetraide Re-Wetting granules on your lawn, garden beds and pot plants to aid better water penetration.

> Cocky apple (Planchonia careya) is a lovely native flowering woodland tree with beautiful large pink and white flower blooms during winter. Outer fleshy fruit is edible.

> Kurrajong (Brachychiton paradoxum) and Yellow kapok bush (Cochlospermum) have gone deciduous now, showing off their flowers. So too the orange flowering Woollybutt tree.

> Mangoes and rambutans are flowering now, fertilise with Searles Fruit & Citrus Plant Food during winter and again at the start of spring when the fruit start to form.

> Roses can be planted now. Prepare the soil with 5 IN 1 Organic Fertiliser.

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Cocky apple

> Bare root planting season is here, visit your local garden centre for ornamentals, citrus, roses, fruit and nut trees.

> Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions and greens such as kale, lettuce, Asian greens can be planted in the ground during winter. Thyme and rosemary are suitable for winter gardens.

> Take notice of winter weeds appearing and deal with them before they seed and multiple with the warmer weather.

> Liquid fertilise winter herbs with SeaMax Organic Fertiliser to strengthen their growth for winter chill.

> Snail, slugs and all things slimy are chewing plants. Hand remove or use Searles Snail & Slug Pellets around problem areas.

> Prune deciduous shrubs to better their shape, remove damaged and dead branches while you have better access to branches and its shape. Also prune summer flowering evergreen shrubs that have finished flowering.

> Camellia japonicas are on show now. They range in colours from pure white, soft pinks to vibrant reds. Plant new camellias in Searles Azalea, Camellia and Gardenia Specialty Mix or fertilise existing ones with Searles Azalea & Camellia Plant Food

> Banksias, hakeas, correa, epacris (pictured right) are displaying their winter blooms for the fauna.

> Tree fuchsia is an evergreen shrub producing clusters of vivid pink flowers sitting proud above glossy green leaves with mass displays during winter. Grows to 3 metres but can be pruned to keep smaller.

> Prized for its strong sweet aromatic clusters of pink flowers during winter, the Winter daphne (Daphne odora) is a favourite in cool and warm temperate climates. Growing to 1m tall this shrub is ideal for small gardens and pot displays.

> Winter is the time to manage leaf curl on peaches and nectarines. This fungal disease distorts leaves affecting the trees’s health. Spray trees during winter with a lime sulphur solution. A follow-up spray may be needed later in the season.

> Plant bare-rooted plant stock. Deciduous trees, fruit trees and roses are available in gardening centres now. Dip their roots in a bath of halfstrength dose of SeaMax Organic Fertiliser before planting into soil.

> Hellebores (pictured below) are happy flowering winter shade lovers. Daphne and wintersweet bring sweet scent into the cooler air.

> Garlic, broad beans, broccoli, silverbeet, kale, and lettuce will grow in-ground during winter. Root vegetables like turnips, radish, swede and onions also.

> Croweas and correas make a floral appearance during winter, also providing must needed winter fodder.

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> Microgreens can be grown indoors for quick access to garnish your favourite culinary dishes.

> The unique duo colour combination of the heart-leaf flame pea (Chorizema cordatum) (pictured below) are ablaze in winter to early summer gardens. Give them a full to semi-shade position. Grows to about 1.5m, so suitable for planting in mass or as a potted display.

> Most of the leafy vegetables, which go to seed in hot summers, grow much better in mild winter climate areas during winter. Root vegetables like artichoke, asparagus, members of the brassica family (including broccoli, cauliflower, brussels spouts and cabbages) english spinach, lettuce, broad bean, carrot, onion, pea and radish can be planted now.

> Plant deciduous trees, roses and shrubs now. Pre-soak bare roots in a diluted solution of SeaMax Seaweed before planting to strengthen roots.

> Support food sources for wildlife by planting winter flowering natives, desert oaks, grevilleas, mallees and emu bush (Eremphila spp.).

> The sound of pruners madly pruning can be heard during this season. Prune summer and autumn fruiting trees and vines. Ensure your pruners are sharp for a clean cut, reducing the risk of disease and fungal infections.

> Protect peaches from leaf curl by spraying as a preventative at early bud swell with Copper Oxychloride and reapply again 7-10 days later.

> With the rainy season here, watch out for mildew and blackspot on roses and ornamentals. Treat with Searles Rose Pro.

> Weeds can take a hold during winter. Identify their presence early and treat them with a selected herbicide for your lawn type.

> Arctotis, euphorbias, hardenbergias, wallflower, French lavender and the forever beautiful Camellia japonica will take its place in the flowering game and flower during winter and into spring.

> Sow ageratum, alyssum, cineraria, cleome, cyclamen, forget-me-not, Iceland poppy, lobelia, lupin, pansy, phlox, primula, stock, verbena, wallflower and zinnia.

> Root crops such as garlic, onions, carrots, parsnips and radish can be sown during winter. Plant them in well-composted aged soil. Too much rich nutrients will promote more leaf growth in expanse of the root bulb.

> Leafy green, brassicas, such as broccoli, cauliflower, peas, snow peas and broad beans grow well.

> Dianthus, lobelia, pansy, violas, polyanthus, primulas, and stock are glorious winter pot and gardens bloomers. Liquid feed fortnightly with Searles Flourish Soluble Plant Food - Flowers & Foliage

> Some varieties of salvias (pictured) are flowering during winter. They not only bring colour into the garden but also bring in the birds.

> Re-pot root bound pot plants with Searles Premium Potting Mix.

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Ask for Searles quality garden products at your nearest gardening outlet. www.searlesgardening.com.au

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