When is the best time to design and plant a garden

Whilst it could be said that autumn and spring are the ideal planting times, climate change has blurred the lines between the four seasons as we used to know them.

There maybe many reasons why you do not have the opportunity to plant in autumn or spring – perhaps you have just moved in to the new home, and you want a garden straight away, or you can only take holidays over the summer, and that is the time you have set aside to get stuck into the garden.

Pic courtesy of Annie Spratt

The reality is that any time is a good time to plant a garden in Sydney given our moderate temperature.

If you are motivated and prepared for some hard manual labor then get started whilst you have the enthusiasm.

However I would not plant in 40 degree extreme heat nor would I plant in areas of biting frost conditions in winter.

It just means you will need to take some additional steps to ensure your new plants get off to a good start. Young plants are like small children, you need to look after them when they are young, the oldies can take care of themselves – well mostly!!

Autumn IS a good time to plant trees and shrubs. The ground is still warm, and the ensuing winter rains will ensure the plants get off to a good start. However when planting at other times, it is possible to replicate some of those autumn conditions. Mulching the soil keeps the soil temperature moderate and together with an automated irrigation system, the moisture level remains constant. Young plants will need temporary shading during hot days.

However, delicate plants like herbs, vegetables and flowering annuals can only be planted during certain seasons to successfully harvest the fruits and enjoy an abundance of flowers. Click here for a month to month calendar of growing times and maintenance tips.

Of course the tougher the plant, the more tolerant it is of growing successfully with less assistance during extreme conditions. Australian natives grow well no matter the season they are planted, and generally it is the same with plants that are suitable for coastal gardens where, they are conditioned to windy conditions and salt in the atmosphere.

Protected areas such as courtyard gardens and balconies are generally less susceptible to extreme climatic growing conditions, and particularly if you are planting the many new succulent species that are now available.

Successful growing of plants is also reliant on the right plant choices. Knowing the best conditions for each plant to prosper, ensuring they are free of disease when purchasing, and ensuring a healthy root ball are also important in growing a wonderful healthy plant.

Remember that nurseries and landscapers operate all year including the summer and winter months. Both are in business to sell and plant 12 months of the year, and they successfully do both. If they can you can, or if you prefer, seek professional advice.

If you are looking for further advice on growing a successful garden, contact Brian, he would love to help.

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