With cold temperatures and short days, growth in the garden is particularly slow this month and there isn't a lot to do as far as seed sowing and pruning is concerned. Take advantage of this down time to get those repair jobs, maintenance and hard landscaping projects done.
One group of plants that are quite active now are, unfortunately, the cool season weeds. As with all weeds, prompt removal (whether by hand weeding or spraying) will prevent multiplication and bigger problems down the track.
Don't forget that weeds are also discouraged by good gardening practices - minimise exposed soil with mulches or cover crops and encourage strong growth of garden plants or lawn grass to outcompete weeds.
Pay attention to drainage and soil pH. Selective cutting back or thinning out of trees and shrubs to encourage stronger growth of sun-starved lawn or ground covers could be part of your strategy. Frangipani are losing their leaves, which will almost certainly be carrying the rust fungus.
Picking up these leaves and putting them in the rubbish will not prevent the disease entirely but will reduce the potential for reinfection next season. Spring-flowering shrubs should definitely not be pruned now. You'll be cutting off those developing flower buds. It's the season for planting bare-rooted rose bushes.
Hopefully you'll be getting yours from a quality grower who has not dug them too early. If you haven't ordered them in advance and are relying on supplies in garden centres now, you'll have to take your chances and make your purchases asap to get the best pick.
Christmas Day is only two weeks away, and if you are struggling to buy the perfect gift for your favourite gardener or DIYer, we have you covered!
Cypress mulch is a fragrant, long lasting, insect repelling, budget friendly mulch that is perfect for a whole range of garden applications. Applying a generous layer of mulch to your garden beds before your Christmas visitors arrive will ensure your gardens look tip top.