Time to plant your citrus!

ASQ Garden & Landscape have partnered up with the Castlemaine Mail to print a monthly gardening page. For those that missed out on seeing our page in print, the information from the 21st May 2021 page is below. Keep an eye out for our next page in the Third Friday of the month's edition of the Castlemaine Mail. 

Time to plant your citrus!

 As the Autumn rains kick in, and the soil temperature continues to hold its warmth throughout the day. Now is the perfect time to be outdoors planting your citrus trees.

Citrus have plenty of surface roots and are very hungry for nutrients. Build up the soil with heaps of manure, compost and gypsum. It’s best not to add fertiliser initially. Hold off until the early spring and summer to give them the best start and a prolific growth period for the first year. Feeding citrus early can cause them to push out new growth, which will get burnt off by the frost. It is best to wait till later in the year to feed your citrus.

If you are in a heavy frosty area such as parts of Castlemaine, citrus can be grown in pots quite happily, protecting them from the cold and keeping them happy over winter. Over winter you can expect some yellowing in the foliage, this yellowing is usually caused by the cold. You’ll see a huge range of citrus at ASQ Garden & Landscape with plenty to choose from, including some of our favourites such as Lisbourne Lemon, Lemonade Lemons and Tahitian Lime. Over summer, black and yellow caterpillars are often found on citrus trees. These caterpillars may eat a few leaves but don’t stress if you see them as they become monarch butterflies.

Vegies to sow

Beetroot, spinach, silver beet, lettuce, leeks, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflowers, mustard greens, bok choy, pak choy and most Asian greens, rocket, onions, herbs including coriander, parsley, rosemary and mint.

Flowers to plant

Plant your poppies now to enjoy them for spring and summer, violas, pansies, snapdragons, cornflowers, delphiniums, foxgloves, daffodils, tulips, crokers, jonquils, Hyacinths and ranunculus. Currently, flowering plants are camellias, hellebores and pieris.

Questions & Answers

 Q: What is the best weed killer if you do not use a chemical like glyphosate?

- Angela, Taradale

A: Goats (although they often like your plants more than the weeds, hahaha). Try hand weeding, use a Dutch hoe and chip them out or even use Slasher weed killer as it an organic certified herbicide. Slasher works well on selected weed varieties.

Q: What can I do to save my plants when an unexpected frost arrives?

- Carolyn, Castlemaine

A: Cover them with frost cloth and leave the burnt leaves on the plant until after the frost has gone (after Melbourne Cup), then prune the damaged leaves off.

Q: What’s the best general garden mulch?

- Liz, Maldon

A: From gravel and pebble mulches to barks and straw mulches, there are plenty of choices. It depends on the plants in your garden and what look you are after, each have their own ideal spots. Pebbles and gravels are great for mulching cacti gardens and creating dry riverbeds. Straw, lucerne and pea straw are great for veggie beds and fruit trees. Or any areas where you want the mulch to decompose quickly to build up and improve the soil. I find bark mulch and fine pine bark are my two favourites to use in my garden, they help the soil hold its moisture in summer, hold colour really well and decompose down to improve the soil over time.

Q: We would like to add some winter colour to our garden - what do we plant?

- Doug, Castlemaine 

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