• Winter is the ideal time to plant and transplant deciduous trees, shrubs, berry canes and similar, as they are dormant and stress is kept to a minimum. Ensure plant is in good health before moving and that the new site is well prepared.

  • Winter is a suitable time for pruning many deciduous trees and shrubs as they are dormant and it is easier to view the structure of the tree. Before getting started, you need to know specific cultural information, such as, whether flowers or fruit develops on new or old wood, and is seasonal pruning even necessary.

  • Check soils after rainfall for any areas which are dry or possibly water repellent. Over time, soils can become compacted, particularly if they are exposed to the elements and walked on regularly. You can alleviate this by aerating with a garden fork, incorporating organic matter, giving a thorough water, and applying a new layer of mulch.

  • In readiness for the spring growing season, apply organic matter such as manures and compost to hungry garden beds. Avoid high phosphorous products if growing sensitive plants such as Australian natives or proteas.

  • Apply comfrey tea and seaweed solution to winter veggies to keep them actively growing and more resilient to winter cold and pest outbreaks. Products such as these are great soil conditioners, encouraging microbial activity and busy, happy worms. Comfrey tea contains a wide range of nutrients and minerals including nitrogen, silica, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium (helps strengthen plant cell walls against frost damage).

  • Popular edibles rhubarb and asparagus can be planted out or dug up and divided now. Avoid harvesting from them for at least the first growing season to ensure they develop into strong healthy plants.

Making wicking beds

Local business Canberra Permaculture Design has released some handy new videos on their blog. These include building water saving wicking beds from recycled IBC containers, and ways of maximising potable and non-potable water harvest potential. For more: www.canberrapermaculturedesign.com.au

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Amazing Clean