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April

Harvest pumpkins, squash and kumara. Really any leftover-from-summer veges can be harvested now – corn, capsicums, broccoli, cabbages and chillies. If you’ve suddenly got a chilli overload, remember they freeze really well.

 

Get started on your winter garden. Pull out any remaining summer vege that are looking past their best. If you’ve still got some green tomatoes on your plants, you can hang the stalks upside down inside to ripen them.

Use this time to dig over your vege beds before adding in your winter vege seedlings. Dig in some compost, and if you’re keen on food scrap vege trenches, now is the time to make these. If you ever have fish skeletons, bury them in your garden now too.

Plant winter veges now before it starts to cool off too much. They’ll get a real head start while there is still some warmer weather about. Plant leeks, Brussel sprouts, turnips, beetroot, kohlrabi, celerysilverbeet and spinach

If you’ve got white butterflies about, cover the seedlings with a cloche or fine bird netting. Making sure the netting isn’t touching any of the plants, so the white butterflies can’t lay their eggs.

Replace your summer flowering annuals with winter ones. Violas, pansies, polyanthusgeranium and primulas all thrive in the cooler weather. Hanging baskets work well in winter too, as they require a much lighter watering regime than in summer.  

Trim back biennial herbs such as rosemarytarragon and chives when they are looking a bit leggy or woody. Plant oregano, parsley, thymemint and sage.  If you had trouble with your coriander bolting to seed over summer, you’ll likely have much more success growing it now too. 

Cut back your perennial veges to ensure they’ll last another year. This includes artichokes, capsicums, chillies, watercress and rhubarb. Move any pots that might be susceptible to frost to a warmer spot for winter, or simply elevate them off the ground.

With new seedlings in the ground, remember that mulch is king. Add peastraw and bark to protect your plants from weeds and the cooler weather.

It’s also a good time to give your shrubs a tidy trim when they’ve finished flowering. Deadhead your roses now also before winter.

Start raking your autumn leaves – you don’t want them smothering other plants or turning to sludge. Add these to the compost pile, remembering to discard any diseased leaves first.

If you’ve got a greenhouse, now when you’re in between seasons is the perfect time to clean and disinfect it. And remove any summer shading you had up, to allow for the winter sun to come in.

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