We celebrate Mother’s Day in May and, by the end of the month, say goodbye to autumn. Make the most of remaining autumn colour – both leaves and flowers.
For most areas and especially in and around the Shoalhaven, May’s a good month to sow Onion seeds and Onions seedlings.
For seeds, ensure you have a good quality Seed Raising Mix. Seed Raising Mix is specially designed to give the little seeds the very best start at life, promoting healthy root production.
When the seedlings are big enough to handle transplant into the vegie patch or pots and thin out when they’re about 12cm tall. Discarded seedlings can be used like chives to add flavour in the Kitchen.
It’s fair to say that chrysanthemums have faded a little in popularity. They used to be grown extensively in gardens but these days they’re most often seen as an indoor flowering plant.
One thing hasn’t changed, though. Chrysanthemums (in this case, the potted varieties) are still invariably associated with Mother’s Day. By happy chance, their long, nearly-unpronounceable name ends in ‘mum’ and their flowering coincides with Mother’s Day. Chrysanthemums flower in autumn because their blooming is triggered by shortening days.
Chrysanthemum plants are very good value. They require only the most basic of care and can last for years. Feed every so often with some easy-to-apply Fertiliser, like Yates Garden Gold. Large parts of the plant will die back after flowering, leaving a low clump of new shoots emerging from the base. These new shoots are much favoured by snails, so spread a light sprinkling of Blitzem or Baysol pellets to protect them. At the end of winter, trim back any remaining dead stems and feed again.
In spring the plants will end up tall, upright shoots. Pinch these back two or three times before the end of the year. This will encourage a bushier growth habit.