Colour your winter

You can add gorgeous winter colour into low-light areas in your garden with hellebores, also known as ‘winter roses’.

As the weather cools and we all dust off our winter woollies, there are still lots of fantastic plants to sow, grow and enjoy. Enjoy the final month of autumn gardening.

Perfect pavlova topping

Peak passionfruit season is mid to late autumn so it’s an ideal time to start thinking of all the delicious ways to use this delectable fruit. Perhaps spread over the top of a pavlova or cheesecake, made into sorbet, added to a tropical punch or turned into heavenly passionfruit curd.
Passionfruit can be harvested when the skin turns from green to wrinkly purple, though most fruit will fall from the vine when they’re ripe. Check for fallen fruit underneath vines regularly.
Keep passionfruit vines well watered while the fruit are maturing as moisture stress can result in premature fruit drop.
You can start feeding passionfruit vines again in spring with a potassium rich fertiliser like Yates Thrive Natural Sulfate of Potash, which will help encourage lots of flowers and wonderful fruit.
Early mandarins

Mandarins are a vibrant and welcome sight during the cooler seasons. They’re so handy to pop in a lunchbox or to have as an on-the-go healthy snack. Mandarins are little packages of juicy citrus goodness.
Kawano mandarins are one of the first mandarins to ripen, with harvest season starting in late autumn. They’re easy to peel, sweet, juicy and seedless. Another early maturing mandarin is Miho, which also has seedless fruit which is mild tasting and juicy.
Mandarins will grow in all but the coldest areas and prefer a sunny location with well-drained soil. They can also be grown in a large container (a minimum 40cm diameter pot is ideal) filled with good quality potting mix such as Yates Premium Potting Mix.
When planting a new mandarin tree into the ground, mix some Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone into the bottom of the planting hole. It improves the quality of the soil and supplies the newly planted mandarin with gentle, organic nutrients as it establishes.
Mandarins, like other citrus, are heavy feeders and require lots of nutrients to support all the foliage, flowers and developing fruit. From spring until the mandarins are harvested, feed each week with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.
Sometimes mandarins will produce fruit only every second year (called biennial or alternate bearing). To help minimise this, remove some of the fruit when it’s still small and green, which reduces the drain on the tree’s energy reserves. And don’t forget to feed, feed, feed.
Mandarin tip: Growing a range of varieties, including Hansen Late and Encore can provide fruit from late autumn through into summer.


Apple pie time

If you love making scrumptious apple pies, crumble and strudel (of course served with a large dollop of cream or custard) then tart green Granny Smith is the best variety of apple to use. They’re still tasty after being cooked and when eaten fresh they’re crisp and full of flavour.
Granny Smith apples are late maturing, which means they are fresh and in season in mid to late autumn and also store well.
Granny Smith apple trees do best in areas with cool winters and grow to around 4m tall. Dwarf varieties, reaching around 2m tall, can be grown very successfully in large pots, making them ideal for a sunny courtyard. For best results, fill pots with a good quality potting mix such as Yates Premium Potting Mix.
Granny Smith will need to be grown near a suitable pollinator, like Gala or Fuji, to help achieve the best possible harvest. There are dwarf varieties available of these pollinators as well, so you can have your very own mini apple orchard.
Apples are often planted during winter as bare rooted trees however can also be available as potted trees at other times of the year and so are great for planting during autumn.
Feed apple trees from spring to autumn with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food, which promotes healthy leaf growth and lots of delicious apples. Yates Dynamic Lifter contains rich composted manure boosted with the added goodness of blood and bone, fishmeal and seaweed, which all help improve soil quality and encourage hardworking earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms.
During May you can bring wonderfully colourful flowers into your garden and outdoor spaces.

Hellebore

You can add gorgeous winter colour into low-light areas in your garden with hellebores. Also known as ‘winter roses’, they are perfect for growing in full to partly-shaded spots such as underneath the canopies of trees or in a pot on a shady patio.
They are a delight during the cooler months of the year, putting on a prolific display of large, bell-shaped flowers right throughout winter and into early spring.
Hellebores can be fed now with a high potassium complete plant food, like Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food, to promote lots of beautiful flowers and healthy foliage growth. Mix 2 capfuls in a 9L watering can and apply around the root zone each week.
To keep plants looking tidy and encourage further flowering, trim off any spent flower stems.

As the weather cools and we all dust off our winter woollies, there are still lots of fantastic plants to sow, grow and enjoy. Enjoy the final month of autumn gardening.

Perfect pavlova topping

Peak passionfruit season is mid to late autumn so it’s an ideal time to start thinking of all the delicious ways to use this delectable fruit. Perhaps spread over the top of a pavlova or cheesecake, made into sorbet, added to a tropical punch or turned into heavenly passionfruit curd.
Passionfruit can be harvested when the skin turns from green to wrinkly purple, though most fruit will fall from the vine when they’re ripe. Check for fallen fruit underneath vines regularly.
Keep passionfruit vines well watered while the fruit are maturing as moisture stress can result in premature fruit drop.
You can start feeding passionfruit vines again in spring with a potassium rich fertiliser like Yates Thrive Natural Sulfate of Potash, which will help encourage lots of flowers and wonderful fruit.
Early mandarins

Mandarins are a vibrant and welcome sight during the cooler seasons. They’re so handy to pop in a lunchbox or to have as an on-the-go healthy snack. Mandarins are little packages of juicy citrus goodness.
Kawano mandarins are one of the first mandarins to ripen, with harvest season starting in late autumn. They’re easy to peel, sweet, juicy and seedless. Another early maturing mandarin is Miho, which also has seedless fruit which is mild tasting and juicy.
Mandarins will grow in all but the coldest areas and prefer a sunny location with well-drained soil. They can also be grown in a large container (a minimum 40cm diameter pot is ideal) filled with good quality potting mix such as Yates Premium Potting Mix.
When planting a new mandarin tree into the ground, mix some Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone into the bottom of the planting hole. It improves the quality of the soil and supplies the newly planted mandarin with gentle, organic nutrients as it establishes.
Mandarins, like other citrus, are heavy feeders and require lots of nutrients to support all the foliage, flowers and developing fruit. From spring until the mandarins are harvested, feed each week with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.
Sometimes mandarins will produce fruit only every second year (called biennial or alternate bearing). To help minimise this, remove some of the fruit when it’s still small and green, which reduces the drain on the tree’s energy reserves. And don’t forget to feed, feed, feed.
Mandarin tip: Growing a range of varieties, including Hansen Late and Encore can provide fruit from late autumn through into summer.


Apple pie time

If you love making scrumptious apple pies, crumble and strudel (of course served with a large dollop of cream or custard) then tart green Granny Smith is the best variety of apple to use. They’re still tasty after being cooked and when eaten fresh they’re crisp and full of flavour.
Granny Smith apples are late maturing, which means they are fresh and in season in mid to late autumn and also store well.
Granny Smith apple trees do best in areas with cool winters and grow to around 4m tall. Dwarf varieties, reaching around 2m tall, can be grown very successfully in large pots, making them ideal for a sunny courtyard. For best results, fill pots with a good quality potting mix such as Yates Premium Potting Mix.
Granny Smith will need to be grown near a suitable pollinator, like Gala or Fuji, to help achieve the best possible harvest. There are dwarf varieties available of these pollinators as well, so you can have your very own mini apple orchard.
Apples are often planted during winter as bare rooted trees however can also be available as potted trees at other times of the year and so are great for planting during autumn.
Feed apple trees from spring to autumn with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food, which promotes healthy leaf growth and lots of delicious apples. Yates Dynamic Lifter contains rich composted manure boosted with the added goodness of blood and bone, fishmeal and seaweed, which all help improve soil quality and encourage hardworking earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms.
During May you can bring wonderfully colourful flowers into your garden and outdoor spaces.

Hellebore

You can add gorgeous winter colour into low-light areas in your garden with hellebores. Also known as ‘winter roses’, they are perfect for growing in full to partly-shaded spots such as underneath the canopies of trees or in a pot on a shady patio.
They are a delight during the cooler months of the year, putting on a prolific display of large, bell-shaped flowers right throughout winter and into early spring.
Hellebores can be fed now with a high potassium complete plant food, like Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food, to promote lots of beautiful flowers and healthy foliage growth. Mix 2 capfuls in a 9L watering can and apply around the root zone each week.
To keep plants looking tidy and encourage further flowering, trim off any spent flower stems.

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