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Garden Maintenance Tips

Jeff Howes

Pruning Ferns....

For those that have a ferns growing in their gardens, can I suggest you cut off all last years dry and unattractive foliage (not tree ferns) in late Feburary to early March (in Sydney). After this is done, give them a good water and in a matter of weeks, you will be rewarded with masses of colourful new growth, a welcome addition to brighten area that only receive dappled light.

This maintenance should be undertaken each year and is especially successful with Maidenhead ferns (Adiantum sp). Tree ferns usually put on new growth in spring so the ideal time to remove any old and 'ratty' fronds is just before then.

Capparis mitchellii
Fresh new growth on rasp fern (Doodia sp) and Adiantum sp.

...and Cutting Back Kangaroo Paws after Flowering

Kangaroo Paws (Anigozanthos species) look spectacular in flower and should be in every garden. The flowers also are great for cut flowers.

After they have finished flowering, their old flower spikes remain on the plant. As well, last season's foliage tends to go blackish in the more humid areas on the east coast. This, after flowering, result makes the plant looks very unattractive.

To overcome these problems, cut the plant back hard to the ground and remove all pruned material from around the plant. Some enthusiasts even suggest mowing them with the mowers blades set on high - I do not resort to that for the very practical reason of owning an environmentally friendly push mower. After you have done that. give them a good watering and in a month the plant will look the one shown in the photo.

Add this to your busy maintenance schedule.

Kangaroo paw regrowth
Fresh new growth after cutting back kangaroo paws

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