1. Divide up clumps
of hardy perennials, bulbs and grasses, such as clivia, liriope, dianella, agapanthus, iris and canna. Use a sharp-edged spade to slice off plants from around the edge of the clump, then further divide them using secateurs. Plant the divisions into well-dug soil with a side serve of compost and plant food.
2. Buy a cyclamen
in a pot while they’re in bloom. To enjoy them indoors, sit the plastic pot inside a decorative container, but lift it out for watering to make sure it drains well. And avoid overly-heated rooms.
3. Plant out spring bulbs
that you’ve had chilling in the fridge for the past few weeks. By late autumn/early winter, the soil will be cool enough to stimulate their growth cycle to start.
4. For glorious colour
in winter, indulge in one of the cymbidium orchids starting to appear in nurseries at this time of year. They’ll grow happily outdoors where there’s no frost, and look fabulous in containers on a verandah or patio.
5. Plant your own crop
of garlic, using bulbs bought from a nursery (store-bought garlic may not grow). Plant in a sunny spot, in well-fed soil, and water the plants regularly as they grow. Harvest when the foliage yellows and dies back in summer.
6. Order rose plants
from an online nursery, where you get the widest choice of varieties. Once the bare-rooted plants arrive, plant them into rich organic soil and you’ll be enjoying your first blooms by summer.
7. Pull out the remains
of old crops in the vegie patch, and leave those beds to rest for springtime planting. In beds that haven’t been growing crops, you can still plant up cold-loving vegetables, like English spinach, broad beans and broccoli.
8. Plant a few
strawberry plants in sunny garden beds, pots or even hanging baskets for spring and summer picking.
9. To treat moss
and algae on paved areas, try this old-fashioned remedy: dampen the area, then sprinkle with bicarb soda. Leave for 20 minutes or so, then scrub down with a hard-bristled broom and rinse off.
10. Keep on top of bindii
in lawns by attacking it during the cool months of the year, when its growth cycle starts. Look for the little rosettes of fern-like leaves and either dig them by hand (very therapeutic!) or spray with a selective lawn herbicide.
11. Plant coriander
in either pots or garden beds to flavour up your winter stir-fries. It grows at its best through the cooler months of the year and prefers a spot that is lightly shaded.