As always start from he bottom and work your way up. It is August now in Canberra and it is a great time to add to the soil. Start applying manure around shrubs and trees to feed the soil and really give them a kick leading into spring. Specialty fertilizers can also be applied to the soil for the shrubs that need them such as roses. Speaking of roses it is a good time to prune them. Most of the heavy frosts are behind us which can be harmful to roses if pruned to early. Remember the 3 D’s and remove any dead, dying or diseased branches. Keep cuts clean and at a 45 degree angle and making sure there is plenty of sunlight getting to the healthy leaves. Have a look at the trees in your garden as well as making sure they are disease free and there are no cross touching branches. Burn any diseased leaves or branches to ensure they are not relocated.
For citrus trees pay close attention to diseases particularly leaf curl and scale. Spray if necessary. New citrus trees can be planted as the weather warms. Mid to late September is a good time. Maintaining garden tools during this period is a good idea as we generally have more time as gardeners. Sharpen and lubricate loppers and secateurs. Fire up the lawn mower and sharpen the blades and service all mechanical tools.
If you haven’t done so already mulching the garden is an ideal preparation step to start protecting your shrubs and trees from the incoming hot days. Check irrigating and sprinkler systems before mulch is introduced to the garden. This will save a lot of digging and searching later on. Have a look at the lawn and rake off any debris and pay attention to areas that are thinning out.