Winter is the perfect time to plant natives in our Mediterranean climate because the cool, mild conditions and regular rains give the perfect chance to get a good start before the long, hot, dry summer arrives. If growing in pots, use a quality mix, formulated for phosphorus sensitive plants, such as Baileys Native Premium Potting Mix.
Choose berry plants for winter colour such as nandina, cotoneaster, pyracantha, Rosa rugosa, cumquat, holly, cape lilac and duranta (also known as golden dew drop)
Deciduous fruit and nut trees and vines are now available at nurseries and weather conditions make this the ideal time to plant them in your garden. Try nectarine, peach, plum, cherries or almond trees.
Prune poinsettia hard (back to leafless trunks) to develop a compact bushy shape and for improved flowering next year.
Lightly trim back summer and autumn flowering evergreen shrubs such as hibiscus, many grevilleas, oleander, gardenia, many ornamental grasses, geranium, canna, salvia, plumbago, cistus rock rose, Chinese lantern or abutilon and tibouchina.
To keep indoor cyclamen happy and cool put them out when you go to bed onto a cold patio.
Get those roses pruned as soon as possible if you didn't get them done in July. A thorough dowsing with lime sulphur spray once you have finished will sort out many fungal problems before they can get started. The same applies to grape vines, a spray on bare stems cleans out fungal spores even in the crack of bark.
Fuchias just love the cooler months and get growing quickly. Make them bushier by pinching out the soft growth tips between your thumb and forefinger. This causes two shoots to replace the original one and each has the potential to bloom so you improve the flower production too. This is also a good time to take cuttings of fuchsias to increase your collection.
Cut back the fern like fronds of asparagus to the ground so that new edible shoots will pop above the ground ready for harvest.
Now that grape vines have dropped their foliage it's time to do the annual pruning. It's good practise to apply a spray of lime sulphur after pruning to kill off fungi such as mildew.
Root-prune non-productive fig and plum trees to shock them into bearing. This consists of plunging a sharp spade through the roots around a metre out from the main trunk. Do this in a hit and miss fashion so that you only cut half the roots in the circle.