Tips and News

In the garden this month by Hazel King

The last four to five months have been trying times for gardeners, however I am sure that we have borne in mind that many Australians lost their  homes, possessions, environment and animals.

Study your garden carefully, note the plants that coped with the extreme conditions.  Was there a reason for damaged leaves, perhaps the plants are  placed against a brick wall, or noticeable in some gardens, against a metal fence?  With temperatures over 40°C, radiant heat caused damage to many  plants.

When planting/replanting your garden, soil preparation is vital and large amounts of compost and manure should be dug in.  Millions of soil organisms will have suffered during the drought conditions.  Many gardeners will be replacing dead or damaged plants; this is therefore an ideal opportunity to consider their water requirements.  Those with similar needs should be planted in the same bed.

Following good falls of rain mulch the garden.

Winter and spring flowering bulbs will soon be appearing in nurseries; purchase early to obtain the best quality, however only plant at the appropriate time for the species, e.g. freesias from warm climes can be planted in March/April, tulips and hyacinths May/June.  The latter hail from very cold climates, so after purchase place in paper bags and refrigerate in the crisper.

The last few years we have experienced changes in season patterns, i.e. late autumns, early summers, therefore check the weather, not the calendar.

Do not remove sun damaged leaves from shrubs.  The protected leaves below will now be exposed to full sun and therefore suffer during the hot days forecast for February/March.  HK

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