Milder temperatures, continuing summer rain and still-warm ground make planting pretty much anything now ideal in Queensland. Trees, shrubs and perennials will establish quickly and strongly.
Plant spring-flowering bulbs such as Freesia, Babiana and Cyrtanthus (ifafa lily).
In the vegie garden, Queenslanders can plant:
Replenish rain-soaked soil with rich organics before adding new plants. Dig compost into the top 20cm and turn the soil over to reinvigorate and aerate the ground, ready for the next bumper crop or new addition.
Unlike the most of the country, conditions often become drier towards winter, so check the soil regularly and give your plants some supplemental watering where needed. It is also a good idea to treat dry areas of the garden with a soil wetting agent to ensure your precious plants can make the most of whatever rainfall comes by.
Divide perennials such as Agapanthus, daylillies, Dietes, Liriope and ornamental grasses.
If you haven’t planted out your winter/spring flower display, it’s not too late. Opt for seedlings rather than seeds to speed things along. This has the added advantage of a more sure-fire result too, as it cuts out the uncertainty of seed germination.
Due to the unique conditions in much of Queensland, a wide variety of vegetables are available year-round. Asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, fennel, peas, potato and spinach, to name just some, can all be found in the farmers’ markets.
Persimmons, cumquats and breadfruit are some of the more unusual fruits you will find in local markets now. You may also still get some blueberries and figs too. For a classic, easy dessert, try poached quince with some vanilla icecream, custard or natural yoghurt.
2 C water
1 C sugar
Add sugar to the water and bring the syrup to the boil. Peel and core the quinces, dipping in acidulated water to prevent browning. Cut into thin slices. Place in the syrup and simmer over a low heat until the quince slices turn a deep pink colour. This can take an hour or more.
Recipe courtesy of Delish-From Garden to Table. Available here.