This is a great time of year to seek out new additions to your garden. Azaleas, Brunfelsias, Hippeastrums, gardenias and a host of potted colour options are ideal to get into the soil now. The perennials Portulaca and African daisies also do well now.
Bamboo (the non-invasive, clumping varieties) make a great screen and add architectural interest to a garden. Enrich the soil with compost in the planting hole as well as into the area you want the bamboo to spread. Foliar feed monthly during spring and summer and apply a slow-release at the start of every season. Keep your bamboo well watered.
In the vegetable patch, there are so many options for Queenslanders, including:
- Squash and zucchini
- Sweet corn
If you are planting the more heat sensitive vegies, such as leafy greens, protect them with a shade cloth over a simple frame. Chinese cabbage and bok choy are great warm-season greens, or try Ceylon (or Malabar) spinach.
Prune plants that flower on new growth in summer and autumn, such as hibiscus, Abutilon, Tibouchina, crepe myrtle, plumbago, oleander and passionfruit. Cut poinsettias back hard after flowering. Hibiscus will also benefit from a prune now.
Fertilise and water all fruiting trees, especially mango, citrus and pawpaw.
Foliage plants like croton, Cordyline, Heliconia, ginger, Spathiphyllum, Anthurium and Calathea can all do with a cleanup to remove dead foliage. Follow up with a boost of compost, some blood and bone and a good watering.
Top up the mulch in all garden beds to protect the soil from the heat and suppress newly emerging weeds. Keep the mulch at a depth of 10cm and use a coarse, chunky mix for best results.
Grapes, mangos and peaches are just some of the sweet delights on offer in Queensland at this time of year. Strawberries are also at their best now, eaten cooked into desserts, whipped into smoothies and ice cream, sprinkled over crunchy pavlova or simply straight off the plant!