Winter – QLD

Plant:

  • Winter is the time to take hard wood cuttings from frangipani for propagation. Take a piece from the parent plant at least 30cm long and allow it to dry out for a couple of weeks. Once the wound begins to swell, it is ready to plant. Place the cutting into free-draining propagating mix or compost then water in well. Position the pot in a warm but protected spot and water sparingly as the roots begin to take hold.
  • Flowers to plant now include Alyssum, Petunia, Marigold and in the tropical areas Amaranthus, Begonia, Cosmos, Phlox, Portulaca, Salvia, Sunflower and Zinnia.
  • There is a variety of vegetables you can plant in Queensland, including carrot, cauliflower, kohl rabi, lettuce, radish, spring onion and turnip. In the tropics you can also include pumpkin, silverbeet, squash, swede, sweet potato and tomato.

Do:

  • Slower plant growth and cooler conditions make winter an ideal time to tackle major landscaping projects. Paving, building retaining walls, constructing pergolas, creating a new garden bed or installing a water feature are great ways to enhance your landscape and further build on the foundations of your existing garden.
  • Relocate struggling trees and shrubs to new areas of the garden better suited to their needs. If necessary, prune the plant a couple of weeks prior to transplanting. On the day of the move, carefully remove the plant, retaining as much of the root ball as possible. Prepare a hole twice the size of the root ball and mix in some compost. Backfill to the same height on the stem as the original position and water it in well. Give it a boost of Seasol to reduce transplant shock and welcome it in to its new home.
  • Turf will be slowing its growth over winter, so use this time to service your lawnmower and sharpen the blades. Blunt blades will tear rather than cut the turf, increasing the chances of disease and increasing potential water loss.
  • Unless you are in a more southern frost-prone area of the state, dead or dying foliage of flowering perennials can be cut back now. Simply remove spent flowers and wayward branches to keep the plant tidy. The summer-flowering shrubs and tropical foliage plants can be left as they are until closer to spring, when they will take off quickly after a light trim.
  • Pick up fallen frangipani leaves affected by frangipani (or plumeria) rust and discard them in the rubbish to minimise impact next season. If your plant has the fungus, you will see small yellow dots on the underside of the leaves. These bust open and spread the fungal spores. It causes discolouration and potentially premature leaf drop.

Taste:

  • Due to the warmer climate in much of Queensland, fresh produce is abundant in many varieties. Warmer-climate varieties such as capsicum, chillies, melons, bananas and squash are still available, along with the winter crops of spinach, silverbeet, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.
  • Tamarillo and tangelo are the fruit specialties of winter. The tamarillo, or tree tomato, is an egg-shaped fruit that has edible pulp commonly described as a cross between a passionfruit and a tomato. While they are not particularly sweet, they can be eaten fresh, or are delicious as a winter dessert simply skinned, poached and served with icecream.
  • The tangelo is a citrus fruit resulting in a cross between grapefruit and tangerine. They are a sweet, bright orange fruit perfect for eating fresh.
Tamarillo

Tamarillo

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