Challenging times ahead

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By Kevin Redd

Hello gardeners- we are just on the cusp of our ‘spring’ season….which as many of us in the subtropics know, can be quite a challenging time!

So this is often the time in the garden when our plants are getting exposed to windy and quite cool August conditions followed by a rapid increase in temperatures and usually relatively little rainfall as we move through September and October.

So what should we be doing in the garden now?

First and foremost- now is a comfortable time to get out to apply an application of fertiliser and also a layer of mulch to both the ornamental garden as well as the food producing patch. We should do these things BEFORE the soil gets too bare and exposed to the drying spring conditions. While you are out doing these important tasks, give the old foliage on your plants a bit of a ‘tidy up’ by trimming off browning/spent leaves and keeping a very careful lookout for any pests who may also be basking in the winter sun.

What else can we be doing or planting? Well this depends entirely on how motivated we are to keep the new plants well watered! Often plants going in now have come from being cared for in a nursery environment to suddenly being left to ‘fend for themselves’ and ignored by their new owners……so don’t be that person who kills their new plants!!!

At our site on the Sunshine Coast with lots of edibles and lush tropical foliage plants, we are big fans of doing our weekly wander around during this time of year to pick the last of our citrus, trim off any messy foliage and to get the garden looking beautiful at this ‘soon-to-be Spring’ time of year.

This is also a wonderful ‘weather window’ to try a wide range of ‘seedlings’ and seeds which can feed us right up until Christmas- plant or sow things like capsicums and tomatoes, radishes, beetroot and lettuces which will do very well for the next few months if we diligently water them as they grow! So be THAT gardener who avoids the supermarket iceberg lettuce and has an abundance of well-tended vegetables!!

Make the most of the sunny days at this time of year and get out into the garden!

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