June 7th Will Winter Ever Be Here?

Well, I only planted a small patch and that might turn out to be a good thing. With the beautiful weather we are forced to endure here in Queensland, the garden is bursting to be harvested. These new potatoes leaped out of the ground as I passed by, begging to be taken to the kitchen – true. I wouldn’t lead you up the garden path.

Anyway, here are some thoughts from Sustainable Gardening for this time of the year in our patch:

Time to plant some winter crops – think about some leeks, rocket, beetroot, celery, lettuce (oak leaf), broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, onions, kale, kohl rabi, spinach and silverbeet.
Pop in some coriander and chamomile… perfect for warming winter curries and cups of tea!
There are a load of fruity favourites ready to go in, including kiwifruits and figs! Remember that kiwi fruits need to cross pollinate, so ensure you pick up one of each sex so that they can cross pollinate.
Nuts such as pistachio or pecan can also be planted. Beautiful trees in their own right, these nuts are number one in the garden!
A seaweed tea, or any low environmental impact liquid fertiliser is perfect for giving plants a kick start as they establish. Apply to the soil early in the morning and in the concentrations mentioned on the packet. Don’t forget to give the fruit trees a bit of a feed as well (particularly paw paw).
Much needed at this time of year is colour. marigolds, lupins, pansies, violas, phlox, verbena and lavender (non-invasive varieties of course!). Popping these in around your veggies will give some colour and interest to the patch, and act as beneficial insect attractors!
Consider a green manure crop to add some life and love to an overworked patch. At this time of year, try millet, oats, lupins or field peas. This will improve your soil incredibly, and, as a bit of forward planning, you’ll find it well worth the effort!
Water smarter at this time of year. Water first thing in the morning, and instead of quickie irrigation, a nice, deep drink a couple of times a week is far more beneficial! Always check soil moisture before watering at this time of year….don’t waste your precious drinking water if Mother Nature has already done all the hard work for you!
Top up mulch on your veggie patches, herb gardens and ornamental beds, especially important for weed suppression at this time of year. A hot tip is to mulch after watering, to a depth of about 7cm. Keep mulch clear of plant stems, especially young seedlings. Choose sustainable, low environmental impact mulch, one that will enrich your soil as it breaks down. Also look for one that has done the lest amount of travel to get to you.
Weeding is still needed at this time of year. Most plant growth has slowed down though so it will not have to happen as often. But it also means that it is also a time of year to try and remove as many competitors as possible before the weather starts warming up again.

 

 

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May the 4th be with you.

The Flower Garden

Why not bring some cheerfulness into the garden with flowers? We’re lucky to be able to grow many spectacular tropical flowering trees, shrubs and vines as well as the more traditional English-style perennials and bedding plants.

The cultivation of annual flowers, or even herbaceous perennials, is not as popular as it once was, but with our water problems eased at at moment, why not give it a go? If you don’t have much space in the garden, you can still create eye-catching displays in pots and planters and brighten up balconies, patios, and paved areas.

While it’s too late to plant most spring annuals from seed, in frost-free areas you can can still sow some for later flowering. A few varieties that are readily available in seed packets to try now include alyssum, nasturtium, pansy, viola, johnny-jump-up (heartease), amaranthus, celosia, lobelia, cleome, salvia, coleus, verbena, petunia, dianthus, californian poppy (eschscholtzia), snapdragon.

Seed of perennials can be started just about any time if you can care for them, especially keeping them away from frost at this time of year, but germination will be slow in cold weather.

If you sow into smaller pots or seed trays you can get them started in a warmer place indoors, as long as you check them regularly and bring them out into the light at the very first sign of emergence (or before) and harden them off to the sun gradually.

An alternative is to buy seedlings from the garden centre, which will save you effort plus several weeks growing time. More advanced plants already in flower are more expensive but the way to go for colour immediately prior to a special occasion like a party or garden wedding.

The Vegetable Garden

Many veggies are happy growing in the cool conditions of the SEQ winter, but if you didn’t get plants started off in autumn, you might find that seed germination will be poor in the coldest months. If you have spaces left to fill, try starting seed off in pots and trays in a warmer pot such as a patio or indoors, (provided they aren’t starved of light after emergence), or save time with some seedlings from the garden centre. The exception is those that are normally sown direct, like beans and peas.

In June, try sowing broad beans peas, lettuce, English spinach, silverbeet and beetroot, carrots, onions and garlic, cabbages, broccoli, kohlrabi and turnip. In frost free areas, also regular beans, tomatoes, capsicums, eggplants, zucchini, squash, cucumber.

Meanwhile, vegetables sown in autumn should be coming along. Keep up the water if there is no rain (winter is traditionally our dry time) and apply regular supplemental feeding with liquid fertilsers.

Strawberries will be starting to fruit. Mulch around the plants with a loose dry mulch like sugar cane to keep fruit clean and dry off the ground. Chicken wire or vegetable garden nets might also be necessary to keep the local wildlife from getting to your fruit before you do.

… these suggestions from our friends at Qld Gardening.

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Just Geraniums

Propagation Tips for Geraniums, by Wendy Skelton, from her Guest Speaker spot at February’s club meeting.

This is a 2 page document please click here to download.

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April planting.

 As you can see, my Beans, Lettuce and Pak Choy are all thriving from last week’s rain.

Here’s an Autumn tip from Green Harvest, Maleny

This is the best time to sow peas, if you haven’t tried Sugar Snap peas, now is your chance!
Nothing rivals the sweetness of a pea just picked from the garden.
Podding peas, snowpeas and sugarsnap peas are available as bush types and climbers;
they can be planted in late summer to autumn. Rig up a trellis or use a Pea and Bean Net to support your plants.
Peas dislike acidity; lime if necessary to achieve a soil pH of 6 – 7.
Direct sow into a sunny position, 3 – 5 cm deep and 7.5 cm apart. Water after sowing, then to avoid seed rotting, don’t water for a couple of days.
Climbers include the snowpeas ‘Melting Mammoth’ and purple-flowered ‘Yakumo’; ‘Telephone’ podding pea and sugarsnap ‘Cascadia’.
Bush types include the snowpea ‘Oregon Sugar’, sugarsnap ‘Sugar Ann’ and podding peas ‘Novella’ and ‘Greenfeast’.
Most of the brassica family can be planted now (Asian greens, broccoli, kale and collards, mustard, cabbage).
Continue sowing root vegetables (beetroot, carrots, radish, parsnips, kohl rabi and turnips).
Japanese turnips are sweeter than common turnips and very hardy.
Continue sowing the onion family and greens including silverbeet, celery, rocket and spinach. Broad beans can be sown until May.
Garlic can be planted until the end of April, planting after this date reduces the size of the bulbs.

And, of course, now is the time to be sowing your potatoes.

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March veges – and it’s still 30 degrees

Okay, it’s still pretty warm out there, but you could certainly consider popping in the following incredible edibles, especially towards the tail end of the month. Consider cabbage, Asian greens, rocket, silverbeet, cauliflower, peas, spring onions, zucchini, pumpkin, sweet corn, cucumber, capsicum, eggplant and watermelon.
Whack some lettuce in but, consider popping them under a shade cloth tent as the days are still quite warm.
Hop into the herb patch with coriander (try a slow bolting variety if it’s still very warm), sweet basil, lemon grass and oregano.
Plants feel the need for a feed at this time of year. A seaweed tea, or any low environmental impact liquid fertiliser, is perfect for giving them a kick start as they establish. Apply to the soil early in the morning and in the concentrations mentioned on the packet.
‘Ave a go with an avocado or choko.
Begin to prepare your potato beds now….you’ll be glad you did come April!
Pretty up the patch with these flowering fancies- marigolds, sunflowers and pansies, cornflowers, violas, snapdragons, stock, verbena and lavender (non-invasive varieties of course!). Popping these in around your veggies will give some colour and interest to the patch, and act as beneficial insect attractors!
Consider a green manure crop to add some life and love to an overworked patch for next year. At this time of year, try millet, oats, lupins or field peas. This will improve your soil incredibly, and, as a bit of forward planning, you’ll find it well worth the effort!
Water smarter at this time of year. Water first thing in the morning, and instead of quickie irrigation, a nice, deep drink a couple of times a week is far more beneficial!
Top up mulch on your veggie patches, herb gardens and ornamental beds, especially important for weed suppression at this time of year. A hot tip is to mulch after watering the patch, to a depth of about 7cm. Keep mulch clear of plant stems….especially young seedlings. If you’re not making your own, choose a sustainable, low environmental impact mulch, one that will enrich your soil as it breaks down.

Suggestions from Sustainable Gardening Austr. http://www.sgaonline.org.au/

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Welcome to our Expo News & Blog page

Welcome to our Expo News & Blog page

Welcome to the news and blog section of our expo page.  We hope you have Saturday 27th August 2016 set aside in your diary for the Ipswich Home Gardener’s Expo! Helpful comments are invited in relation to this event…….especially from stall holders wanting to advertise their stall and/or products.

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Happy Birthday to us!

Happy Birthday to us!! This time 16 years ago, the Glebe Garden Club (Ipswich) held our very first club function and we’re still going strong! Thank you to everyone for your support over the years – we couldn’t have done it without you. Here’s looking forward to the next 16 years 🙂

happy-sweet-16th-birthday-to-me

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Marcotting or air layering fruit trees

A great technique for the propogation of new fruit trees.

 

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Costa’s guide to Household Composting

Next week is National Recycling Week. Let’s all do what we can 🙂

costa compost

 

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Botanical word of the week

GA Rugosa

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