Hero plant this month: Screening plants
This month, it’s all about screening plants. For example, Murraya paniculata is a great screening plant for the garden. With its pretty, white flowers and dense growth habit, murrayas can grow up to 4m. With regular trimming, they’ll provide a great screen. Plant in a sunny position in well-drained soil.
Lilly pillies are another great screening plant that work well in small backyards. They are fast growing but can be trimmed to size and shape. Choose from varieties such as the smaller growing ‘Baby Boomer’ and the psyllid resistant, ‘Resilience’. Lilly pillies will thrive in fertile, well-drained soil, in the sun or a semi-shaded position.
What else to plant
For the tropics, heliconias work well with their striking flowers and architectural foliage. Gingers are also looking good in store now. Plant in moist, well-drained soil.
Give the vegie patch some planting love too. Plant eggplants, coriander and mint will also do well. Mint prefers a shady spot, rather than full sun and keep it contained in a pot.
Plant snake beans too. These are favourites for the tropics and produce big crops of stringless beans.
It’s hot and humid, but that’s all the more reason to get into the garden and keep up with the maintenance.
Keep an eye out for pests such as caterpillars and grass hoppers. An excellent, organic control is to squash them between your fingers. If you want more advice on other organic controls, pop into your local Bunnings and speak to some of the experts.
It’s a great time to re-fresh indoor plants. When repotting, using a quality potting mix. Always wear a mask and gloves when handling potting mix.
Mulch the garden before the wet season. Pine bark chips are a good choice. But use what works at your place. Mulch protects the soil and keeps weeds at bay.
The garden is still very productive in December. Pick pumpkins, sweet potatoes, lemon grass, chillies and basil.
There you have it, some ideas for what to do in the garden in the top end.
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