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Three herbs including coriander in pots.
It's December in the Northern Territory and it's hot and sticky. But that's no excuse not to get out into the garden. Here are some ideas for what to do at your place.

It's a great time to plant 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.

 Murraya paniculata in pots.

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.

Eggplant.

Maintenance

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.

Person holding plant leaves.

Harvest

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.

Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, basil and chilli.

Our Perfect Plant Promise

Remember the Perfect Plant Promise. All our plants (except seedlings) are guaranteed for 12 months. If you're not 100 percent happy, return your plant (with the receipt or tax invoice) and we'll refund it.

Start planting today

Check out the wide range of plants online or visit your local Bunnings Warehouse to find out how you can bring your garden to life.

 

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.