Hero plant this month: Callistemon
It’s all about natives in September. Try melaleucas, lily pillies, casuarinas and callistemons. There’s sure to be varieties of natives that are perfect for gardens in the Territory.
Favourites are callistemons or bottlebrushes with their spectacular flowers that attract nectar feeding birds and insects. Lightly prune after flowering. Always use a low phosphorous fertiliser in spring and autumn to promote growth. Plant in full sun and select a variety that will grow at your place. For more expert advice on this, pop into store.
What else to plant
Crepe myrtles Lagerstroemia are another great option. They are available in a range of flower and foliage colours; the newer varieties are disease resistant and hardy for The Territory. Keep well-watered in summer, and plant in an open sunny spot.
With their vibrant colours, bougainvilleas make a fabulous feature in the garden. Plant in full sun, over a trellis, as a ground cover or depending on the variety in a pot.
Hibiscus are another unsung hero of the tropics. A sunny spot will reward with spectacular flowers. They like well-drained slightly acidic soil. Water regularly, mulch with sugar cane or Lucerne to protect the roots and retain water.
In Darwin, plant sweet potato and water spinach, which grows year round has thin, flat arrowhead shaped leaves that taste a little like spinach. Harvest the leaves when they are young and tender.
At Alice Springs get in some cauliflowers and potatoes. There are many varieties available so get some advice on what will work for your region and your needs. Potatoes take about three to four months to fully mature. A good indicator of this is when the tops die down.
Give vegies a feed with organic fertiliser so they get the boost they need for the months ahead. As with all feeding, make sure you don’t do it on a hot day and water-in effectively after you’ve applied.
Monitor the watering needs of all your plants. Remember to check pots regularly as they tend to dry out more quickly
Hang out fruit fly baits to keep these pests at bay. The aim is to control both female and male fruit flies.
It’s all about the herbs. Regularly pick herbs like basil, parsley and coriander to ensure they continue to grow.
So there you go. Lots to do in the garden in September. And if you need some advice, pop into store to see some of the experts there.
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