The Garden Diaries: South Australia in May

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The Garden Diaries: South Australia in May

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The cooler months are on their way, but it’s been a very long, hot, dry summer in South Australia and your garden will be needing some serious TLC. It’s a great time to get out there and revive your garden.

Hero plant this month: Cyclamens

But before you head outside, why not think about brightening things up a little indoors with a bit of potted colour. 

Cyclamens are a very hardy little pot plant which make a fantastic explosion of colour inside your home. Just pop them in a pot and they’ll bring instant life to any sunlit corner of your home. The best tip for growing cyclamen and keeping them happy and alive, together with most indoor plants, is to remember not to over water them. You should also keep them away from any indoor fires or direct heating, particularly gas appliances.


What else to plant

There are lots of options to choose from to like the beautiful phalaenopsis orchid which comes in a variety of fantastic colours. The spathiphyllum, or peace lily, which is also great for brightening up the dark corners of your house.

You could even think about plants like the anthurium lily, which has exotic flowers. It’s a flowering plant species in the family Araceae that is native to Colombia and Ecuador. It even comes with health benefits for you and the family as it is is known for being effective in removing formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and ammonia from the air. An anthurium growing in your garden or home will reward you with wonderful, long lasting flowers.

Even in the cooler months it’s a good time to get some edible plants germinating. Things like cabbage for instance is a great vegie, providing you think about sowing directly into trays first. In about four weeks, you’ll have seedlings big enough to plant in your garden.

Other things to consider are onions, celery and peas.If you’re planting broadbeans, it’s a good idea to think about giving the plant some support because in the windy weather they can easily be blown over. 

White peace lillies


May is a great time to start pruning your trees and shrubs as they slow down for winter. Remove anything that’s dead or diseased as well as branches that are in the way. Don’t be shy, just cut cleanly and close to the trunk. 

After the rain, your soil should be nice and soft making it easier for weeding. But for those stubborn areas, get yourself an organic weed killer to help get on top of things. 

You can also ease up a little now on watering. Just a couple of times a week with a good slow watering should be sufficient. Don’t forget to pay attention to pots as they could still dry out in the colder weather.

A person pruning a garden


Now’s the right time to harvest your herbs, especially the less hardy ones like parsely, oregano and coriander which may not survive the colder weather. Other plants to harvest now include things like lettuce, silverbeet, spring onions and also chilli. These should all be ready right now for your dinner table.

So get outdoors this weekend and after all the hard work is finished, go inside, put your feet up and have a nice cuppa and admire all your lovely colourful house plants. 

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. 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. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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