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Dreaming of creating a cool rainforest in your backyard. Even the smallest of backyards have the potential to be converted to a cool retreat. There’s something about creating a cooling backyard. For the gardeners in the north, creating a rainforest garden is easy. The conditions are perfect to grow tropical plants and adding a few shade trees will further enhance to tropical feel.

In the southern states creating a rainforest starts with the trees. A shaded canopy will create a microclimate that will help establish more delicate understory plants. Protecting these from extreme conditions in winter will allow them to thrive. In addition, the more shaded the garden with a canopy of foliage is the less weeds that will germinate. Eventually a tropical rainforest garden may turn into the ultimate ‘maintenance free’ garden.

Steps to creating a rainforest environment:

  • In the beginning focus on the soil and tree selection. To get the best growth improve the soil at tree planting time by applying a soil conditioner such as Seasol Plant + Soil Booster and select trees that will form a canopy.
  • Avoid raking and removing leaves, these are your best asset for ongoing ‘free’ compost. As they break down, they will feed to soil. They also will reduce weed growth as there is less light reaching the soil surface. Light is required for strong healthy weed growth.
  • As the trees grow the microclimate changes greatly. Choose understory plants that will tolerate the changes in light levels. When planting, apply Seasol GOLD to get your plants off to a flying start.
  • Mulch heavily as its important to retain moisture in the soil as the garden is establishing.
  • Create natural pathways through the garden, almost replicating meandering tracks.
  • Use natural elements, such as fallen logs and rocks to replicate a rainforest environment.
  • Fertilise with organic granular nutrients such as Seasol plus Nutrients All Purpose including Natives. Mix 100 grams per square metre into the topsoil and water it in thoroughly after application.
  • These will both improve the soil and feed the plants as they release. Rainforests gardens usually have a high concentration of plants in a small area and regular feeding is important.

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