Extreme weather conditions across the country has certainly put pressure on our gardens, but now’s not the time to give up on our green spaces. It’s in times of high anxiety and stress that the garden is more important than ever. The rewards from a garden are like no other, shade from a strategically placed tree, the distinct flavour of a freshly plucked orange and the perfume of a perfect flower are all simple pleasures we can appreciate regardless of our own circumstances.
February is the month of anticipation. Officially summer is coming to an end and autumn is around the corner, tell tale signs are sneaking through, the discolouration of a few older leaves on deciduous trees and new growth on the Grevilleas. When I’m on the downhill stretch to cooler weather, I am more inspired than ever to spend time outdoors.
Look to revamping the indoor plants. They have survived months of being indoors and its time to repot, replenish and fertilise. Salts build up in the soil from fertiliser and lack of drainage due to having saucers underneath them continually. If pots are small fill up a bucket or crate with Seasol (30mL concentration per 9 litres of water) and then soak the pot for a period. Wait for all the bubbles to come to the surface and then let drain. This complete soaking will ensure all the potting mix is wet and the salts are reduced in concentration.
Consider accumulating more indoor plants than you have space for inside. This allows them to be changed regularly to a protected position outside as nothing is better than natural light for growth. This can be done by taking cuttings from some easy to grow varieties and propagating in water. Some of these species can be grown in jars of water indefinitely and are perfect choice for beginner gardeners.
The Black English Mulberry has just finished fruiting. This late fruiting tree has the most flavoursome fruit. It is also the slowest growing of all the Mulberry varieties and trees can survive for many years becoming a firm favourite with children and adults alike. Be patient as this is the variety to plant if you want to leave a legacy, think of it a ‘slow feast’ tree. Gorgeous gnarled branches to climb and enough foliage to hide behind for hours while feasting on the sweet fruit.
It’s time to trim the tree if needed and even though they survive without much care they will respond to a mulch with compost or pea hay and an application of complete fertiliser such as PowerFeed Controlled Release for Flowers, Fruit & Citrus.