Lismore Garden Club News

Some say that the weather conditions that we are experiencing at present are what we used to have years ago, but I cant really remember it like it is. What we have been getting is not really true sub- tropical weather but a lot like tropical weather conditions.

When you consider that most of Australia is emerging from the worst drought in a long time, that the winter of 07 was one of the worst in memory, the devastating hailstorms along the east coast and now almost monsoonal type rains, one could say that we have been experiencing extreme weather conditions. And thats not all. The weather bureau is suggesting that with climate change we will most likely be in for more of the same; prolonged droughts and extreme cold and hot periods and more flooding rains and hailstorms. One thing is for sure, with all of the insurance claims we will be paying more for insurance in the future.

It will certainly bring challenges and also some blessings to gardeners. I must confess in spite of all the rain our own garden is absolutely flourishing at present in the tropical conditions, and undoubtedly many of you will say the same. It is more important than ever to keep a generous layer of mulch on all of your gardens, as one of the many blessings of mulch is to prevent soil erosion.

Jobs to do now: Prepare garden beds for sweet peas by applying dolomite and digging it in. Then test the pH level, aiming for about seven. If the pH is too low it may need a second application. After six weeks apply complete fertiliser and dig in and cover with 10cm of mulch until you are ready to plant. What to plant now: Veges: radish, kangkong, ceylon spinach, shallots and herbs. Flowers: balsam, cockscomb, coleus, gerbera, impatients, marigold, nasturtium, sunflower, vinca and zinnia. Keep up weed, snail, grasshopper and orange bug patrols. Spray for fruit fly fortnightly. If you havent done so lately, its not too late to apply fertiliser. As a matter of fact, this rainy weather is the ideal conditions.

The Lismore Garden Club is hosting an exciting day coach trip to Brisbane to see the amazing Hundscheidt Tropical Balinese Garden on Sunday, February 24. We will also visit the popular Roma Street Gardens and a huge Brisbane nursery. Anyone can go, you dont have to be a club member. The cost is $35 per person which covers morning tea, luxury coach travel and entry to the tropical garden. Time and seats are limited, so phone me now on 6624 7422 to book your seat.

Finally: Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu. When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too!

Happy gardening

Ron Burns


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