Lismore Garden Club News

You will remember a few weeks ago I suggested it was a good time to start preparing the soil for cool season planting. Traditionally and in a normal season I recommend planting around the first week of April. I have been giving the subject some thought. In as much as its not a normal season, being much milder and wetter than usual, and as my garden has been prepared for a few weeks and is alive with earth worms and micro-organisms, I am going to plant a month earlier than usual and hopefully get much longer production time from our autumn/winter garden. Let me encourage any of you who have your garden beds ready to try this experiment with me. It will be interesting to see if our plan works out after all we have little to lose.

What to plant now: I suggest that if you are planting seed and seedlings now that you plant just as if it were April. So... Flowers ageratum, alyssum, aquilegia, candytuft, canterbury bells, cineraria, cornflower, delphinium, dianthus, gaillardia, gypsophia, hollyhock, honesty, impatiens, linaria, lobelia, marigold, nigella, pansy, poppy, primula, statice, stock, strawflower, sweet pea, wallflower. Vegies beans, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, onion, radish, shallot, silverbeet, spring onion, tomato, turnip, herbs.

Jobs to do now: If you havent prepared your garden for autumn planting its now high time to get stuck into it. As I said before its no good leaving it until the day before you intend to plant to prepare the soil. It has to have at least a couple of weeks for the worms and micro-organisms to start working.

Remember the secret to a successful garden is in the soil preparation. While the rain persists so will the snails, so keep up the war against them with snail bait. I have tried most of the alternative methods and so far none have the same success as baits. Grasshoppers are rampant at present. I find removal by hand on a regular basis to be fairly effective. Keep up spraying for fruit fly fortnightly. Mulch any unmulched areas of your garden.

Finally: When planting seeds or seedlings, put some seed raising mix into the holes or trenches, do your planting and water in with tepid water and Seasol. Be sure to protect them with snail bait and be prepared to cover new seedlings on hot days.

Happy gardening

Ron Burns


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