Autumn Gardening in the Tropics

The time to clear...

Although we can grow all year round in the Tropics, winter is the time when we plant our best gardens, when we are without the hot humid weather and the monsoonal rains. Unlike gardeners in other areas of Australia we are not tidying up our gardens for winter, but getting ready to enjoy our Tropical spring (winter).

Autumn is the time to clear away any debris left from inclement weather during the

Wet season, pull out weeds that have flourished in the rain and put them on the compost heap and start getting our vegie and flower gardens ready for planting.

Dig the garden over to a depth of about 30cm and break up any big lumps of soil.

Add dolomite, around 550g per sq metre of garden. Leave the garden idle for a couple of weeks to allow the dolomite time to break down into the soil and then add the recommended amount of Searles 5 in 1, water well and leave for a week or so.

I use 5 in 1 in all my gardens, with great results. Once you have planted your garden use Searles Mulch Plus to keep the weeds down and fertilise at the same time. You will be amazed at the result.

Traditionally Easter or soon after is the time when we get our gardens planted out and after that it is just a matter of keeping the supply up to the kitchen.

Sow all your vegetables now; beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, lettuce, celery, kohl rabi, cauliflower, corn, eggplants, cucumber, silverbeet, spinach, tomato, zucchini. Searles have a wide range of packet seeds for you to plant or you will find

a good range of seedlings at Mareeba Garden Centre. And remember to stagger your crops a little; plant a few lettuces every fortnight and have a continual supply, likewise with all fast maturing crops.

The flower garden can get underway now too. Petunias are the biggest seller in the seedling range and can’t be beaten for longlasting colourful displays. Plan your flower in the varieties and colours of your choice. There is a huge range of variety available now and this can be daunting to those of us who are used to planting the same old thing every year. But be adventurous and ask our friendly staff at Mareeba Garden Centre for advice. After all they are there to help you enjoy your garden!

And always, Garden with Joy.

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