May in a Melbourne Garden.

By James Wall

We have been watching the citrus trees with great interest lately. There are lots of orange and yellow fruit starting to ripen. There are mandarins, oranges and lemons aplenty. The Japanese seedless mandarin hasn’t fruited this year, but the Imperial has done well. The important thing right now is that the trees do not dry out as this will affect the quality of fruit. Also, if they look hungry, feed with something like Thrive fruit and flower. This will help fatten up the later fruit. Fresh orange juice here we come!


Plectranthus Mona Lavender

For flower power, the Plectranthus Mona Lavender is looking sensational at the moment. It takes a shady spot and rewards with masses of lavender coloured flowers.

There are leaves starting to fall, but I see this as a positive. The trees are shedding some baggage so as to better survive the winter. Its loss is our gain, because leaves make a wonderful mulch. To speed up the process, you can run the mower over them just to break them up a bit. In a month or so, add some chicken pallets or blood and bone to really speed up the whole compost process. By late spring, this stuff will be like black gold.

Our worm farm got a makeover the other day. We took out the lower tray, picked out some of the worms to put in the newly added top tray and then packed the castings around the base of some fruit trees. The juice was diluted and watered onto plants. This was all long overdue, and I couldn’t believe the weight of the tray. I guess every night’s vegie scraps have been going in there religiously – it just amazes me how much these worms churn through. In this day and age, there is really no excuse for adding this stuff to general waste – we have enough of that as there is.

I am going to feed a section my lawn this week and will be using fast acting Troforte Rejuev8tor. Our big Wolfhound called ‘Wolfie’ has worn out a few patches this last year, so Iam using this fast acting fertiliser that adds live microbes which will assist in making more nutrients available to the grass. The little balls are not coated which is why they will act quickly. I am careful not to use my hands, as moisture on them may trigger off the remaining microbes in the pack. Once watered in, these microbes will start acting immediately.


Perfume Princess

One of the exciting new plants coming out this year is Daphne Perfume Princess. It has large pink springtime flowers that clothe the stems of this robust shrub and fill the garden with an exquisite perfume. ‘Perfume Princess’ is well worth the wait, forming a medium sized shrub with an attractive rounded habit. We have had a few batches in, but they are selling fast. 

Also look out for a Corydalis Blue Line – a really nice little blue flowering shrub. It has interesting foliage and is one of those rarer plants that has a blue flower.




Grampas Weeder

Weeds have become a bit of a nuisance all of a sudden. There are some less toxic sprays around, including some with salt and vinegar and some with pine oil. It is good to use these rather than just the glysophate based weed killers all the time. Glysophate is the chemical in Zero and Roundup. If we use this everywhere all the time, you can be sure that some weeds will evolve and become resistant to the chemical. What do we do then? All chemicals should be used sparingly and carefully so as to keep your family healthy, and keep the environment healthy. Also try using the famous Grandpa’s Weeder – its perfect for flat weeds like dandelions.

I’ve just cut back a few scrappy perennials, liquid fed the garlic and planted some more spinach and Italian parsley. There are a few beetroot to harvest and some big chunky broad bean seeds to take their place. The baby banana plants I cut off the sides of the big plants are potted up  and look like they may survive. Life rolls on in the garden and I am enjoying this moment.

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