The Queensland Turf Producers Association recommends mowing an established lawn no lower than 30mm in summer. (Turfgrass Quick Tips).
Take note of where you’d like more shade next summer, such as entertaining areas, and try to determine the optimal location and height of shade structures or trees at the time of day you need it.. The movement of the sun is different in winter, and you can’t use its position in winter to position shade for summer. Of course, access to sun may be an additional consideration you may like to preserve access to sun in winter.
Needless to say, when positioning trees, you also need to take other factors into account such as proximity to buildings, utilities etc. While potted trees and shrubs can be planted at any time in SE Qld, you’ll probably prefer to wait until it’s a little cooler. This will mean less stress for both the gardener and the plant.
Be vigilant collecting fruit-fly infested fruit off the ground, to prevent the grubs pupating into a new generation of flies.
Give Poinsettia and Snowflake a light pruning to encourage more bushiness prior to the initiation of flowers as the days shorten. Prune Gardenias when flowers are finished.
Like December, weather conditions in January are usually harsh, and pests and diseases so active, that vegetable gardening is difficult, for both the plants and the gardener.
If you want to have a go, try planting tomatoes, capsicums and eggplants; lettuce (heat-tolerant varieties); sweet corn, radish, silver beet, beetroot, beans, sweet potato, pumpkins, zucchini, melons, and cucumber.
Otherwise, wait until milder temperatures arrive, when a larger range of vegetables becomes more feasible. Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure you have space available if you plan to put in a lot of temperate-climate climate vegetables in autumn. As well as the above range for autumn planting, you can also plant cabbage, broccoli, turnip, onion, garlic and cauliflower.
Even though they are essentially cool-climate vegetables, the long growing season required for cauliflower or broccoli means making a start while it’s still hot. If you want to grow from seed, and you have the space to grow them, you can try starting a few in seed trays or pots for later transplanting. Don’t forget that they will be very susceptible to caterpillars at this time of the year, as will other cabbage relatives, so take precautions. Make successive sowings over the next few weeks in case the earlier ones fail, as late as April, May.
Instead, relax in the shade and start planning what you’d like to grow this autumn. Get your order in to mail-order seed companies in plenty of time if you want to try unusual or heritage varieties not available through regular garden centres and chain stores.
These days, many seed companies have extensive catalogues online. There are also many websites that can give you information about particular vegetables as well as other information and ideas for growing fruit and vegetables as well as the ornamental garden. Bear in mind, however, that the majority of gardening information online originates from cool, temperate or Mediterranean climates, and adjustments need to be made for out subtropical conditions.
Many plants are simply unsuitable for the coastal regions of Qld. Of the vegetables, brussel sprouts and scarlet runner beans are generally considered unsuitable. Others like broad beans, parsnips and cauliflower are difficult and have to be timed to take advantage of the coolest weather, and results may be disappointing. Unless you’re a huge fan of these vegetables, or if you have plenty of time and space and like a challenge, you’ll find it more rewarding to stick to the tried and tested varieties. Furthermore, there’s a huge variety of tropical vegetables better suited to the Qld climate that most of us have yet to explore.
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