Plant of the month is Grevillea leiophylla, an open shrub to 1 metre. It likes moist soil and has long leaves and terminal pink flowers from spring to autumn, followed by egg-shaped fruit. Image Mary Boyce
City Farm, opposite the Community Centre, on Tin Can Bay Road, is open to the public for plant sales on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am-3pm, 07 54862304, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cooloolacityfarm.org
The AGM for Cooloola City Farm Nurseries Inc will be held on November 20 at 10am. Any interested parties are welcome to attend at City Farm Nursery.
Grevilleas were the topic last month, so this month we will discuss how to plant them so they will thrive.
Grevilleas grow across Australia, though different species have some different tolerances for soil type, moisture required, ability to cope with wind or salt and so on. If you prefer not to take a risk with your plant’s survival, it makes sense to buy species that have been shown to grow successfully in your area.
This is not meant to discourage anyone from planting a favourite and hoping for the best, as the feeling of success when this works is amazing. I planted the Western Australian native, the willow myrtle (Agonis flexuosa), which prefers a Mediterranean climate and it quickly surpassed the local natives I had planted and continues to thrive.
Grevilleas love the sun and prefer shelter from wind and well-drained soil, so the plant will benefit from consideration being given to position in the garden and soil preparation. A few weeks before planting, add some old cow manure and blood and bone to the site and dig it in well.
When planting, water well with a seaweed solution and continue to water a couple of times a week for a few weeks, then once a week for about a month.
Once established, grevilleas are hardy, but occasional watering especially in very dry spells and twice yearly fertilising will encourage flowering. Grevilleas are sensitive to phosphorus, so use a native specific fertiliser.
Mulching with an organic product is recommended as it helps retain soil moisture, protects roots and inhibits weeds. Mulch can be up to 10cm deep, but keep it well away from the plant’s stem. Your grevillea should thrive!