The Melaleuca viminalis or Weeping bottlebrush is hardy in most soils – Photograph: www.anspa.org.au
In these hot summer months, your plants will cope much better if you have mulched them. Mulch acts as a protective layer as it limits the effects of sun and wind on the soil surface, thus retaining vital moisture. Other advantages are that soil temperature is more stable and weed growth is inhibited.
Mulches come in organic or inorganic form. Organic mulches include straw and bark-based types. Worms and other organisms will feed on this type of mulch, improving soil quality as it breaks down. Rocks, pebbles and gravel are inorganic mulches which can look attractive in the garden, but do not contribute to soil quality.
To use organic mulch, place a layer of newspaper over wet soil, wet the newspaper, then add the mulch wetting it too. As woody mulches can deplete the soil of nitrogen, application of an organic fertiliser before placing newspaper is advisable.
Avoid placing mulch near plant stems as this can cause disease. Apply mulch loosely and not too thickly as compaction will reduce aeration. Do not place mulch too close to the house, as it may encourage termite entry.
Plant of the month is Melaleuca viminalis (Weeping bottlebrush). This tree to 6+ metres has attractive foliage and red flowers and is hardy in most soils.
City Farm, opposite the Community Centre, on Tin Can Bay Road, is open to the public for plant sales on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8am-3pm, 07 54862304. firstname.lastname@example.org, cooloolacityfarm.org
Please note: We are a cash-only organisation.