Plant your garden to suit soil conditions

The Melaleuca thymifolia or Thyme-leaved honey myrtle available from City Farm. Photo: Mary Boyce

The Melaleuca thymifolia or Thyme-leaved honey myrtle available from City Farm. Photo: Mary Boyce

As I write, there is a bushfire on Fraser Island and many bushfires burning in Queensland and New South Wales. We are experiencing heatwave conditions with strong, drying winds. This weather is very hard on gardens.

Most of us probably have established gardens,  but if starting a new garden or choosing new plants, consider the requirements of any potential purchases.

Plants indigenous to the area are likely to be most hardy, but check their preferences when buying. Some plants prefer moist conditions and thrive near water courses , for example, while others can tolerate salt spray and sandy soil.

Knowing the conditions in your garden will help you choose plants that will not only survive, but thrive.

Once you have selected plants most suitable for your garden, think about their placement, as full sun at this time of year is very intense. (I have had to make shade cloth covers for a few, small, newly established plants in full sun, not realising quite how harsh that position would be.)

Mulching is recommended as it acts as a protective layer and helps to conserve water use by limiting the drying effects of sun and wind on the surface. Much more on mulching next month.

Our plant of the month is Melaleuca thymifolia (Thyme-leaved honey myrtle), an adaptable shrub to around a metre with mauve flowers spring to summer. It likes wet conditions and will flower best in full sun.

Please note:  City Farm will be closed from Wednesday December 18 until Tuesday  January 7, 2020.

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. ccfni09@gmail.comwww.cooloolacityfarm.org  We are a cash-only organisation.