Thursday, 4 December 2014

In the garden - December

"With the long blue days of summer comes a tide of colour to the garden, blue in feeling and in effect and grateful to the eyes because of its coolness"
~ Louise Beebe Wilder, "Colour in My Garden".

Our "long blue days of summer" come hot and sticky due to high temperatures and humidity. The plants are crying out for some rain to fall. Here we rely on the monsoon to form up north for our main rain which falls in the summer.

Spot the wallaby

This month in the garden I would like to:

  •  Mulch anything that is still without mulch.
  •  Compost: create a new compost heap. I am going to use the hot composting method. I haven't done this before so it will be interesting to see how I  go.

Pests and Diseases.

  • Treat my gardenias, lemon tree, and mandarin tree for magnesium deficiency. Their foliage can be sprayed  a mixture of one teaspoon of Epsom salts mixed into 10 litres of water. However if the weather stays hot I may hold off until the we have some (relatively) cooler days so that I don't stress the plants.  Magnesium is apparently essential for the production of chlorophyll and  I don't know what else to use for magnesium deficiency there may be better home-made remedies out there. What do you use to treat your plants for magnesium deficiency?
  • Net my lychee tree in the hopes that I may harvest some of the fruit.
  • Apply liquid seaweed solution to as many plants as I can as it is supposed to make plants more resistant to both drought and pests.


  • Trim the lilly pilly with hedge shears - now just where did I put those hedge shears?
  • Continue pruning the callistemon as the flowers die.
  • Cut the dead leaves off the bananas, and remove excess suckers. Too many suckers means small bananas or even no bananas at all. Apparently it is better to remove the suckers with round leaves rather than the suckers with the spear shaped leaves. I'm not sure why, I will have to do some research to find out.
  • Give the choko a light summer prune.
  • Stonefruit can be pruned once they finish fruiting. I only have the one stone fruit tree and I am not certain what type of tree it is. It looks like a plum, but I don't know if it is a European plum or Japanese plum. I have read that pruning needs are different depending on whether the tree is a  Japanese or European plum. Though the my tree hasn't grown any fruit, it produces tiny white flowers each year around October. So I guess I will try pruning the new growth back by about half in case it is a Japanese plum and see if it produces any fruit next year. (European plums apparently should have the new growth cut back by about two thirds.)


  • I will be feeding the lilly pilly with blood and bone or some other form of organic fertiliser suitable for native plants.
  • Fertilise the bananas with pelletised manure.
  • Feed the citrus trees with an organic fertiliser.

Perhaps I might also look through my gardening catalogues for some blue summer flowering plants. Some patches of cool blue colour in the garden could be refreshing during this summer's heat.

What are you doing in your garden this month?


  1. I wish I could grow bananas to eat. It sounds wonderful. I can't imagine what it must be like to see a wallabee just standing neat. :)

  2. Brittany I was concentrating on taking photos of my young apple tree and didn't see the wallaby which apparently had been a lot closer to me a few minutes before I took the photo. My husband pointed the wallaby out to me. He was surprised I didn't see it when it was up closer to me. LOL! Wallaby's are lovely creatures. We sometimes have kangaroos hanging around as well. Though I tend to stay far away if we have any large male kangaroos on the property.