Monday, 5 January 2015

In my garden in January

"So pick up your spade and live!" Will Sutherland

Garden Watch  

Our frangipani trees are coming into flower and I can often be seen burying my face into the flowers to draw in their rich, creamy scented deliciousness. Some of our palm trees are in flower and this draws the bees in humming droves. Our passionfruit vines have their first fruit for the year ripening with many more appearing on the vine as the days tick by. The mangos are bearing a lot less this season and the wildlife are greedy so we may not pick many this year. I don't know why the mangos have less fruit this year, perhaps the flowers earlier in the season were mostly male.  We are having the same issue with the lychee tree, not much fruit at all. Our lemon tree has quite a few lemons coming. The same can be said for our mandarin tree. However I don't think the mandarins will be as good as last season due to my not being able to look after them last year.


I will apply dolomite and magnesium to my low chill stone fruit. I have read the correct rate is 200 grams per square metre applied at the drip line.

It is also time for me to apply potash (which contains potassium) on the citrus trees, bananas, lychee tree and mango. Potassium is supposed to improve fruit flavour and juiciness as well as general plant health. Potassium reportedly improves a plants resistance to foliar fungi.

After the mango trees finish fruiting - which may not take long given the little amount of fruit, and the King Parrots rampaging appetites - I will feed and mulch them. (The mangos not the King Parrots. Do you have King Parrots at your place? They are a really beautiful bird.)

King Parrot in one of my Mango trees.


Hopefully I will get around to pruning the spring flowering shrubs as the flowers finish.

I need to skirt my Carambola and cut back and open out the crown and clear any inward facing branches.

I need to continue pruning (to control height) or tip pruning (to encourage lateral growth) our native plants that have finished flowering.

Remove banana suckers so that the energy is redirected into forming fruit, and cut off dead leaves.

As our mango finishes fruiting we need thin out the canopy to improve air circulation and allow sunlight in. I am hoping my husband will cut back the largest one quite a bit even though this will reduce the fruit next year. It is growing too big to be harvested easily. 

The passionfruit are coming along nicely

Pest & disease management

I am regularly collecting the fallen fruit and binning them in an effort to control fruit fly. I must admit as yet I don't know how to recognise fruit fly, nothing I have seen in photos looks like anything I have seen in my garden. Perhaps it is because I don't wear my reading glasses in the garden and cannot see properly to identify the fruit fly.

I am keeping my beady eye open for scale problems. Yes well, maybe I do need to take my reading glasses out into the garden with me. I usually see the black sooty mould way before I see the scale. Anyway, I have white oil in my garden shed should I need to spray.

Picking and Eating

Mangos and lychees are ripening this month, so get ready for picking!  That is if the wild life has left you any. Now as we are entering mango harvesting season. You just may have more mangos than you can eat or share. So why not have a go at making mango chutney? If the wildlife leave me enough I will use this recipe found here

So what can you do with mango chutney? Well it is great on sandwiches with ham or leftover roast chicken. You can use it as a dip.

Do you have a favourite recipe using mango?


If, and it is a big if, I have the time I will try and propagate some new plants from cuttings. I am going to try with camellia, justicia, and crepe myrtle. I wonder if I will have any success. I might try the cuckoo propagating method. That is dipping the cutting in rooting hormone and potting up in good propagating mix, and slipping the potted up cuttings next to some pot plants my husband is looking after. That way they will not be neglected as they are likely to be if they are left to me to look after. For a real explanation of how to propagate cuttings you can go here
King Parrot eating my guava's

Also if the wildlife leave me any mangos I am going to try growing one from seed. Our mangos are the old Bowen mango now known as Kensington Pride. They will always be Bowen mangos to me.

What are you doing in the garden this month?


  1. your garden sounds wonderful!
    i watched a youtube recently of a man & his garden & he shares everything with the wildlife, he says they deserve it as they help to pollinate & eat the insects etc, it was interesting, he had apples & pears & lots of other things growing.
    i love all our parrots & wildlife, the cockatoos drive me crazy as they are greedy & eat ALL my lemons :(( then graciously give the tree a hard prune lol
    hope you have a great day!

    1. It is wonderful Selina, and I appreciate my garden so much. When I am in the garden it is like a mantle of peace has been placed over me. It is still very much a work in progress with so much needed to improve it and so much I need to learn about gardening. I hope you have a good day too.

    2. Sherri, when I was in Mt.Isa recently we visited a home where there were heaps of different coloured frangipanis growing. I loved the deep red one. My girl wants to grow a pink one. You have a lovely garden. I hope 2015 is a more healthy year for you.

    3. I love frangipani’s, but my husband doesn’t really like them. I have a few in the garden but I don’t have the deep red one….yet. Chel thank you for the good wishes, I hope you have a lovely 2015.

  2. Have i mentioned that I am sooo jealous of the tropicals that you grow there? You mention so many plants that I have never heard of or could never dream of growing here. I will enjoy them through your pictures, okay? :)

    1. Thanks Brittany. I do feel lucky when I get around the garden looking at everything. Especially when I am looking up at the trees, cause I can’t see any weeds up there! With the summer rain and heat the weeds have erupted into high gear. As well as the loquat I mentioned in my comment on your blog, my neighbours have also given me a tropical raspberry plant. (I am so blessed!) They are very keen gardeners, I also have a soursop fruit they have given me to try once it is ripe. Soursop is apparently related to the custard apple, and I may try and grow one on from seed after I have eaten the fruit. So who knows what photos I will have to share in years to come? Ah the possibilities…..