Tuesday, 3 May 2016

In My Garden in May 2016

If you are not prepared for discouragements and disillusions; if you will not be content with a small result for a big effort, then do not begin. Lie down again and resume the uneasy doze which you call your existence. - Arnold Bennett

I just know that Arnold Bennett wrote those words with me in mind, even though he penned them decades ago. He must have looked forward in time and saw my hours of effort spent in the garden and the small results I gain in return. Much of my gardening experience goes under the heading 'lessons learned' and I move forward in inches when I would like to be moving forward in leaps and bounds. I see the pictures of the food other people have harvested and wish that I too could enjoy so much of nature's bounty. 

But there is much to be said for the little successes such as using my (whole) harvest of mulberries to bake a mulberry crunch. Yes just the one. Sigh. However we did enjoy it very much. And there is much too to be said of the little joys, such as my gardening buddies - a pair of butcher birds who follow me around the garden. 

We have yet to experience any hint of autumn weather here in the subtropics. Our mandarin tree is full of ripening fruit and we have ripe lemons. We have tiny cumquats (kumquats) growing on a tree in a pot. The mulberries are now finished and the passionfruit vine has exhausted itself. One of our apple trees, I think it is called Tropical Beauty is flowering as is the carambola tree. The frangipani's are losing their leaves.

So what am I hoping to do in the garden in May?  Fertilise and mulch the citrus and prune them as needed before the spring bud burst which happened last year before the end of winter. Lightly prune the mulberries, as it is my understanding that fruit only comes on the new wood.

I also want to check the soil pH around the mango trees, if the soil pH is 6 or above I will apply some gypsum and if it is below  6 I will apply lime.

I also have some salvias that I need to prune and a hibiscus I want to tidy up.  I have lots of weeding to do and the durantas also need pruning. I also want to cut all the dead flowers out of the bird of paradise plants.

What are you planning to do in the garden this month?


  1. Sherri, our dwarf mulberry in a pot has produced a few mulberries but the big old one will be a few months down the track. The citrus fruit is still green so we are a bit behind you. I have brassicas in but don't think I will bother growing them again as they get attacked by so many pests. I can't lug soil around anymore so am thinking of buying most of our veggies at the Farmers Market and just grow a few lettuce and my herbs of course.

    1. Isn't it disappointing when our food plants are attacked by pests? A few of my cucumbers had holes in them from caterpillars. My biggest problem though is still the King Parrots. They got very excited over my cherry tomatoes awhile back. They are such a beautiful bird and I find myself caught between the desire to defend my crop and the desire to watch them close up. Buying your vegetables at the Farmers Market sounds like a good alternative to lugging soil around Chel.