How could cow manure threaten a successful spring flower display?

Most gardeners understand that well dug, compost rich, freely draining soil suits the cultivation of many plants, so what could possibly go wrong when adding cow manure to a flower bed? In this example, digging industrially produced cow manure resulted in a series of unexpected issues for an inexperienced gardener as he tried to continue…

Meet the Zingiberales

Every gardener is familiar with some members of the Zingiberales, you’re likely to find examples of six of these families in every street and garden centre in Queensland. You may even know their families are related. Plant a few and your garden can have its own source of attractively shaped, delightfully coloured and sometimes fragrant cut flowers and foliage.

Glyphosate: War of the Weedkiller?

Weed mat avoids the need for weed control amongst a pineapple crop. It also helps cool soil and conserve moisture. Cook Islands. Letter to Graham Readfearn, a Brisbane-based journalist at The Guardian Australia concerning his recent article about glyphosate, the world’s favourite herbicide.

Tropical Crops For Summer In Northern Australia

I’ve been surprised to get messages from gardeners in far northern Queensland saying “we can’t grow many crops in summer,” and “summer isn’t a good time for leafy crops,” and “the best season for growing food here is winter.” Why so? The tropics are incredibly productive all year round and their abundant produce is in such demand. There’s at least fifty different leaf crops, so let’s have a look at what you could be growing.

Home Grown Food Security: Jackfruit.

Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) excels in a tropical or subtropical climate. It’s food security on a stick. They produce edible, protein-rich seed and fruit which can be used and stored in many ways and at different stages of ripeness. This year, my seven year old tree is carrying 150 fruit, which is about average. Don’t ask…

Brisbane Skips Winter. Again. What To Sow Now In The Subtropics?

In the last week of July, my garden was behaving as if it was already spring. Five weeks early. Four chilly blasts, each lasting for two or three days, seems to be all we need to anticipate in a 21st century Brisbane subtropical winter. Of course, there are winners and losers. Fruit fly is a winner; my first tomato to be damaged by their maggots was on 1.8.20, almost eight weeks earlier than anticipated. Alleged subtropical apples are losers; while these cultivars may tolerate less winter chilling than other apple cultivars, their needs are not being met and the return is poor. But corn is a different story – it is a climate change winner.