Plants that help you sleep.

Lavender


Helps reduce anxiety, induces sleep as it reduces your heart rate.

Aloe Vera


Helps you sleep and emits oxygen at night. It will grow well in a pot near a window and requires little water.

Snake plant


Emits oxygen and takes up carbon dioxide and other nasty chemicals in the air.

English ivy


Reduces molds in the air.

Jasmine


Improves sleep quality and reduces anxiety.

Mosquito trap

Are you getting bitten by Mosquitos in your garden? Try this simple homemade mozzie trap and say goodbye to bites and itches.

Items needed.                                                                 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 gram of yeast, 1 x 2 liter bottle, tape and black paint.

  1. Cut a plastic bottle in half so you have a funnel and the bottom part of the container and put aside.
  2. In a separate container, mix brown sugar with hot water, when it has cooled pour into the bottom part of the container.
  3. Add the yeast to the water and sugar.
  4. Place the funnel upside down into the other half of the container and secure with tape.
  5. You will now need to paint the container black as mosquitos are attracted to black.
  6. Place container in an area of the garden where you don’t spend much time as this is where the mozzie’s will go.
  7. Don’t forget to clean and replace the mix every couple of week’s.

Why are my oranges splitting

Citrus do at time split but it is more common with oranges. This happens because water from the ground is taken up by the trees roots which travels up to the fruit taking sugars with it far too  quickly for the fruit to produce enough rind to hold the substances. This generally happens when the weather has been dry for a long period then it suddenly rains. It’s the sudden rain that causes the fruit to split. 

 

Citrus leaf miner

You will notice silver looking squiggles on your leaves  and then they will curl up. The solution is to spray trees with horticultural oil, which will also protect the tree from scale and black sooty mould.
  

When to plant bulbs

The best time to plant Spring flowering bulbs in Melbourne is during April and May. Tulip bulbs are best when put in the fridge on April 1st and planted in the garden on Mother’s Day.

Planting depth and position

Plant bulbs twice as deep as the bulb is high (tall) with the pointy end facing up in free draining soil in a sunny position.

Watering and feeding

When planting add Fertiliser and water in, after that they prefer it rather dry while dormant but start watering as soon as the green shoots appear above the soil. Bulbs benefit most when they are fertilized when flowering has finished and they are taking up nutrients for next seasons flowers.

If you would really like to grow bulbs but don’t have a sunny area, the following bulbs will grow and flower with a minimum of 3 hours of full sun a day.  Anemones, Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, Bluebells, Lachenalias, Dutch Crocus, Cuban Lilies and Grape Hyacinths.

 

3 simple steps for a health lawn

The best lawn for Melbourne’s climate is a warm season grass. Warm season grasses such as Couch or Buffalo. These grasses grow actively in the warmer months and their growth slows in Winter. Warm season grasses need less water as they have a deep root system.  Cool season grasses are those such as Rye and Fescue, these grasses grow actively in the cooler months and tend to dye of in Summer. With Melbourne lack of rain, hot weather and us spending most of our time outdoors in Summer and indoors in Winter, warm season grasses are better as we are able to enjoy there lushness while we are spending most of our time in the garden.

Feeding your lawn is important. If you do it four times a year at the start of every new season, it’s easy to remember and your grass will be well feed. Grass Fertiliser in mainly Nitrogen so just shop for that brand dosent matter.

Ph is also important, grass likes to grow in a slightly alkaline soil and weeds like an acid soil. Add lime to your lawn a couple of times a year, this will encourage your grass to grow and discourage weeds therefore needing less herbicides. If you have a warm season grass, don’t use a weed’n’feed these are for cool season grass varieties, and they will kill your Couch or Buffalo lawn. For warm season grasses you will need a separate herbicide for Buffalo lawns.

Mow your lawn often in Summer. A quick mow once a week on your mowers highest setting, this will only take off a small amount and you won’t need a grass catcher. 

 

Vegetable gardens

February 4th 2016 and there has been a Salmonella outbreak reported after several people became ill after consuming pre packed lettuce purchased from Woolworths and Coles supermarkets in Melbourne. The lettuce that is in question are those that have an expiry date before February 14 2016, these products have been recalled.  Sydney Morning Herald

Apart from the use of herbicides and pesticide, food contamination occurs sometime occurs with the produce we buy from the supermarket. If growing your own fresh fruit and vegetables is an option for you, it can be not only more healthy for you but more environmentally friendly. If you need some advice on starting your own vegetable garden, please let us know and we can help.

Potting mix

Potting mix is as the name suggests, potting mix is only for putting into pots as a planting media, it’s not for putting in the ground. If you are planting into the ground, improve the soil with compost. Potting mix is commonly a mixture of perlite, bark, sand and compost. There are premium potting mixes that contain wetting agent and fertiliser but this will only last around 28 days then you will need to add fertilisers. Potting mix does not last. You will get around three years out of a premium potting mix and two out of a cheap brand, plants will struggle if their potting mix isn’t replaced. In potting mix there is the potential presence of pathogens such as legionella that can affect humans. Always wear gloves and a mask and wash your hands after handling it.

  

Why is plant my dying?

Even if your plants are correctly watered and fed occasionally they sometimes die.  We can help you work out what has happened so you don’t keep spending money on plants only to be disappointed and out of pocket. You need to work out what has happened as it may affect other plants, then you can treat them before it’s too late.  Check the steams for pest or disease.  Have a close look at the foliage, is there any damage, have they been eaten, are there any bugs on them?  Take a close look at plants at night, lots of bugs only come out in the dark and also after rain.  Also check the roots, are they shrivelled from drought or water logging, have they been eaten by bugs?  Is the plant in the wrong position, too much sun or not enough, too dry or too wet, is the soil too acidic or too alkaline or is the soil texture to hard with too much clay.  We come to your garden and help you solve these problems with our garden consultation service.

Plants for summer sun and winter shade

A difficult place in the garden to plant out and have great success is on the southern side of a building. An area that is shady in winter and sunny in summer is quite open apart from the building which cast shade in winter but is hot and sunny in summer as the sun rises in the sky. This can be rectified by planting trees adjacent to this area so it is shady all year round, then you can plant the area out with shade loving plants.  Alternatively this area can be planted out with deciduous plants as they don’t need any sun in winter. However if these two options don’t suit there are a few plants that will do quite well with full winter shade and hot summer sun. Suitable plants are limited but some good ones are, Dianella revolta, Azaleas, Dietes, Nandina domestica ‘nana’, Yucca,  Agapanthus and Abelia.