All the Cool climate vegies can be planted now such as Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Peas and Turnips. But here in Queensland we can still grow all the warmer climate crops (in fact they actually do better than in the hot months), such as Lettuce, Tomatoes, Beans, Zucchini, Cucumber, Carrots and even Corn. But improve your soil first!
The key to good vegetable growing (in fact most plants) is great soil. Unfortunately, we have some of the poorest soils in the world in our area. Either impoverished sandy loam on sandstone or clay, or if your unlucky like me, just heavy clay.
The answer to improving all soils is to add organic matter, and lots of it. This has to be an ongoing exercise as the organic matter will decompose (break-down) to become plant food. At the same time, it will improve your soil structure to not only hold more moisture, but to allow moisture to drain through. It also enables soil to breathe. The beneficial organisms in the soil (including worms) require the same things we need. Food, Water, Air and protection from extreme temperatures. The food is the organic matter, water is water, the structure of the soil will allow air flow, and Mulching provides insulation from heat and cold.
If you are just growing vegetables and flowers, then it may be easier to buy good soil and place about 300mm above your poor ground. But if you planting Shrubs and Trees than it is better to improve your existing soil with Gypsum and Organic matter, and be sure to mix this with your existing ground. Do not remove soil from the planting holes and replace with good soil, as your plants will become root bound within the good soil. Using a mixture of good and original soil in an irregular shaped planting hole will entice roots to grow beyond the planting hole. Ask us for a fact sheet on planting when your next at our nursery.
Don’t forget Mother’s Day, but instead of cut flowers or even potted flowers, why not give a lasting Shrub or Tree, and enjoy helping Mum plant it.
Martin is available for advice on Mondays and Thursdays at Oasis Nursery at North Maclean