Welcome to the Ipswich First gardening column Gardening with James Hilyard.
James Hilyard is Ipswich City Council’s Works, Parks and Recreation Department Principal Officer (Parks and Sport).
James is a horticulturalist, arborist and holds a masters degree in sustainability.
His experience is this area is rich and varied as he has travelled all around the world in search of plants.
James has spent time growing plants in the UAE where he specialised in re-introduction programs where he successfully built landscapes and plants to sustain species that were no longer living in the wild, such as the Houbara Bustard and the Oryx.
He was the landscape project manager on Tiger Woods’ golf course and built a zoo in Abu Dhabi.
Now, he look after Ipswich’s open areas.
Each month, James will share some of his knowledge of plants and gardening to Ipswich First gardening column Gardening with James Hilyard.
As we move from summer into autumn you could be forgiven for thinking not much has changed weather wise.
The earth is dry and the sun is still very hot. Most gardens are looking a bit worse for wear after this season of relentless weather.
But conditions will ease with cooler temperatures and shorter days ahead as we enter this autumn phase.
Now is the time to spend some time in the garden and give it some love.
These are my top tips on how to make the most of autumn in your garden.
- Look around your garden and see what has struggled in the heat and sun. When the weather cools a little you can start to move sunburnt plants to more protected areas. Just remember to water well when you transplant.
- Fertilise your lawns and shrubs with a light organic fertiliser. Little and often is best. I would use an organic fertiliser at this time of year as you are less likely to get a burn affect if its not watered in enough.
- Prune back any dead wood and crossed limbs in trees and shrubs.
- Give your shrubs a ‘haircut’ or light prune after flowering to keep them compact and promote new growth.
- Dig over your vege patch and add organics to the soil. Pull out anything that has finished fruiting or struggling and start afresh.
- Now is the time to plant winter annuals if you are prepared to supplement the water if the dry weather continues.
- Vegetables like tomatoes, capsicums and eggplants; lettuce and other leafy greens like rocket and parsley; radish; beetroot and silverbeet; beans; cucumber and zucchini; cabbage, broccoli; turnip, onion and garlic can be put in the ground just again be prepared to water if this dry weather continues.
- Mulch to keep weeds down and retain water in the soil.
Ipswich City Council provides a free plant program each financial year to assist residents in developing a greener and more beautiful Ipswich. As an Ipswich resident you can collect your plants from the Queens Park Nursery, Goodna Nursery or from one of the mobile nurseries. The Queens Park Nursery is open Wednesday, Thursday from 7.30 am – 12 pm and again from 12.30 pm – 3 pm and also Saturday mornings 8 am – 12 pm. The Goodna Nursery is open Wednesday mornings 8 am – 12 pm.
The next mobile nursery will be at Grande Park, 40 Grande Avenue, Springfield Lakes on Saturday, 30 March from 7.30 am to 11 am. Just remember to bring your rates notice.