Welcome to the May newsletter. I’m looking forward to showing you a few ways I’ve been building healthy soil and retaining moisture in my garden. It’s been dry, hot and windy for months. So protecting our soil health is a big priority. Dead, dry dirt grows unhealthy stressed plants. Keeping it covered with mulch is vital.
Sustainable Gardening Tips for May
I’m sharing ways to save money and garden more sustainably with mulch without buying it. Sure, you can go to your landscape yard, nursery or hardware to buy bags or get mulch delivered in bulk. However, if you want to save money, why not consider all the potential materials you could use as mulch from your garden or neighbourhood?
Dig into my latest article How to Mulch Your Garden for Free. There’s a barrowload of creative ideas on organic vs inorganic mulches plus 5 mulching tips. Here’s a sneak peek! I hope you get some valuable insights and inspiration.
What to Plant Now in Subtropical SE QLD
May is our last month of autumn. We experience cooler days and nights, lower humidity (yay!) and fewer pest insects. Hopefully, perfect growing conditions if we get rain. It’s the ideal time to plant winter crops. Download your May Gardening Tips PDF for planting suggestions, tasks to do in the garden this month and issues to watch out for.
The Vegetables Growing Guide is a reference chart to help you grow 68 of the most popular vegetables in Australia and New Zealand climate zones. Includes information on companion planting, making compost, soil and moon planting.
What to Plant Now in other Locations
PLANT PROFILE: Yarrow
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a flowering edible and medicinal perennial herb that grows year-round in most climates. In subtropical QLD we sow in autumn.
According to a review of Yarrow’s medicinal properties, the most medicinally active part of the plant are the flowers although the leaves are also used. Yarrow has been found to intensify the medicinal action of other herbs taken with it and helps eliminate toxins from the body. Studies confirm it has analgesic properties, is an anti-inflammatory agent, is used to control bleeding, blood clots, lower blood pressure and purify blood. Yarrow is used for colds, chicken pox, circulation, cystitis, diabetes treatment and many other ailments. It’s a wonderful addition to your home pharmacy garden as a first aid plant. Yarrow is one of the 72 herbs covered in the Herb and Medicinal Plants Growing Guide.
- Seeds require light for germination and a temperature of 18–24°C (64–75°F).
- At least 3-4 hours of sun or partial shade in hot climates.
- Will do best in compost-rich, well-drained soil but is tolerant of poor soils within a pH range of 5.5–7.0.
- Regular moisture until established but will tolerate dry conditions when mature.
- Poorly drained soil and poor air circulation as these conditions can contribute to powdery mildew.
- Too much shade affects flowering.
What’s Been Happening in My Garden?
April has been a busy month as I always look forward to the start of autumn! Cooler temperatures make gardening more comfortable without high humidity. This is the best time of year for planting so many crops so I don’t waste time. I aim for a diverse variety of foods that we most love to eat. Lots of salad ingredients, leafy greens, tummy-filling root vegetables like potatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, peas and beans, broccoli, kale, cabbages, garlic, leeks, onions and of course tomatoes, eggplant and capsicum. A rainbow of fresh ingredients to pick daily including cool-season herbs like coriander and dill. I change the menu to incorporate these new flavours. Soups, curries, stir-fries, salads and roasted or marinated vegetables are a few of our favourites.