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Greater Brisbane region
If you have a vegetable garden, you'll be busy there this month, as March and April are a key time in SEQLD for planting seeds and seedlings of a large range of crops.
If you have some extra space, or some planter boxes or tubs to fill, why not try some flowering annuals for spring colour this year? Annuals require a bit more effort than shrubs and groundcovers, but are so pretty and so cheerful. If you're a creative type, you can experiment with combining shapes and colours for lots of different looks from one season to the next.
For the less committed, annuals can still be used as gap-fillers around the garden, perhaps while you're waiting for more permanent plantings to fill out.
In most cases, it's much easier and faster to buy seedlings, and not greatly more expensive if you only need a few plants. On the other hand, if you really want to to make a splash and need lots of plants, seeds will be much cheaper. Large-seeded species like nasturiums and sweet peas are generally sown direct where they are to grow, anyway.
Another advantage of seeds is that you're also able to grow a much larger range of varieties of both annual flowers and vegetables, including heritage varieties, than is generally available as seedlings. For the biggest selection, or unusual types, look for a mail order supplier, or keep an eye out at garden shows.
See also Annual Flowers, Vegetables,
Seeds and seed raising
Continue planting spring-flowering bulbs suitable for our climate such as freesia, babiana and cyrtanthus (ifafa lily). If you're relying on the chain stores for your supply, don't delay as bulbs could deteriorate under prolonged storage in shopping centre conditions and the selection available will diminish.
Plant trees, shrubs and perennials. The furnace-like conditions of summer are over but it will be warm enough to allow the plants to establish before winter. Likewise, it's an opportune time to start dividing perennials like agapanthus, daylillies, dietes, liriope and ornamental grasses. Autumn-flowering perennials such as chrysanthemum should, of course, be left alone now. It is more usual to break these up in late spring, when they are in active vegetative growth.
If there have been good summer rains, there should be plenty of moisture in the soil to support new plantings. Note, however, that plants will still need watering in and (depending on rainfall) supplemental watering at least until established.
Sometimes there are significant rain periods in April (think of those rained-out Easter camping hodays), but generally speaking we're moving into the drier months, so start topping up mulch. You might also wish to apply some fertiliser first, if you haven't done so recently. There is still enough warmth to support good growth for a couple of months, and the heavy rains we received recently will have leached out a lot of nutrients.
Trim summer/autum flowering shrubs as they finish blooming to keep them neat and prevent them wasting energy on seed production. This will prevent unwanted seedlings, too, which is important in the case of shrubs with weed potential like duranta and murraya.
Cut back leggy Pelargoniums (Geraniums). You might like to try striking some of the pieces to make new plants.
In contrast, keep the secateurs away from winter flowering shrubs such as poinsettia, snowflake, camellias, and azaleas which will be in flower or about to flower. Likewise, avoid pruning of spring bloomers as they will be developing their flower buds about now, if they haven't already.
March and April are big vegetable planting months in SE Qld. Try tomatoes, capsicums and eggplants; lettuce; radish; beetroot and silverbeet; beans; cucumber and zucchini; cabbage, broccoli; turnip, onion, garlic.
If you really want to try broad beans, parsnips or cauliflower, get them in without delay. Prefering a cool climate, the window of opprtunity for these vegetables in the Brisbane area is quite small.
Sorry, monthly notes for fruit haven't been produced yet.
The Flower Garden
See notes for March. Towards the end of April, concentrate on seedlings (available for purchase in punnets) rather than seed.
Garden shows, open gardens
There are lots of garden-related activities on offer in the Brisbane region in April. Check the Events Diary and see if there's something on near you.
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NB: The info on this page applies primarily to the greater Brisbane region only. Naturally, it's a general guide and will vary depending on local conditions, weather, plant variety etc.
Ongoing water availability is also a big concern these days, so take this into consideration too, especially if planning new gardens.
Further development of the notes here has been suspended in favour of Get Results Gardening (see below). If you're in Brisbane, please do see for yourself how good it is by requesting a free trial.
Get Results Gardening is a weekly email mini-magazine with an SE Qld focus.
Reliable plants, fundamentals simply explained, achievable ideas, inspiration and motivation for a beautiful garden that compliments your house and makes your whole property more enjoyable to live in.