April is a fantastic time in the garden. Our tropical heat and humidity are subsiding, and the cooler nights bring relief for gardens and gardeners alike.
It’s an exciting time of planning our gardens for the prospect of fresh, home grown harvests, and the perfect month for planting to bring our plans to life! The earth is still warm and moist, and the days are very pleasant to be enjoying some great outdoor gardening activity.
Kitchen Garden Jobs:
- Plant hardy herbs such as Parsley, Basil, Chives, Oregano, Thyme and Mint. These kitchen favourites will establish quickly in the warmer weather, and will be ready to start harvesting fresh herbs within a few weeks. Wait until the weather cools further for planting varieties such as Coriander and Dill to avoid them bolting to seed in the warmer weather.
- Vegetables such as Beans, Corn, Spring Onions, Radishes and Potatoes can be planted now.
- Eggplants, Chilli and Capsicums should continue to fruit with regular fertilising.
- To keep your newly planted seedlings thriving, liquid fertilise every fortnight with Triple Boost Fruit & Veg. This will ensure your seedlings develop strong and healthy roots and structure, and added potash will help encourage flowering and fruiting. Always ensure your plants are well watered at least 15 mins before, and is most effective when applied before 9am.
The beginning of the tomato season is here! There are so many wonderful varieties to choose from it’s hard to choose, so here are some of our best performers over the years:
- Cherry tomatoes produce small cherry sized fruit. They are prolific fruiters and tolerate heat well, and can be grown throughout most of the year. Requires a trellis to grow on.
- Giant Tree tomatoes produce large meaty fruits and are a favourite at Limberlost. Fruits usually weigh around 300 – 500gm. This variety will require a trellis for support.
- Tropic tomatoes are a variety bred specifically for growing in hotter climates and are less susceptible to disease. They produce a medium sized, sweet, fleshy red fruit.
- For sauces and salsas, try the Gladiator tomato – a hybrid Roma variety with a strong root system to resist disease. It produces dense, flavourful fruit in large quantities.
Whatever variety you choose, tomatoes are best grown in pots rather than the garden here in the tropics. Bacterial Wilt is present in our soils which can kill healthy, well established garden plants very quickly. Cherryl has some helpful tips for growing great tomato crops.
Growing Tomatoes in the Tropics
April Garden Jobs:
- Spread Dolomite over your lawn to neautralise the pH after heavy rains, and help control weeds in your lawn. Weeds often prefer more acidic conditions, which can occur after prolonged heavy rain leaching the soil, and can weaken your lawn. Dolomite applied once a month will help your lawn thrive in better conditions and smother out weeds when used in conjunction with a regular fertiliser program.
- Bring some annual colour into your garden. Annuals such as Marigolds, Zinnia and Cosmos can be planted or sown to provide bright bursts of colour, and attract beneficial pollinators to your garden and improve your crops.
- Prune back and fertilise shrubs and climbers as they finish flowering.
- Fruit trees can still be planted in still-moist soils. Remember to water regularly to help establish during periods without rain.
- Fertilise and prune hedges lightly for a last flush before the cooler season.