Thursday, January 6, 2011

Plants Suffering in the Wet?

There is just a bit too much rain happening, isn’t there?
The native plants are loving it of course - except for the ones that are drowning!
Other plants having a bad time of it are garden plants which only grow naturally in well-drained soil. Introduced into our red- and even our black-soil gardens, they may do well for years, so long as they don’t get too wet. A rain event like this can be too much for them. Our basalt soils have a high clay content. Once wet, they stay that way, and that is too much for the roots of some plants, which succumb to fungal diseases.
I have great admiration for those skilled gardeners who can grow plants from anywhere and everywhere - especially those who are helping to preserve rare and endangered plants by cultivating them.
But for those who want an easier life, there’s no doubt that growing local native plants can be a surer way of filling your garden with things that won’t drop dead if there’s an extreme weather event.
Meanwhile, it’s the BEST PLANTING SEASON we’ve had for many years. It’s a particularly good time to get dry rainforest trees and shrubs in. Some of these plants can have an irritating tendency to mark time, growth-wise, in dry weather - but given this kind of rain, they can grow very fast indeed.
Meanwhile, WATCH OUT FOR VOLUNTEERS. If you live in a place where local natives may self-seed, and they happen to do it in a place where they could have a future, it is well worth preserving these little bits of serendipity in your garden - even at the cost of sacrificing a previous planting plan. Having grown in situ from seed. They will have the strongest roots systems, and are likely to be the longest-lived, strongest and healthiest of all your plants.

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