Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a selection of the questions we are most frequently asked:
We mostly use organic fertilisers. We have found Organic Extra to bring the best results. We also fertilise fortnightly with a half mix of Seasol and Charlie Carp. This is applied to the foliage in a spray pack connected to the hose. The ferns have a very specific mix of slow release fertiliser with magnesium added. This is applied roughly every 6 months. Other plants, such as the Beehive Gingers have a special fertiliser high in Phosphorous.
At planting time for the annuals we use organic, aged cow manure and prepare the beds with this which ensures a good start for the seedlings and bulbs. We turn the soil over to the depth of a fork and add the manure and blood and bone some weeks before planting time.
Grafton gets very hot in Summer and we must use a mulch to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture in the harsh summer sun. Cooler climates can escape without garden mulch, but that is not an option here. We have used a number of different mulches on this garden but we love Tea Tree mulch the best. While some people avoid it, we prefer it far above anything else and do not experience the issues some people have.
Why do we love it?
Because our soil is so poor and requires continuous addition of organic matter we find the tea tree mulch breaks down and adds nutrition to the soil – the earthworms think it’s pretty great too! We like the fact that it breaks down, whereas some people prefer longer lasting mulch – and that’s understandable.
It is worthwhile to rotate the mulch you use on the garden in order to promote differing species of mycorrhizal fungi to benefit the plants. Lucerne, sugar cane, tea tree, forest and palm mulch are all great sources of mulch which can be rotated.
Everywhere! Local and interstate nurseries, online specialist nurseries, catalogues, garden shows, international seed merchants. Where possible, we add to the garden via cuttings and seeds raised ourselves. A second shade house provides great space to grow and mature plants.
Yes. We do not have tanks or a bore. Town water is very expensive but the only way we can ensure a constant supply in this location, which are sufficient for the requirements of the garden. There are 20 separate irrigation stations which water the entire garden. We could not hand water the garden well enough during the summer months.
At this stage, we open once a year during the Jacaranda Festival from the last weekend in October to the first weekend in November.