Tip No. 1:
If you’ve recently moved up from ‘down south’, you will very likely be looking for familiar faces for your new garden, such as the old favourites you grew in your garden in Melbourne or Sydney.
Unfortunately plants from southern Australia are in general not suitable for tropical gardens. For a start, the climate in northern Australia is the reverse of that in southern Australia. Here in NQ we have hot wet summers and a long dry season during the cooler months. In Victoria, on the other hand, they experience hot dry summers and cold wet winters – the exact reverse of us.
Plants from southern Australia can’t cope with this huge difference and either die very quickly here in the tropics, or perform poorly and eventually fade away.
Unfortunately, truckloads and truckloads of native plants from nurseries ‘down south’ come into north Queensland retail and general nurseries every week, and a large proportion of these plants are totally unsuitable for our climate.
So, a word of advice from Yuruga…
Read the glossy gardening magazines and watch the national TV gardening programmes by all means, but when it comes to natives, if Yuruga doesn’t sell it then the chances are it’s not suitable for north Queensland.
The absolutely wonderful thing about living in the tropics is the sheer abundance and diversity of tropical native flora, both in the forests and in cultivation.
We at Yuruga carry about 500 different varieties of natives suitable for tropical gardens at any one time, so there’s something for everyone whether you live in the misty mountains of Millaa Millaa, the hot humid coastal belt of Cooktown-Mossman-Cairns-Tully, or the dry tropical areas of Mareeba, Chillagoe and Townsville.
Tip No. 2:
Keep it simple! Gardening with natives is not complicated. Please don’t fiddle around with your soil pH, or add heaps of this and that to your soil, because if you do, you run a very high chance of killing your plants.
Read Yuruga’s series of Information Sheets. These Information Sheets contain local information for local north Queensland gardeners, and are based on 30 years of personal experience. They really are the complete guide to common sense gardening in the tropics. If you stick to the advice in these Information Sheets, you will not go wrong.