Myrtle Rust – a gardener’s guide

You may be aware that there is a new plant disease called Myrtle Rust invading our region.

Myrtle Rust is a fungal disease which attacks members of the Myrtle family, ie natives such as eucalypts, tea-trees, lilly-pillies, melaleucas, and exotics (non-natives) such as the Rose Apple (Syzygium jambos). We’ll get to the bad news shortly, but the good news is, Myrtle Rust only attacks myrtle plants and it will not infect your banksias, grevilleas, wattles, gardenias, graptophyllums or any other natives. The other good news is that experience from ‘down south’ (where the disease has been established for some time) shows that, while some myrtle plants are severely affected, a large number of myrtle species appear to be only moderately susceptible or even relatively tolerant. So you can still have a beautiful native garden.

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Give a vine a go.

Block sizes are getting smaller, houses are getting bigger… there’s barely enough room these days to squeeze down the side of the house with the wheelie bin, let alone plant a dense bushy screen to provide privacy from the neighbours.

So, if you’ve not got enough room to plant a normal screen, what can you do?

Here’s an idea …. put up a trellis, plant a selection of vines, and hey presto! … you’ve created a living, breathing, flowering, green fence.

Continue reading “Give a vine a go.”

A grevillea for every occasion

Grevilleas are just about the all-time favourite native plants. And for good reason!

They’re fast growing and hardy. They’re really easy to grow. They flower prolifically and for most of the year. They attract all sorts of beautiful native birds. There’s a wide range of flower colours from white to pink to orange. They come in all sizes from ground covers to larger shrubs. What more could you ask?

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Is your garden looking a bit daggy?

Is your native garden looking a bit sparse and daggy?… lacking vigour and vitality?… then FERTILISE!

Yes, you CAN fertilise native plants! And it will spruce up your garden and put that old ‘zing’ back into your plants.

Native plants, like all plants, appreciate some fertiliser and a bit of old-fashioned tender loving care from time to time.

However, you do need to be careful about what type of fertiliser you apply to your native garden. Continue reading “Is your garden looking a bit daggy?”

(Pot) size matters…!

We are often asked for ‘tubestock’, because tubes (being small plants) cost less. However, beware… it is very likely false economy.

The 140mm pot (which is larger than a tube) is the smallest size (and hence the cheapest plant) that will ensure survival and success at planting. Buying your plants in tubes is false economy if they don’t grow, or worse still if they die.

That is why the bulk of Yuruga’s plants are sold in 140mm pots, and why only a small range of our plants are available to you in tubes.

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Controlling Myna Birds

Myna Birds are a hot topic in the news in Cairns at the moment. They have become such a pest that an eradication programme of trapping and euthanasing is being discussed, to try to bring the problem under control.

The trouble is that this, on its own, will not solve the problem. Myna Birds have only moved into Cairns in pest proportions because the native birds have been driven out. Native birds need native plants, but over the years Cairns gardens have become more and more exotic and less and less native. Hence, a vacuum of native birds has created a void for exotic Myna birds to fill.

Trapping and removing the Myna birds is not a permanent solution. Native birds will not move back into gardens made of exotic plants, even if there are no Myna birds there. Continue reading “Controlling Myna Birds”

October in Yuruga’s native gardens

Well, the dry season is well and truly upon us. No point trying to keep lawns looking lush and green – it’s pretty well impossible at this time of year, and just a waste of water. Anyway, lawns are amazingly resilient and will bounce back into life with the first rains.

Leaf drop at the moment is massive. Plants are coping with the dry by shedding leaves, and many once-dense screens now have a see-through look. Don’t waste the leaves – they’re a valuable resource! Rake them back onto the garden, and pile them up around your plants as mulch. Or if you’ve got a leaf blower, put it to work – it’s such an easy way to keep your garden tidy and top up your mulch at the same time.

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