I'll be giving a special interactive library talk at Kenmore on the 29 April about recovering your flooded gardens. I am also offering half price garden visits for flood affected gardens at $88 per hour if you'd like a personalised garden consult.In the meantime, here is some more info for you...
Was your garden covered by a thick layer of smelly mud, washed into it by the recent floods? This info is intended to give you the best possible advice for saving your garden, based upon organic principles and the best of my knowledge and experience.
Keeping up to date with new developments:
As new information comes to light in the next days and weeks, I will keep you informed via the ‘Linda’s Garden Harvest e-zine’. To receive this digital update log onto www.ecobotanica.com.au and sign up for the e-zine on the home page.
If you don’t have access to a computer, let a friend know so they can sign up and print it off for you.
Your garden soil and potted plants have been submerged and airless underwater for a number of hours. This causes anaerobic conditions that will kill beneficial soil microbes and plants.
Flood waters may also deposit toxic or dangerous substances like petroleum products, chemicals and sewerage onto your garden. This will make it dangerous to garden unless you take precautions to protect yourself.
Here are some hot tips for resurrecting your garden:
Do not fertilise your soil until plants are growing actively again. Possibly several months away yet. Then only use organic fertilisers low in sodium. I use QLD Organics Organic Xtra.
Apply a good compost when the soil is completely drained. Lightly incorporate into the soil. (Working wet soil will destroy the structure and result in compaction.)
Liming the soil and Lab analysis
While it has been reported the last few days that we need to add lime to our soils to correct acidity, I do not recommend this just yet. It can have a deleterious effect on the soil at this early stage.
It will be best to arrange a soil laboratory analysis in about 6 weeks before proceeding with soil liming. I can arrange this for you.
Steps for resurrecting your garden bed plants
Step 1 Remove all rotting plants, weeds and dead branches. Compost these.
Step 2 Trim back all dead or dying foliage to the point of living green stems. Compost these too. Clean secateurs with metho between all infected or rotting plants.
Step 3 Brush the back of a plastic rake over hardy shrubs like mock orange and lillypillies to remove caked on mud from leaves. It will fall off in flakes.
Step 4 Scuffle the soil with a cultivator and apply Fulvic acid and mulch to the soil. Ask me for a supply of organic Fulvic acid.
Step 5 Hose off some of the mud so leaves can photosynthesise. Leaves caked heavily with mud may eventually die.
Step 6 Spray leaves with a mix of the following to act as a rescue remedy for plants, increasing plant health and resistance to disease.
Add Seachange 50 ml per 9L PLUS Vitaguard at rate on the pack.
Note: If you do not have Seachange, Fish and kelp will work, but may be high in sodium which can stress a plant.
Step 7 Staking may be required in high wind areas, and where plants have been loosened by flood waters. Use one or two hardwood stakes. Drive in the stake/s, avoiding the roots. Attach a piece of long, soft material to the stake, then in a figure 8 around the trunk of the tree. Allow the tree some movement. Remove the stake when you feel the roots are holding the tree well.
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