Yesterday afternoon Peter and I were mulching the Ramesa Nursery front garden knowing we were providing our plants with some well needed insulation. It seems that we’re not the only ones feeling these fresh, frosty mornings and cold, winter weather.

Mulching is a natural and beneficial practice that really contributes to the health of your plants; giving your garden vigour, productivity and beauty. By living and gardening in the South Burnett for over twenty years now, we’ve realised that mulch really helps retain moisture, regulates soil temperature, suppresses weeds, and improves the soil structure. All of these are important for ensuring optimal growth.

Lilly Pilly (Syzygium species) thrive in well-draining soil with a pH of around 5.5-6.5 and mulching helps create good growing conditions. The mulch we used yesterday was Hoop Pine from Garden Grove Landscape Supplies in Kingaroy; a good quality mulch ideal for our garden beds. Organic mulches such as shredded bark, compost, or leaf litter are also excellent choices as they gradually break down, enriching the soil with nutrients and improving its texture over time. These materials also provide a buffer against temperature fluctuations, protecting the roots from extreme heat or currently, the cold.

It’s a good idea when mulching around Lilly Pilly plants to apply a layer of mulch about 5-7.5 cm thick. Just make sure to keep it a few centimeters away from the plant’s base to prevent rot. I learned this the hard way as a young gardener when I applied mulch too closely to a lemon tree trunk causing collar rot.

You’ll need to replenish the mulch layer as it decomposes. This is an ongoing and really important task. By mulching and feeding your Lilly Pilly plants, you’ll not only enhance their aesthetic appeal but also promote healthier growth and better fruit production; ensuring they thrive in your garden for many years to come.

If you are planting a new Lilly Pilly plant, choose a spot that receives plenty of sunlight and has enough space to reach its full size. They can range from one metre to around five metres depending on the variety. Space your plants around one to two metres apart digging the hole twice as wide as the root ball and enrich the soil by mixing in compost or well-rotted manure before planting. We always add a good handful of rock minerals into the planting hole too and find this gives plants a great start.

After planting, water the Lilly Pilly thoroughly and apply a thick layer of mulch to retain the moisture and suppress the weeds.

Regular pruning can help control the size of the plant and stimulate flowering and fruiting. Depending on the variety, Lilly Pilly plants produce berries from late summer to early autumn.

Harvest them when they’re fully ripe for the best flavour. Enjoy them fresh or use them for jam or perhaps dried for later use.

These lovely trees can tolerate both full sun and partial shade but thrive best in a position with good air circulation. By following these tips and thoughts, you can enjoy attractive foliage and flowers as well as their berries … and whether adding to your landscape or exploring their culinary uses, Lilly Pilly plants are sure to add charm and flavour.

Enjoy and “Happy Gardening” everyone, Kind regards, Romaine Undery, RAMESA Nursery 163 Findowie Rd, Gordonbrook.