Although summer is usually the wettest season on the Gold Coast, this year has been drier the usual, with January one of the driest on record. A lot of specimen trees have been suffering from lack of water, but the Ivory curl trees, Buckinghamia celsissima (below), have been a picture, this month.

Autumn garden
Ivory curl tree in full flower.

Water stressed plants are more susceptible to pest and disease infestation, so they will benefit from an application of general fertiliser, to give them a boost for the autumn growing season. Small frequent applications are beneficial, especially if we get late summer rain and storms, which can leach out nutrients.

Pay attention to pH, as acidity in the soil can also have a detrimental effect on plants. Lime (calcium carbonate), or dolomite, which has magnesium, both help improve soil pH and reduce acidity. Vegetable gardens also benefit from an application of lime, if you are planting peas or beans this time of year.

Just remember February still has high temperatures, so if it is too hot to get outside start planning for the cooler months ahead.