I have often said the best time to plant is now. That is; if you have the time and inclination, plant now before both pass.
However, right now we have even more reason to plant right now. Rarely do we have ‘perfect’ planting conditions which include no frost, warm weather, warm soils and moist soils. Does this sound a lot like right now? You bet.
For most areas in the Riverland and Mallee, substantial summer rainfall will mean huge volumes of sub-soil moisture and a great time to be planting. The best way to retain this moisture in the soil (or keep it for your desired plants) is to start (and maintain) weed control. Even if you haven’t planted yet, still do the weed control as this will act as a moisture ‘bank’ for later.
So, we have ‘perfect’ planting conditions and you are maintaining weed control. It is now time to do your planning. Work out plant species, numbers and placement. Put in place your irrigation if that is part of your plan.
All the while maintain the weed control. Mulch will help here as part of your weed control program. Local suppliers usually have a good selection of various types of mulches. Suppliers should also be able to help with estimating quantities required for a given area.
Once you have done your entire weed control and planning, physically choosing (ask for help if you are not sure what to plant) and planting your plants can be one of the most satisfying aspects to gardening. I think the act of planting is full of promises of good things to come..
Us ‘planters’ will look back on the summer of 2010/2011 as the ‘wet one’. We will also look back upon the plants planted this summer with a smile of gardening satisfaction.
Join the club! Now.
This article first published in the Riverland Weekly © February 17, 2011.