Queensland is a gorgeous state to buy in, with plenty of high-growth suburbs, all with their own unique selling points and natural biomes. With lush forests, pristine beaches, Queensland’s wild hinterlands, and some of Australia’s most comfortable urban centres, we Queenslanders are truly blessed to reside here.
But any seasoned Queenslander also knows that the sunshine state is just as prone to flooding, bushfires, and cyclones as it is to plenty of sunlight. As a result, maintaining your garden is a paramount concern for many Queensland homeowners.
So how can you ensure your garden can thrive through flooding, droughts, and all the other harsh weather conditions that may come its way over the course of any given year? Thankfully, we’ll be providing you with some answers to this question today, namely by outlining the best methods for landscaping and performing general maintenance for your unique Queensland garden spaces.
Read on to learn how best to develop your drought-tolerant garden in Queensland.
Secure Your Garden & Garden Beds
The first thing you’ll want to do is invest in sturdy perimeter fencing for your garden. We recommend working with a PVC fencing supplier in Brisbane who’s well-versed in the unique challenges that accompany working with Queensland properties (i.e. severe winds, salt spray, erosion, etc.). PVC or ‘polyvinyl chloride’ plastic fencing is an ideal fencing solution for Queensland properties as PVC has been tried and tested in these adverse weather conditions. Unlike metal or timber fencing, PVC is also resistant to rust or mould and other forms of accelerated decay.
Alongside updating your property’s fencing, Queensland homeowners are also advised to install raised garden beds with adequate drainage and green drip irrigation systems to not only combat periods of heavy flooding, but also provide plenty of moisture during arid summer heat. Netting over raised garden beds can also help protect your plants from wind damage year-round.
With these protections in place, you should be able to limit the overall exposure of your garden plants to the elements, ensuring that your garden space is prepped for not only summer extremes, but harsh winter weather as well.
Pick Plants Carefully
Some plants are naturally hardier than others and are naturally drought-resistant from the get-go. However, this doesn’t mean you should only grow cacti and succulents, even though they are naturally hardy and can go long without water. Be sure to do some reading online in order to find drought-resistant or low-water-consumption plants to grow in your front garden and backyard.
Certain Australian native grasses and shrubs are naturally drought-resistant as they’ve evolved in the harsh Australian environment. Some plants from Mediterranean locations have also adapted to endure long periods without water, such as olives, roses and geraniums.
Some other landscaping hacks worth considering include choosing grey or thick-leaved plants, which are naturally water-efficient. Furthermore, you should buy healthy, established plants that won’t perish in the heat without much water. Growing seedlings in Queensland can be risky unless you’re very careful and propagate them indoors or in a greenhouse.
Be Water Efficient if You Have Restrictions
Sometimes, Queensland introduces water use restrictions during drought periods, which means you have less water to keep your garden alive. There are heaps of ways you can save water and keep your garden flourishing and lush during a drought period. You can train your plants to conserve water, for instance. You can do this by watering for a long time, but less often so your plants learn to use scarce water. For instance, you can give your garden a big soak early in the morning. This method of watering will encourage your plants to develop robust and healthy root systems that will become more resistant to drought over time. You do not want to do short, daily watering as this will ruin this method of training your plants’ roots’.
In addition, you should time your watering, especially if you’re anticipating a hot weather day. You should water before 9 in the morning or after 4 or 5 pm when the sun is lower in the sky to ensure the moisture can be absorbed into the soil. If you water during the middle of a hot day, the water will evaporate before it can penetrate the soil.
When watering, ensure you use a hand-held hose with a triggered nozzle, which will help conserve water. A sprinkler system is also a great idea, but it requires some work to install. And as we already mentioned, installing a drip irrigation system can help ensure your watering is totally autonomous, whilst also reducing risks of overwatering.
Be Ruthless With Weeds
Weeds are plants too, even if they are ugly and invasive. Like all plants, they need water and sunlight to survive and thrive. And they don’t call Queensland ‘the sunshine state’ for no reason.
Sadly, however, there typically tends to be a disparate amount of sunlight to water availability in the summer months – that is unless we’re in for a La Niña summer. In most cases, however, you can expect that your garden will be sorely lacking in moisture during the summer months. And you don’t want weeds stealing any precious life-giving water from your plants during these harsher conditions.
So be ruthless with weeds when they appear, and remove them frequently. Gardeners may also opt to spread mulch on their gardens in late spring and early summer, which will both help their garden soil retain water and discourage weeds from growing as well.
Make Your Soil Healthy
The final step to drought-proofing your backyard is to ensure that your soil is healthy and rich, full of those excellent live-giving nutrients your plants need to survive and grow. You can improve your soil’s health by adding bulk amounts of organic matter such as aged manures, compost and mulch. If you compost at home, you should have a good supply already, as most organic waste can break down in a compost bin. Turn the compost through your soil to ensure it mixes well.
Another excellent tip is to use a specialised wetting agent to help water absorb into your garden’s soil. You can buy these agents at most homewares and hardware stores, which are vital to your drought-busting strategy. A wetting agent will keep your garden thriving during these extreme weather periods and when rainfall is scarce.
This informative article has shared the top drought-tolerant landscaping tips for Queensland homeowners. With these tips and tricks at your fingertips, you should be able to curate a stunning garden space that boosts the value of your property – be it for your family to enjoy or to bolster the resale value of your regional Queensland property in the lead-up to placing it on the market.