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Guru offers post-flood garden tips

Neil Fisher removes mulch from a garden bed at Central Queensland Christian College to help the ground to dry out.
Neil Fisher removes mulch from a garden bed at Central Queensland Christian College to help the ground to dry out. Allan Reinikka Rokgarden-A

THE Bully's gardening guru, Neil Fisher, says people who had their gardens overrun by floodwater should not despair because there's plenty that can be done to repair the damage.

Mr Fisher was at Central Queensland Christian College yesterday helping with the clean-up alongside more than 40 other volunteers.

He said he had fielded numerous queries from people concerned with how to treat their garden now that floodwaters had receded.

Mr Fisher said mulch should be raked off because it was now becoming “slowly toxic” and killing the plants.

He said if plants were wilting people should use a fungicide to treat them.

He had heard people say that it was better to leave the mud.

But Mr Fisher said residents should rake up the mud over three or four days, otherwise the silt would harden like concrete.

“It sits like concrete and does not allow any air to circulate and turf cannot breathe,” Mr Fisher said.

“It will not grow at all.”

He had also received questions about what to do when a tree trunk had a split in it.

He said if it was big enough that you could stick a finger inside then the tree was dead and should be removed.

Mr Fisher said when it came to vegetable gardens, people should to take the entire top layer off and allow it to dry for four weeks.

However there were some positives from the flood when fixing up the garden.

He suggested using mulch and silt that had been scraped off the garden for the compost.

“In three or four months it's some of the best compost you've ever had.

“You'll have veges you never thought you could grow,” Mr Fisher said.

POST-FLOOD GARDEN TIPS

Rake mulch off garden

Don’t cut plants back straight away – give them time to recover

Rake mud off lawns otherwise it will not grow at all

Take the top layer off your vegetable garden and allow it to dry. After four weeks place compost on the garden again.

Use the mulch and silt left over from the clean-up for the compost

Think carefully about using hydrated lime. It is only needed on very poor soil.


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