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Creating A Fun, Safe Garden For Your Children

As the mum of five young children, I know how important it is to have access to a safe outdoor space for your children to play. Being cooped up in the house all day isn't good for the kids or the parents, but you also can't let young kids play in a space that's hazardous. When we bought our new family home, there was a lot of work to do in the garden to make it childproof, and we also wanted to make it a fun place for the kids to play. We erected a new fence, fitted a combination lock on the garden gate, had poisonous plants removed, cordoned off the pool and created a play area complete with swings, a slide and outdoor games. I started this blog to share my DIY gardening tips, and I hope you find it interesting and useful.



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Creating A Fun, Safe Garden For Your Children

Native Gardens: Tips on Cultivating Indigenous Plants

by Darlene Jenkins

People sometimes assume that growing native Australian plants in small gardens is difficult. This notion is misplaced. Most homeowners focus on low maintenance plants which lack unique aspects such as the bird of paradise or oleanders. If you want to make landscaping changes to your residential space with some of the local plants, consider using these tips for a healthy garden.

Right Selection

The success of your garden will heavily depend on your choice of plant species. All native plants will not do well in your environment so your primary choices should be those that are indigenous to your specific local area. This means that the climate and soil conditions will be capable of supporting the plants in the long-term.

For instance, Agonis flexuosa is suitable for growth in coastal regions since it is capable of withstanding harsh winds and is not adversely affected by the soil quality. It can be grown in inland home gardens if the area only experiences light frost.

If you want to experiment with beautiful but difficult plants, you should consider using containers or incorporating the soil from the indigenous regions. A good example is a shrub like the Sydney Rock Rose which thrives best in sandstone substrates.

Watering Practices

The native Australian garden plants typically need less water than species that have been introduced from other world regions. Your watering practices will affect the flora's ability to survive in adverse conditions so you should develop an effective scheme. Water the garden minimally when the plants are still young to provide just enough moisture.

The root systems will naturally develop deeper in the soil and this will protect the plants from wilting easily during dry seasons. Older plants will not adapt to sudden water reduction so start this practice early. Apply organic mulch at least once a year to help the soil retain moisture and to keep the substrate healthy through the action of microorganisms.

Pest Control

Your native garden should always be kept clean and healthy to prevent attacks by pests and diseases. Indigenous plants have natural defences against local pests but insects are still likely to come to your garden and some will attack your plants.

Avoid using insecticide sprays to control the pest population or to prevent attacks. These chemicals will kill the destructive insects but also eliminate the beneficial ones that promote pollination and limit the growth of harmful populations. Additionally, you should encourage the presence of birds in your property because most feed on insects and they will naturally solve the pest problem.

To learn more about how to treat a specific plant, talk to local experts like Simon The Plantman.