Is the drought taking hold in your garden and not sure what to do?

What can you do to save your garden in this hot dry time? With the continuation of the dry and now joining the state wide drought it is time to look after your gardens plant so they survive. With little to no rain to help re-leave the situation your plant are struggling for survival. You can help them by focusing on how to make the best use of the water you have available to save your garden and get it through this drought. As you the plants and shrubs are the most expensive single item to replace and will take the longest to recover it is important to give them the best care possible and set them up for survival at the moment as we don’t exactly know when the drought will break.

What can do to save your garden and keep it looking good? Here is my recommendation to save your garden plants.

Garden with mulch applied

Garden with mulch applied

  • Sacrifice your lawn by cut the water to it, this will come back as soon as we get rain it may not come back as good but with management it can be improved relatively cheaply.
  • Hand water your plants, shrubs and trees well to wet the root zone, to improve the water penetration add a soil wetter at the same time, 3 to 5 minutes per plant depending on size should be good.
  • Mulch your gardens with a good healthy covering of mulch 100 to 150mm (4 – 6 inches) to do two things keep the soil cooler and prevent evaporation.
  • Hand water weekly at the base of the plant to allow the water to spreed out under the mulch for about 2 to 3 minutes.

By doing these steps it will help you save water and your garden at the same time while giving you the peace of mind that you are helping to do your bit in these dry times. For further assistance and advice please contact Plant-Em Turf and Irrigation Ph 0418777003


Un healthy lawn

Poor neglected lawn

I received this photo late yesterday from a friend with the question “what is wrong with my lawn?” My guess is that you may have a similar problem so I thought I might try and help you out with possible causes and suggested fix. After asking a few questions and getting responses all via text we were able to determine the most likely outcome and make some suggestions to fix the problems.

Problem 1. The ground was had and dry. The owner had been under watering, easy mistake as this time of the year it is normally raining or having periods of rain. this usually solves the dry hard soil issues.

Problem 2. Lots of dead grass with healthy green shoots. This is a good indication that something has gone wrong some time ago. Grub attack would be my first guess. but that has passed and the grass is on the way back now.

Problem 3. Automatic irrigation. Different types of sprinklers all set to run the same, but needed to be set to run for different amounts of time.

Suggested fix. Adjust the watering times to suite the current conditions (at the moment hot and dry) so increase. Apply a good quality fertilizer (Nitrophoska and Urea) blended with an organic type fertilizer to give the lawn grass that is left a kick along.

  1. Remember the fertilizer when applied can burn so apply in late afternoon and water in heavenly.

Lawn Watering – how hard can it be, right?


Somehow I’ve stuffed this up too!

My lawn is water logged but I still have brown patches.


“Should I be watering more or less?” I ask Bill the Lawn GuruLawnWatering

“Well, it’s not quite as simple as that” he drawls, amused

“There are three main things you need to consider…”

“Yes…” I prompt, waiting.

He continues

“You need to consider soil type, climate and season.”

Hmm…  Maybe it’s not as simple as I thought.

“You have clay based soil, like most here in Townsville, North Queensland.  It’s very prone to water-logging and goes well with moderate watering.  On the other hand, if your soil was sand based, then you would need to water more often due to quicker drainage and less water retained by the soil.  Loamy soil is best.  Its water retention and drainage potential is perfectly suited to the Townsville climate.”

“What’s the deal with the Townsville climate?”  I ask

“It’s very hot” he says.

No kidding.

“and very wet and then very dry.  This means that you’re watering will need to be adjusted according to the time of year.  And don’t forget it’s always best to water first thing in the morning.  That way your lawn will retain the water far longer.”

“There’s one more secret that’ll make your life a whole lot easier” he continues.

Easier sounds good to me.

“How do you get water to your plants?”  He asks.

“Through council water pipes” I answer. (maybe he’s not as bright as I first thought)

He sighs?

That’s the sound that reminds me straight away which of us is the Newbie and which of us is the Guru.  Uh-oh.

“I meant, do you use a sprinkler or hose?”

Well, of course.

“Actually, I just showed my neighbour how to move the sprinklers while I am away.”  I say, proudly.

“Then you’re wasting your time”

“With a Set and Forget irrigation system, your watering is automatically adjusted to suit the season.  It covers a far greater area at a time, with much greater efficiency.  That means bye-bye brown patches.”

“So my brown patches will turn green?”  I ask, excitedly.

“That’s right.  Fortunately you have planted Broad-leaf Buffalo grass, so it should revive in no time.  It’s perfectly suited to the Townsville climate.  Of course, if you have lost some lawn, a watering system will help establish any new lawn.  And it’s easy to ‘Keep off the Grass’ when you have a watering system. “

If you need a hand installing an irrigation system, call Bill on 0418 777 003 or email him at