How does your garden grow?

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There is no better way to pass the time during the COVID-19 lockdown than spending a few hours in the garden.

Not only is it good for your mental health by reducing stress and fostering a sense of accomplishment, but you will be rewarded for your efforts with beautiful flowers or delicious home-grown fruit and vegetables.

On this page you can share your gardening journey. Show us what you are gardening at home or ask a gardening expert your questions.


Gardening tips: Growing fruit and vegies at home


Gardening tips: Seed saving


Gardening tips: How to plant seeds and seedlings


Show us your native plants:

Council has been running its Free Native Plant Program for one year now. The program gives ratepayers the opportunity to receive four, free native plants per year. The program encourages residents to incorporate native plant species into their gardens, which generally require less water than exotic species, are low maintenance and provide a reliable food source and valuable habitat for native wildlife. All the plants on offer through the program have been grown locally at the Mackay Natural Environment Centre (MNEC).

If you have participated in this program, we would love to see photos and stories about how your free plants are growing in your garden.

NOTE: Our Free Native Plant Program giveaways are currently suspended due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements. We hope to return as soon as possible.


What are you growing at home?

Show us photos of your garden! Let us know what you are growing at home, share your gardening tips with others and tell us your favourite plant to grow in our warm, tropical climate.


Ask an expert?

Having trouble with some plants at home? Why not ask one of our gardening experts for some advice on possible issues and gardening tips to improve the health of your plants.

Subscribe to project update emails to be notified of gardening tips and the release of our next gardening video. Click the Stay Informed button on the right of this page.


There is no better way to pass the time during the COVID-19 lockdown than spending a few hours in the garden.

Not only is it good for your mental health by reducing stress and fostering a sense of accomplishment, but you will be rewarded for your efforts with beautiful flowers or delicious home-grown fruit and vegetables.

On this page you can share your gardening journey. Show us what you are gardening at home or ask a gardening expert your questions.


Gardening tips: Growing fruit and vegies at home


Gardening tips: Seed saving


Gardening tips: How to plant seeds and seedlings


Show us your native plants:

Council has been running its Free Native Plant Program for one year now. The program gives ratepayers the opportunity to receive four, free native plants per year. The program encourages residents to incorporate native plant species into their gardens, which generally require less water than exotic species, are low maintenance and provide a reliable food source and valuable habitat for native wildlife. All the plants on offer through the program have been grown locally at the Mackay Natural Environment Centre (MNEC).

If you have participated in this program, we would love to see photos and stories about how your free plants are growing in your garden.

NOTE: Our Free Native Plant Program giveaways are currently suspended due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements. We hope to return as soon as possible.


What are you growing at home?

Show us photos of your garden! Let us know what you are growing at home, share your gardening tips with others and tell us your favourite plant to grow in our warm, tropical climate.


Ask an expert?

Having trouble with some plants at home? Why not ask one of our gardening experts for some advice on possible issues and gardening tips to improve the health of your plants.

Subscribe to project update emails to be notified of gardening tips and the release of our next gardening video. Click the Stay Informed button on the right of this page.


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    I am plagued with cut worms. I try putting shields around the plants but then have trouble planting the seedlings in the garden. Also very difficult to plant shallots and lettuce that way. Is there non pesticide way to get rid of them? I have 4 types of bees in the garden so don’t want to use pesticides if I can help it

    Marg Asked 5 months ago

    Hello Marg,

    'Cutworms' is the name used for the larvae of a number of species of night-flying moths. This common name also refers to the damage caused to plants by the way the larvae sever the stems of young plants, at or near ground level, causing the plant to collapse. They primarily feed on roots and foliage of young plants and can rapidly destroy entire crops.

    The most environmentally friendly method of primary control involves manual removal of the larvae at night time. This is the time when they're actively feeding and easier to find as they emerge from their comfy home in the soil. Killing the pest is as simple as squishing the larvae with your fingers or plunging them into a bucket of soapy water, repeating this every few nights to catch any stragglers.

    Diatomaceous earth, a natural powder made from ground up fossils which kills insects when they walk over it, is another simple way to keep them at bay. A single circle surrounding each plant helps to protect vulnerable plants. Apply to dry soil and reapply as necessary after rain or overhead irrigation. 

    Keeping garden beds free of high weeds and detritus, as well as keeping lawns low, will reduce their habitat and get rid of any material infested with eggs. Insect netting, companion planting and crop rotations will also help in the fight to keep pests at bay.

    If pesticides become a last resort consider using Bacillius thuringiensis. This is an organic, bacterial bio-control which targets many caterpillar-type pests. Butterfly larvae are a part of this group so we advise it should be used sparingly. This bacteria is the main ingredient of Natures Way Caterpillar Killer Dipel and is readily available at local retail nurseries. Late afternoon application is best.

    We hope this information helps. Happy gardening.

    Cheers

    The Nursery Team