Spring has arrived but with growing possibility El Nino is on the way green thumbs should be preparing for a drier than usual season if they are hoping to make gardens shine. Arbor Operations Peter Mumford said there is now a 50 per cent chance Australia will be affected by El Nino which could have a devastating impact on the environment.

El Nino an unpredictable climate event that translates to “The Little Boy” it generally means less rainfall and hotter days for eastern Australia. “Spring is the season for blooms, particularly in Toowoomba which is gearing up for its annual Carnival of Flowers, but gardens could be hit hard by hotter and drier conditions,” Peter said. “The city’s planting 176,030 seedlings and bulbs to commemorate the event but home gardeners may have to be a little more choosey given the current conditions. You don’t want to be spending the time and money on plantings only for them to deteriorate because of the weather. We’ve already had a drier than usual winter and if it continues into El Nino, many plants will feel the effect, with flowers in particular susceptible to the heat.

“Most at risk are shallow rooted plants, so people will be left very disappointed if they plant those under these conditions as their root system will be burnt away. The first step is to cultivate and get rid of any weeds, so they are not competing with your plants for moisture. Consider culling plants that aren’t doing so well in favour of hardier or more drought tolerant species.”

When selecting plants check the label for a plant’s water use or seek advice from the stockist or nursery on its suitability.

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