Keep it clean

Photo: Jennifer Stackhouse

I have relocated from the Kurrajong area (in the Lower Blue Mountains west of Sydney) to Barrington, a rural area in North West Tasmania. It was an impulsive move triggered when my husband and I fell in love with a Federation house set in an acre of garden with deep red volcanic soil and high rainfall.

We have a well-set-out vegetable garden, established trees, shrubs and hedges and lots of perennials and bulbs that are making themselves known as winter moves towards spring.

I know the next few months will be full of wonderful discoveries as I learn how to grow and manage the plants in the garden.

One of the questions we were asked before we moved was how we were going to move all our plants. The simple answer was that we weren’t. Tasmania’s strict quarantine laws prevent gardeners from taking plants and soils into the state. Plants brought into Tasmania from other parts of Australia are subject to quarantine inspection. Western Australia has similar stringent quarantine restrictions. This is why many mail-order nurseries specify that their plants and seeds are unsuitable for Tasmania or Western Australia.

We were allowed to bring our garden tools, but only after thoroughly cleaning them to ensure they were free of soil. We also cleaned our work boots!

The ‘Tassie model’ is a good one for organic gardeners to follow. By keeping your tools clean and restricting the entry of plants and soil from other gardens into yours, you can lower the risk of contamination from unwanted pests, diseases and weeds. When you do bring in new plants, keep them separate while you reassure yourself they are clean and not a source of future garden problems.

By: Jennifer Stackhouse

First published: July 2014

Related topics

Soil & Compost, All Gardens, Quarantine, Organic life
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