Here are our top tips for ways to ensure your garden makes the most of Spring. If you haven’t done these tasks yet, some fun weekend projects lie ahead!
Feed and fertilise
• Use slow-release fertiliser over your entire garden. This will be deeply absorbed into the soil when it rains, encouraging vigorous growth and flowering.
• Apply a complete lawn food to all grass-covered areas.
• Apply liquid fertiliser to to early plantings (you will need to wait until rhododendrons and azaleas have flowered though). Feed citrus before they start flowering
• Rake up leaves, old winter debris, thatch
• If you haven’t cut the lawn yet, it’s now due for its first mow if the grass is 7-8cm in height. Trim edges.
• Make new beds if the turf is looking a little sparse. Remove sections of old turf and use them to make new beds and start a new lawn. Also repair waterlogged or bare patches of lawn.
• In preparation for summer, mulch the whole garden to insulate it against the heat. Remove all weeds and encroaching grass first and ensure your mulch is 5cm thick.
• Top up mulch on all garden beds.
• Add compost to the soil of any annual, perennial and bulb plantings and dig over so they’re ready for new plantings.
Plant and Re-pot
• Ensure your garden is prepared and extended if necessary to accommodate new plantings. Check that you are thinking about the space a plant needs as it grows, before planting and refer to plant labels for further information.
• Begin planting seedlings in garden beds, large pots and containers. Re-pot into larger pots if required, trim roots or if you are re-using an old pot, be sure to freshen up the potting mix.
• Don’t forget your indoor pot plants! Give them plenty of attention as well.
• Finish planting any shrubs, bare-rooted trees and vines.
• Sow the seeds of and plant early-flowering spring annuals that will add instant colour to your garden (try daffodils, polyanthus and tulips).
• Consider planting herbs such as basil and parsley in a window box or pot. Grow vegies ready for summer salads like snowpeas, cucumbers and tomato. If you’re planting tomatoes (as well as tall shrubs and fruit trees), you should check to see if you need to buy any stakes to encourage optimum growth.
• Remove any spent flowers and prune any frost-damaged growth.
• Clip back any wayward shrubs that are fast-growing and summer-flowering, such as hibiscus, by one third. Prune azaleas after they flower.
• Make way for spring growth by removing old canes or stakes from grasses and perennials.
• Once or twice weekly, you should be watering with deep soakings as roots go deeper and are less vulnerable to heat than in summer.
• Clean out leaves and floating debris from pools and ponds. You can add this to your compost.
• If you have a pool, check the the edges for winter damage and repair or replace if needed.
• Dead-head roses (you’ll need to select any flowered stem that is the same length as what you’d put into a long vase).
• Spray areas that are weed prone and often overlooked such as pathways, garden beds and paved areas.
• Pull up any early weeds from ponds or water features.
• On new growths of annuals, perennials and bulbs, check for aphids and kill them. Use sprays to control pests on flowers and vegetables.
Clean, mend and repair
• Clean outdoor furniture, ready for summer barbecues and celebrations.
• Clean and service all garden equipment.
• Check lawn mower blades, spark plugs and exhaust are fully functional and repair or replace if required.
• Clean irrigation systems and filters. Check pool or water feature equipment is working and get serviced if needed.
• Test swimming pool pH and amend levels if necessary.