Spring is the Happy New Year for your garden. Find out how to get your garden looking blooming beautiful for the new season ahead.
Spring is the Happy New Year for your garden. With their infectious colour and intoxicating scent, even the smallest of spring flowers act as fireworks, and mark much cause for celebrating cultivation! And when it comes to sourcing fresh, pesticide free produce for friends and family, there is no better supplier than your own brilliant backyard, right?
It is all hands on deck in the dirt right about now if you want to get your soil prepared, bulbs planted and blooms a ‘blooming for months to come.
Let’s Start With: The Soil
Your garden is officially out of hibernation; so give it a good feed, incorporating some compost in the soil for good measure. This sets the foundation for happy herbs and fresher flowers so think slow organic release pellet-based fertilizer and well-rotted compost. Or go the whole hog and dig in some manure or worm castings to improve the structure of soil and ensure that it holds onto water and moisture coming into the warmer months.
If you are working with already planted bulbs and flourishing fauna, treat them intensively – whether they be planted areas or potted plants – with a granular soil wetter, which encourages penetration of foods and water, drawing both right into the root zone where its most needed.
Let’s Choose: The Seedlings
Green thumbs must always be one step ahead, so even though you are planting in spring, you must think ahead to summer right this very minute. That means planting seedlings that will stand the trials and tribulations of coming months. These include chilies, tomatoes, lettuce and strawberries, to name but a few. Sound expansive? Well, you actually don’t need a large lawn for these, as even the pokiest of vegetable patches will work as well as they are cultivated correctly.
Growing vegetables in containers – with a broad base to offer stability and good drainage holes to ensure excess water can be removed – is a perfect option for apartment-dwellers too. Prep them correctly with a base of quality potting mix rather than ordinary garden soils, as the latter lack necessary drainage and aeration.
In spring and summer, you will need to water twice daily, especially if you have placed your container in a windy position. Give your tomatoes some extra TLC, as they need more water, so a dish of water placed under the container is a surefire way to ensure soil is always watered.
Beyond what is in the potting mix, you need to physically supply your vegetables with fertilization, so go for a potting mix variety that contains a controlled level of release of fertilizer.
When it comes to flowers, you can literally take your pick of an array of kaleidoscopic options. Big winners are magnolias, freesias, boronias and lavender - the latter hitting all notes for scent and aesthetics. If you already have established blooms such as camellia’s, hibiscus or fuchsias trim them now to ensure they remain shapely whilst flowering into the coming months.
And if dainty flowers aren’t your thing, go for a gorgeous gargantuan option with hydrangeas, which can be grown easily – in semi shade with protection from strong winds – and work wonderfully well as cut flowers in a vase.
Let's Look At: The Extra Tips
Planting in spring enables anything you sow to become established by summer. Ideally the end of winter is the time to really prep, but it’s better late than never! Don’t forget to mulch with straw - such as sugar cane, lucern, pea straw or pine bark - to retain moisture in the ground. This is a top tip, as any retention of moisture now will ensure you don’t use as much water later in the hot summer climates, once the root network has established itself.