10 Aug Get Your garden ready for spring
The weather is starting to warm up. The days are getting longer and the weather has that feel to it that spring and summer will soon be upon us. As we start to see fresh new growth on a lot of our plants, we often get asked, “what should I do in my garden now to make the most of spring?” Well here’s our top 5 jobs to be doing in the garden now to get ready for spring.
Yes, the pain of all gardeners, the weed. Basically an unidentified plant in your garden, consider that it could be a weed – particularly if it is growing vigorously and you don’t remember planting it. The best way to keep them at bay is to weed frequently. Its important to remove them before they get too large or begin to flower.
The best time to weed is shortly after rain, not while the ground is drenched but while the soil is soft and damp, that makes pulling out the weeds nice and easy.
To make the job even easier, use the right tools. You’ll need a fork for flat weeds and a trowel for removing any weeds with deep roots, a bucket, and gloves. A screwdriver is also handy for getting weeds out from in between concrete.
To finish the job off properly its important to dispose of the weed properly so its seeds don’t fall onto your grass and the whole process begins again. Place weeds into a bucket or plastic bag as you work, then put them straight into the garbage (not the compost) when you’re done.
2. DEADHEAD SPENT FLOWERS
Now is the time to deadhead or cut off any spent flowers in your garden. This simple task will not only make your garden look tidy but it also encourages your plants to continue making new flowers instead of spending energy on producing seeds.
So when your flowering plants have blooms that are fading, brown, curled up, or otherwise looking unattractive, that’s your cue to pull out your garden scissors and start trimming the spent blooms away. You can often get a clue about which plants to deadhead and which to leave alone just by watching them. If the flowers stay on the plant and become brown and unattractive, it’s time to deadhead.
As the weather gradually warms up, garden plants will emerge from the slower dormancy of winter and will start to produce new growth. This new growth draws plenty of energy from the plants so keeping the nutrient level topped up with make for stronger, healthier new growth.
A pelletised fertiliser is ideal to apply at this time of year. The slow release fertilisers break down their nutrients over a longer period of time.
It’s best to choose a slow release fertiliser that is specifically formulated for your type of plant. For example, a Fruit, Citrus and Shrub fertiliser will have a slightly different nutrient combination to a fertiliser formulated for Native plants. We recommend the Searles range of granular fertilisers.
4. HARVEST YOUR WINTER CROP
Your winter crop will be nearing its harvest stage. If you’ve been growing tomatoes you should be enjoying the fresh, red jewels in all sorts of salads and stews. Beans and peas are spreading their green across your plates and the slower growing broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts are heading toward peak harvest size.
Help these final winter crops be their best with a good dose of organic material like blood and bone. It contains the best of organic plant boosters – organic blood and bone, organic phosphorus and natural potash for extra strength and plant colour, particularly fruits and vegetables. It’s fast acting and will give your vegetables the boost they need while preparing your soil for the next crop.
5. CHECK YOUR IRRIGATION
If you have an irrigation system installed in your garden, it likely hasn’t had a lot of use during the winter, (gardens generally don’t require as much water during the cooler months). Before the weather warms up it’s important to check your system.
Check for leaks in your hoses and fittings and repair them. Leaks mean that the water isn’t getting to the parts of your garden that require it and can create unwanted wet spots.
It’s also a good idea to flush your lines and check your drippers for any blockages.
Doing these garden jobs now will mean you are setting your garden up for the best possible growth in Spring.