Spring is a beautiful and exciting time to get into the garden, longer days and warmer weather provide the perfect opportunity to green up your life! Here’s a few helpful tips to get you started.
1. Summer veggies.
It’s time to start sowing tomato, cucumber and zucchini seeds. Recycling old egg cartons are great for staring seeds, just fill with potting mix and plant one seed per compartment. Keep on a sunny window sill and mist daily with water.
Now is the perfect time to mulch in preparation for summer. Applying a layer of coarse mulch 2-6 centimetres deep on your garden beds will not only help to suppress weeds but will help to retain soil moisture and reduce your irrigation needs. Be aware that forest mulch is better suited to native gardens as pine can restrict growth and spreading of plants.
You can grow lettuce all year round but the warmer weather and higher rainfall of spring means they’ll grow rapidly and you’ll be eating home grown salads in no time!
The humble potato is incredibly easily to grow at home, and provides an exciting treasure hunt harvest for kids. Now that the chance of frost has passed, plant your seed potatoes 30-50cm apart and 10cm deep. While you can plant supermarket potatoes you’ll get a much better result by growing certified seed potatoes- available online and from most nurseries. Your potatoes will be ready to harvest in the summer once the leaves have died back. Our favourites are King Edward and Russet Burbank- perfect for roasting and chips.
Take care of your fruit trees to ensure a bumper summer crop. Keep an eye out for pests and disease. Spray your peach trees with a diluted copper solution when you see swollen leaf buds to prevent peach leaf curl (Taphrina deformans).
Spring is a great time to fertilise your garden and lawn because plants are actively growing. This means that your fertiliser will be taken up by the plants rather than leaching into the soil. Remember to dilute your fertiliser as per packet instructions and apply at ground level as fertiliser can cause leaf burn. If you’re growing native Australian plants be sure to use a low phosphorus fertiliser. We recommend Charlie carp.
7. Garden pests.
Aphids and scale are sap sucking insects that love the sweet nectar of young growth. These can be removed by washing leaves and stems by diluting 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid in a 500ml spray bottle and wiping with a damp cloth. Ants on your fruit trees and roses are also a good indication that you’ve got an aphid problem.
Having trouble getting the whole family to eat their greens? Spring is a great time to get kids involved in gardening. If you’re planting directly in the ground have a hunt for worms and other mini beasts. Giving kids the opportunity to get their hands dirty and grow veggies is a great way to teach responsibility and patience. You’ll find that once they’ve grown and harvested they’re own vegetables they’ll be a lot more likely to eat them. Also try getting involved in learning about Australian native edible plants, we have so many, Dianella berries, lemon myrtle, yam daisies & riberry’s are just a few of hundreds of species you can eat and jazz up any dish.
Prune your roses now to ensure beautiful blooms late in the season. By pruning your roses while they’re actively growing the pruning wounds heal quicker and they’ll be less prone to disease. Remember to cut your roses at a slight angle to allow water to run off, and never remove more than 30% of the plant.
A garden is constantly evolving- whether you’ve got a large back yard, a balcony or a window sill. No matter how much space you’ve got to work with- just give it a go. Perhaps you’ll use this spring to grow some herbs, perfect that front lawn or grow a new indoor plant. Remember not to be too hard on yourself- even the most seasoned gardener has their downfalls. Just get your hands dirty and enjoy!