Spring is here and this is the right time to plan your patch of green. The season is one of the most exciting times for gardeners for you can plant almost anything. Whether you love growing flowers, veggies, ornamental shrubs and climbers or just want to renew your lawn, this is the best time of the year.
Apart from the wide variety of plants and shrubs, gardening in spring is extremely enjoyable too. The cold season is behind and the scorching sun is yet to reach its peak. The weather is mild and the outdoors is lovely.
It is the perfect time to spruce up your home with a lovely spring garden.
Before you get all excited, a little planning can give the best result for all your efforts.
Gather the Right Tools
The most essential tools that will reduce your workload include a multipurpose soil knife, hand rake, hand pruner, gardening scissors, bow rake, digging fork, hedge shearers and so on. And, of course, you will need a water hose of adequate length. This way you won’t have to carry around buckets of water.
All these tools have been specially designed to provide extra power so you dig soil or prune hardy shrubs without exhausting yourself.
It is best to visit a store specialising in gardening tools. Gardening stores have a wide range of tools so you can buy the ones that best suit the size of your patch of green.
Prepare the Soil
After a harsh winter, you need to prepare the soil well both for spring and summer. Start preparing the soil now if you want to see the desired results in the next few months.
The soil in Australia is predominantly salty in nature with little natural nutrients. Before planting your seeds, dig the soil well and add a little gypsum where the soil is quite clayish in nature.
Use mulch and manure instead of chemical fertilizers. These chemicals can cause long-term damage to the quality of the soil.
Use a rake to remove all dead growth from the grass and till the soil for better aeration.
Water the soil well and spread organic mulch all over to help the soil retain moisture. Apart from wood chippings, shredded leaves are also a good option for mulch.
Hay and straw also make for excellent mulch. They decompose quite slowly and will protect the soil throughout the growing season. Add leaves, straw and hay to encourage the growth of beneficial insects such as earthworms and spiders. These not only add nutrient to the soil but also keep pests in check.
Home-made compost also acts as good mulch and makes the soil nutrient-rich too.
De-weed and Remove Pests
Watch out for weeds and pests.
Weeds tend to grow profusely in the freshly prepared, well-nourished soil and will soon take over your garden. Use a rake to remove weeds before they spread out.
Watch out for pests such as aphids. They love feeding on the new shoots that come out in spring. Squash them by hand when the first batch of aphids begins to appear. If they are still spreading all over, use a good quality pesticide.
Slugs and snails also love chewing on new shoots. Take appropriate precautions to either trap them or deter their growth.
Sow the Seeds
Once the soil is well prepared and all the weeds and pests have been taken care of, it is time to sow the seed or plant cuttings. Spring is the best time to do this as there’s still moisture in the air while the sun is not that hot.
This is also the time to plant your perennials.
They will get enough time to take roots and establish themselves well into the soil before the scorching summer sun hits them.
Spruce Up Your Lawn
If your home is expansive enough to have a lawn, lucky for you!
However, winter takes its toll on grass and spring is the time to rejuvenate your lawn for a lush, green look. Use a garden fork to till the soil well in order to increase aeration. You can also use a mechanical aerator to reduce your workload and get better results.
Add a good-quality organic fertilizer to promote the growth of thick grass. If the lawn is replete with weeds like dandelions and clover, use a weed-and-feed product to kill the weeds while adding nutrient to the soil.
If you are laying a new turf, spring is the time to start. This way you get lush greenery all around which is so soothing in the coming summer months.
If you want a riot of colours around your home, spring is the time to begin.
Flowers such as:
- marigold or
are best sown now. They will be ready to flower and add colour to your green patch by the time summer arrives.
Spring is also the time for some glorious roses.
The leaves are fresh and bright-green and the buds start appearing around this time. Spray the plants at regular intervals to keep off fungal attacks and prune the branches that have already flowered.
Consider planting colourful leafy plants with leaves that are colourful enough to beat any flowering plant. The native Dianella with its shades of purple and blue or the New Zealand flax with beautiful leaves in pink, red or contrasting shades are excellent options when you want to add colour with leaves.
Spring Veggies and Herbs
Nature is at her bountiful best during spring and you should make the most of this by planting some veggies and herbs. After all, nothing tastes as great as freshly picked veggies or herbs from your kitchen garden.
Common spring vegetables include tomatoes, beans, capsicum, sweet corn, eggplants, pumpkins, squash, zucchinis, melons and cucumbers.
This is the best season to grow herbs such as basil. Other herbs that thrive well during spring include thyme, dill, rockets and coriander.