Spring has started. What a great time for gardens, gardeners and gardening alike. Gardens are ablaze with colour, those bulbs you have so patiently waited for over winter are now showing off with their beautiful flowers. Many of the Australian native plants are showing off, with great displays of colour. The deciduous plants are awakening from their winter slumber with bursts of flowers and fresh spring foliage. A truly exciting time, in the garden.
WHAT TO PLANT NOW?
Lots of gardeners do not plant a lot of winter growing vegetables. However come this time of year they go all out to plant their favourite spring/summer growing vegetables. As the weather warms up over the coming weeks the variety of vegetables that can be planted becomes enormous. Carrots, Beetroot, Beans, Snow Peas, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Capsicum, Chilli, Eggplant, Pumpkins, Radish, Spring Onions, Lettuce, Silverbeet, Zucchini, Rockmelon just to name a few. Not all can be put into the ground just yet because of the soil still being cold and the nights still being chilly. Good tip for when you’re transplanting your seedlings into the ground or pots make sure to water them in with a seaweed solution which will help to reduce transplant shock and encourage your seedling to get off to a healthy start. You can however pot them up, and keep them protected from the cold ready to grow on a bit to be planted out towards the end of the month. Ask at your favourite garden centre what is best for your situation.
GROWING A HERB GARDEN
What would a garden or a kitchen be without fresh herbs? Spring is a great time to plant out herbs. Whether be they in gardens or pots even home should have some fresh herbs growing. Basil, Coriander, Parsley, Rosemary, Chives, Marjoram, Oregano, Mint, Rocket, Lemongrass, Bay Leaf, Curry Leaf, Sage, Thyme and so many more, just imagine what a poorer world we would eat in if it were not for these culinary plants.
COPING WITH WINDS
Spring weather conditions often mean that winds can increase a bit, which have an adverse effect on gardens. Watch out for damage to fresh new growth on plants by the wind. You may need to stake some plants as well as pruning off any damaged wood. Wind is also notorious for drying out soils, so you know what that means…. Mulch! Apply a 75mm layer of a Jeffries Mulch to your garden to help conserve what rain fell on your garden during winter. Mulch also helps to insulate soil from heat protecting your plants root zones as we move toward summer.
BRING IN THE BEES
Make sure to keep plenty of flowering plants in your garden to help attract the bees and other pollinators to your garden. They are your best friends as your fruit trees are flowering away awaiting the magic touch of the pollinators. Some good options are Alyssum, Cosmos, Borage, Hyssop, Basil, Rosemary, Lavender, Marigolds, Tansy, Bergamot, Sunflowers just to name a few.
GOOD VS. BAD BUGS
With all the new growth and life that spring brings it also hails the arrival of many new insects. So keep a close eye on your garden for any signs of insect infestations. Before deciding to kill them, find out if they are indeed ‘bad’ bugs that are damaging your plants or if they are beneficial insects that are doing good things for your garden. Keep in mind many ‘bad’ bugs are food for the ‘good’ bugs. So seek advice from your local garden centre staff on what they are and what to do about them.
REPOTTING HOUSE PLANTS
Houseplants will be starting to grow now as the weather warms up. If you find they are in need of re-potting then now is the time to get them a new slightly larger pot with fresh premium grade potting mix. Due to the massive number of houseplants and their differing requirements it is a good idea to ask at your favourite garden centre how to re-pot them. If you haven’t yet been bitten by the houseplant bug, then pop in and look at the myriad of plants available for indoor use, and experience the health benefits and general improvement to your home or office that plants can offer.
HOW TO GET RID OF WEEDS
With the weeds in the garden try to get rid of them before they flower and set seed. The old saying of ‘1 year’s seeds 7 year’s weed’ is a pretty good one to live by when it comes to weeding your garden.
When it comes to food, fresh is best and it doesn’t get any fresher than straight from your own backyard. So get outside and start planting your own fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs.