With days full of sunshine and beautiful blue sky days upon us we are all looking forward to hot summer days where we can sit back and relax in our garden areas. Before we get too excited about the warmer weather however, there are a number of important chores which must be attended to in your garden to ensure the best possible results during summer.
Garden Society's director Lyndall Keating shares these tips to help you blossom from a complete beginner to an avid backyard gardener.
Fertilse. Applying a good organic-based fertilise to your entire garden and pots this will dramatically help new growth and flowering. Liquid fertilisers are a great way to add nutrients to your plants now. An organic based pellet fertiliser is also encouraged. Even hardy succulents benefit from a good dose of fertiliser feed now.
If you are in the hot temperature regions of Australia, try adding a wetting agent to your fertiliser base. This will help maintain water in the soil for longer, particularly when those hot summer days arrive.
Planting. Early spring is an ideal time to start planting, as adding new plants to your garden will help rejuvenate and freshen the area. When planting, make sure the soil is rich with nutrients, try adding a seaweed based solution to help promote growth.
Lawns. For the ideal summer lawn, start weeding and feeding today. Grass is growing now, but you've probably already noticed this! To keep it looking its best, top dress any bare patches in the lawn, watering in well. Spray with selective weed killer to get rid of the bindii before the burrs harden in the warmer weather. Fertilising your lawn in the spring will also help it maintain its vibrant green colour and help maintain moisture during the hot summer months.
Pest and disease. Spray for physlid on all lillipilies and aphids on new shoot on roses and viburnums. A good horticultural oil will help keep plants pest and disease free. Saturate the plant and repeat in two weeks for best results. Also keep an eye out for aphids and scale on roses and gardenias, and leaf miner on citrus (spray every two weeks). Treat all types of plants with a horticultural oil every fortnight to keep them bug free.
Pot seedlings. If you enjoy hanging baskets or pots of flowers, now is the time to plant flowering seedlings in them so they will be ready for Christmas. Salvia, daisies, petunias, dianthus, alyssum, lobelia and begonias all look fantastic and grow well in pots or baskets.
Weeds. Try to keep on top of weeds before they start to flower and go to seed. Hand weeding and using a good thick layer of mulch will not only keep weeds at bay, mulch helps maintain soil temperatures and soil moisture, providing plants with the support needed to grow and perform better. If hand weeding is too much, there are a range of weed sprays on the market to help reduce the load. The hard work of spring gardening will be rewarded all the way through summer and autumn.