Now that Spring is here it’s time to get back out in the garden. You may have noticed blossoms and now new leaves and new growth in your garden which means plants are coming out of their winter dormancy. Here are some things you can do to prepare your garden for summer…
– Screen trees such as Waterhousia, Ficus, Syzygium etc can be pruned to encourage new growth. This come be done by simply clipping the ends of branches to neaten the tree up, or you can be a little bit more aggressive to promote strong new growth. A common approach by a lot of people is to not clip the tops of their screen trees, however clipping the tops will help the trees become fuller through the middle and therefore providing better privacy. Don’t worry, the trees will still grow taller but with a more dense and healthy habit.
– Certain strappy leaf plants can be fully clipped back. This is something that can be done from early winter until early spring. Some strappy leaf plants don’t require clipping so be sure to check with your local Green Thumb, nursery or google!
– Lawn is also coming back to life after the cold Melbourne winter and now is the perfect time to rid it of weeds like Winter grass, Clover and Bindi (prickles). The best way to do this is in two simple steps…Firstly get yourself a hand held pump spray pack and spray you grass with a Winter Grass weed killer. Then 7 to 14 days later you can spray it again but this time using a Bindi & Clover killer which should cover most broad leaf weeds as well. You can get all you need from Bunnings. Try to avoid using “Weed & Feed” as it won’t work well and you need to put too much onto the ground meaning lots of chemicals. Using chemicals that target certain weeds through a spray bottle is a much better approach. Make sure you follow the mixing instructions as using more is simply a waste.
Fertilising both your garden beds and lawn can also be done. There are numerous options on the market for your garden but I find the sandy slow release fertiliser the easiest to apply and works well. There are also a number of slow release lawn fertilisers available. During summer you could also give the garden a boost with Seasol which can be applied monthly. I prefer to use a watering can for Seasol and follow mixing instructions.
– Mulching…Although some people like the decorative appeal of a pine bark and coloured pine bark, it offers very little benefit to your garden. Try using a quality mulch that will help the soil retain water, minimise evaporation and break down over time to give some nutrients back to the soil. You can have this delivered from your local garden supplies for usually $20. Ask for Euchy mulch, Mulch Master or something similar.
– Vegetable patches…if you are like most then you only really plant and maintain a vege patch over the warmer months. Pick up some bags of compost and pea straw and dig it into the soil now so it has time to breakdown. Come the 1st of November your vege patch will be ready to go.
Time to get those hands dirty!