Spring has sprung, buds are bursting, flowers are appearing everywhere and the grass needs mowing. Now is the time to feed everything in your garden.
Of course I am not going to cover every aspect of what needs to be done in your garden, as climates vary greatly in Australia and it would probably bore the pants of you. Here in the Southern Highlands as you might know, we live in a cool climate. We have chocolatey volcanic soil..... sorry to all the people with clay and sandy soils. Don't worry I have had my day with challenging soils too. I get to grow all those lovely plants that coastal dwellers would struggle with. Think English gardens!
Even so, we still prepare our gardens in much the same way, so I will run through the more common plants that most people tend to have in their gardens and in pots.
ROSE PRUNING AND FEEDING
The idea behind pruning roses is to get a nice and open centre, almost like a 'U' shape with a ball shape around it. Any smaller branches in the middle needs to be removed. You might think it's a bit drastic but a hard prune will reward you with prolific flowering.
Generally It's best to prune to an outward facing bud, like the above photo. We prune later here because of frosts. People that live in warmer climates will have already finished that job.
I use Sudden Impact for Roses and find this to be the best one out of all the fertilisers that I have tried over the years. When I worked in the Nursery Industry, Sudden Impact was definitely one of the better fertilisers and we achieved fantastic results.
Pick flowers regularly and that way you will always keep the rose bush mini pruned. Look at how your rose bush will reward you......a house full of roses.
Use compost in your garden to enrich your soil and
make it more friable and moisture retentive.
New season’s dahlia tubers can go into well-prepared, sunny garden beds.
Feed camellias with Azalea, Camellia & Rhododendron food after they finish blooming. Any trimming should be done at this time.
Plant a citrus, just remember the 3 main requirements - lots of sun, good drainage and feed regularly. Citrus are hungry plants and need fertilising every 2 or 3 months with a complete fertiliser. Spring is the time of the year when lemon trees put on a lot of leggy growth on the top of the tree. This needs to be removed to make the tree a more manageable height for harvesting fruit and also it will let more air into the centre of the tree. Mulch with pea straw to keep weeds down.
You can start planting your spring vegies and herbs now. Vegetables that enjoy cool to mildly warm weather, that are not going to be troubled by late frosts.
In warmer coastal areas you can get a head start on planting tomatoes. Cooler areas - sow tomatoes indoors, ready to plant out once the soil is warmer.
Cut or pluck dead flowers from bulbs, but allow their leaves to die down naturally. Then feed with a soluble fertiliser until leaves start to yellow. That way you will get a great show of flowers next year. Don’t be tempted to tie the foliage in knots for tidiness. I have this debate with my husband each year, as his dad used to tie the green strappy leaves back in Wales.
Visit open gardens in your area to be inspired and gather some great ideas.
A great place to check and see what's open in your region is Open Gardens of Australia just click on the link for dates.
After a long cold winter it's time...... time to get out there and do those few garden chores.
You will then be ready for those long sultry Summer months, when you get to kick back, relax and enjoy all your outdoor entertaining with.......your beautiful garden as a backdrop.