Spring is here and your garden will be looking its best during the following months. It’s a great time to get busy in the garden and as always there is much to do – plant, fertilise, water, mulch and weed.
Start spring by fertilising your whole garden. Use Dynamic Lifter (except in beds of natives) or a complete plant food product. Dynamic Lifter is an organic fertiliser that provides long term benefits with increased earth worm activity. An inorganic fertiliser such as Complete Plant Food provides plants with all nutrients that are essential for plant growth (organic fertilisers do not have all nutrients). Make use of both types of fertilisers and rotate them annually.
When creating hedges, ensure your hedge grows horizontally before it grows vertically, using a string line for a professional finish. Make sure the base of your hedge is a little wider than the top as this allows the sun to reach the lower parts of the hedge.
TIPS AND TASKS:
- If your garden bed is low on mulch, now is a good time to re-mulch. Leaf litter is recommended as it will progressively break down and return nutrients to the soil.
- Achillea, Canna, Chrysanthemum, Gerbera and other clump forming perennials can be lifted, divided and replanted at this time. Remove any dead or diseased parts before replanting.
- Create mystery in the garden – don’t have everything visible in one look. Include unexpected focal points and vistas.
- Plant summer flowering bulbs now: Amaryllis, Belladonna, Gladiolus, November Lily, Spider Lily etc.
- The yellowing of foliage on Gardenia indicates a shortage of magnesium. Feed with a complete fertiliser. If yellowing persists treat with a teaspoon of Iron Chelates and Epsom salts mixed in 18 litres of water.
- Lightly prune natives as soon as they finish flowering. Most will need to have their spent flowers removed as a minimum. Fertilise with native plant food, blood and bone etc.
- Spray Azalea flowers with Bayleton to protect against petal blight. Remove affected flowers and avoid watering over the flowers.
- In the vegetable bed plant beans, beetroot, cabbage, celery, cucumber, lettuce, pumpkin, tomatoes, watermelon etc. When planting ensure you do not plant the same vegetable in the same location, rotate them around.
- In the flower bed plant Ageratum, Aster, Cosmos, Marigold, Nasturtium, Petunia, Phlox, Salvia, Verbena, Zinnia etc.
- At bud swell apply Copper Fungicide to peaches and nectarines to control Leaf Curl.
- Check potted plants. Re-pot if necessary using a premium potting mix, water crystals and slow release fertiliser.
- Spray apples and pears for codlin moth at petal fall.
- Hibiscus can be pruned by about 50%. Poinsettia should be pruned down to leave only 2 buds per cane.
- Herbaceous perennials are sprouting. Control snails and slugs. Do not create clumps of snail bait, sprinkle it lightly.
Owner/operator of Artview Landscapes, Brian Baker is a talented landscape designer who has been managing, designing and building structured landscapes in Sydney for twenty five years. He has personally built or managed over 800 landscape construction projects ranging in value from $5,000 to $250,000 for residential projects and between $10,000 and one million dollars for commercial projects.