Spring is upon us, bringing with it everything that makes it pleasurable –from the smell of the new flowers in bloom, to the warm weather that brings the wildlife out from their winter digs. The days start to grow longer as the temptation to stay outside returns and, of course, the barbeque starts to make a more regular appearance.
Whether it’s planting some seeds, staking out a new vegetable patch, a kitchen herb garden or just sitting back in the sun with a Pimm’s and watching the flush of new spring growth, spring, however you choose to spend it, should be spent outdoors –rain notwithstanding of course.
For those of you that have hibernated this winter and left the garden to fend for itself, a weekend of solid work will have things in short order –and for those of you that did do some preparation, however small, the more enjoyable work can begin all the sooner!
And speaking of the rain, with all the wet weather we’ve been having, make sure the ground has dried out before you start waltzing through your garden beds –otherwise you could be looking at a muddy quagmire before too long. A good test is to grab a handful of soil and if it feels sticky and wet, rather than crumbling away nicely, leave it to dry out for a bit longer.
If that’s the case, there are other jobs you can start. You can re-pot any plants and shrubs that have outgrown their living quarters and all your other pots can have their potting mix jazzed up. Do this by simply scraping away the top third of the old mix and replacing it anew –sprinkle some slow release fertiliser on top and you’re done. You might find some fat white grubs in your pots when you’re doing this –these are white curl grubs (often mistaken for witchety grubs) and they will munch on the roots (and your lawn) if given the chance. Luckily the magpies and kookaburras (or chooks) love to eat them!
It’s also a good time to fill any gaps you may have in your garden beds with new or relocated shrubs/trees –if you are transplanting give whatever you’re relocating a good drenching with seaweed solution beforehand, minimizing any transplant shock. Everything else could use a good feed while you’re at it –spread some blood and bone about or a general fertiliser to give the garden a kick start and then mulch, mulch, mulch! The beds will need to keep moist as the weather warms up and the mulch will also cut down on weeds.
If there is any hard landscaping you want done, such as paths, retaining walls etc then now is the time to get a quote. The same goes for any tree removal, stump grinding/removal and pruning you can’t do by yourself. Prune away any dead branches or any frost damage you may be unlucky enough to have had –basically just give everything a spruce up and then sit back and watch it all happen (Pimm’s or cold beer optional of course).
Other jobs you can do this month:
- check for scale on your citrus trees; a dose of white oil will sort it out.
- prune hedges back hard to get the shape in order.
- rake the lawn if you haven’t already, to remove the dead thatch and encourage new growth.
- clean up last seasons perennials and generally tidy up any shrubs and trees you think could use it.
- get active with weeding. Now is the time to sort them out before they become a problem.