A lot of stress is placed on a tree in your garden which is why it is important to give them the nutrients they need for normal growth and development -a tree in your backyard is very different to the same species in its natural environment. Now is a good time to apply a high nitrogen fertiliser to your trees and shrubs but be careful before you start adding fertiliser willy-nilly. Your trees will usually tell you what they need but if you’re unsure you can always do a soil test to see what it is that your soil may be lacking.
Pelletised fertilisers are good for slow release but take a little while to kick in, whereas soluble ones are handy for an instant dose. General purpose fertilisers usually have an N-P-K ratio -defined as the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content, but again if you are unsure it’s best to seek some advice. Young trees also shouldn’t be over-fertilised as the roots can damage quite easily.
Now, to mulching. You know me, I’m always reminding you to mulch your garden and I’ll keep reminding you because of all the benefits that it brings. Mulching helps retain the moisture in your beds, with some organic mulches like lucerne, pea straw and sugar cane even breaking down and adding nutrients to your soil. If you’re after a more robust mulch then look for varieties of bark chips or even go for gravel, scoria or pebbles for a more permanent solution.
It’s important to apply mulch properly. Check the levels of your mulch before you add more. Somewhere between 2cm and 6cm is about ideal but with some of the straw-types of mulch you can go a little bit thicker. Remember to also leave space around the trunk or stem as collar rot can develop if organic matter is allowed to build up against it.
There are lots of things you can add to your garden for an ideal start to spring -just remember to make sure you are giving your garden exactly what it needs and you can’t go wrong… well, let’s say, rarely go wrong.