Spring is a beautiful time in the garden, and with the better weather it is also
a time when gardeners like to be out working in the dirt.
It's not always easy to remember when to do what tasks in the garden - some
plants like a winter prune and others prefer a spring prune, but which is which?
So here are some quick tips to get you started this spring:
Look out for snails! They breed in spring so now is the time to get rid of them
before they eat all your veggies and flowers. If you choose to use baits, make
sure they are out of reach of children and pets - even the ones claiming to be
unattractive to them. Try a bowl or saucer of beer instead.
Now is the time to fertilise your lawn ready for the heat of summer. You can
feed it once or twice this month BUT be careful to not overfeed it, especially
if you are facing water restrictions.
Feed your citrus plants as this is a peak growth time for them. Repeat monthly
until February for potted citrus or in November, December and January for in
Put layers of mulch on your garden now before the heat hits. A thick layer of
mulch saves water and provides nutrients to the soil below. Spread the mulch out
but leave a gap around the stems/trunks of plants to allow water easy access to
Early spring bulbs, such as Daffodils, will be
finishing their flowering so remove dead flowers. Continue watering and feeding
the plants, though.
Top up your veggie patch now with the compost you made over winter from food and
Check out the growing times for any plants you want looking good for Christmas.
Gladioli take about 120 days to grow to flowers so plant them now.
Watch out for aphids on your rose bushes - it's
easier to deal with them before they take over! Good time to feed the roses as
Plant your summer veggies, both seeds and seedlings.
Some to consider are sweet corn, tomatoes, capsicum, beetroot, celery, eggplant,
carrots, pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini, squash and beans.
Plant any perennials and shrubs now so they are
established when the summer heat hits
Sow seeds for a new lawn, or to top up an existing
one. October is a great month for starting a lawn, but with water restrictions
still in place in many places you may struggle to succeed this year.
To keep flowering plants blooming, remove all the
dead heads from your flowers regularly.
Remove dead flowers from your rose bushes and then feed them. If you do this
quickly, you may get a second flowering. This is not time to prune the plants
Once they have stopped flowering, give your Azaleas and Camellias a feed.
Any orchids that need re-potting should be done this month once they have
stopped flowering. Remove the old flower spikes first and use a proper orchid
mix in the pot.
Give indoor pots a good watering and put them in the shade outside for a few
Pinch the growing tips and the first flower buds out of Petunias to encourage
more flowers and growth.
For a higher yield of fruit, now is a great time to heavily mulch your tomato
plants. Moist straw and old manure is a great combination.
Apply wetting agents to your garden beds and trees, especially to any plants
that are not getting enough water. This will help the plants survive during
another dry summer.
If you want to shape your Camellia bushes, prune
them in early spring (or even late winter) as soon as they finish flowering.
Otherwise, they don't really need any pruning
Early flowering shrubs, such as
Jasmine, Forsythia, Japonica and Diosma, should be pruned as soon as they finish
flowering. Climbers like Jasmine will end up a mass of tangled dry branches
under the new growth if you don't prune each spring.
Wisteria is a late spring flower so don't prune it
until the end of spring or even early summer. Don't be afraid of being tough
with Wisteria, or pruning again during summer, as it will take over your garden
and house quite happily!
Winter flowering wattles (note that different
Wattle species flower at different times) should be pruned once the flowers have
Azaleas and Rhododendrons respond well to a prune
after they stop flowering. The bushes will form better shapes with regular
Fruit trees are NOT to be pruned after flowering -
unless you don't want any fruit, of course!
Cut back passionfruit vines hard, even including
new flowers, as fruit only grows on new branches.
To get lots of Hibiscus flowers in late spring,
prune them in early spring. Take off about half of last year's growth if the
plant is strong enough.
For shape and appearance, you can also prune
natives once they have finished flowering. Wax flower, Banksia, Grevillea,
Boronia and Emu Bush like a light prune after flowers.
Ornamental blossom trees can be pruned after
Tash Hughes is a Mum of two in Melbourne. She is also a writer and owner
of Word Constructions. Tash is available to write articles and profiles for any
business, as well as doing other business documentation projects. You can see
her site and services at www.wordconstructions.com