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Spring Gardening tips

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:

In September

Spring flowers icon 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.
Spring flowers icon
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.

Spring flowers iconFeed 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 ground plants.

Spring flowers iconPut 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 roots.

Spring flowers iconEarly spring bulbs, such as Daffodils, will be finishing their flowering so remove dead flowers. Continue watering and feeding the plants, though.

Spring flowers iconTop up your veggie patch now with the compost you made over winter from food and garden scraps.

Spring flowers icon 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.

Spring flowers icon 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 well.

In October

Spring flowers icon 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.

In November

Spring flowers icon 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 themselves.

Spring flowers icon Once they have stopped flowering, give your Azaleas and Camellias a feed.

Spring flowers icon 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.

Spring flowers icon Give indoor pots a good watering and put them in the shade outside for a few days.

Spring flowers icon Pinch the growing tips and the first flower buds out of Petunias to encourage more flowers and growth.

Spring flowers icon 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.

Spring flowers icon 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.

Spring Pruning

Spring flowers icon 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

Spring flowers icon 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.

Spring flowers icon 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!

Spring flowers icon Winter flowering wattles (note that different Wattle species flower at different times) should be pruned once the flowers have faded.

Spring flowers icon Azaleas and Rhododendrons respond well to a prune after they stop flowering. The bushes will form better shapes with regular prunes.

Spring flowers icon Fruit trees are NOT to be pruned after flowering - unless you don't want any fruit, of course!

Spring flowers icon Cut back passionfruit vines hard, even including new flowers, as fruit only grows on new branches.

Spring flowers icon 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.

Spring flowers icon 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.

Spring flowers icon Ornamental blossom trees can be pruned after flowering.


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




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