As the garden begins to be more of a feature now that winter is over, there is plenty to do to ensure great results continue for the warmer and summertime months to come.
To provide maximum potential for certain plants to grow and flourish, early spring is often the final opportunity for you to plant, depending on where you are located. Tomatoes, citrus and other fruit trees for example can become susceptible to pests and disease problems as humidity and heat increases and there is potential for reduced fruit production. It is best to avoid planting these as we get closer to Christmas.
Below are my top areas to focus on in the garden over the coming weeks:
Rejuvenate the soil with compost or other organic matter such as cow or poultry manure to encourage rich growing conditions and cultivate through to provide distribution and aeration. This will ensure your soil is in the best condition and packed with nutrients for all of those shrubs, trees and hedges.
A good application of fertiliser that is well watered in is always ideal in spring. Avoid nitrogen based fertilisers for any fruit trees that are flowering or fruiting as this will only encourage foliage production. Instead, use a potassium based fertiliser to gain maximum results.
Most other plants will benefit from complete fertilisers that contain the main ingredients of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium with additional trace elements. Always read manufactures instructions to ensure suitability, for example native species prefer low phosphorus.
Magnesium can often be a deficiency that presents as yellowing between the veins of leaves and seen in gardenias, azaleas and camellias among others. It is easily corrected with an application of epsom salts diluted in water and applied to the soil.
Check all irrigation settings and hoses are in working order to provide deep watering as temperatures increase.
Mulch is an essential component to healthy garden and even more so as it gets warmer. Not only will it provide retention of moisture but weeds will have less chance of taking over. Most types of mulch will also slowly breakdown over time, providing additional nutrients to the soil.
Stay well and enjoy your time in the garden!
Horticulturist, Garden Maintenance Team