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What your garden wants: A spring gardening checklist

What your garden wants: A spring gardening checklist

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, it’s not Christmas – it’s spring! Which is kind of like Christmas for gardeners if you think about it. It’s the season of growing, greening, and blooming. The days are getting longer, the weather’s getting warmer, and the birds are singing louder! 

With so much new life and growth, spring is a busy time for us gardeners and it’s hard to know where to start. So, to help you prepare for your spring our resident plant nerds decided to get in touch with our garden for some spring gardening tips. Here’s what our garden had to say:


Gardeners: How do we prepare for spring gardening

Garden: Dear Gardeners, thanks for reaching out! It’s so kind of you to think of me during this hectic time. As you know, spring is my busiest season. There’s so much to organise and get ready for summer. And you know what? I really could use your help! 

There are lots of things you can do to assist me this spring so we can both get the most out of the season. To help you, help me, I have answered your spring gardening questions below. 


Gardeners: How much watering do you need in spring?

Garden: Growing plants is thirsty work yo! As the days get warmer and longer, I need more to drink. Just think about all of those new roots, shoots, leaves and blooms I have to support. Plants need regular watering to thrive as they reach out and grow. 

It’s important to remember that in Australia spring occurs in the dry season, so while we might get a bit of rain, odds are you’ll need to help me out. In winter, most of my plants are happy with 30mm of water each week, but in spring they need more. It’s time to up the watering to 30mm of water twice a week for plants, 3 times a week for the lawn, and once a week for any Australian native plants


Gardeners: What should I be planting in spring?

Garden: Spring is a great time for planting flowers, fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. So, if you’re asking yourself the question: When should I start planting? The answer is now! Want to get your veggie patch ready for summer? 

Want to get some seedlings into the ground? Here are my top picks:

  • Star Jasmine – beautifully scented with dark foliage, these guys bloom in summer and are perfect for hedging, climbing or ground cover.
  • Syzygium – perfect for hedging and screening out nosy neighbours, this summer flowering native has glossy green leaves and bronzy new foliage.
  • Gardenias – great for hedging or along fences, this tall growing, evergreen has heavily perfumed flowers that appear during spring and summer.
  • Murrayas  – or mock orange, are beautiful evergreens perfect for hedging, with deep-green foliage and citrus-smelling blooms in spring and summer.
  • Photinia – another great hedging plant with vibrant new red foliage and white blooms in spring, this hardy plant grows well in all Australian climates.
  • Lomandra – perfect for borders, this Australian native clumping grass, has vibrant green leaves and pretty, little cream flowers that pop up in spring.
  • Zoysia – did someone say no-mow grass? Ideal for in-between pavers and rocks, this soft, lush, textured grass will instantly green up your spring!
  • Rhaphiolepis – these spectacular evergreens have stunning, star-shaped spring blooms that pollinators just love. For a real spring classic, you can’t go past Rhaphiolepis Springtime. Springtime is its name and game!

  • If you’re keen on some spring flowering Australian natives, you can also plant some waratahs, kangaroo paw, bottlebrush or everlasting daisies. For best results, make sure you check that the plants you choose are suitable to your growing region!


    Gardeners: Is spring a good time for pruning?  

    Garden: Yes, yes and yes! Late winter to early spring is a great time to prune. Many of your deciduous trees will be looking leggy and woody, so it’s great idea to cut off any dead branches or stems so the trees can put all their energy into growing newer stronger ones. When pruning, try to create clean cuts nearer to the trunk or main stem without tearing the bark to reduce entry points for pest or disease.


    Trees and shrubs that bloom summer to autumn are also best pruned in early spring when their annual growth begins. Keep an eye on your spring flowering trees and shrubs as they should be pruned right after they finish flowering to increase blooms next season. 

    https://www.plantsinabox.com.au/collections/secateurs


    Gardeners: How about fertilising?

    Garden: Oh yeah! Fertilising is an important part of spring gardening. With all this growing, your plants are going to need all the energy and nutrients they can get. Spring is the perfect time to feed your plants, so they get an added boost as we head into the warmer months. This is especially important for hungry fruit trees and vegetables, roses, gardenias, hibiscus and other ornamentals. It’s also a great time for fertilising your lawn. When it comes to fertilising Australian natives, make sure you only use native fertiliser, otherwise you will burn the roots and leaves!


    Gardeners: And mulching? Is spring a good time for that?

    Garden: Yes absolutely! Spring is an ideal time to add some extra mulch. Once you're finished planting out, it’s time to add a fresh layer of mulch around your new babies. Re-mulching my garden beds will keep the ground nice and moist throughout the rest of spring and into summer as the temperature rises. Better yet, by mulching now, you can nip weeds in the bud and stop them sprouting, which means next-to-no weeding in summer!          


    Gardeners: Is there anything else I should do?

    Garden: Keep an eye out for pest on new leaf and bud growth. Most pests will lay dormant throughout winter and then start causing mischief as the days warm up. Some common culprits include: 

     

  • Snails and slugs – these slimy critters attack plants in the early morning or night and love to munch on tender foliage.
  • Bronze orange bugs – these orange sap suckers love citrus trees and flowers and target young stems and new growth.
  • Mealy bugs – these fuzzy, white, terrors suck sap like vampires and then cover leaves with a sticky sweet substance that attracts ants and sooty mould.
  • Azalea lace bugs – another sap sucker, these buggers target azaleas and rhododendrons and cause leaf mottling, leaf-drop and eventually plant death.
  • Citrus leaf miners – these diggers tunnel through new citrus leaves and then pupate inside, creating distorted leaves.

  • If you’re looking for eco-friendly, plant protection, try Eco-neem – a registered organic insecticide perfect for controlling various sucking and chewing pests. Just remember neem oil isn’t suitable for edible plants that grow fruits, veggies or herbs. If you're looking for a solution for edible plants, try Eco-oil instead!


    Time for some spring gardening!

    Garden: What are you waiting for? Stop beating around the bush and let’s get this spring sprung! If you have any other questions about spring gardening, then I’m sure the team at Plants in a Box can help! You can chat to their resident plant nerds anytime via their support center!


    Well, I better get back to it! You know me, flowers to bloom, leaves to shoot!
    Love Always,
    Your Garden xxx

     

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