After taking a fair old winter hammering from all the rain in August spring has arrived and I for one welcome it with open arms. Not to say all that rain hasn’t been good for the garden but as the old saying goes “too much can kill you”. Or much more accurately it can kill your plants, lawns, driveways and your patience if your drainage and irrigation is not functioning correctly.
Lawn drainage can easily be sorted with a good aerating, using a fork for small areas or by mechanical means for larger tracts of grass. Aerating alleviates soil compaction built up over time and heavy traffic and will allow your lawn to soak up all that rain rather than allowing it to run off to where it is, most likely, not wanted.
Drainage in your beds can be improved by digging in some organic matter –compost, manure etc. Whilst giving all your shrubs a boost with vital nutrients at this time of year it will also assist in building a good soil structure that is vital for a healthy garden and importantly will save all your surface soil from washing away –especially with the kind of deluges we’ve been having of late.
For any other drainage issues with driveways, retaining walls or soggy corners of the yard where water is not running away correctly, an expert might well be needed to sort it out, especially if structural drainage work needs to be undertaken.
But enough of that, its spring! Time for planting and watching things grow! Your garden will be crying out for nutrients as it begins to unfurl its colourful wings from their winter slumber. Which means, apart from water, you’ll need plenty of fertiliser –pelletised for a gradual application or liquid one for a faster uptake. There’s plenty to choose from that are plant specific (important with natives) and don’t forget to mulch to retain at least some of the moisture built up from that gorgeous (sort of) rain!
Garden maintenance will go up a gear in spring but little and often is usually the best way to go. Maintaining a general tidiness can have you cruising through into summer with very little sweat on your part. I mean who doesn’t like dead-heading all the spent flowers or the look and smell of a freshly cut lawn?
The rain isn’t going to last forever (we hope) so an irrigation system to keep up regular water to everything wouldn’t go astray either. Existing systems can also use an overhaul to make sure they’re functioning correctly ahead of all that hot weather –can’t wait! And, weather permitting, construction in the garden can be tackled in early spring with a new deck, patio or paving sure to have you gathered around the barbeque all through spring, summer and beyond.
Winter has hopefully given us all time to contemplate and reflect on our outdoor needs and now is the time to hit the ‘go’ button. Work out a plan for your garden if you haven’t already and make a list of everything you’d like to get done. Sounds fanciful I know but the next few months can be very rewarding in the garden so you may as well enjoy the time you spend out there!