A few days of rain to start off spring, whilst disappointing to some, is just what the (garden) doctor ordered after a relatively dry August. Even in the cooler months your garden can dry out, so it’s important to keep moisture levels up, but not wet. But hey, it’s spring now, and that welcome splash of rain is perfect to get everything underway.
The days in particular have started to warm up. The sun, shining away in a beautiful, cloudless, blue sky, with flowers creeping out of their winter slumber is really what spring is all about. Before you know it, the shorts will make an appearance and the BBQ, repetitive lawn mowing and garden maintenance will all be in full swing. Just remember to slop on plenty of sunscreen!
And with any splash of rain it’s important to lock away that moisture in your garden with a bit of mulching. You might want a decorative bark or gravel for a weedy or shaded area, or if you want it to break down and add nutrients to the soil, a pea or lucerne mulch is a better choice. The main thing is to stop your beds from drying out, with the chance of an extended dry spell never that far away.
The spring growing period is the heaviest of the year so regular watering is of the utmost importance –especially when establishing something new. Even ‘drought hardy’ trees and shrubs will need an initial period of regular watering to help them along in their early stages.
To make life easy it’s a great time to install an irrigation system. It’ll take a lot of the guesswork out of watering and is well worth the investment. Some of them even have rain sensors to make sure your plants aren’t getting too much water! Give existing irrigation an overhaul to ensure they’re functioning. If installed correctly, an automated irrigation system will save you a lot of time and hassle.
Gardens are also at their hungriest over the next few months with just about everything needing a feed to fuel, promote and maintain new growth. Spring is actually a good time to give your entire garden its annual feed –but it’s important to know your plants and their requirements.
With flowers the real stars of spring, potassium (K) is important in encouraging good, healthy blooms; just as nitrogen (N) is good for leafy growth and phosphorus (P) for all-round plant health (hence the NPK labels on the packets). The needs and types of trees and shrubs you may have (i.e. natives need a special fertiliser) will generally dictate what you should feed them and when. Lawns will obviously benefit from a high nitrogen fertiliser to encourage a lush, green carpet.
But back to the BBQ-ing! An outdoor entertaining area is a must now the weather is warming up. Maybe yours could use a freshen up, decks and pavers cleaned and repaired and outdoor furniture spruced up for those countless evenings of relaxation on the horizon.
If you don’t have an existing space outside in which to enjoy all the beautiful spring and summer days and evenings ahead, then now is the time to have one created for you. Because, rest assured, once it’s in, you’ll be forever wondering what you ever did without it!