WITH warmer weather and sunshine finally arriving, John Arnott, manager of horticulture at Victoria's Royal Botanic Gardens, said this spring is looking like a bumper time for gardens. "Now is the perfect time to be fertilising and feeding your garden," he said. "Warmer and longer days promote active plant growth making spring the ultimate time to get out in your garden."
To make sure your garden reaches its full potential and looks beautiful all season long, you can follow Mr Arnott's expert spring gardening tips below:
1. Prune after plants have flowered: Pruning during spring promotes vigorous growth and bushy plants. The rule of thumb when it comes to pruning is that you should only do it after your plants have finished flowering.
2. Rejuvenate your hedges: Spring is the time to shape up and bring your hedges to life using a hedge trimmer. Regular trimming will give you a nice dense hedge, so this should be done as often as required. Trimming off the tips will allow sunlight and airflow deep down into the hedge and encourage new lush growth the whole way through.
Now is the perfect time to be fertilising and feeding your garden.John Arnott, Horticulture Manager
3. Mulch to retain moisture: Mulching greatly assists with retaining moisture levels in your soil, particularly leading into summer when rainfall becomes sparse. Shredding garden waste with a garden shredder will help the process of creating mulch and compost and will take you half the time. Not only is this a great way to produce a dense, nutrient rich mulch or topsoil, it's also an easy and cheap way to dispose of your garden waste.
4. Bring your lawn back to life: As the weather warms up, mowing should be done on a weekly basis. Weekly mowing encourages the lawn to grow sideways, producing a nice thick and uniform lawn. If the grass is not mowed regularly and allowed to get too long, there will be a lack of sunlight hitting the lower parts of the grass blades, resulting in yellow patches. If your lawn needs a bit of love after a long, frosty winter, aerating your lawn and removing the thatch will allow rainfall and sunlight deep down into the roots, promoting new, lush growth.
5. Brush weeds away: Just as garden trees and shrubs put on a flush of growth in spring, the same applies to garden weeds which also grow quickly at this time of year. Staying on top of weeds can be a bit of a challenge, however giving them a regular tidy with your grass trimmer and your brushcutter will ensure they don't grow into an even bigger problem.
6. Plant! Plant! Plant! Spring is a great time to be planting as you are able to take advantage of moist soils, increased sunlight, and warmer temperatures, all of which facilitate the establishment of new plants. Planting now will ensure that plants have healthy active roots, and become settled in their new homes well ahead of the typically drier months.
7. Tree management: As the weather gets warmer, tree management involves inspecting and observing changes - especially during dry, hot spells where extra watering may be required. Tree inspections are an important part of risk management and are carried out on a regular basis, particularly after strong winds and storms.