in the garden
Colour up your spring with containers filled with seasonal bloomers. You’ll find polyanthus, primula, cineraria, nemesia and lots more in nurseries now.
Plant edible flowers
for adding visual zing to your cooking. Good starters include scented geraniums, nasturtiums, pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis) and borage.
Repot plants that are getting too squeezy. Either plant into larger pots or, if necessary, carefully trim the outside of the rootball and slide back into the same pots. Either way, work in new potting mix.
Consider a hot display of dahlias for late summer, by planting them now. Before planting tubers, dig in plenty of compost to give them a good start.
Save toilet rolls to protect newly-sown seeds. Bury the rolls vertically four-fifths
deep into the soil and sow a few seeds into the top of each. In time, the rolls will rot away, leaving the seedlings happily growing.
Smarten gravel paths
by spraying weeds with a herbicide or, for a more eco-friendly option, pull them by hand. Treat native plants to a shaping spring clip, to encourage fresh growth. If they’re in flower, wait till after the blooms have finished.
Give gardenias a postwinter check up. A good traditional pick-me-up, if leaves are yellowing, is a dose of epsom salts mixed in about nine litres of water.
Feed lawns now with a good organic fertiliser. Also, raise mower blades a few extra centimetres, to protect soil from sun and reduce evaporation of moisture.
Start early tomatoes
outdoors. In cooler regions, hold your planting until about Melbourne Cup Day (6 November).
Treat flowering roses
to a ration of rose food. And don’t be afraid to pick a few flowers for an indoor vase display.