Getting ready for spring
It’s time to crack on in the garden before the end of winter, writes Robyn Willis
The weather might still be a little cool outside but your garden is almost ready to burst into new season growth.
With spring just around the corner, it’s time to seize the day and get a handle on all those last minute winter tasks.
Director of Landart Landscapes Matt Leacy, says it’s your last chance this season to get stuck into pruning overgrown trees, shrubs and vines before they start setting new growth.
“Gardens need a thorough trim and tidy up after the autumn and winter seasons,” he says.
“Ensure that any ornamental grasses like poa and miscanthus are cut to about 100 to 200mm above the ground and that any shrubs that like to flower in spring, like bottlebrush, are pruned well before their flowering month.”
Weeds are a gardener’s arch nemesis but they are much easier to deal with before they begin to flower and set seed.
If you haven’t already, Matt says it’s a good idea to really get stuck into the weeding.
“Make sure any weeds that may have sprouted during the previous season are pulled out and completely removed from the garden,” he says.
Perennial weeds like stinging nettle are best dealt with at this time of year, although be sure to wear garden gloves.
Weeds with bulbs, like onion weed, are often easiest to remove when the soil is still damp. Be sure to get all the bulbs or risk the plant growing against next season.
Alternatively, you can starve weeds of light with heavy mulching, which will benefit the whole garden.
“Mulch will be your best friend in preparing for the summer,” Matt says. “It provides insulation and is a handy way to keep your soil cool and moist while acting as a protective layer from the summer heat — it will also keep the weeds at bay.”
Be careful not to mulch against tree trunks or plant stems because excess moisture may cause the stems to rot.
“A depth of around 70mm to 100mm is a good thickness, and remember to keep topping up the mulch as the summer goes on,” Matt says.
Easily biodegradable mulch works best such as layers of damp newspaper covered in a thick layer of sugar cane mulch.
If you’re keen to start a vegie patch, it’s the perfect preparation for your seedlings.
The most enjoyable aspect of spring is the arrival of new buds and flowers.
Matt says late winter and early spring is a good time to introduce new, young plants to your garden before the heat of summer starts to set in
“It gives the plant time to settle and the best chance of surviving the summer heat,” he says.
Consider going with hardy plants such as westringia, ornamental grasses and casuarina, he says, so you can spend less time working and more time enjoying your garden.
The PowerGear X ByPass tree lopper from Fiskars makes easy work of tree branches.