Gar­den prepa­ra­tion

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

Spring is nearly upon us and it’s time to rid your­self of the dark cloak of win­ter and that also means it’s time to look at where your gar­den is at.

It’s a fair bet that a wide va­ri­ety of weeds have taken up res­i­dence and with the warmer tem­per­a­tures are now start­ing to ap­pear in numbers there­fore it’s im­por­tant to im­pede their progress at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble time.

Ev­ery gar­dener knows that weeds need no en­cour­age­ment to flour­ish par­tic­u­larly those that spread rapidly and if you don’t want your sec­tion look­ing like an un­tamed wilder­ness the sooner you set to the bet­ter.

The main goal here is to get all the de­bris out of the gar­den in or­der to pro­vide those plants your re­ally want with the op­por­tu­nity to ma­ture prop­erly.

Start by cut­ting back any dead plant ma­te­rial and re­move any plants that have suc­cumbed dur­ing win­ter, how­ever don’t be in too big a hurry to turn the soil over.

If you find that when you grab a clump it’s still wet and gluey leave that job un­til the ground is drier, usu­ally you only have to wait a week or two.

Nev­er­the­less, you can weed with en­thu­si­asm. At this time of the year weeds have not had the time to es­tab­lish deep roots and, with the help of a gar­den fork or trowel, it’s pos­si­ble to re­move any un­wanted fo­liage with­out any con­certed ef­fort.

If you have spread mulch on the gar­den prior to win­ter, this can be re­plen­ished and spread evenly over the whole flower bed.

Any ma­te­rial that’s not re­ally re­quired such as a build-up of sod­den leaves, twigs or small branches from trees should be re­moved and used in the com­post.

Over time this ma­te­rial will break down suf­fi­ciently to use on the gar­den at a later date.

Trans­plant any ex­ist­ing shrubs you want to move be­fore they be­gin to leaf out and cut back or­na­men­tal grasses.

Get­ting on top of the weed­ing now means a lot less work later and while you are out in the gar­den you may also come up with one or two new ideas as to how to en­hance it’s over­all ap­peal.

But, re­gard­less of how splen­did a spring gar­den may be it’s charm can soon be lost if the lawns aren’t in sinc.

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