Spring is start­ing to take hold

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING - WALLY RICHARDS wal­lyjr@gar­de­news.co.nz

With the ad­vent of day­light sav­ing, the mad splash that is spring is well un­der way.

Day­light sav­ing makes no dif­fer­ence to our plants. They get up at sunrise and rest at sunset any­way.

A Na­tive Amer­i­can In­dian was re­fer­ring to day­light sav­ing when he said: ‘‘You can’t cut a length off one end of a blan­ket and sew it onto the other end to make a longer blan­ket’’.

A lit­tle thought at this time will help you make the most of the growth.

SPRING BULBS

Don’t re­move the fo­liage from spring bulbs when they fin­ish flow­er­ing.

This is when the fo­liage gath­ers energy from the sun to store in the bulbs so that they will flower well next spring. Re­move the fo­liage and you lose the next sea­son’s show.

Like­wise, un­til the fo­liage dies down nat­u­rally, do not lift the bulbs. In­stead, sprin­kle some sheep ma­nure pel­lets around and give them a dose of Fruit & Flower Power.

Only lift the bulbs to store for next au­tumn’s plant­ing af­ter the fo­liage dies down.

Some of the spent flow­ers may have formed seed pods and these can be har­vested when dry and planted in seedling trays to ger­mi­nate. It’s an in­ex­pen- sive way to ob­tain dif­fer­ent flower colours in the fu­ture.

WA­TER­ING

With warm­ing days and new sea­son’s growth you will need to wa­ter a bit more of­ten. Don’t over wa­ter young plants, just ap­ply suf­fi­cient mois­ture to pre­vent wa­ter stress.

Gar­den­ers on chlo­ri­nated town sup­ply should se­ri­ously look at putting a hous­ing and car­bon bonded fil­ter on their taps.

The chem­i­cal af­fects the soil life in­clud­ing earth­worms, and leads to leaf dis­eases.

Prob­lems? Ring me at 0800 466 464 (Palmer­ston North 357 0606). Email wal­lyjr@gar­de­news.co.nz. Web­site: gar­de­news.co.nz.

PHOTO: FAIR­FAX NZ

When spring bulbs fin­ish flow­er­ing wait un­til the fo­liage dies off nat­u­rally be­fore lift­ing and stor­ing for plant­ing out next au­tumn.

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