Get gar­dens back into shape

Cockburn Gazette - - GARDENING - Sara Fitz­patrick

LET’S face it – most of us have let our gar­dens ‘go’ over the wet sea­son.

Our at­ten­tion has been on home in­te­ri­ors, en­sur­ing in­door plants are cared for and rugs, lamps and prints are on­point.

With spring fi­nally here, now is the time to shift fo­cus back on to the yard, en­sur­ing our out­doors are ready for sum­mer.

Char­lie Daw­son from Daw­son's Gar­den World shares his top eight jobs for spring.

1. Feed roses – roses like reg­u­lar fer­til­is­ing, so feed ev­ery 4 to 5 weeks from now un­til mid May. Use a qual­ity all-pur­pose fer­tiliser or spe­cial­ist rose fer­tiliser and re­mem­ber al­ways wa­ter in well. 2. Lawn care – as days lengthen and grad­u­ally get warmer, all turf species will en­ter an ac­tive growth phase: this is an im­por­tant time to feed your lawn. I sug­gest Eco Emer­ald: a low-phos­pho­rous, river-friendly rock min­er­al­based fer­tiliser. 3. Con­trol lawn weeds – use a se­lec­tive lawn her­bi­cide to rid the lawn of com­mon weeds like bindii. The best time for bindii con­trol is early spring be­fore these plants flower and de­velop seed cap­sules. 4. Pre­pare and plant sum­mer vegeta­bles – pre­pare your vegetable beds now for plant­ing and try to get a lot of the plant­ing done be­fore the heat ar­rives. 5. Be­gin fruit fly con­trol – mediter­ranean fruit fly con­trol in Perth is dif­fi­cult, but not im­pos­si­ble. Trap­ping should con­tinue all year, in­clud­ing win­ter. The best ap­proach is prob­a­bly a com­bi­na­tion of trap­ping, some bait spray­ing/ ap­pli­ca­tion and some ex­clu­sion. 6. Mon­i­tor roses for fun­gal in­fec­tions – black spot is an en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­ease and trou­ble­some when the nights are still cool and damp, like the pe­riod early in the sea­son over Septem­ber to late Oc­to­ber. To con­trol it, some pre­ven­ta­tive spray­ing is re­quired. Spray­ing at 1-2 week in­ter­vals over sus­cep­ti­ble pe­ri­ods is a good idea. 7. Con­trol cater­pil­lars – cater­pil­lars are on the march in spring, tar­get­ing soft new foliage on a range of plants. As soon as dam­age is no­ticed, start con­trol mea­sures. 8. Spray to man­age cit­rus leaf miner – the lar­vae pro­duces wavy, snail-trail dam­age on cit­rus leaves and is most preva­lent from spring to au­tumn. Com­bat the pest with oil sprays like Eco-Oil when­ever the plants are push­ing out new foliage.

Feed your roses and mon­i­tor for fun­gal in­fec­tions

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