Spring brings lawnmower’s suburban song
AS spring warms up and summer looms, we have had some typical windy Tasmanian weather and some squally showers but that’s about all.
The South of the state has experienced a reasonably dry winter and some warmer spring days.
Soils in many gardens may have moisture at the top level but the subsoil areas are likely to be fairly dry.
Lawns are requiring a weekly mow now, and appear to almost be growing in front of our eyes.
Any long grass that is growing up around fruit trees should be scalped with the lawnmower.
If left this grass will steal nutrients away from the fruit trees and result in poorer harvests later on.
Long grass is also a problem now on many rural acreages.
As the weather continues to warm, this grass will start to dry and brown off, leaving a potential bushfire risk.
Slashing or mowing should be carried out to reduce this problem.
Mulching garden beds can save a lot of hard work as far as weeds are concerned.
Bare soil is not recommended — in addition to providing a haven for weeds, the wind and sun will dry it out quickly.
Apply mulch now at a depth of no more than 50mm around your plants, taking care to keep it away from the stems. Pea straw is ideal for this purpose but any coarse organic matter is fine.
We have already had a few very hot days in the Derwent Valley, and as well as tending to our plants we must remember to look after our other garden friends.
Backyard chooks do not like hot weather and will require a shady place to rest during the middle of the day.
Growing a deciduous trailing plant such as a grape vine over a chook run is a great way to provide shade in summer.
Be sure to make sure there is plenty of clean water available also as chickens can dehydrate very rapidly.
If you have an irrigation system in your garden, this should be checked now for leaks or blocked sprinkler heads.
Consider installing drippers to your system to make best use of your water.