Spring brings lawn­mower’s subur­ban song

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - with Richard Hole

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.

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