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Spring has sprung and it’s the most wonderful time in the garden, so full of promise and life.
Deciduous trees that have been looking naked all winter are now bursting into leaf, the butterflies are back and fluttering from flower to flower, and depending on whereabouts in Australia you are, the sweet scents of blooming wisteria, azalea and osmanthus are filling the air.
The warmer weather is tempting more and more of us out into our backyards, balconies and local community gardens, particularly in NSW, Victoria and the ACT where lockdowns have left us with little else to do.
Fortunately, spring is a busy time in the garden and by putting in a little effort now you can reap big rewards throughout the warmer months.
A splash of colour
Spring flowering annuals will give your garden beds and pots an instant facelift and bring in all the beneficial bugs that will keep the bad ones from ravaging your plants.
Petunias, marigolds, snapdragons and nasturtiums are easy to grow favourites at this time of year, or you could delight the kids by planting the giant variety of sunflowers that can reach up to 2m tall.
Now is also the time to plant summer flowering bulbs like dahlias and liliums for an ocean of colour in a few months' time.
Plant out your veggie patch
It’s time to clear out your dying winter crops to make room for warmer season seedlings.
Few crops are as well loved by home gardeners as tomatoes, and spring is the best time to get them in the ground. You can sow them as seeds or pick up seedlings from your local nursery, but if you’re in a cool temperate zone, keep them in a protected spot until the soil is nice and warm.
Check when to plant specific crops in your climate zone but cucumber, coriander, silverbeet and spring onions are generally winners in spring.
Spruce up your soil
Spring is a great time to give your soil some extra love by digging in some homemade compost or well rotted manure.
Garden beds and planter boxes will also appreciate a fresh layer of mulch to keep the water in and the weeds out.
It’s also a good idea to inspect any automatic watering systems you have in place or to install one ahead of summer so your garden is as water wise as possible.
The flowers and trees aren’t the only things bursting into life at this time of year, and if you don’t want to get overwhelmed by weeds come summer, it’s best to get on top of them now.
If you want to encourage beneficial insects and pollinators then steer clear of sprays and start hand weeding instead, it’s surprisingly therapeutic.
You can also get creative and try eradicating weeds with boiling water or a propane torch, using plenty of care of course!
Love your lawn
Grab your garden fork and get ready for the growing season by aerating your lawn to allow for better access to water, nutrients and air.
A gentle feed with a liquid fertiliser or a light top dressing of good quality compost will help new growth rocket away.
Also be sure to get on top of weeds now, especially bindii if you want to enjoy your lawn without a spiky surprise underfoot.
Care for your indoor jungle
Your indoor plant babies could also do with a bit of love around this time of year. A weak liquid feed with a seaweed solution will help them grow for gold this spring and spent soil can be replaced with fresh, good quality potting mix.
Hose down the leaves of your indoor beauties in the shower or backyard to wash away any dust and keep an eye out for spring pests like fungus gnats.
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