The Bureau of Meteorology may be forecasting a wetter than average spring and summer, but Redcliffe Garden Centre’s Sondra Grainger says if you prepare your garden for the ‘wet season’ as you would every year, there’s no reason why it can’t thrive.
“You prepare your garden for the same conditions, every year. Every year, we’re going to get rain in spring and summer, we’re also going to get heat and wind. So, no matter what the conditions bring you still prepare for the same,” she says.
|“You need to fertilise, prune, tidy and mulch. By doing all those things, you’re going to protect against mother nature elements – be it dry or be it wet.|
“If you’ve got a nice layer of mulch, we’re going to protect the soil from heavy rain, drying winds and will nourish the ground if it is dry. I wouldn’t do anything differently in my garden. I would prepare my garden the same way I do every spring because plants still need fertiliser, nourishing and tidying up at this time of the year.
“Yes, it’s a forecast … we work with what we have and I would do what I always do every spring,”
Sondra says if there is higher than average rainfall and plants get waterlogged, there are things we can do to protect them.
Potted plants can be moved out of weather but for garden beds, preparation is key and is something you should do every spring … just in case.
“It always goes back to soil health so, if we do get an abundance of rain, we go back to looking at putting microbial product back into the soil … getting your soil health really strong again,” Sondra explains.
“Lots of rain obviously drains nutrients out of the soil. The key would be to get your soil really healthy, and you can start doing that now. The healthy your soil, the healthier your plants will be.
“I would look at using some good microbial fertilisers just to get the soil nice and nourished now, so no matter what the season brings you’re prepared.”
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Top 5 spring gardening tips
“Spring is the season of growth as the days become warmer and longer, we’ll see an abundance of flowers, new shoots emerging, plants producing pups and of course the lawns need a more regular mow,” Sondra says.
With a little management now, your garden will be ready for you to enjoy throughout the coming months.
Here’s Sondra’s top 5 tips are:
#1. Prune: Tidy up damaged, lanky, unsightly branches on trees (keep an eye out for birds nesting), trim topiaries and hedges, dead head winter flowering perennials and clean up winter fruiting trees and citrus. Remove potentially hazardous tree branches close to your house and roof to prevent leaves filling your gutters. Thin out overcrowded gardens, especially in the veggie patch to avoid fungal disease as the humidity increases.
#2. Fertilise: Growing plants and lawns are hungry right now, so seek out the appropriate plant food to maintain happy and healthy plants and lawns. Don’t forget your soil – a microbial-based product will revitalise tired soil which in turn supports strong plant growth.
#3. Mulch: There are so many benefits of using a good mulch. No matter what type of garden you have, mulching now will keep the weeds down, protect the soil from heat and heavy rain and break down to provide valuable nutrients. Choose organic material such as sugar cane, tea tree or even leaf litter from winter leaf drop. Mulch is not only practical but adds value and refreshes the look of your garden.
#4. Pot plants: If your pot plants have been in the same potting mix for more than one year, now is an ideal time to refresh it or top it up. You should also fertilise, prune, mulch and show these beauties a little love. They’re relying on you for everything, so give them a spring boost and enjoy healthy growth in the coming months.
#5. Outdoor living: Gardens are to be enjoyed, so spruce up any outdoor furniture, add a few new decorator items such as outdoor lanterns, cushions, napery and pots. You need very little space to add a bird bath and insect hotel, which will provide free entertainment as you bring beneficial pollinators into your garden. Whimsical ornaments or fairy garden accessories add a point of interest and a hanging basket bursting with blooms signals the arrival of this wonderful season.
For more gardening tips, head to the Redcliffe Garden Centre website.
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