What to do in Spring

Garden tips for September - November

Spring is an exciting time in the garden as it comes alive. Fresh new leaves grow from deciduous trees, blossoms appear, insects multiply and the days get longer and warmer. Early spring is the main time for seed sowing into trays, and late spring is when most seedlings are planted and seeds sown directly into the soil. Early spring before new foliage has emerged is an ideal time for trimming many hedges. Plants damaged by frost can be cut back once future frosts are unlikely. Mulch gardens while soils are still moist. Most plants will benefit from an application of general fertiliser.

Other tasks throughout spring

  • As weeds appear, remove them early when they are small and have not set seed.
  • Following heavy rain is a good time to spread mulch over soil to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Pea straw is great for vegetable gardens. Wood chips and bark are suitable for mulching trees, shrubs and perennials.
  • Protect apple trees from codling moth by hanging a sticky trap in the tree.
  • Add lots of compost (or manure) and the right amount of organic fertiliser (refer to instructions) to garden beds and ensure they are mixed well with the soil. Be careful not to cover leaves and stems with fertiliser as this may burn soft new growth.
  • Cut back frost tender plants such as canna, heliotrope and begonias once the threat of frost is over.
  • Now is the perfect time to stake taller perennials and annuals like tall rudbeckias, dahlias, sunflowers and lilies before vigorous new growth takes off.
  • Prune camellias in late spring after flowering but before new growth begins. What you are aiming for is an open, airy plant with a uniform look. You can achieve this by removing weak internal crossing branches and also some lateral branches.
  • Trim hedges before vigorous new growth emerges.
  • Fertilise roses and shrubs with a general fertiliser.
  • Plant summer flowering bulbs and tubers like dahlia, tuberous begonia and gladioli.
  • Keep mounding up potatoes and making sure they have plenty of moisture.
  • Keep staking and tying up your tomatoes and removing small side shoots.
  • Tie in new growths on climbers to keep them under control and prevent them from getting damaged by wind
  • Plant and then mulch strawberry patches with either pea straw or other organic mulch, this prevents the ripening fruit from getting damaged and dirty. May also need to cover with a net for protection from birds
  • Other soft fruit like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and currants may also need netting to avoid predation by birds.
  • Apply bulb fertilizer to your spring bulbs to give them a boost and enough nutrients to flower well with lush growth so that plenty of energy can go back into the bulb.