by Jules

It’s nearing spring and your garden is waking up! This means it’s a good time to take charge and take care of a few things.  I’ve created a handy checklist to help pace yourself when sprucing up your home and garden…

Early Spring (September)

  • Prepare vege garden beds and pots for new planting – turn over, weed, fertilise, manure and get them ready for young plants and herbs.
  • Strawberry patches– these summer delights are one of the earlier projects…prepare raised beds for planting out and for existing strawberry plants feed with Tui Strawberry food to help encourage flowering and new growth. See bottom of post for product pictures.
  • Prune – trim back larger shrubs and trees ready before new growth. Leave fruit trees to the end of fruiting and summer season growth, ideally cutting back stone fruits in early autumn.  Trimming fruit trees after bud break will disrupt flowering and fruiting.  Fertilise citrus and other fruit trees with slow release fertiliser like Osmocote.
  • Lawn care – as the lawn starts to settle from it’s winter-logged state, it’s important to give a good low mow (5cm) and feed with Balance Yaramilla or Yates Weed N’ Feed which is a great 2 in 1 product to kick start spring growth.  Treat moss with (Tui moss control) and weeds with Yates Turf-fix. Dig out any paspallum now to stop it taking other during the hotter months.  Apply topsoil and overseed patches which have thinned through winter.  For rye grass, it struggles in hotter NZ climates so this is an important time to establish good growth and height prior to summer.  Nearer peak summer keep the lawn mowing higher at approx 7cm to protect the grass roots.
  • Spruce up gardens that look lackluster after winter, add colour with garden shop flower seedling packs or a few well established plants. For my recommended cottage garden list click here. Show More
  • Propagation – start seedling projects off indoors to get plants established and ready for planting out in Oct.
  • Plant hardy vege mixes such as potatoes, onions and some lettuces.
  • Prune roses and hydrangea back ready for summer growth and flowering. Continue to light prune roses over summer by deadheading and my top tip, cut back to outward facing nodes to  mature leaflets of 5 or 7!
  • Treat crawling pests as the garden starts to awake.  Now is a good time to control spiders and bugs around the home if you are prone to being invaded over the hot summer months, especially areas hampered by whitetails.  You can use Mrs Muffet’s Revenge for this which is great to spray around the home exterior, window sills, fascia, guttering and roof joins.
  • Aireate your home…as we have more blue sky days it’s a great chance to open the windows wide and allow the fresh air through your home.

Recommended products from this blog…

Mid spring (October)

    • Bulbs – plant out late summer flowering perennial bulbs such as dahlia, gladioli, tuberose. For a show of spring bulbs they need to be planted in the Autumn e.g tulips, freesia, hyacinth.
    • Plant out summer veges – Ideally vege gardens should be planted out by end of October ready for your summer table delights.  Great summer veges include lettuce, tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers, capsicum, chilli and herbs.
    • Sow seeds outdoors or transplant seedlings.
    • Apply garden mulch to all plants and gardens to protect plants from the summer heat.
    • Bird feeders – give them a good clean and purchase Tui wild bird seed mix from your local home/DIY store.
    • Decking and Paving – Check for any needed repairs from winter soil expansion and damp. Use a pressure wash for patios and pavers.
    • Clean outdoor furniture and covers ready for outdoor living over summer
    • Drag off the BBQ cover and give the BBQ grill and hot plates a good clean.  Replace any rusted plates, there are plenty of options at your local home/DIY store.
    • Set up watering systems ready for summer. Check out this video from Mitre 10 on how to setup a garden irrigation system.
    • Wash picnic blankets and stored rugs.  
    • Clean and repair insect screens , lanterns and order new candles and citronella oils for burners.
    • Clean and repair exterior lighting and look to replace any faulty lights ahead of the warm summer nights.

Late Spring (November)

    • Deadhead spring plants to extend their flowering.
    • Continue to feed the lawn on a regular basis
    • Water your garden on a regular basis especially during dry spells.  It’s best to water the roots not the plants in early morning or evening. Avoid during the heat of a summers day.
    • Keep and eye on pests and diseases and treat accordingly throughout spring and summer including aphids on roses, blight, mildew, rust and , snails/caterpillar/slug damage to vege patches etc.
    • Enjoy the show of colour and flowers for the kitchen table!

To enjoy more gardening tips and home design inspiration visit my blog Design Your Home NZ.

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