Sharyn’s seven top tips:
1. Control weeds
“Weeds go nuts in spring, so get in there and manually remove them or spray them with herbicide, then put mulch on top of the garden to stop or slow the growth,” Sharyn advises.
For plants that have already bloomed or have frost damage (particularly in southern states) prune lightly to encourage thick, lush, healthy new growth for summer. The same goes for hedges, as pruning encourages strong new growth. And to keep shrubs, perennials and annuals in bloom over the months ahead, remove spent flowers regularly. Always use clean, sharp pruning tools as mangled or unclean cuts could lead to disease problems.
“Now is the time to feed pretty much everything, as your garden will be hungry in spring – particularly fruit, citrus and roses,” Sharyn says.
Early spring is the best time of the year to give everything in the garden a good dose of fertiliser. However, Sharyn says, “don’t fertilise on dry ground.”
“It’s vital to make sure that the soil is moist as fertiliser can burn your plants if your soil is dry,” she says. “If you do have dry soil, then apply a wetting agent and water it in. The wetting agent can be applied as a liquid by using a watering can, or a hose-on applicator, or it can be sprinkled in granular and watered in. Don’t forget to apply wetting agents to reinvigorate your pots as well.”
When the soil is moist, scatter slow-release or pelletised fertiliser over your garden. As it breaks down and filters into the soil it is absorbed by growing roots and is used to fuel growth and flowering
Make sure you mulch as much of your garden as possible. Straw-like mulch such as sugarcane is great for vege gardens; pine bark or pebbles are good for larger gardens. Mulch is a quick way to spruce up your garden, suppress weeds, retain moisture and protect plants. But don’t build mulch up thickly around trunks of plants and trees – keep them clear to guard against rotting.
5. Control pests and insects
“It’s natural to have insects in the garden,” Sharyn explains. “You should only consider spraying when they’re really out of control. It’s best to speak to your gardener or a horticulturalist at Bunnings to make sure you use the right solution depending on what you’re targeting.
“And remember, the stronger and healthier your plants are, the more resistant they will be to pests and disease attacks.”
Spring is the best time to plant – whether it be trees, shrubs or annuals – but first make sure your soil is moist before you do so. Remove plants that have died or are past their prime, or extend your garden to accommodate new plants.
“Always water in, and apply a seaweed solution or liquid fertiliser, which will help give the plants a kick along,” adds Sharyn. “Apply a layer of mulch to keep weeds at bay and retain moisture.”
It’s also a great time to plant vegetables (seeds or seedlings) regardless of whether you’re starting a new garden or popping some herbs into a sunny window box. Salad vegetables such as lettuce, tomato, capsicum, chilli, cucumber, and rocket, not to mention herbs including basil and parsley are perfect for planting during spring.
“Preparation is vital,” Sharyn says. “Put in compost or manure, dig it in, and regularly keep moisture up to the garden. Also ensure the plants have a minimum of six hours’ sunlight a day.
“With vegetables and herbs, read the instructions of the insecticide / pest control solutions. There are a lot of eco-friendly products, which are obviously better for plants that you’ll be consuming.”
Bunnings also has a range of beneficial insects that can be purchased through our special orders program. Release them into your garden and watch them devour the aphids and other damaging insects!
7. Revitalise your lawn
Spring is the perfect time for lawn seed or instant turf – regardless of whether you’re renovating or planting a new lawn. But first, prepare your soil:
Get weeds, particularly broadleaf weeds, under control (apply selective lawn herbicide that targets broadleaf weeds but does not harm the grass.
Dig up and loosen the soil
Dig in organic matter
Rake the soil smooth
Apply lawn starter
Apply seed or turf
For patchy lawns, cut the grass short, aerate the ground with a garden fork, apply a thin layer of lawn top dress mix, rake smooth, apply seed or instant turf, and water in.
“If you’re planting new lawn seed, the lawn starter will be enough to gently feed it while it establishes. Don’t feed it for awhile. Wait for around 6-8 weeks, then use a good quality lawn fertiliser and feed regularly,” Sharyn advises.
For more information about what to do to prepare your garden for spring, or to pick up a wide range of gardening products – from fertilisers and mulches, irrigation, plants, to pots and tools – pop into your local Bunnings Warehouse. bunnings.com.au
Time to venture outside
Now that the warmer weather is on the way, it means more time will be spent outside eating, entertaining and relaxing. So in addition to your garden, it’s time to pay attention to your outdoor furniture and alfresco dining areas.
Wooden furniture may need to be repainted or re-oiled
Re-oil timber decks
Canvas chairs may need to be cleaned or re-covered
Clean the barbecue and replenish gas bottles if needed
Remove accumulated leaves and dirt from paved areas and other hard sufaces
Clean and treat mossy or slippery paths
Check and tighten nuts and bolts on garden furniture
Clean or replace pots