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SPRING | In the Garden



Spring has finally sprung and the annual blossom spotting is well underway. From the winter peach, Taiwan cherry, cherry plums and the pear, the blossom palette ranges from bright candy pinks through to stunning crisp whites. Be sure to keep an eye out as you drive around.



Autumn bulb-planting should now be paying off with the arrival of Daffodils and Jonquil’s. Nothing spells Spring like the heady scent of Jonquils. Be sure to cut the flowers and place them in small vases in your home. Depending on your winter activity or lack thereof, there is a long list of jobs to do.



PRUNE

Lightly prune spring-flowering shrubs, including native plants as soon as they finish their spring show. Natives need this prune each year.


Now is the time to rejuvenate your lemon tree. Lemons, oranges and mandarins will take hard pruning. Cut back thin and dead branches, branches that are crossing over and all other branches to a height you can reach. Remove grass from around the trunk and feed well.



PREPARE

Apply liquid fertiliser to bulbs as they finish flowering, this will encourage better flowers next year. Look after the lawn – aerate and feed, dig out weed infestations, particularly bindi and dandelions, and then top dress any uneven areas.

Feed and water gardenias well. If old leaves are yellowing, water the soil with one tablespoon of Epsom salts in a watering can. For yellowing young leaves apply iron chelates or sulphate of iron. Feed garden beds with an organic fertiliser such as Dynamic Lifter and apply a layer of cow manure or compost.



IN THE PATCH

  • Sow tomatoes, eggplant, cucumber and beans inside to get a head start on spring.

  • Delight in eating your winter crops as their peak with flavour and nutrients.

  • Clean out the fireplace ash and spread it around rose gardens and vegetable patch.

  • Control scale and leaf miner on citrus trees by spraying with Eco Oil regularly. At this time of year Eco Oil is also effective against young bronze orange bugs.

  • Protect stone fruits by hanging fruit fly lures nearby.

  • Use coffee grounds to deter snails from newly planted spring seedlings.

  • Codling moth peaks in October but hang lures up now.

  • Attract helpful wasps. Early spring is the time to hang parasitic wasp (Encarsia formosa) cards up in new plantings of tomatoes and eggplant to protect these vegetables from white fly.