Spring is the most delightful and beautiful time in the garden with glorious gentle colours announcing that summer is just around the corner.
Last month we talked about protection against frost; this is the time you remove the shade cloth from the shrubs and trees. (Do not be too hasty to take the shade cloth away). Now we have to talk about food! food! food! and how to observe the damage that the cold weather may have caused, as well as doing some gentle pruning.
To feed your lawn the best food, leave the lawn cuttings in place so that a mat is formed. We come true with the saying that “Spring is sprung” and, sure enough, the grass will benefit and produce a beautiful green lawn all year round: every gardener’s desire!
Take advantage of the different seasons and make the most of the four quarters in the calendar. When you take the flowers’ needs into account when planting them, they will in turn provide you with their greatest beauty. It is also a good time to prune and cut away any dead wood that the winter cold might have caused. Remember when pruning to cut the branch away on a tree that would have been affected by frost. Cut by following the base of the trunk of the tree. Do not leave pieces of wood sticking out of the tree, as this will be the first place disease attack. It’s dangerous in every way, not only for people, but also for dieback in the tree due to the wound you may have left behind.
We are now facing summer and everything must change, especially our watering routine. Watering has to be changed to the afternoons and evenings.
It is also the time of the year that we must gather seeds from our spring plantings as they will be going over and a very good idea is to gather your seeds and take your cuttings now. When you reap your seeds, get your beautiful compost that rotted during the winter season and dig it in or use it as mulch. The debris from the pruning and seed gathering is good for food when you dig it in.
This is the time to apply single superphosphate to stimulate the roots in preparation for summer’s glorious colours. Fertilising with compound D (general for beds and new plantings), compound C (for a boost to the shrubs) and compound J (for fruit trees) of the whole garden is important now in preparation for the rains. These are gentle fertilisers; ammonium nitrate is good, but handle it with great care as it burns the lawn very easily and you can end up with a patchy lawn. Don’t forget to leave your lawn clippings in place to provide that soft, thick spongy feeling under foot while you also save water as mulch!