Compost, fertiliser and mulch will produce the best results in the garden and keep it healthy if they are added now as plants enter the growing season.
IT’S great to see everything in the garden bursting back into life. With a little time investment now, your garden will be set for the rest of spring.
Compost and fertiliser are vital for your soil and plant health. Everything your plants need to grow comes from the soil, so improve it every chance you get. Compost will help improve the structure of the soil as well as its nutrient and water-holding capacity. Compost also adds nutrients, so try to think of it like having a healthy diet. If compost is the food, the fertilisers are the vitamins you take. Using both together will produce the best results and health for your garden.
Spread them on top of your soil, and then dig through to a depth of 150mm to 300mm. In spring, the air temperature is not the only thing rising – the soil is getting warmer too. Warm soil means plenty of root growth, so get plants in the ground so they have the maximum time to fill out during the growing season.
Early spring is a great time to start a vegetable patch – or reinstate an old one that might have been left over winter. Mulch is great to add to your garden because it helps to slow the movement of water into the soil so it can be used more efficiently.
Mulch also helps to retain water away from possible evaporation. It looks good, and prevents erosion and suppresses weeds, so there are lots of reasons it should be applied now. Spread your mulch to a depth of 75mm. Any thicker will prevent sufficient water penetration and with any less, you will not gain all of the listed benefits.
Irrigation systems can also be a great help as the months get hotter, so check your system now for leaks, good pressure and consistent spray. A faulty system is the same as not having one at all. If you don’t have an irrigation system and are thinking about getting one, make sure it is installed by a licensed installer.
While it is tempting to allow hedges to grow because they have not grown over winter, it is important to prune them lightly to prevent them becoming straggly. A constantly pruned hedge will give a dense, full appearance that can easily be lost if the shears are put down for too long. And remember, it’s always advisable to use freshly sharpened pruning tools.