This is it. This is THE season for gardening. For those of us who hibernated a little too hard over the Winter, this is the time to venture out, feed everything and start planting up Spring and Summer flowers and veggies. For those who stuck it out over the colder months, this is when your hard work will pay off. Watch as bare branches begin to shoot and then flower. It’s a magical time to be in the garden!
If you have any questions or worries about your plants or just want to ensure success in your garden, come in and see us. We have eight qualified and experienced horticulturalists that can help you fix your problems, avoid expensive mistakes and redesign and plant unsatisfactory sections of your garden and make them beautiful.
Here’s a little sneak peek of something coming soon! You might recognise this beautiful style of quilt from the gift shop. They’re certainly a favourite around here! Melissa has just been in India sourcing an even bigger range of gorgeous new quilts, vintage kanthas, tablecloths and a few more special surprises. We can’t wait!
I’m so happy to see Spring again. So much changes this month – plants that were bare and dormant suddenly burst into life. I think there is more change in the garden this month than in any other period of the year.
We will have a new release tomato later this month called Sweetheart, a compact variety with amazing long trusses of small, sweet, heart-shaped tomatoes from quite early in the season. This variety is an award winner in America and is great for pots, baskets and smaller gardens. We will build up to about 40 tomato varieties by the end of this month, including new hybrids, heritage varieties and traditional favourites. My personal favourites that I plant every year are the Truss Plum as my best cherry-type and Mighty Red as the best full-sized tomato.
The way to success for tomatoes is simple:
- Plant them in a different spot or soil as last year, always rotate your crops
- Dig some ZooGro, cow manure or enriched compost into the soil with a liberal dose of lime
- Plant your seedlings now but don’t feed them until they are well established and flowering well with the first few fruit set. Then start feeding regularly with a high K flower and fruit orientated fertiliser
- Dust regularly with Tomato Dust to prevent pest or disease problems
I grow my tomatoes in pots every second year with much success whilst giving my small veggie garden a rest. I gently stress my tomatoes into fruit with initially a low-fertiliser regime. Too much food or the wrong sort will encourage soft, sappy, disease-prone growth at the expense of fruit. I follow this regime with most fruiting veggies like chillies, capsicums, cucumbers, zucchinis, and eggplant to maximise fruit production.
- Feed everything! This will help plants to recover from Winter and encourage a strong, prolonged growth flush in the Spring. Plants appreciate good quality, balanced nutrition over ‘fast food’. Slow-release fertilisers tend to work best
- Spring, especially early Spring, is a fabulous time to plant both cool-climate and warm-climate plants into a warming soil
- If you haven’t yet pruned cold-sensitive plants like Salvias, Heliotrope, Plumbago, Hibiscus, Sasanqua Camellias, Oak Leaf Hydrangeas, Fuchsias and evergreen Magnolias then now is the time. This is their main prune of the year. Follow up with a complete fertiliser
- Rejuvenate your herb garden by replanting or pruning and follow up by giving everything a good feed
- Gardenias need their specialist Gardenia food to facilitate strong growth. I feed my Gardenias every month in Spring to fatten them up for their main flowering and to ensure that they carry all of their flower buds to fruition
- Plant Petunias, tomatoes, parsley, lettuce and Marigolds from seedlings. Later this month we will have our first chillies, zucchini and cucumber seedlings but wait until October for Impatiens and basil. Always plant into improved, conditioned soil
- If you haven’t cleaned up any broadleaf weeds in your lawn do so now before their Spring growth kicks in too
Plant of the Month
The Queen Lavender
We have a new release of an Australian bred lavender bush called “The Queen”, an elegant, slightly more compact relation of Princess Lavender. Masses of deep pink winged flowers cover a compact bushy shrub all through Spring. The Queen is a highly prized variety that will be released internationally with much fanfare next year. Like all lavenders, The Queen loves a sunny, well-drained position and a good prune after flowering. I always plant my lavenders up on a slight mound to enhance drainage.