Spring is finally here! Time to get out into the garden and prepare for the warmer months ahead.
In the garden: Plant some colour, pot plants and natives
Plant now for summer colour. Whether in pots, hanging baskets, groundcover or borders, have your colour planned and in the ground by late spring to have blooms from summer onwards. They can be in colour blocks, or blended together to create a meadow-effect. Suggestions include begonias, geraniums, California poppies, marigolds, petunias and salvias. Support them with a regular deep soak during hot periods.
As we come out of hibernation,so do our indoor plants, which are crying out for attention after artificial heating and poor light supply over winter. Bring your indoor pots outside for some fresh air and indirect sunlight, tidy up any damaged leaves and re-pot if necessary. If some appear to be struggling, try planting them in a shady position outside. Dust the top and bottom of the leaves with a lint-free cloth at least once a month and re-position the pots away from harsh summer sun. It’s a time to re-establish, reassess and re-connect with your indoor plants.
Nurture your natives
Spring is a very good time to plant native shrubs, ground cover and trees. If you’re starting with a plant you haven’t grown before, choose one suited to your soil type and region. Don’t rush into buying the biggest plant; you can find those in tubes and smaller pots will establish best. Flowering natives are at their peak in spring, and bring in a wealth of birdlife, but you have to take care of them. Feed your established natives and don’t be afraid to prune any straggling branches after they’ve flowered.
These stories first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of SAGardens & Outdoor Living.