Lockdown gardening tasks
Lockdown gardening tasks
It’s a stressful time for many, and our gardens can provide some much-needed jobs to keep busy. Even though you may not have access to fresh compost or other gardening products, we’ve put together some lockdown gardening tasks to undertake and help get your garden into shape with what you do have.
Weeding is usually a gardener's least favourite task, but it is a very important one. Weeds compete with your plants for water, nutrients and sunlight and this impacts their growth. They also provide a haven for pests and diseases that can infect your plants. There is a wise old gardening saying, “One year's seeding makes seven years' weeding” so get on top of them now to ensure they don’t go to seed.
Give your mulch a boost
Your mulch may be looking a little thin on the ground, so give it a rake and ensure the bulk of it is around your plants and their roots. There is also a little trick to make your mulch go further and recycle cardboard at the same time. First, remove the mulch you have in your garden and set it aside. Flatten out your cardboard and place it on the soil (one layer thick), then replace your mulch over the top. This will help protect your soil and support the mulch you do have until you can access more. The cardboard will not harm the soil and will break down over time.
Preparing your soil
If you have compost on hand, add to your existing garden soil and mix well in preparation for planting. If you don’t have any compost, but have some general fertiliser in the garden shed, add this into your freshly turned soil and mix it in to add nutrients.
Clean your gardening tools (and shed!)
Dig out your gardening tools and give them a clean and inspect them for any cracks or breaks. Best to start the spring season with freshly cleaned, functional tools, plus it also reduces reinfecting your garden with any possible diseases. Take this time to sort out your garden shed too - so you can find things easier. Tidy up clutter, hang up tools after cleaning, put up some shelves if you need them, and put a calendar up so you can keep track of when you do various tasks and note what you have coming up to do or plant in the garden. There is some fantastic organisational and storage tips here to whip your shed into shape.
Garden tidy up
Remove any finished winter crops, deadhead any finished flowers, and lightly trim back any spring growth on hedges. Thin-out crops or lightly prune branches to provide more air movement and sunlight throughout the plant.
Plot and plan
While you have the time, make a plan for what and where you want things to grow – whether it’s in the ground, pots or raised beds. When it comes to the veggie patch, work out where you are planting your crops this season and consider crop rotation to help reduce disease build up in the soil. Also, think about extending the area of your vegetable garden and the range of vegetables to grow.
Use this downtime to label plants in your garden. For example, if you are growing bulbs, when they have finished and died down, you may not remember where they are! Labelling means you won’t dig them up or damage them by accident. Plus, you will remember what looked the best in the garden and purchase more next season.
Ready, Steady, Sow and Grow
Do not fret about not having summer veggie seedlings to put in your veggie garden – it’s actually still a little early. Best to leave planting summer vegetable seedlings until October when soil temperatures are warmer. You can sow summer veggie seeds indoors or in the glasshouse now ready for planting out in October. Some seeds you can plant directly in the garden now include celery, lettuce, silverbeet, beetroot and spinach read more in our guide here. If you don’t have any seeds on hand, you can order them from Kings Seeds online.