Tips for a Blooming Garden in Spring
They say a gardener’s work is never done, and in spring, this is more than true! It’s a very busy time, but it’s good to remember that you will reap the rewards of work you put in now. We’ve put some links below to our How To Grow Guides which have more information on specific topic if you need more tips and advice.
Where conditions allow e.g. soil is not too wet and the temperature is rising, you can plant the ‘hardier’ summer vegetables. These include asparagus, beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, onion, radish, silverbeet and spinach.
Improve existing vegetable plots by adding generous amounts of compost before planting new seasons vegetables. Maintain a wary eye for slugs and snails as they will rapidly emerge in search of tasty seedlings!
In October summer vegetables can start being safely planted, including; courgettes/zucchini, cucumbers, beans, beetroot, carrots, celery, corn, leeks, lettuce, melons, onions, radish, pumpkin and tomato.
Remember to stagger your planting for continuous cropping. As plants become established, apply light side dressings of vegetable fertiliser to help develop strong healthy plants. Water young plants regularly and deeply to encourage a strong root system.
For more information on what veggies to plant and when, read our summer veggies guides:
- Summer Vegetable Planting Guide
- How to Grow Summer Vegetables
Time to prepare your summer flower garden as winter annuals are finishing flowering. It’s a little early for planting traditional summer annuals but there are a number that ‘transcend’ this typical growing season e.g. alyssum, calendulas, cornflower, lobelia, nemesia, pansies and violas. If you want to grow your own summer flowering annuals from seed, sow them now in specific seed raising mix and water regularly to ensure even germination.
Seedlings should be mature enough for transplanting into the garden approximately six to eight weeks after sowing.
Summer flowering annuals to plant out from October can include alyssum, asters, cornflowers, californian poppy, cosmos, livingstone daisy, lobelia, marigolds, nemesia, petunias, portulaca, phlox, salvias, sweet peas and zinnias.
Read more on other varieties to grow in our Garden Colour guide:
- How to Grow Garden Colour
Carefully mark the position of your late winter/early spring flowering bulbs if you want to grow other plants in the same area over the summer months. Where bulbs are flowering well, allow them to naturalise in the garden. This applies especially to crocus, freesias, hyacinths, iris, lachenalias, narcissus and watsonias.
Read more in our Bulb guide.
- How to Grow Bulbs
Fruit Trees and Berries
In warmer areas, citrus are still producing masses of sweet fruit. Stone fruit, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches and plums are all in full bloom, as are pip fruit, apples and pears. Hopefully, weather conditions will allow for successful pollination by bees, with sunny days and no strong winds. Early strawberry varieties are now beginning to set fruit, especially in warmer parts of the country. Maintain a good mulch of pea straw or hay around the plants to help keep the berries clean and healthy.
Read our Strawberry guide for more advice:
- How to Grow Strawberries
In warmer areas, harvest Seminole tangelo (which will finally be ripening) and grapefruit. The first application of fruit tree fertiliser can now be made. Repeat again in six weeks’ time. Loquarts are now ripening, filling a gap in the harvesting fruit calendar. Kiwifruit and grape vines are now growing vigorously. Trim growth where it is not required. Mulch trees with crushed bark as the soil warms up to prevent weed growth and aid water retention during the hot, dry summer months.
For more tips read:
- How to Grow Fruit Trees and Berries
- How to Grow Citrus
In warmer areas of the country, growth on rose bushes is well advanced with early blooms appearing. Spring/early summer is the best time for roses in NZ with masses of blooms and plants are usually disease free. Apply compost around the base of existing and new plants as it’s beneficial for the plant's health. Commence fertiliser applications from early October onwards.
More tips and advice on growing Roses is in our guide.
- How to Grow Roses
Ornamental Shrubs and Trees
Garden centres are still well stocked with new seasons trees and shrubs. Quite often in September and October, there are very attractive sales to clear ‘seasonal’ plants. As the soil warms, mulch new and existing plants to help suppress weeds and aid water retention over the dry summer months. Give winter flowering shrubs, like azaleas and camellias, that have finished flowering a light ‘tidy up’ prune where required.
Grass growth is off with a hiss and a roar! Make sure your lawnmower blades have been sharped for the new season.
Cut lawns regularly but avoid ‘close’ mowing initially in early spring. Apply first applications of fertiliser in late September. While it is still a little early for over sowing bare patches in your lawn, these areas can be prepared for October sowing. Sow seed over the patches of the lawn, add new Daltons Lawn Mix on top before broadcasting the seed and lightly water to activate germination. Alternatively use our Daltons Lawn Patching Gold which has everything you need in one bag. Mow your lawn regularly to encourage vigorous growth.
Xanthe shares some tips in a video on patching your lawn. See the link below.
Read more lawn advice in our guide.
- How to Grow Lawns
Have fun in the garden!