Welcome to Spring – the inspirational garden season!
I call this time of the year the inspirational season – everywhere I turn there is a plant in flower. Warm sunny days and we head straight to the catalogues, online stores or garden centre to select some favourites and latest releases to add extra colour. My spring gardening tip is to visit the garden centre or online shop, not just in spring, but all year round. That way we can ensure our gardens look like spring in every season.
Pleace click here to download the pdf
Inspirational Waterwise Containers
Australian plants are perfect for mixed containers, being waterwise and sun hardy they will thrive with minimal care. For maximum impact select at least 3 different varieties for each display. Chose a container at least 40-45cm diameter as this will allow enough soil around roots for the plants to grow quickly and stay cool in summer. In each container select a cascading, arching and bushy upright variety with interest at different times of the year.
Start with the cascading selections. The Scaevola Aussie series is a stunning addition and will flower through spring, summer and autumn, with blue-mauve fan flowers.
Look for plants that have some arching branches and tried and tested varieties such as Thryptomene are the ideal choice. There is nothing new about them, but they look good year after year with small, single pink flowers from autumn to spring. Perfect for adding winter colour to the pot.
No planter is complete without a Kangaroo Paw, these varieties have been bred to perform and will flower for most of the year. They are compact and send up multiple flowers over a long period.
A variety that will create some striking colour is the Verticordia or also known as the feather flower. They are the plant in the mix that fills up the gaps and adds a wow factor.
Maintenance is easy for pots, a light trim after flowering encourages bushy growth and multiple of flowers the following year. Plant maintenance on kangaroo paws is a little different, because they don’t drop old flowers or leaves so will need a little intervention. Every now and again trim away old leaves and remove spent flowers by pruning the flower stalk off below the leaves. They will shoot away brilliantly if a few weeks’ time.
To keep your pot life happy and well fed mix PowerFeed Controlled Release All Purpose including Natives into the potting mix each season. Remember to water it in thoroughly after application.
Four simple steps to instant produce
With the majority of Australia’s population in lockdown or some degree of restrictions travelling to a favourite garden centre is not possible for many of us it’s time to be a little creative. Leeks, spring onions, fennel, lemon grass and fennel will continue to produce if planted in the garden. It’s thrifty gardening at its best and only takes a few minutes to complete.
Follow these five simple steps for continual produce.
- Choose a sunny position and improve loosen soil. Add organic manure or compost or for a no-dig option use Seasol Liquid Compost
- Plant fresh healthy plants, where any remaining roots look fresh and healthy.
- Plant the plants so the base is slightly under the soil surface and top section of the plant is well clear of the surface. Planting too deep will cause plants to rot. Remember to reduce transplant shock and aid plant establishment water in well with Seasol or Seasol GOLD
- Liquid fertilise weekly with PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Tomatoes & Vegetables to encourage new growth. Start off by mixing 20mL of the concentrate with 9 litres of water (standard watering can) and increase to 50mL of the concentrate with 9 litres of water as vegies grow and mature.
- Well-grown leeks have very few problems, however, if you find aphids or onion thrips attacking your plants, you can try and squash or hose them off. For a natural spray try Earthcare Natural Pyrethrum insect spray.
If space is at a premium, these plants will grow equally as well in a large pot. Remember to move them around the garden to catch the sun.
For an edible plant with a difference seek out an Acacia species and grow your own Wattleseed. The flavour profile is unique and is often referred to as having a nutty, roasted aroma finishing with a slight bitterness, making it ideal for adding a depth of flavour to many cakes, slices and biscuits.
Over 100 different species have been used as a traditional food source and the most popular easy to grow varieties are Acacia retinoides, Acacia longifolia and Acacia pycnantha. All fast growing and produce kilograms of seeds when established.
These varieties will flower in spring and once pods develop harvest before the heat of summer sets in or as the pods turn from green to brown. The trick is to harvest before the pods open and disperse the seeds. Place pods in a paper bag and allow to dry for a few weeks. Remove pods and store the wattle seeds in an airtight container. The seed will retain most of its nutrients if ground at the time of consuming.
If the thought of composting all vegie waste and spent crops in a compost bin is daunting, go straight to the short-cut method and practice in-bed composting.
In-bed composting is where all spent crops, leaves and peelings are laid directly on the garden bed. It’s a time saving method and the result is nutrient rich soil in a short time. Apply a layer of sheep manure and organic based complete fertiliser such as Seasol Plant + Soil Booster as this will speed up the composting process and then cover with mulch. Usually, it’s only a couple of weeks and the area is ready to be planted back into again.
As the days get longer, the temperature rises and the soil gets warmer plant dwarf beans, chillies, capsicum, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, silverbeet, tomatoes and zucchini into these areas. They will thrive. There is nothing more rewarding than tasting your own edible produce.