Spring has sprung! Automatically that means we think about gardening!
Spring here in Tasmania is a crazy time of year where the wind whips up, the weather can change many times a day, blossom suddenly bursts overnight & everything just grows and becomes so green. When I think of spring, I definitely think of white (blossom) & green (lush verdant growth). It's a beautiful & inspiring time of year.
As the weather eases into slightly warmer days and the days lengthen, the soil will be just thinking about warming up. That means it's time to think about gardening! So, we have a special spring garden favourites for you this week. Time to plan, enjoy the sun and maybe get into a bit of weeding and planting!
It can be tricky to know where to start with the garden during spring, especially since a lot of us have happily left it to its own devices through winter. So we've put together a few of the top things you can start doing right now to prep your garden for summer and start enjoying the warmer weather that we're sure to get soon.
SPRING GARDENING JOBS TO GET STARTED ON
WEEDING - OUR FAVOURITE ! ...(not!)
Everyone's least favourite gardening job - weeding! At this time of year it can be the most satisfying & it's one of the best things to do for your garden. Probably not what you wanted to hear!
I find it tedious as well, but this is the easiest time to clear weeds out of the garden and set it up for summer planting. We usually get a little more good rain in spring so the soil wets up & the weeds are growing quickly. This means those pesky weeds will come out of the soil with much less effort and often in the entirety! (roots and all!)
I try to get in and just do a little bit each week - maybe an hour at a time every few days or each weekend - that way it only takes 3-4 weeks to get the garden well weeded and feeling ship shape.
The other big thing to do at this time of year is a bit of soil care. It's the perfect time to do some mulching and add some compost. If you mulch after you've weeded, this will also help stop the weeds from growing back - so it's a win-win!
All of the garden will benefit from a mulch right now, but you could also just focus this composting and mulching in the veggie patch to get you started & to get the soil ready for all the delicious spring and summer veggies that are almost ready to be planted.
Soil is the essence of gardening, so making sure its working for you is one of the most essential things to do in the garden. Now is the time to start!
THE FUN PART...
It's really nearly time to get some things into the veggie patch and ramp up the planting. Planting seeds, seedlings, and plants is always the most fun part of the gardening year.
If you'd like to get going on your veggies now, a great thing to pop in are cut-and-come-again greens like English spinach, rocket, hearting lettuces like crispheads and butterheads, and some herbs like parsley and coriander. I recommend growing these from seed rather than seedlings.
Cut and come again is just as it sounds: plant, grow, cut, let grow again and again. Pick your greens as things get to the 5-8cm stage, just cutting at the base and letting it regrow over the next few weeks.
Growing from seed will give you fairly fast and thick strong growth, which is perfect for the cut-and-come-again style growing.
When planting seed like this I tend to scatter my seeds a little sparingly so I can get two lots of planting from one packet of seeds. Also, some leafy come-again plants do have very tiny seeds. These tiny seeds can clump together coming out of the packet and give you wildly uneven patches of lettuce! To avoid patchy growth, I pop the seeds into a jar with a handful of sand and give it a good shake, and then scatter this. Using the sand trick gives you a consistent planting, which both looks better and makes harvesting much easier.
A LITTLE TIP FOR SUCCESS....
Since the seeds of cut-and-come-agains do tend to be so tiny, it's important that your soil isn't clumpy when you plant - you want it fine enough that it can run through your fingers. After winter, your patch might need a bit of a quick turn over and till to be prepped for such small seeds. And last but not least, don't forget to water! Leafy greens thrive on water, and they'll need extra even in the rainy month of September - especially on some of our warmer days.
SIT AND ENJOY THE SUNSHINE ...when it finally gets here.
Aside from all these practicalities, perhaps the most exciting part of springtime is the planning you can do in the garden! With the weather improving, we're all thinking about spending more time outdoors and enjoying the garden, which always gets me thinking about what is and isn't working in my garden. This means planning where new trees, a few shrubs, some flowering plants for late summer colour and a new hedge might go in as well! This is always best done during the middle of the day when the sun is warmest and lunch is over. Put your feet up and start making lists of all the plants and the garden you've dreamed about!
FAVOURITE FIVE PLANTS....
It's impossible of course to choose just five plants you love the most. Even trying to narrow down a list of favourites is almost impossible - it just keeps going and becomes ridiculously large! (I've tried!). When I'm designing gardens I'm often choosing a range of 50-100 plants so choosing just 5 is not very easy.
But I wanted to inspire you with plants as well, so I have chosen 5 seasonal favourites and done a video and added them to our fav 5's. You can see it here.
Of course, choosing plants can be a very personal endeavour, but these are some of my favourite springtime plants to consider when you're planning your garden. I've chosen a small garden tree, a lovely shrub, a favourite flowering plant, a great performing perennial and an all time favourite ornamental grass. Hope you love these!