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Spring is in the air

Local horticulturist and author Sally-Anne Fowles, of Spirited Gardening, shares her top tips for creating a thriving spring/summer garden.

Spend quality time
walking around your garden and observe what you need to do prior to planting, for example weeding or checking your irrigation system. And, importantly, envisage how your ideal garden space would look and feel. Sift through images in magazines and create a garden “vision” book to help guide you in the right direction. This can be a great tool for when you visit a nursery to purchase plants as it will give the nursery assistants a great place to start when recommending the best plants for your situation.

Preparing your soil for planting
is key to your success. The return of warmth on your skin always triggers excitement and sometimes a sense of urgency to get stuck into planting. It is important to get to know your soil and what improvements should be made prior to planting. Inclusions of processed organic matter will encourage our favourite soil cultivators – worms – and other microorganisms, to transform poor soil into a healthy, flourishing growing environment for your plants. Remember to mulch to suppress weeds and help conserve moisture – and freshly mulched soil looks great to boot.

Local horticulturist and author Sally-Anne Fowles, of Spirited Gardening.

Reap the benefits from planting fabulous bright flowers
that not only look beautiful, but will attract beneficial insects and birds, and some are edible too.
Examples include: Beautiful blooms – petunias, marigolds, salvias and a host of others. Visit your local garden centre and immerse yourself in the enormous array available at this time of the year.
Edible flowers – alyssum, borage, chamomile, dianthus, hollyhocks, nasturtiums, poppies (from seedlings), snapdragons, sunflowers and daylilies.
Bulbs – dahlias, calla lilies, gladioli, liliums, eucomis (pineapple lily), and hippeastrums.

Immerse yourself in growing your own herbs and vegetables.
All winter long we wait for the day that tomatoes and chili seedlings arrive back in stock. Well, the time has arrived. It’s time to get planting tomatoes, capsicum, chili, eggplant, cucumbers, pumpkin, zucchini, lettuce and more. Plus, a feast of herbs is also available.
Plant some for you and your family, plus a few more. It is such a rewarding gesture to share with your friends and community the fruits of your harvest.

Give your plants the best start
to life by watering effectively and efficiently. It’s important to remember that when you purchase plants from a garden center they are cared for daily, and their root balls are consistently moist. When you plant into your garden the surrounding soil will draw moisture away from the root ball, so a regular, deep watering is much better than shallow, inconsistent watering. A moisture metre can be helpful when determining soil moisture and can be purchased from most hardware stores or garden centres.

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