When it comes to vegies and herbs, choose what you and your family love to eat and buy most frequently at the supermarket. If you love salads, then growing your own lettuce, baby leaf spinach, basil and rocket will create a delicious leafy blend, and then include some home grown vibrant cherry tomatoes for juicy sweetness. Dwarf cherry tomatoes and salad greens are ideal for growing in both the vegie patch and pots, so you don't need to have a backyard to grow your own salad.
Other spring edible favourites include cucumbers, zucchinis, pumpkin, beans, sweet corn and capsicum. Cucumber and climbing beans can be grown up a wire trellis, so they take up very little horizontal room and zucchinis really make the most of vegie patch space, producing multiple zucchinis over many weeks.
What about flowers? We can never have enough beautiful blooms to fill our gardens and outdoor entertaining spaces with pops of colour. Easy and quick flowers to grow in spring include petunias, cosmos, marigolds, sunflowers, alyssum, nasturtiums and zinnas. Pick your favourite colours, whether it's soft pastels or warm and bright tones and choose flower types for the space you have. Compact flowers for small spaces and pots or taller growing flowers for the back of garden beds and along fences.
Never buy a lemon again! Spring is the perfect opportunity to plant a lemon tree at your place, or other delicious citrus like mandarins, oranges and limes. It will take 2-3 years for good harvests to start, but then you're set! Choose your sunniest spot, in well-drained soil, to grow citrus and look for dwarf varieties that don't take up too much room.
Spring's mild conditions are perfect for planting a new tree, shrub or climber. Match the plant's final size with the space you have (otherwise you'll be continually having to prune) and think about how you can take advantage of its best attributes, including colourful flowers, autumnal foliage, summer shade, covering a bare wall or screening a less than desirable view.
Australian natives can also be planted in spring. From ground covers to tall trees, cottage-style flowers, climbers and bird attracting shrubs, there's an Australian native plant to suit most climates and spaces. Check the plant tags for helpful information about the conditions your chosen plants enjoy and the size they'll grow to.
For most garden and outdoor potted plants, ensuring soil and potting mix is kept moist is key, as moisture stress leads to poor plant health. Enable water to get down into the root zone where it's needed by applying a Yates Waterwise Soil Wetter over garden beds and potted plants. It helps break down the waxy, water repellent layer on the surface and allows moisture to penetrate evenly and effectively down to the roots.
Once plants are well-watered, plants can only grow to their healthiest best when they have access to enough of the right nutrients. The easiest way to ensure plants are well fed is by regularly applying a Yates Thrive fertilliser. There's a Yates Thrive fertiliser to suit the most popular types of plants, including citrus and fruit, roses and flowers, vegies and herbs and indoor plants. Follow the directions for use on the fertiliser label and apply at the recommended rate and reapplication timing for the best growth results. During spring, plants will be growing rapidly, and feeding them regularly will help promote healthy growth, masses and blooms and a more abundant harvest.
Give hedges a light trim to create a lovely crisp look. For less formal hedges and shrubs, prune back any untidy, wayward or dead stems. For flowering shrubs and perennials, delay trimming until flowering has finished.
For flowering annuals, regularly remove spent flower heads to help prolong the blooming season.
Bare patches in the lawn not only look unsightly, they are a magnet for weeds. Repair bare lawn spots by oversowing with lawn seed. Rake the bare area to loosen the soil, scatter over some Munns Professional All Lawns& Patch Repair Quick Fix Premium Seed Blend and gently rake the seed into the surface. Keep the patch moist as the new seed germinates and establishes.
Create crisp lawn edges with a whipper snipper or lawn edging tool.
Weeds not only spoil the look of your garden, they also steal water and nutrients and can harbour pests and diseases. Weeds need to go!
When weeds sneak in, they can be controlled with quick spot sprays of ready to use Yates Nature'sWay Organic* Weed Killer. Approved for use in organic gardening*, visible symptoms will appear on some weeds after just 1 hour.
Pest & disease control
Prolific spring growth can unfortunately play host to several common pests and diseases, all resulting in poor plant health. There's no need for your plants to suffer!
Aphids are small sap sucking insects that can be brown, green, yellow or black, that like to feast on tender new leaves, causing yellowing and distortion. Caterpillars are chewing pests that eat through leaves, stems and into flower buds.
Common diseases in spring include powdery mildew, which appears as a dusting of white spots on leaves, stems and flower buds. Black spot is a disease that attacks roses, causing leaves to yellow and develop black spots.
It's easy to control pests and diseases on ornamental (non-edible) plants with Yates Rose Gun. It contains a dual combination of an insecticide and fungicide to control the most common insects and diseases on roses and other flowers.
For edible plants, including fruit trees and vegetables, Yates Pyrethrum Insect Gun controls a range of common sucking and chewing insects, including aphids and caterpillars. To control common diseases on edible plants, such as leaf spots and mildews, Yates Mancozeb Plus Fungicide & Miticide contains an effective combination of two fungicides
Start (or expand) your indoor plant collection
Indoor plants will also enjoy spring's wonderful growing conditions and produce a flush of fresh new foliage.
Head into your local garden centre and choose some new indoor plant babies while they're looking their spring best. Maidenhair ferns and moth orchids will enjoy a humid bathroom, Devil's ivy is a hardy choice for cascading down shelves and it's hard to go past a peace lily for a lush table or bench display. Don't forget to pick up a bag of Yates SpecialtyPotting Mix Indoor Plants & Ferns too!
Applying mulch around garden beds and vegie patches gives the garden a finished, cohesive look, but also reduces weed growth and helps keep the soil moist and protected. Organic mulches such as bark chips and straw will also break down over time, adding valuable organic matter to the soil.
Check your hoses and irrigation systems for cracks, leaks and blockages that may have developed over winter. As temperatures rise, your garden will need regular watering.