Prepping the garden and vege patch in spring
It’s all go in spring! Prep the garden now and reap the rewards come early summer.
For quick tips, Bridie Caldwell, PGG Wrightson Customer Service Representative based in Christchurch shares what she’s up to in the garden this month.
Firstly, Bridie says now’s the time to plan what you’re going to plant in your garden and where, taking into account what was planted last year. For veges such as brassicas - broccolis and cauliflowers – grow better when not planted in the same spot two years in a row. That way, the soil won’t lose lots of nutrients, especially if you haven’t kept up with fertiliser applications. Looking for the right fertiliser to use? Bridie recommends choosing one that contains phosphorous and nitrogen like Tui’s General Fertiliser.
- Planting beans in the same spot as brassicas were last year will help fix the nitrogen levels in the soil.
- Avoid planting tomatoes and corn beside each other as they carry the same fungal diseases.
- Clear out last season’s perennials and any debris from your garden and compost.
Bridie points out early spring is a good time to prune both perennial flowers and fruit trees, removing any dead branches or flower heads. This is a maintenance prune, not as vigorous as you would ahead of winter. By doing so, the plants are ready for the new growth in spring and summer. With peach trees at home, Bridie says she will be soon be removing the runners and suckers from the trees as they appear in spring.
When creating new garden beds, Bridie recommends using mulch and compost. Put the compost down first, then mulch on top. By doing so, the soil will hold its moisture and the mulch creates a layer between the soil and the surface which encourages worm and microorganism activity. This activity leads to the mulch being broken down, adding nutrients to the soil.
Looking to your vege patch, Bridie says it’s vital to feed the soil with nutrients in September. Try Tui’s Blood and Bone or Daltons Landscape Fertiliser Pellets. Having used the pellets herself last spring, Bridie says they contain horse, sheep and cow poo, gypsum and Zeolite. The later makes the pellet expand, which in turn helps aerate the soil, providing the right environment for nutrients to be absorbed by the plant. The result for Bridie: massive strawberries!
Absolute must-do in spring
Sow your seeds now! Both plants and veges, adding compost and fertiliser. Seed raising mix is a great idea too says Bridie. Try Tui’s Seed Raising Mix. Do it now and you’ll reap the benefits in late spring/early summer when you’re able to serve up salads using your own homegrown veges.
To view the Tui range online and purchase what you need now spring has arrived click here.