Spring Garden Maintenance – Tips and Tricks

Spring has sprung! And here and at Ian Barker Gardens, we’ve got gardening on our minds!
It’s a wonderful time to be in the garden, as the warm weather causes plants to wake up from their winter slumber and bloom with new growth. There are so many plants that flourish during the spring months, so now is the perfect time to plant some flowers to brighten up your balcony, or build that veggie patch you’ve always wanted!
We’ve created a list of spring gardening tips and tricks to help you prioritise what needs to be done so your garden will flourish all season long:

Spring is a great time to take a close look at your irrigation system to make sure that it’s fully functional.  Don’t wait until hot, dry weather arrives to find out that you have a problem, as your system will be providing a lifeline to your plants! A thorough inspection and run-through of your irrigation system now will save time, money and headaches associated with hidden system malfunctions.

Replenishing your topsoil with composted materials and organic fertilisers will refresh your soil with all the necessary nutrients that may have been stripped away during winter. You can even perform a soil test to see what nutrients your soil needs.
Applying a good layer of compost helps to suppress weeds and enrich the soil as it breaks down. Apply a thickness of approx. 70mm where possible. Adding well-rotted manures will also assist in improving the soil structure and the water holding capacity in sandy soils.

Your grass needs to take off its winter coat as much as you do, so there is no better way to rejuvenate your lawn than by aerating the surface. Aerating your lawn will ensure the sun penetrates deep into the soil over the course of spring, assisting your lawn in staying greener for longer through the season. Aerating also allows excess water to soak into the soil and break up any compacted areas as well as loosen and remove any pesky weeds which may have settled into your lawn over the winter.
Your lawn will need to be mowed more often, ensuring the height of the lawn is set higher and never mow too low. You may think you’re getting the jump on growth but the grass will most probably grow back faster and may develop patchiness, ultimately damaging your lawn.
Ensure that when mowing, the direction is changed on each occasion, e.g. North south /East West. This ensures no wheel ruts are left in the lawn.

During winter many plants can be hit with frost, die, become damaged or diseased. Now is the time to cut dead, damaged or diseased branches off.  Only remove frost damage on plants late in spring when there is no further chance of frosts.
Without pruning, the new shoots could be suffocated by old foliage and any dead or diseased stems will attract insects that can potentially spread the disease to the rest of your garden.
Spring is also the perfect time to trim your shrubs to maintain shape and increase plant health. By selecting a few branches and tidying up your garden beds, more sunlight and air will be able to reach your plants, which means a stronger, healthier and more beautiful backyard for you to enjoy throughout the warmer months.

Pests and Diseases
After being dormant in winter, many garden pests and bugs are on the move in spring. Here are some to be on the lookout for:

  • Aphids are little insects that usually appear in massive numbers. They attack new growth and suck the life from it, creating mottled, misshapen leaves. They can be seen on emerging bulbs and seedlings, Arthropodiums and Clivias to name a few.

Aphids featured by Ian Barker Gardens in Spring Garden Maintenance guide

  • Black spot looks exactly as it sounds – black spots (ringed in yellow) appear on your plant leaves and eventually kill them, turning your beautiful, prize-winning roses into a landscape eyesore.

Black spot featured by Ian Barker Gardens in Spring Garden Maintenance guide

  • Azalea lace bug affects Azaleas and Rhododendrons. These tiny insects feed on the plant’s sap, causing unsightly mottling. In severe cases, it causes leaf-drop or death of the plant.

Azalea lace bugs featured by Ian Barker Gardens in Spring Garden Maintenance guide

If you are a little unsure, you can trust Ian Barker Gardens with your garden maintenance as we are passionate about gardens of all shapes and sizes, styles and maturity. You can be assured that your investment is being nurtured, protected and cared for by the right people.
For more on our garden maintenance services, click here