News & tips -


I notice the change of season not by the thermometer but by light and air. I know spring is here when the sunlight is clearer, like looking out a freshly cleaned window; and the air is warmer but still fresh. This week, up here in the north I think spring arrived. And with the arrival of spring there is a whole new list of garden jobs!

If you’re planning to sow a new lawn in spring, then you need to be preparing the ground now. Dig the area over making sure you remove all perennial weeds. Make sure you have adequate organic matter – a lawn is like any other garden bed – it can only be as good as your soil. Try Fodda soil enhancer or if you have clay, use plenty and I mean plenty, of gypsum. Think about what type of grass will suit your situation and how much work you are prepared to put in to maintain it. You have a much greater chance of success if you plant something that suits your environment (shady, sunny or a mix) and the climate, so choose well.

To broaden your range of choices we have a new variety of grass for you to sink your toes into: Superfine. It’s a very fine leafed variety like fine fescues in appearance and it’s happy to be cut very short or left long. For those serious lawners with a reel mower – this is the one for you. Suitable for cricket grounds or the like as well, as it has a dark green show lawn appearance.

In the Vege Patch:
The soil is beginning to warm up so we are getting closer to spring planting. Now is the time to think about what you are going to plant and where. Keep in mind it's likely to be a hot dry summer (Europe is experiencing its worst drought in 500 years) so you may want to think about risk mitigation. For example you may want get some of your seed growing in seed trays now (inside) and get them out a little earlier to avoid the extreme heat of summer. However, one of the single most important things you can do to help your plants endure extreme heat is to mulch like there is no tomorrow. A good layer of carbon rich material can reduce soil temperatures by 10 degrees. So make sure you stock up on that mulch. Also think about how you might give your garden some shade in the heat of the day. If you can’t use shade cloth think about using other vegetables as a cover such as Sweetcorn.

Seeds you can sow now into trays – tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage, spinach, silverbeet, capsicum and melons. In some warmer areas you can plant carrots, beetroot and parsnips directly into the ground. Don’t forget asparagus either – it can go in early September – you just want to avoid planting it in wet, cold soil.

Now is also the time to spray your stonefruit and pip fruit trees with copper as it may help head off fungal diseases. Just keep in mind each time it rains the protective copper is washed away, so needs to be reapplied – don’t spray if rain is imminent. Bug oil applied now to citrus and other fruit trees may head off mites and aphids.

If you have straggly mint in the garden you can pot some up ready for your first potatoes and salads later on in the year. Dig up a small clump of mint, separate out a healthy looking section, and shake or wash off the soil. Cut a few lengths of the thick root and replant these rooted cuttings in a pot. You’ll soon have a new crop of fresh shoots to grow on in pots or replant into the garden.

That should keep you busy for a while! But if you are still looking for something to keep you occupied, have a look at our recipe blog & try something new.