Spring is around the corner and in preparation of the new growing season, I would like to share a few handy tips with you.
Lawnmowers, edge trimmer’s and other mechanical gardening equipment took a well deserved resting period during the colder months. Before plants start to grow in spring, it is essential to make sure that these equipment are in tip top shape. Winter is a great time to service mechanical equipment to ensure that they perform well in the summer months when we cannot afford to be without them. If the time has come to replace your existing equipment, consider purchasing second hand as many homeowners now make use of garden services and often offer their old equipment at bargain prices. Any broken tools can be fixed and oiled to ensure a comfortable usage thereof.
Ensure that all cutting blades are sharp in order to perform good clean cuts for speedy recovery of plants. The right tool for the right job is always a good idea and may be a worthwhile investment for years to come. You often get what you pay for and the cheapest offer may only be cost effective in the short term. Well manufactured gardening tools last longer and are often more comfortable to use. Looking after your garden tools (cleaning, servicing etc) will be cost effective too in the long run, as you will not have to replace them so often.
It is easier to see what and where to prune before the leaves appear on deciduous plants. As soon as the plant’s growing buds start swelling, one can start considering pruning. Many gardening literature suggest July as the best time for pruning, but with the strange seasons we are experiencing, pruning (or the cutting back of plants) can be postponed a little. Pruning stimulates new plant growth and if the danger of frost is still threatening, it might damage the performance of the plant in the growing season to follow.
Fertilizers and pesticides
Now is a good time to take stock of all the left-over fertilizers, organic material and pesticides that are stashed away in some cupboard space. Always ensure that poisons are handled with great caution and that it is stowed away out of reach of youngsters and animals. Use old products first and calculate what additional products will be needed for summer. Early spring is a good time to be on the lookout for special promotions at retail stores. It is also a good idea to use winter to clean out the gardening shed and getting organised again for spring and summer.
Composting and mulching
It is advisable to add an organic component like compost to your garden as this will improve the fertility of the soil. For ease of use compost is available in easy to handle bag sizes but for bigger quantities it is advisable to purchase compost in bulk loads. Always buy organic materials from a reliable and known supplier as the promise of weed free compost may end up as an empty promise … leaving you with a growing season of weeds. Compost need not be dug into the soil but can be left on top of the soil to form a mulch layer.
Gardening experts can assist you with advice that will suit your specific needs but only if they are qualified, knowledgeable and experienced. Beware of cheap imitations.