If your backyard is looking a little sad or tired after winter, now is the perfect time to get everything in shape again. Our very own SMCT Horticulture team has given us the inside tips on how to prep your garden for spring.
‘Spring is the perfect time to be preparing your garden for optimal growth,’ says Anna-Marie Accadia, SMCT Operations Manager. ‘It is the time of year for new life, marking the start what’s known as the growing season. The warmer and longer days will also certainly help our horticulture team and everyone gardening at home.’
‘We are so proud of the gardens across our sites - we have a wonderful team who look after over 80,000 trees and 30,000 roses just at Springvale Botanical Cemetery alone. For our team it’s not just a job, it’s a passion and a calling, and we’re always delighted to share some tips with fellow gardening enthusiasts.’
To celebrate the change of season and get your garden ready for some outdoor enjoyment, our experts recommend getting started with these six spring gardening tips.
1. Loosen your soil
Loosening any existing soil in your garden beds will create an attractive habitat for earthworms and other micro-organisms which support your garden. This technique also allows for easy uptake of any nutritional products you may add on top of your garden beds in the future!
2. Fertilise, fertilise, fertilise
Feeding your plants with a slow-release fertiliser, then continuing to fertilise every six weeks, will allow them to access much needed nutrients as the weather changes. Remember to fertilise your lawn too! There are some great liquid sprays available to maintain the health of your lawn, which you should only be mowing to 25mm as we approach the warmer weather.
3. Deadhead your blooms
It isn’t as unpleasant as it sounds! Removing spent blooms enables growth and is a must in preparing for the warmer months.
‘To maintain roses, you must be deadheading through the season,’ says our SMCT Rosarian and resident rose expert, Rolfe Stok. ‘You then need to spray the stems with eco-oil to keep aphids at bay. Also, make sure that your roses have a secure tie and robust stake that is level with bud union”.
4. Get knee deep in mulch
Mulching your garden will suppress weed growth and help to stop any water evaporation. Mulch is readily available at your local nursery or hardware store, but our team’s tried and tested favourite is WhoFlungDung. Besides a hard-to-forget name, the benefit of this mulch is that it also contains fertiliser!
5. Maintain and sterilise your tools
The start of spring can be a little slow for plant growth, making it the perfect time to focus on equipment maintenance and sterilisation. Sharpening your blades will save you some time in the summer months, and sterilisation will ensure no nasty diseases are being carried from plant to plant.
6. Sharing is caring
Check industry news, ask your suppliers or say hello to that neighbour with the perfect garden. You may discover some helpful tricks, score a special clipping, or get that last handful of mulch you were missing.
For those who have been unable to visit our grounds due to COVID-19 restrictions, we asked our team for an update on the gardens. Although COVID-19 brought some restrictions for our horticulture team and 2020 brought one of our wettest winters to date, the team has managed to keep the gardens looking as glorious as ever with teamwork and good preparation.
‘Our grounds are thriving this spring for a number of reasons,’ explains Horticulture Leader, Peter Susovich, ‘the number one being teamwork.
Our teams rely heavily on trust, counting on one another to undertake tasks. It’s been a challenging year but we’ve adopted countless initiatives to ensure employee safety during this time, and to ensure we can preserve the health and beauty of our gardens for our community.’
Whether you’re a garden novice or guru, we hope these tips will get you outdoors and help you prepare your garden for spring.