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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Gardening *TIP OF THE WEEK* - Basic Garden preparation for the Spring season

As winter comes to an end there are several main points to consider when preparing your garden for the coming Spring season.

Remove all garden debris accumulated over the winter period, this includes any leaves that may have blown into the garden, smaller fallen branches, foliage that has completed growing on annuals and perennials and dried up foliage from bulbs. Compost any material that does not show signs of disease.

Beware of garden pests at this time as plant sap is flowing. Pests can not resist fresh food. With the warmer weather be aware also of fungal attack on new growth. Apply pesticides.

Incorporate broken down compost that was applied at the start of winter into the soil. Dig over the soil turning the compost into the soil, taking care to avoid root damage to established trees and shrubs.

Apply general garden fertiliser or super phosphate to prepared garden areas that you wish to plant with annuals or perennials. Generally an application of fertiliser a week or two before planting will give the fertilizer time to become readily available to new plant roots.

Apply a thick layer of compost or mulch ready to feed your new plants direct organic nutrients and help with soil water retention over the coming warmer months.

Harden off seedlings ready to be planted out into the garden.

Perform any last minute transplanting of plants within the garden, divide and plant Rhizomous plants such as Bearded Iris, as they start to show signs of new growth.

Tie and support any climbing plants such as roses. Stake Dahlia shoots and bulbs growing top growth that may require staking as the new growth shoots away in early spring.

Spray lawns for weeds. Apply pre emergent weed killer. Get the weeds while they are still young. Apply lawn fertiliser according to your lawns requirements.

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