Easy garden jobs to do in spring
Spring is the ideal time to get into the backyard and do some maintenance and planting to make sure it will look its best for summer – which, by the way, is a great time to sell your house, too. We’re not talking major makeovers, but you’ll no doubt be inspired to experiment with the amazing variety of plants you can find at your local Hills District garden centres that can transform any outdoor space.
Plan for success
Spring has officially sprung and we enjoy a particularly garden-friendly climate in the Hills District. Just look at the region’s rich agricultural history – but no pressure, we’re concentrating on smaller patches here.
Before you rush out and buy a bunch of expensive new plants to spruce up your backyard, it’s important to get the basics right. First, note where the sunny and shady spots are, and choose plants that will thrive accordingly. Second, check whether your soil is acidic or alkaline, as this can affect the soil’s nutrient efficiency. Bunnings sells a handy device for testing Ph levels, moisture and light.
Weed and fertilise
Once you’ve thoroughly weeded the areas you’re planning to plant with flowers, shrubs, vegetables, herbs or fruit trees, be generous with the fertiliser. Horse-poo and home-produced compost certainly do the job, but for detailed info about the best fertilisers for Australian natives, lawns, roses and citrus trees, check Homes to Love’s guide here.
The final step is applying mulch. This good stuff prevents the topsoil from drying out, helps prevent weeds, keeps the soil temperature constant and, if you’re using organic mulch, adds extra organic matter to the soil. ABC’s Gardening Australia is a wonderful online source of fact sheets, videos, tips and more – here’s its lowdown on mulching.
The green, green grass of home
Aerate your lawn with a garden fork, then apply weedkiller to remove broadleaf weeds and bindi. It’s advisable to apply a lawn fertiliser a few weeks later to keep the grass growing well and prevent new weeds. If you have bare patches or want to start a new lawn from scratch, now is the time to prepare the ground to lay new turf or grow grass from seed.
Veggies and herbs
If you’re planting a vegetable garden for the first time, choose easy-to-grow plants for best results. Try veggies such as salad leaves, silverbeet, carrots, leeks, climbing beans, spring onions, tomatoes, baby cucumbers and potatoes; and herbs such as chives, parsley, basil, sage, rosemary, oregano, mint and thyme. Check to see how big plants will grow before you buy and make sure there’s plenty of space for them. Some vegetables and herbs grow better from seed rather than seedlings (and seeds are much cheaper), notably carrots, radish, beetroot, coriander and rocket. If space is limited, don’t forget you can grow most vegetables and herbs in pots.
Flowers and fruit
There are three simple things to keep in mind when planting a flowerbed: height, time and colour. Choose species with flowering periods that overlap, to extend the blooming season; combine colours that work together; and make sure tall plants don’t obscure lower ones. Popular flowers to plant in spring include begonias, petunias, verbenas and zinnias, and why not try fruits such as citrus, passionfruit (great for covering fences) and olive trees? Visit (in person or online) Hills District garden centres such as Glenhaven Flower Power, Glenorie Budget Nursery and Swanes in Dural for inspiration, advice and an amazing array of plants.
Prune and trim
Pruning trees, shrubs and hedges gets rid of dead leaves and branches and encourages new growth. This is the time to trim shrubs that flower in summer, such as hibiscus and hydrangea – if you leave it much later you risk cutting off the buds. Bunnings provides clear step-by-step guides to pruning and the tools you need.
Having lived and worked in The Hills District for a long time, our team at Westons Property & Co knows the region intimately. If you have any lifestyle, home or property related questions, feel free to give us a call.