News | 27 August 2021

Friday Five: Spring gardening tips

Get ready for spring with these handy tips from our own expert gardening team!

A persons hands pruning plants in a colourful garden.

1. To mulch or not to mulch? 

Mulch is a good way to discourage weed growth and help retain moisture in your garden’s soil.

There are two basic kinds of mulch: organic and inorganic, both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Organic mulches include formerly living material such as chopped leaves, straw, grass clippings, compost, wood chips and shredded bark. Organic mulches have the advantage of improving the soil as they break down.

2. What to do with your perennials

A perennial is a plant that lives more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter-lived annual and biennial plants.

Some perennials can't handle cold weather well and can be damaged by winter frosts. This can lead to recurrent problems with pests and diseases.

Cutting back certain perennials in autumn can protect them from the cold and spark healthy growth in spring.

3. Tips for pruning roses 

You will want to reduce the size of the rose bush by about a third to a half. Use sharp, clean pruning tools. Remove all the dead and damaged branches.

Take off any branches that are crossing over, to encourage the plant into a vase shape. Take off any smaller branches, anything smaller than a pencil.

Look for outwardly facing buds and cut about 10mm above the bud and make the cut on a 45° angle, this helps with water run-off and reduces the chance of disease.

A close up a persons hands pruning plants in a garden with secateurs.

4. Tying in climbers 

There are many products available to tie climbers when training them up a structure such as a trellis or a pergola.

One of the main products we in the Botanic Garden ki Paekākā use is a chain-lock system that is available on long reels which you can cut to length.

It is a quick, effective and inexpensive way to tie in climbers and for many other gardening jobs. 

5. Tricks for renovating your lawns 

The best time for lawn renovations is usually spring when the soil is warmer and the grass is actively growing.
Remove large weeds manually and dethatch (remove the dead grass layer) with a thatching rake or a scarifier for larger areas.

Scarifying is also good for soil preparation for resowing. Fill any holes or low areas with a good lawn mix. Also add a thin layer of lawn mix to any bald patches.

Sow the grass seed evenly and rake lightly into the lawn mix and water. Cover the resown areas with netting to prevent birds from eating the seed and people walking over your hard work.

Watch out each Friday for a fun list of five great activities to do, places to explore, or things to discover in our awesome city (depending on our Alert Level!).