To make the most of your garden over the coming spring months a little bit of planning and preparation goes a long way! Tidy up existing garden beds, make sure the veges you are growing are well looked after, prepare garden beds to get the most out of your spring plants and plant your early spring crops now.
Check your existing crops
- Pull out any weeds and any plants you no longer need.
- Slugs and snails can be a pain at this time of year and love brassicas like broccoli and cabbage. Go on a snail hunt from time to time to pull them out of the garden - a good time to do this is in the evening with a torch. Apply Tui Quash slug & snail to help stop them munching on your carefully tended seedlings before you have the chance to enjoy them.
- Give your plants a feed with Seasol plant tonic, when applied regularly this helps strengthen plants against extremes in temperatures.
Prepare gardens for spring planting
Rejuvenating the garden bed:
- First up pull out any weeds, and any plants that are no longer needed in here. Leave in plants you still want, these can be planted around.
- Then its time to replenish the soil. If you don’t replace the nutrients between plantings, there won’t be anything in the soil to help the plants reach their full potential.
- Firstly, determine what type of soil you have (see image below):
Clay soil - heavy and hard to break up.
Sandy soil - doesn't hold water well.
Rich healthy soil - rich in organic matter, friable and crumbly.
- If you have clay or sandy soil, dig in plenty of organic matter like Tui Compost and Tui Super Sheep Pellets. Regularly do this, until your soil resembles the rich healthy example above. If your soil is already rich healthy soil you won't need to add as much organic matter.
- Tui Compost adds nutrient-rich organic matter to replenish your soil with nutrients used during the growing season. The combination of organic matter, blood and bone and gypsum will help break up heavy, clay soils; improve drainage in compacted soil; and increase water holding capacity in sandy soil. It also increases microbial activity, and encourages earthworms – a gardener’s best friend! If you have a compost heap, you could use that compost. Sheep pellets do much the same – conditioning the soil and adding organic matter. Did you know it’s the wool in these that the worms love, not just the sheep poo!
- Leave this for a week or so for the organic matter to start breaking down, and for the worms to start doing their thing, and then it will be all ready to plant your spring crops!
Plant more veges
- It's the start of spring and there is plenty that can be grown in the garden now, particularly in warmer parts of the country. Carrots, broccoli, herbs, spring onions, beetroot, broad beans, leeks, silverbeet and spinach are all veges that tolerate cooler temperatures if it's still cold at your place! To see what to plant in your region now see our handy planting calendar here.
- It's a good idea to successively plant seedlings – every month or so in different beds, so you have always got vegetables in various stages of growth. This will mean your garden will feed the family until the late spring and summer garden is producing.
- It is really important to keep feeding your crops as they grow. Give them a top up with Tui Super Sheep Pellets. Apply Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic every four weeks to promote strong growth and help strengthen against extremes in temperatures.
- Its also a good idea to add a layer of Tui Pea Straw Mulch around your veges as this will help retain moisture, stop weeds popping up, and keep the roots protected from extremes in temperature.
Directions for planting seedlings:
- Soak your seedling in a bucket of Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic and allow to drain. This will help prevent transplant shock.
- Dig a hole, approximately twice the depth and width of the root ball of your plant.
- Partly filling the hole with Tui Vegetable Mix.
- Place the seedling in the hole.
- Filling in with Tui Vegetable Mix.
- Gently press the soil around the base of the plant.
- Water after planting.