Spring - VIC and TAS

PLANT

Petunias love the hot weather and add delightful colour to the garden through summer. As they grow, gently pinch out the central growing tip to encourage busy growth and more blooms. Other colourful additions include marigolds, Vincas and African daisies.

Fuschias are looking beautiful right now, so check tout their displays at your local garden centre. They enjoy a cool, shady area but will reward you with colour right through until winter.

In the vegetable garden, it is time to plant:

  • Eggplant
  • Sweetcorn
  • Beans
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil

DO

Repot plants that have outgrown their homes. Before placing the plant into the new pot, check the roots. If they are overgrown and spiraling around the root ball, gently tease them out and give them a light prune. Any discoloured or slimy roots should also be removed. Shake off some of the old potting mix and then gently place the plant into the new soil. Water it in well with a seaweed solution to minimise transplant shock and give it a dose of slow-release fertiliser.

Keep your tomatoes healthy with a sprinkling of tomato dust. It will help curb a host of problems such as caterpillars, leaf spots, mites, tomato grub and common fungal diseases.

Trim up your Impatiens as they yellow off after winter and give them a good feed of a liquid fertiliser. This will reignite healthy growth and you should get flowers right through until winter. If you are looking to replace your old Impatiens, or add some to your garden, now is the time to get them in the ground.

Roses will be looking great now. Keep them healthy with regular feeds as they will be hungry. Top-dress with a layer of good quality compost too for an extra nutrient boost. Keep a lookout for aphids on your roses though, and if they appear in force tackle them with a natural pyrethrum spray or wash them off with a strong jet of water. Attracting natural predators such as ladybugs can help too. Provide them with lots of white and yellow flowers such as Cosmos, dill, chives, marigold, coriander and fennel.

TASTE

There will still be lots of delicious citrus fruit around, but keep a look out for the emergence of berries onto the market shelves.

Globe artichokes and asparagus are this season’s stars, as well as broad beans and snow peas.

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