Spring has ‘sprung’ in the Southern Hemisphere, with flowers bursting forth, buds swelling and the birds becoming active. But these bizarre, autumnal-like weather conditions are challenging our gardens and, for many of us, our patience too! There are three key steps to take in the garden to best manage the impacts of this unfortunate spring weather.
#1 – Preventing pest and disease is a job for spring
For the second year running, the persistent spring rain prevails, creating a humidity in the air that can give early rise to pest and disease.
Vigilance is critical during such weather patterns. This may well save your summer crops! Check as regularly as you can for early rust on garlic, and black aphids on the leeks, chives and spring onions. Let’s get on top of these pests now, before they infest our plants! Spray with a good organic oil and feed your plants regularly to boost their health and resilience.
#2 – Sow only when the temperature is right
While it is typically time to start sowing our spring/summer seeds, I urge you to remember that summer seeds love a constant 20+ degrees for optimal success.
If you are too keen to wait for warmer weather, start them off indoors or in the greenhouse. Only prick out when the first true leaves are formed, to avoid leggy seedlings that will struggle later on.
#3 – Build and care for your garden’s eco-system now
It is a great time to sow your flower seeds to provide food for the bees and to attract beneficial insects. They will also be a key tactic to protect your garden from future pests.
Turn the compost now, ready to use on the garden when your new beds are formed, or to use as a side dressing for your establishing plants, like garlic and leeks.
Healthy soil creates healthy plants; it grows nutrient rich food, which in turn gives us good gut health and energy – exactly what we all need!
All in all, it is prime time to give love to your garden and plan for the summer months to come.
A message to all gardeners this spring:
To all gardeners that are feeling disheartened by the seeming ‘delay’ of spring weather – please remember that this is the way gardening goes… We are subject to the challenges of the weather and sometimes we might not get the crop we desire.
Never give up hope and rise to the challenge, as growing food is so important in this new world, where food shortages and price rises are appearing everywhere.
Take care of yourselves, and your plants, and I hope you grow inspired.