Spring is a busy time, planting and preparing for another growing season. There’s plenty to do, so get cracking!
What to Plant
1. Vegetables and Herbs – Artichokes, basil, beetroot, cabbage, capsicum, carrots, celery, chicory, chinese cabbage, chives, chilli, choko, climbing beans, cucumber, dill, dwarf beans, eggplant, endive, fennel, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, marjoram, melons, mint, okra, spring onions, oregano, parsnips, parsley, pumpkin, radish, rhubarb, rocket, rockmelon, rosemary, sage, silver beet, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, thyme, tarragon, watermelon and zucchini.
2. Roses – Plant new season roses now to get them well settled in before the warmer days of summer arrive. If you don’t have enough garden space, many roses can be grown successfully in large tubs and containers. Floribunda and miniature roses are particularly well suited to growing in containers. Remember when potting roses use quality Dawson’s Premium Potting Mix for best results.
3. Native Plants – Spring time is the peak period of native plant availability, so it’s the perfect time to browse among our range of true blue Australian natives. We should all be growing more natives. Growing Natives helps restore a natural balance in your garden by attracting, birds, native fauna, beneficial-predatory insects and pollinators. This has benefits for our gardens as a whole, in terms of increased pollination and predators keeping check on damaging insect populations. We are particularly proud of our Grevillea collection on offer this season. You’ll find Grevilleas for all positions whether it be for screening, feature shrubs, pots and there’s an extensive range of groundcover and mounding types.
4. Geranium Big Red – Go big on colour this spring and summer with this amazing, intense, red flowering Geranium. People often say that the Geraniums here in Australia just don’t have the intensity of these they’ve seen in Italy and Europe. Well, that was before Big Red came along. Big Red delivers that Italian Geranium look in spades! Big red is a cross between ivy and common (zonal) geraniums, so it has a wonderful, mounded habit. It’s ideal for feature pots, baskets, window boxes and performs just as well in garden beds. Best in full sun conditions.
5. Aloha Mandevillas – Get set for non-stop colour this season with these brilliant tropical look Mandevillas. There are five Aloha colours to choose from – Bright Pink, Red, Dark Red, Regal Ruby and White. Use them as short climbers on arches, pergola posts and on fences. Plant them into display pots or hanging baskets and watch them grow. While these plants are climbers, they can easily be kept shrub-like by trimming off the climbing shoots as they appear.
6. Trees – Summer is once again on its way, so now is a good time to think about shade trees for your garden.
7. Succulents – Succulents are the ultimate waterwise plants. Excellent, for tough hot spots. They can we mixed and matched to create wonderful living coral type effects. They perform well in pots, baskets, bowls and vertical gardens (green walls). A recent addition to our succulent collection is Senecio Blue Chalk Sticks. This spreading, clump forming perennial has steely-blue, cylindrical foliage. It is a wonderful contrast plant, which would make a fascinating border with a difference.
8. Blueberries – Start a new hobby, growing your own Blueberries. Blueberries are one of nature’s superfoods rich in antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and nutrients. Blueberries are acid soil loving plants, so can be tricky to grow in Perth’s limey sands. A sure way to success is to grow them in pots. To do this, pot them using Dawson’s Premium Potting Mix.
9. Wisteria – Wisteria, are their breath taking best from mid-late September. One of the best ways to grow Wisterias is on a pergola, where their cascading flowers can be admired from below. They can also be used to grow on fences, walls, arches or along verandas and walks. They prefer full sun conditions. For more information see our Wisteria fact sheet in the Fact Sheet section.
Jobs to do around the garden
1. Feed Roses – If you haven’t already started, begin feeding roses. Roses like regular fertilising, so feed every 4-5 weeks from now until mid May. Use a quality all purpose fertiliser or specialist rose fertiliser. And remember always water in well.
2. Lawn Care – As the days lengthen and gradually get warmer over spring, all turf species will enter an active growth phase. This is triggered by warming soil temperatures. It’s an important time to feed your lawn. Eco Emerald is a low phosphorous, river friendly, rock mineral based fertiliser. Rock minerals are naturally slow release and leaching is greatly reduced, making this product an effective and environmentally responsible way to feed your lawn. Eco Emerald contains a full range of minerals and beneficial microbes to feed your lawn the natural way.
3. Control Lawn weeds – Use a selective lawn herbicide to rid the lawn of common weeds like Bindii, Jo Jo (Onehunga), Clover, CapeWeed, Oxalis etc. Searles Buffalo Master is a very useful lawn herbicide to use on Couch, Buffalo and Kikuyu lawns. The best time for Bindii and Jo Jo (Onehunga) control is early in spring before these plants flower and developed their spiny seed capsules. Remember to follow instructions on the product packaging and avoid getting spray mist on desirable plants.
4. Prepare and plant summer vegetables – Prepare your vegetable beds for planting and try to get a lot of the planting done before the real heat arrives.
5. Begin Fruit Fly Control – In Perth and much of coastal WA, Mediterranean fruit fly control is quite difficult, but it isn’t impossible. The reality is that some control measures are probably required year round (because of our mild winters). Trapping should continue all year, including winter. The best approach is probably a combination of trapping, some bait spraying/application and some exclusion. For more information a details of fruit fly control options see “How do I control fruit fly?” in the FAQ section of this web site.
6. Monitor Roses for fungal infections – Black spot is an environmental disease, the fungal spores are always around in the and when weather conditions are conducive the disease can start to cause problems. Black spot is troublesome when the nights are still cool and damp, for example the period early in the season over September to late October and again in April through May. It can also be a problem during periods of humid weather during summer. To control black spot, some preventive spraying is required. Spraying at 1-2 week intervals over susceptible periods is a good policy.
7. Control Caterpillars – Voracious caterpillar pests are on the march in spring targeting soft new foliage on a range of plants. As soon as damage is noticed start control measures to protect your plants. Options for caterpillar control include Success Naturalyte Insect Control from Yates which is very effective on caterpillar pests.
8. Spray to control Citrus leaf miner – Citris leaf miner larvae produce characteristic wavy, snail- trail like damage on citrus leaves. Another tell-tale effect of attack is if citrus leaves are distorted or curled over. Citrus leaf miner is most prevalent from spring to late autumn. The pest mainly attacks young soft, new foliage. Mature foliage is more resistant to attack. The way to combat the pest is to spray with oil sprays like Eco-Oil* whenever plants are pushing out new foliage. For best prevention, begin spraying when new growth is about 4cm long. Continue re-applying every 5-14 days to protect new growth, until foliage has thickened and hardened off. All citrus varieties are susceptible to attack. * The makers of Eco-Oil suggest to not spray trees more than 8 times per season.
9. Release predatory mites – Spring is the best time of the year to release predatory mites to control damaging populations of red spider mites. A spring release of predatory mites, means your predators are in place and ready to help control spider mite populations which build up rapidly throughout spring. Predatory mites quietly work away, helping restore the natural balance and keeping spider mite populations under control. Predatory Mites can be ordered from your nearest Dawson’s store and are express posted to you via Australia Post. For more information on how predatory mites can help your garden see our Predatory Mite Fact, in the Fact Sheet section of this web site.