Spring into your beautiful garden

What a busy time of year. Spring is upon us and our gardens are beginning to tentatively reveal their beauty.

Now is a great time to add a few natives to the scene. There is a range to suit every garden, large or small and they are just as easy to cultivate as any other plants, sometimes even easier. I always find smaller plants do better when transplanted, this is because they do not have to sustain a mass of top growth and can put their energy into growing themselves. Remember most natives need well drained soil and no lime. One smallish Grevillia I have had particular success with is 'Superb'; it really lives up to its name and flowers continuously.

August/September is a good time to plant citrus, and there are plenty of varieties to choose from. If you have to consider space, try one of the dwarf varieties in a large pot or tub. Citrus like a sunny, fairly well sheltered spot, with dolomite dug through the soil. Always make sure the graft is kept well above soil-level when transplanting.

Ferns and palms can also be re-potted before the hot weather hits.

In the vegie patch, think of summer salads and plant capsicum, carrot, lettuce, parsley, and cucumber. If you are running late planting your squash, zucchini, or cucumbers, give them a help along - soak seeds overnight, place between a few layers of damp newspaper, then into a plastic bag on top of the hot water storage system. Check daily and when shoots appear, plant into a nice sunny spot in well drained soil. Always water around root area to reduce the chance of mildew on leaves.

Spring flowering annuals can be helped along with a dose of liquid fertiliser. Plant a few extras for a summer display cosmos, dahlia, marigold, petunia and statice.

The Lismore Home Garden Education Club meets on the second Thursday of the month at Lismore Workers Club. For more information phone Dorothy on 66214100.

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