Spring is the time of year where the chilliness of winter recedes, the days start to lengthen, and sunshine breathes life back into the gardens. It is also a fantastic time to make the most of the extra daylight hours and clean up outdoor spaces, ready for entertaining again. Blow the remnants of winters leaves off the paved areas and get ahead of weeds and unmown lawns, before they take off with renewed vigour thanks to the warmer, wetter climes of spring. Here are some of our top tips for straightening up your outdoor space and setting your gardens up for the warmer months.
Deep-clean decks and paved areas
If you have wooden decking and/or paved outdoor entertainment areas around your home, spring is the perfect time to attack these areas, clean off decaying leaves, and prep them for your summer barbecues. If you have deciduous trees on your property, start with a leaf blower to clear surface debris. Wooden decking can be given a new lease on life with use of a water blaster or other pressure cleaner. Beware of using a water blaster on paved/concreted areas though, as this can remove some of the sand and cement and result in the area becoming more porous and prone to staining. If your paved areas developed grime and lichen over the winter months, consider applying a specialty product such as wet and forget, which can combat mildew with minimal labour involved, and bring your paved areas up as good as new.
Tidy up lawns and edging
Autumn and spring are the best times to carry out lawn care in New Zealand. If your lawn is a bit shaggy, give it a buzz cut before the winter dormancy ends and the growth takes off again. This will help you avoid the shock of having a somewhat shaggy lawn one week, then a towering jungle the next! If, on the other hand, you have a patchy lawn with some bald spots, get in early with warm-season grass seed, and top with a sprinkling of lawn soil to help it take off in the spring flush.
Get some veggies on the go
Spring is the perfect time to sow down some veggie seeds, and there is a huge variety of vegetable crops that can be planted at this time of year. Before planting, its good to clear out the veggie patch of any residual plant debris which might be harboring pests. Remember to give your plants plenty of space to encourage good airflow and prevent damp growing conditions. Its good to get a diverse selection of plants to encourage beneficial insects to visit. For ideas on all the vegetables you can plant in spring, check out the September list on https://www.gardengrow.co.nz/
Simple solutions for small spaces
If your home or rental has a smaller outdoor area as opposed to a full yard with lawn and gardens, there is still plenty you can do to create an outdoor space that you can enjoy during the warmer months. Keep seating minimal with discreet furniture that doesn’t overwhelm the space. Pots and small troughs are an easy and low maintenance way to cultivate your own garden. There are many vibrant flower varieties such as sunflowers and poppies that do wonderfully well in pots. Or instead, you may wish to create more of an edible eco-system with veggies such as capsicums and chillies or even a herb garden. All of these can thrive in pots and window planters with adequate sun and frequent watering. Plastic planters and troughs tend to fare better in smaller outdoor areas. They are lighter and easier to move around, and tend to drain better than terracotta pots. Throw up a string of solar powered garden lights and voila, your mini outdoor oasis is ready to enjoy.