Getting Spring ready in the Garden

Spring is starting to show itself now - albeit in patches!

It’s a great idea to start sowing some spring seeds. Staggering your sowing is a simple technique that works for most people. Sowing a little bit often is also more achievable and manageable than going all out, and by staggering your plantings you’ll also stagger your harvests – choice!

Cucurbit seed germinating

Preparing your Garden

Now is the perfect time to make sure your garden is all ready for your spring seedlings. Whether you want to create new growing space or just maximise the results from your garden, it’s a good idea to replenish essential nutrients by layering some compost and mulch to create rich and healthy soil.

To create a new no-dig garden bed, you can place a good layer of cardboard as a biodegradable weed barrier on your desired growing area to prevent grass and weedy growth coming through, before creating a rough border and layering your compost and mulch. Or if you like the look of raised garden beds they’re great for controlling pesky weeds, they just require a bit more effort and money upfront.

Lastly, don’t forget weeding is also a crucial task in any areas where this might have gotten away. You don’t want vigorous weeds competing with your young plants for essential nutrients.

Sowing for Success

If you haven’t already made a growing plan for the next few months, taking a quick look at your available garden space and roughly determining how many plants you can grow of the things you’d like to eat will help tremendously with efficiently planting your seedlings in your garden this season. Nobody wants plants they don’t have space for sitting around and languishing in small pots, however with a little forward planning you’ll be amazed at how much home-grown food you can harvest from a tiny backyard garden.

Most of your summer crops can be sown indoors now, but if you live somewhere cool you might find sowing your tender plants a bit later in September or even October better. You want to transplant heat-loving plants like capsicum, chilli, and tomatoes when it’s getting hot (e.g. 20°c+) for happy and highly productive plants.

As your seedlings get growing you can carefully transplant them into solo pots or planting bags to grow on until they get a bit larger and ready for planting out later in the season. Remember to always be wary for any hungry slugs or snails, especially if you're growing cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins!

Hardening off your indoor grown seedlings is the last crucial step in the process. To do so expose them to outdoor conditions and direct sunlight gradually, as they will likely struggle if transplanted directly from indoors.

There are also many herbs and vegetables that can be sown directly into your garden at this time of year, including beet, cabbage, and coriander. Choosing what to grow is always such an exciting time, but even more exciting is the harvests!

We’re sure you will have amazing success with your garden this spring.

Happy growing!

Bee gathering in NZ garden