Spring has arrived at last with the longer days and warmer sun. The ground is drying out and warming up so let the growing season begin!

The lawns will now respond to fertilisers as the grass begins to grow. After the grass has been cut two or three times I like to de-thatch the lawn then top dress with soil mixed with seed, especially in any low spots or areas of worn grass. Very wet areas will benefit from aeration either with a fork or by plugs. In extreme places, a top dress with sand will help to fix those areas.

Fruit trees will begin to blossom so any sprays must be applied before or after the flowers have opened to avoid the bees.

Seeds of the cooler growing plants may now be sown in the ground, (ensuring a succession of crops if they follow seedlings raised in the green house).

Areas that are going to be used to grow warm loving plants like tomatoes, peppers etc. should now be prepared by digging in compost, adding lime if needed and putting in supports ready to plant in about a months time.

Citrus plants can now have their first lot of fertiliser applied around the drip line.  Conquer oil applied before they move into growth or flowering will also help to control any pests.

As the Spring bulbs finish flowering remove the spent flowers so that the bulb will build up reserves for next year's flowers.

Winter and Spring flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned as soon as they have finished flowering to allow the new growth time to initiate flowers for next year. Container Plants that require repotting will respond well if they are potted on now, especially if completed before they start their new growth.

Trees or shrubs that have ties should be checked now; as plants start to grow the circumference of the trunks will increase as they move into new Spring growth.

There is a lot to do from now on so to be well prepared will be to well begun.
Enjoy the Spring, Michael

The CHS are working with the Southern Seed Exchange (SSE) to bring you a range of fabulous seed packs, for big and small gardens alike Take a look here.

Remember: questions can be posted on HortTalk our online facebook group or you can email Michael directly at: coultchrys@xtra.co.nz