Spring is the growth season, with grounds maintenance becoming (it can seem) a full-time occupation. An after-winter clean-up is a good place to start, so that you have a clearer ‘canvas’ on which to base any garden improvements you may want to make. A good idea is to create a working bee, knocking over your clean-up in a day. MANfriday can be your team, following your instructions – go to work with one last look at overgrown edges and unruly garden, return home to something crisp and sharp, ready for enhancement.
Following the clean-up, removal of older, woodier bushes past their prime, and replanting of more suitable shrubs can provide an instant breath of fresh air. Certainly, Spring is a grand time for planting, with new roots getting the bedding-in benefit of 3 or 4 months of regular rain before the drier late Summer and Autumn seasons. It’s important you dig a hole twice the size of the new plant’s root ball, and refill it with rich garden mulch (as opposed to the typically soul-less Taupo pumice). This will ensure your new addition gets off to a healthy start, instead of sitting with little growth for 3 or 4 years while the roots have no incentive to extend into the devoid-of-nutrient pumice.
However, DON’T add any nitrogen fertilizer into the garden mulch, you’ll only burn the roots. Go for blood and bone, a couple of decent handfuls well-mixed in, or some phosphate (excellent for root growth).
Once the bigger plants are dealt with, consider adding some flowering annuals. A splash of vibrant colour in a month’s time will make the 10 minutes it takes to plant a punnet of pansies or violas extremely worthwhile. Before planting, dig or hoe in any old leaves left over from Autumn and Winter – no deeper than amongst the top 10 centimetres or so of soil, as most annual roots won’t grow past this.
If it’s all looking a bit too much, sing out, MANfriday have a spring in their step!
Summer Is On The Way….Hooray!
As we head into summer it’s time to take a look at your garden and decide how you’re going to prepare it for the coming heat. Taupo has a pumice soil that is notorious for not only it’s lack of nutrients, but also for being extremely free-draining. Great if you want to play a game of rugby an hour after a heavy downpour, yet with the potential to make a ‘dried arrangement’ of your feature garden if you don’t bring it water over late January, February, and (sometimes) March.
Some things are obvious. Check watering systems, sprinklers, and hoses. Replace worn fittings and equipment. Apply soil wetters to your garden beds. Remove competing weeds and spread new mulch – yet don’t make your mulch layer so thick and dense that water won’t penetrate.
Check plants and consider removing some and replacing with heat hardy varieties – so long as you will bring them that vital water till April. There are extensive lists of drought tolerant plants and many at nurseries carry labels that indicate drought hardiness.
Lavender are a great, consistent splash of colour for the summer months – a Mediterranean plant that has evolved to handle dry conditions, with many varieties and flower shades to brighten your garden.
Some natives that are considered low water users also make hardy additions. Not noted for their flowering, rather for spectacular foliage all year round….reliable examples commonly used by landscape designers are pittosporum, corokia, and astelia. Others, such as hebe, flax, and pseudopanax, can also survive with little additional watering.
Of course succulents are renowned for their drought hardiness and with such a wide range now available – they don’t all have to look like cacti – an interesting garden can be quickly made.
Like for all seasons, planning and forethought are key. Set aside a couple of days for your summer-checking and a good garden tidy-up well ahead of Christmas so you can then sit back and enjoy the festivities – and your family – over the Christmas to New Year period without having to spend hours in the garden playing ‘wet-nurse’.
Or contact the Taupo property maintenance experts, MANfriday, now, to lay some water-conserving mulch around your garden, or alternatively install an irrigation system in either your most valuable garden or your lawn. A green lawn over summer may need an extra mow, but the ambience it adds on a sunny blue-sky day is more than worth it. Especially if a spot of croquet or petanque is your thing!
MANfriday – providing the most property maintenance solutions in Taupo to maximize your summer lifestyle!