Pretty in pink, Primulas

In the garden world spring is a magical time. It is still quite cold but the plants got the memo that it is September and it means that they all need to come out of dormancy and burst into tender green shoots. The deciduous plants are still leafless but I can see them all busy, shooting out tiny leaves. I have often wondered how plants sense that the days are getting longer and they can come out of their slumber. This makes me more in awe of Nature.

The daffodils may have done their dash but best to only deadhead them but leave them until their leaves die down naturally. Once the leaves dry out, you can lift the bulbs up and separate them and replant them for next season or air them and plant later in autumn.


Winter pots of colour like primulas and osteospermums are just as colourful. They along with your spring flowering bulbs could do with a quick feed of liquid fertilizer.

Blueberries, lemons and other citrus, grapes and other fruit trees that start flowering or shooting in spring will thrive with a feed to encourage maximum fruiting and flowering. Citrus and apples do well with a special citrus fertilizer.  Grapes would do well with a potassium based fertilizer to promote good fruiting.

Blueberries are easy to grow and rewarding

Blueberries are acid loving and so any fertilizer you would use for camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons should work well for blueberries. They also love coffee grounds. Blueberries produce their flowers on old wood meaning that the buds for each year’s berry crop are formed during the summer and autumn of the previous season. I didn’t know this fact and wondered why I had no fruit one year!!

Roses do love coffee grounds and onion peels. I normally like to collect them in an old ice-cream container and when the container gets full, I lightly dig around the plant and mix in the peels and grounds in soil.

I am not a great fan of lawns. I often think they are such a waste of space and need year round care. What no one realises is that in a windy city like Wellington one cannot maintain a weed free lawn. Whether it is a grass lawn or weed lawn, spring is the time to feed this green patch too.

Spring is the time when insects start attacking your precious plants. Here is a recipe for a natural insect spray. Make this spray and keep it handy to use on both indoor and outdoor plants.

Finely grate or make paste 50 grams of garlic. Put garlic and three dried red chillies in a large measuring jug and pour 600 ml boiling water from the kettle. Let it steep overnight. In the morning strain using a fine meshed sieve. Mix a tablespoon of oil and ¼ teaspoon turmeric and fill into a spray bottle and use as needed.


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