The countdown to spring is well and truly on, making now the ideal time for landscaping your outdoor areas for warmer temperatures and flourishing garden spaces.
Landart Landscapes’ Matt Leacy shares his top 10 landscaping tips for spring 2018 â€“ advice to not only get your outdoor spaces looking and functioning great for spring, but summer as well.
- Spring clean
Coming out of winter, itâ€™s important to clean up the garden to get it in the best condition possible. This means removing any fallen leaves and thatch, and thoroughly weeding and pruning. Get on top of pesky weeds sooner rather than later as hotter temperatures help to stimulate weed-growth. And make sure you remove weeds from their roots so that they donâ€™t grow back and seed.
- Pruning is key
Pruning comes next. Itâ€™s an important part of the process because it helps to ensure that existing plants grow anew in spring. Trim back any hedges or early shrubs that have finished flowering, and also dispose of any dead or diseased branches.
- Love your lawn
Spring is also the time to get your lawn looking green again. Itâ€™s important to remove thatch and aerate the lawn to let the roots get as much water and nutrients as possible â€“ and then spread some course sand or top dressing soil over it. Fertilise your lawn now with something high in nitrogen (preferably organic) and water in well. This will be taken up by your lawn and will enhance its green and lushness.â€ť
- Mulch is your mate
Itâ€™s also important to apply some high-nitrogen organic fertiliser to both your lawns and garden beds. Mulching is a must-do in spring, as it lays the groundwork for your soil to retain and conserve moisture in the summer months â€“ as well as reducing weeds.
- Spring is for planting
Spring is the optimal season to plant cuttings or sew seeds â€“ you can be a lot more creative and your range of potential planting choices opens up significantly. You can plant perennials and annuals, and youâ€™ll have the time needed to properly establish plantings and let them settle before summer hits. Your choice of plantings should depend largely on your propertyâ€™s individual aesthetic and vibe, but given that Australia is currently officially in drought, youâ€™d be smart to consider the level of water and maintenance your plantings will need in order to survive the summer heat.
- Water-wise gardening
With drought conditions in many parts of Australia, thereâ€™s a chance weâ€™ll see official water restrictions come into play during spring. Last time we had water restrictions, drip-line irrigation systems were permitted â€“ and this is one of the most efficient ways of getting water into your garden.
- Pool preparation essentials
Spring is also the ideal time to start get the pool swim-ready for the warmer months. The first key thing to do will be to check the waterâ€™s pH levels. A poolâ€™s pH level should always sit somewhere between 7.2 and 7.8, and itâ€™s easy and cheap to monitor the pH level using a store-bought testing kit. Itâ€™s also worth checking that your poolâ€™s filtration system is working properly.
- Go Alfresco
Spring is the perfect time to get your outdoor spaces optimised for living, relaxing and entertaining. Think about how you can make the most of your outdoor areas as the weather heats up â€“ whether itâ€™s through an outdoor kitchen, installing some patio furniture or even an outdoor lounge room with some shade or cover.
- Cover up
Itâ€™s no secret that Australia has some of the harshest sun in the world, making the need for outdoor shade and cover critical â€“ especially in spring and summer. If you havenâ€™t got a lot of natural shade in your outdoor spaces, there are plenty of relatively low-cost man-made options on the market that can provide cover not only in the warmer months, but autumn and winter as well.
- Spring trends
Moving into spring, weâ€™ll likely continue to see lots of texture in landscaping design â€“ plenty of timber and different stones, especially in flooring. I also expect to see further uptake in smaller textured tiles. Spring will also likely herald lots of creativity and diversity in terms of finishes, shapes and sizes â€“ think cobblestones and mixing of linear lines with rounded shapes. Iâ€™d also predict weâ€™ll see continuing popularity in concrete finishes â€“ across pools, seating, flooring and barbeques.