News and information – Friday Five: Spring gardening tips – Wellington City Council


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1. To mulch or not to mulch? 
Mulch is a good way to discourage weed growth and help retain moisture in your garden’s soil.
There are two basic kinds of mulch: organic and inorganic, both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Organic mulches include formerly living material such as chopped leaves, straw, grass clippings, compost, wood chips and shredded bark. Organic mulches have the advantage of improving the soil as they break down.
2. What to do with your perennials
A perennial is a plant that lives more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter-lived annual and biennial plants.
Some perennials can't handle cold weather well and can be damaged by winter frosts. This can lead to recurrent problems with pests and diseases.
Cutting back certain perennials in autumn can protect them from the cold and spark healthy growth in spring.
3. Tips for pruning roses 
You will want to reduce the size of the rose bush by about a third to a half. Use sharp, clean pruning tools. Remove all the dead and damaged branches.
Take off any branches that are crossing over, to encourage the plant into a vase shape. Take off any smaller branches, anything smaller than a pencil.
Look for outwardly facing buds and cut about 10mm above the bud and make the cut on a 45° angle, this helps with water run-off and reduces the chance of disease.

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