Business at Junction Hill Nursery is blooming as brightly as the beautiful flowers Pattie Gilbert currently has for sale.
As spring makes its presence felt, Ms Gilbert said now is the perfect time to source new plants and get productive in the garden.
At this time of year, there are bindis that need to be sprayed, shrubs which are due to be trimmed, weeds have to be removed and fertiliser and mulching needs to be done to prepare garden beds and enrich the soil, which means it’s time to pick up the gloves and gardening tools and head out into the great outdoors.
“Spring is a good time to get stuck into the garden,” Ms Gilbert said.
“Fertilising and mulching are very important as they give plants a boost coming out of winter and mulching is a good way to improve soil quality.
“I always recommend sugar cane mulch and lucerne mulch as white ants don’t eat it and lucerne mulch breaks down easily into the soil.
“This is a busy time of the year and I’ve been flat out at the nursery.”
A well-loved family business and a popular destination for local gardeners and those who possess a green thumb, Junction Hill Nursery has experienced a growth in trade during the past few months.
As the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic forced many people to spend more time at home, the popularity of veggie patches and home-grown fruit has surged.
There has been a remarkable 50 percent increase in the sales of vegetable seedlings at Junction Hill Nursery compared to 2019.
Ms Gilbert added she has lost count of the number of enquiries and requests she has had for herb boxes and fruit trees as more people have started growing their own food.
The nursery sells a variety of fruit trees including apples, pears, mangos and also grapevines and kiwifruit.
“I only stock plants that grow well in the local area and can handle our climate,” Ms Gilbert said.
“I’ll be getting more fruit trees in over the next few weeks too.”
Indoor plants and hanging baskets have also experienced a growth in popularity as people seek to bring the outdoors indoors.
Although renowned for their hardiness, Ms Gilbert said 90 percent of indoor plants die as a result of over-watering.
She said as a general rule, they only need to be watered once a week.
“The best way to check if a plant needs watering is to stick your finger in the soil or scratch the surface,” Ms Gilbert said.
“If the soil sticks to your finger, you don’t have to water the plant.”
With most plants beginning to flower as the weather warms up, spring is also the ideal time to add extra colour to your garden.
Azaleas, daisies and magnolias are blossoming into life at the nursery and Ms Gilbert has many varieties suitable for any garden format.
Spacious walking paths on site also ensure social distancing practices can be safely maintained and customers are always welcome to ask Ms Gilbert for gardening advice.