Print Posted on 28/08/2017

Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis shares spring gardening tips

Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis shares spring gardening tips

By Tanya MacNaughton

THIS year marks Costa Georgiadis’s sixth season of hosting ABC’s Gardening Australia and the passionate landscape architect is still totally in awe of his job.

“I hadn’t had that specific card on my bucket list but it came along as a random thing and in a funny way it’s somehow been a wonderful chance for me to do what I love,” Georgiadis said.

“I brought with me a whole heap of things I’d studied and experienced, but at the same time I’ve learnt so much from the amazing people I’ve met.

“They’ve all just had a passion since childhood or an early age; whether it’s for orchids or beekeeping or butterflies or native plants or bonsai or vegetables. That’s going to keep me excited about this until the day they compost me.”

Georgiadis’s own enthusiasm began while growing up in North Bondi, where he spent time in his grandfather’s market garden and on his godfather’s farm.

A prime example of the random nature of his television gig had occurred before this interview, when he had spent the day in Bathurst at an aged care facility filming an upcoming story about hen power, which uses chickens for therapy with the residents.

But Georgiadis was also keen to speak about Gardening Australia’s annual spring episode airing at 6.30pm on Saturday, September 2, repeated on Sunday, September 3 at 1pm and also available on ABC iview.

The episode features Georgiadis exploring a meadow display in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden, Jane Edmanson will visit a collector’s garden of unusual, architectural beauties and Sophie Thomson will show viewers a spring garden bursting with colourful blossom and bulbs, while Tino Carnevale will reveal the secrets to planting a summer crop.

“I think some of the best things people can do in spring is think ahead to summer,” Georgiadis said.

“You want to make sure you’ve got your soil really well fed, that there’s plenty of compost to go on in late spring and mulch so that when the garden comes to the more demanding peaks of summer, your soil management and program has bunkered down to not only hold the moisture but also the minerals. You don’t want the heat of summer to hammer your plants and cause them stress.

“The less stress your plants have, the better show of flowers they’ll give and you’ll be feeding the insects and bees and birds to help act as nature’s natural pest control.

“The ground preparation we continue to do over spring will give us the conditions for the garden to thrive over summer.”

GEORGIADIS’S QUICK SPRING GARDENING TIPS

Build good composting and get your worm farm ticking along.

Mulch the garden now so it will be breaking down even better over the summer.

Think about getting your late spring/summer vegies into the garden.

Try sowing some seeds if you’ve been mainly a seedling grower. Growing vegies from seeds this year will reveal how easy and cheap it is.

Think about planting some herb pots. If you’re really in to parsley and basil, plant big bunches rather than a few here or there. If you get a good basil crop you can make a heap of pesto.

Find an area to plant a rosemary hedge so you can grow enough to give friends and family and share with neighbours.