Make it a spring resolution to bring back easy-to-grow garden flowers to your garden in September. We show you what you need to do with our spring garden tips.
Get down and dirty start by preparing the soil with compost and bone meal. Follow the instructions on the back of seed packets for each type of seed. The soil should never dry out after sowing. If necessary, give a light sprinkling of water twice a day. As soon as germination is completed and the first true leaves show, you can give less water.
The clivia is king of spring and it is definitely the plant of the month. Gardeners all over will probably agree! It is easy to grow, great for shade, uses water sparingly, and if protected from the worst winter cold, will warm the cockles of one’s heart with its glowing flowers, later turning into very ornamental seeds in a warm, rusty-red shade – the one indigenous plant that reassures us that there is something like gardening ubuntu out there!
•There’s no need to replace frost-damaged bedding begonias with new plants. Simply cut them back to remove the damaged parts and dose back to health with a water-soluble fertiliser.
•Feed and start watering the lawn regularly, and fix bare patches in the lawn with a top-dressing of fine compost or commercial lawn dressing. Feed lawns with Lan Kan, fertilawn or 6:3:4 fertiliser to promote root growth; tidy up uneven edges. Reduce watering where lawns were over seeded with cold season grasses; then cut them low to make it easier for the runners of your summer grass to come through.
•Plant charming perennials in your spring garden, like columbines, gauras, carpet geraniums, bearded iris, giant statice and sweet violets.
•Tip: The flower power of some tall-growing perennials that are dormant in winter can be increased by pinching out the main stems in spring, when they have emerged again and are about 20cm high.
•Clivias are in flower! Visit your local nursery to buy more plants to brighten up your shade garden. Don’t be tempted to divide existing plants too often as the clumps prefer to be left undisturbed for years.
•Start spraying fruit trees against fruit fly and codling moth once about 75% of the blossoms have dropped off. Spray every 10–14 days.
•Try growing asparagus — seedlings are available in punnets nowadays. Crowns will form about 12 months after sowing seed, but the wait for spear production is about three years. Provide richly composted soil, water and fertiliser in summer.
•Prune mayflowers and banksiae roses as soon as they stopped flowering. Pinch out the growing tips of shrubs that are showing new life to encourage branching and bushiness.
•Start planting dahlia and other summer-flowering bulbs and also divide and replant overcrowded perennials that did not get the ‘treatment’ in autumn.
•Revamp your patio and outdoor areas with pots and colourful bedding plants like petunias, dianthus and the floriferous calibrachoas.
•Sow seeds of green peppers and aubergines in seed trays. Plant seeds of herbs like basil, coriander, borage and rocket in situ in a warm spot. Sow beans in situ once the soil has warmed up; in cold areas start them off in seed trays kept in a warm, sunny sheltered place.
•You can sow and plant most vegetables and herbs as long as you can keep those that is tender to late frost or need time to grow up in seedling containers first, protected, moist and warm. Good companions and pretty plants in general for a veggie garden are calendulas, lavender, marigolds, nasturtiums, parsley, thyme and wild garlic.
•Choose your summer bulbs now. Look out for the exotic Tigridia pavonia, tiger lilies, yellow-flowering chlidanthus, flame lilies, our indigenous watsonias and tall, lilac liatris which make perfect cut flowers.
•Repot cymbidium orchids that have outgrown their pots.
•If your spring bulbs haven’t died back and you need the space to plant something else, lift them out with some soil and replant them out of the way in a corner where they’ll continue to grow.
Please visit us at Tuingenoot, our friendly staff, always ready to help. You can find us on the corner of Lyttleton & Old Johannesburg Road, Centurion. Telephone: 012-6600103
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