It’s summertime and life is, (or should be) a garden in full bloom! Spend time this month to keep on feeding fast-growing plants and lawns, also look at adding lots of summer colour to your garden beds. Make it a priority to pretty up your entertainment area or patio with containers filled with beautiful specimens and flowering plants.
Flowers that are in season.
•Marigolds are surely the most cheerful and easy to grow summer annuals. They love the heat and full sun and don’t require a lot of water. Fertilise them monthly to induce a mass of blooms.
There are different varieties of Marigolds and these are available in bright orange, yellow and red blooms. Visit your local garden centre tuingenoot to pick and choose the ones you love the most!
One can also look at using dwarf French Marigold varieties as companion plants in the herb and veggie gardens to add colour to the foliage and to fend off bugs such as aphids.
• Other annual seedlings to add to your ‘colouring in’ checklist are New Guinea Impatiens, Impatient beacon and Begonias for your shaded areas, one can look at Sunpatiens, Vincas, Dianthus, Petunias, Salvias, Zinnias, Gazanias, Gypsophila, Alyssum, Celosia, Calibrachoa, Verbena and Portulaca for your sunny positions.
•If you looking for something more permanent, Plant more of the all-time favourites like Lavenders, Cupheas, Gauras, Angelonias, Agapanthus and Alstroemerias (Inca lilies) – especially the dwarf and extremely prolific hybrids, which are perfect for container-growing too.
•Dahlia tubers should go to ground now, for late-summer and autumn display.
•Quick sowings include the always popular summer flowers like Cosmos, Zinnias, and Sunflowers which are sown directly into the garden.
For the edible enthusiasts
•All pumpkin types are sown in November, but you can also sow seeds of French beans, climbing beans, mealies, sweetcorn, cucumbers, and melons.
•Plant seedlings of sweet peppers, chillies and tomatoes and remember to do follow-up planting of favourite cooking herbs such as sweet basil, coriander and parsley.
•Keep leafy veggies like salad and spinach healthy with frequent feeding and watering to strengthen them against pests. Also look at using lots of companion plants such as rosemary and chives in the veggie garden as they can help to repel your common pests.
•Fruiting plants like blueberries, gooseberries and raspberries will be readily available. Plant them in containers or in the veggie garden, feed with a slow release fertiliser and water regularly. You can look at feeding them with organic fertilisers such as flower power or gwano pellets.
•Plant out new basil plants to get a crop going and also sow seeds of it too, to ensure an abundance of fresh and aromatic leaves. Remove all flower buds to ensure good quality of foliage and do not allow them to set into seed.
•Look at pampering your lawn by feeding it with lawn fertiliser such as Fertilawn for the organic route or Lan/Kan but ensure you water well before and afterwards. Maintenance includes regular mowing, taking care not to remove too much of the leaf blades. Continue to use selective herbicides to treat persistent patches of broad-leaf weeds if necessary.
Tackle the garden floor
•If your gravel garden looks a bit worse for wear, top it up with a fresh load of gravel stone after you have weeded the area first. Use different grades of stone, as well as smooth pebbles to create interesting floor patterns with different textures and in different designs, such as spirals.
•Elegant containers are not only strong design features or focal elements in any garden, but also give those with very limited planting space a chance to garden in over-drive. Remember, the road to success relies on a top of quality soil medium for plants to grow in. Do not dig it up from the yard to save a few bucks! Rather use commercial potting soil which is free of weeds and soil pathogens. So, if you are going for some container gardening, stock up on bags of potting medium, drainage chip, decorative mulches and slow releasing fertiliser to keep your plants in top shape afterwards.
•Semi-shade and acid loving Hydrangeas, Gardenias, Fuchsias and Plectranthus should be at their very best now. If not, look at feeding the plants with an acidic foliar feed and mulch around the base with bark chips. Remember to check out Tuingenoot for new Hydrangeas which should be in flower or bud now – the best time to choose the colours you want!
•If you are looking for a shrub with bright foliage, Choose Duranta ‘Sheena’s Gold’ some of which are on special. Use it as a bright contrast plant in mixed shrubbery, as a formal hedge, or pruned into topiary shapes in containers.
•One can also look at planting some of the pretty perennial basil hybrids that should be allowed to flower, as their blooms are quite pretty. These basil hybrids make a great combination with other garden favourites like Gaura, ornamental grasses and perennial Salvias in a pretty meadow-like border.