Pam Jacob – Driefontein Garden Centre
You can feel the change in the air. The days might be hot but the humidity has gone. Autumn – the most beautiful time of the year – has arrived and your get up and go which you thought had got up and gone, has come back – much to everyone’s relief. So we are not really getting older – it is just Summer that wore us out a little. On with your gardening gloves; out with the shears and clippers and into the garden we go, but before you start clipping and pruning madly, do ensure that the plants you are about to attack are not on the verge of bearing their Autumn splendour. Roses might be looking a little tired and could be reduced by about a third for some strong, fresh growth to help you through to the end of July when you will be doing that a good pruning to prepare for the following season. Keep up your feeding, mulching and spraying programmes to ensure an abundance of blooms and keep the root system nice and cool, either with a good mulch or by planting suitable low growing seedlings or perennials at the base.
The Amethyst Vine (Pseudocalymma alliaceumi) is in full bloom and will delight any gardener with their varied colours of Amethyst from now until the end of Winter. Any plant that flowers for six months is certainly worth a place in any garden. Train over trellises; tumble down walls or over rocks and you will enjoy a spectacle of nature. Full to half day sun is a suitable position.
Give all your Poinsettias (Euphorbia sp.) a dressing with 3:1:5(26) granular fertilizer to encourage prolific flowering. The ones you bought to decorate the Christmas table should have been planted either in the garden or in pots in a full to half day sun position and will start setting their blooms from April right through to the end of August. If you didn’t pinch the tips back, there might still be time to do this, if you do it immediately. This will encourage new fresh shoots and even more blooms.
Is your veggie garden in a state of disrepair or ready for the season? Fix any broken trellises and fencing; compost well; apply 2:3:2 and get started. Work out your household requirements and plant accordingly. They say that a vegetable garden the size of a door can feed a family of four. With prices going through the roof, this might just be an option and nothing is ever better than vegetables picked from your own garden.
If you are planting carrot seeds (and the kids love to do this), place river sand, mealie meal or similar in a bucket, mix the carrot seeds into the soil ensuring a good mix and then apply the mix to moist soil. This will help to ensure a good distribution of the seeds, without them germinating too closely together. A tedious job trying to transplant carrot seedlings! Start reaping when finger size and feed the area regularly with a good Water Soluble fertilizer to ensure healthy growth.
So, dear Friends, get out there and get gardening and enjoy this most glorious time of the year.