25 C
Mossel Bay
5th Dec 2019
Living gardens, gardening, workshop, nature, home, living,
Community & Living Nature & Nurture

Gardens are for living

Low-maintenance gardens, edible yards, outdoor living rooms and water conservation – all of these are important to us in South Africa. Most gardeners are flushed with enthusiasm for their garden when spring has sprung. They cannot wait to dig, plant and mulch. Others are less keen and needing some inspiration.
It is usually too hot in our area to plant in mid-summer. The next couple of months (spring and early summer) are ideal to plant flower and vegetable plants in your garden, containers and hanging baskets. Every region has local plants – study your local flora and choose new plants to use in old ways and old one to use in new ways. If you are planting flowers, consider a mix of annuals (which last just for a year) and perennials (which grow over many years). Fertilize all your plants – feeding flowering shrubs and roses promote flowering. You may even want to consider mixing in compost or well-rotted manure to boost your garden. Mulching your garden can keep the weeds at bay and water in the soil.
When watering, make sure the water penetrates the soil as opposed to just putting a little bit on the surface. Early morning is always best, before it gets too warm. If you water in the evening, your plants might be more prone to fungus and other diseases. Sometimes impatience will cause you to overwater or fuss too much with the plants in the hopes that they will grow faster. Monitor them regularly, but unless something looks wrong, let them be.
Also take time to deadhead, weed, prune, and tidy up your garden, this way you will inevitably see how each plant reacts to weather changes and how to correct issues like infestations before they become too problematic. Protect young plant growth from pests, especially slugs. As soon as the cold is over, put your houseplants (including citrus), outside for summer. Prune evergreen shrubs.
Gardens are for living, shake off your shoes, grow organically and remember to lure nectar-loving birds with fresh water in your birdbaths and plants that delight them.

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