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19 September 2019
14 January 2019
07 November 2018
07 November 2018

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Spring brings new beginnings

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September is here – the sun is getting warmer, and our gardens are showing new signs of life.

Spring is the perfect time to look at your garden with fresh eyes, make some changes and plan for the summer months ahead. 

 

Arbor week

The 1st to the 7th of September is national Arbor week in South Africa - a time when South Africans of all ages are encouraged to celebrate the beauty and importance of trees.

The trees of the year for 2019 are Common Tree of The Year: Sclerocarya birrea Marula Maroela. Rare (Uncommon) Tree of The Year: Philenoptera violacea Apple-leaf, Appelblaar. 

The month of September is the perfect time to plant an indigenous tree in your gardens - at home, office parks, and schools – especially as we are currently losing many of our trees to the invasive Shothole Borer.

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What to Sow

During summer months, having fresh salad supplies ready to pick from your garden is a win! September is the time to sow lettuce, spring onion and tomato seeds, ready for your summer salads.  

  • Lettuce can be grown in a sunny garden bed. Most varieties are quick and easy to grow and produce a harvest within a month or two.  The loose-leafed varieties are the most practical because you can harvest the individual leaves for up to three months before replanting. Others, like the butterhead or iceberg, are picked when the heads form, so it’s best to sow seed at 3–4 weekly intervals to have a constant supply. Use a fertile, well-draining soil medium and space about 30cm apart to allow for good air circulation. Keep the soil evenly moist at all times — drought stress can cause a bitter taste. 
  • Spring Onion can be grown in sun or partial shade and prefer rich soil with compost dug in. Space seeds 10cm apart. 

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What to Plant

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A perfect plant to fill your shaded gardens with bright, long-lasting colour in summer is Impatients.  The new Beacon Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) offers high resistance to downy mildew and won’t collapse due to this destructive disease. For lasting colour plant your Impatients in fertile, well-drained soil in shade or partial sun. Beacon Impatiens are also great for baskets, window boxes, and containers, but will need a steady supply of water. 

What to Spray
You know that spring has arrived when you smell the Jasmine and see the orange blaze as the indigenous Clivia’s start to emerge from their buds. Watch out for the lily borer in your Clivia’s. The caterpillar and their larvae damage the stems and leaves and if left untreated will cause a lot of damage. If you see any traces of larvae or damage to the plant, apply contact insecticide every two weeks to control.

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What to Feed

Rejuvenate your lawn in September by applying a lawn dressing - a mixture of well-balanced organic matter and weed-free soil. A thin layer should be spread on established lawns to level an uneven surface or help a lawn recover after an icy winter. It would help if you also replenished nutrients by adding a nitrogen-rich fertiliser. 

What to Prune

Maintenance is the heart of gardening, and September is an excellent time to get in there with some pinching, deadheading, and pruning.  Your flower garden will be healthier and lusher and will stay in bloom throughout the season. Most flowers benefit from having their spent flowers removed. This is called deadheading. Flowers that repeat-bloom will often do so only if the old, dying flowers are removed. If the dead flowers remain on the plant, they will go to seed, and the plant will stop producing flowers. 

Some plants have very crisp, thin stems and can be deadheaded using your fingers. This type of deadheading is called pinching. Some plants that can be pinched include daylilies, salvia, and coleus. Coleus are grown for their foliage, not their flowers. Pinching off the flowers encourages the plants to become bushier and fuller.

Rose Care
From the middle of September, you should pinch prune your Hybrid Tea roses. This encourages new basal growth, green leaves and root development. It spreads out the flowering cycle so that there is an almost continual supply of roses instead of one or two main flushes. Pinch –prune about a third of the shoots. Increase watering to at least twice a week and fertilise fortnightly.  

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Watch out for aphids, thrips, bollworm and powdery mildew. To be effective, the spraying of roses for the control of pests and diseases needs to be carried out properly and with the correct understanding of both the pest and the applicable pesticides. One does get a canola oil, based pesticide combined with a systemic action fungicide which is a certified organic option.

Checklist for the month

  • With the rainy season upon us, ensure that your rainwater harvesting systems are set up and connected correctly.  Clean out your gutters to ensure proper water run-off and to make sure your collected rainwater is as clean as possible. 
  • Get your summer herb garden planted with these easy to grow summer herbs: Thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, basil, rocket, parsley and mint.
  • Get Weeding -Weed regularly before it gets out of hand. Treat weeds on paving, pathways and in gravelled areas with a non-selective herbicide.
  • Plant your summer-flowering bulbs- Arum Lilies and Calla Lilies (Coloured Zantedeschia hybrids)- plant your Zantedeschia bulbs at the beginning of spring, around 4 - 5cm’s deep. Space bulbs 30 to 40 cm apart, because Zantedeschia has wide-reaching leaves and needs space. Choose a location that is in full sun but stays cool. Don’t plant in very dry soil. Dahlias (Dahlia pinnata). 2019 is the Year of the Dahlia! These colourful, spiky, daisy-like flowers bloom from midsummer right through the first frost.  Select a planting site with full sun as they will blooms more with 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. They love the morning sunlight best. Choose a location with a bit of protection from the wind. Dahlias thrive in rich, well-drained slightly acidic soil.

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  • Get Pruning- Now is an excellent time to prune your Hibiscus, Poinsettia and other winter-flowering shrubs. Pruning your Hibiscus will help stimulate budding on new shoots. It also rejuvenates the plant after their long winter nap while encouraging them to maintain an attractive appearance and healthy, vigorous growth. The flowers of the Poinsettia have actually modified leaf structures called bracts. Once these have wilted and begun to die off, the Poinsettia requires a thorough pruning. Poinsettias may also require some trimming throughout the growing season to remain full and healthy.
  • Plant these Beauties to add some colour- Gerbera daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) are commonly grown for their bright and cheerful daisy-like flowers. They are indigenous to South Africa and come in various sizes and colours including pink, yellow, salmon, orange and white. Gerberas are best planted as seedlings, rather than seeds. This is because the flower resulting from seed may not reflect the colour expected and take far longer to flower. They prefer full sun with relatively sandy soils that are well-drained. None of the stems should be planted under the soil as it will rot, and the plant will die. Do not water them too often, as the soil should not become saturated. They can be grown in pots or containers too. They do well in the heat but do not handle the cold well.

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Happy Spring gardening everyone!

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July in the Garden

Baby, it's cold outside, but that doesn't mean you have to stay indoors. There are several plants that thrive in the cooler months and can transform your garden into a winter wonderland. Others are a little more delicate but shouldn’t be left to the last minute to plant if you’re wanting to enjoy a beautiful spring garden filled with flowers showing their colourful faces to the sun. So get into your (flower) beds and garden this winter and enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of your labour.

Flowering this month

While many plants shy away from harsh winter conditions, the African Daisy (Arctotis) is a hardy plant that boasts beautiful large and colourful daisy-like flowers that range from pink to red, yellow and burnt orange. These evergreen flowers, which have been said to look like an African sunset, are real sun worshippers, opening only when they are in bright sunlight.

If you're looking for low maintenance flowers that add beautiful bursts of colour, then you will love the Treasure Flower (Gazanias). These water-wise plants require minimal watering and grow best in full sun. With their bright flowers, which range from bronze, orange, yellow, red, deep pink and mahogany, they can be added to flower beds or rockery to add colour to the garden for most of the year. Because they require minimal water, they grow well in drought-stricken areas too.

The Aloe Twice as Nice’s delightful two-toned pink to creamy white flowers make it a beautiful addition to the garden. This small aloe is well suited for smaller gardens and containers for added colour on patios.

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What to spray

For those living in warmer climates Persian Buttercups (Ranunculus) may start to flower as early as July. Those living in cooler climates may need to wait until September to enjoy these beautiful, rose-like blossoms that are available in an array of bright colours. Whether you are lucky enough to be enjoying these beautiful flowers in July or waiting patiently for Spring, be sure to spray with a suitable fungicide to prevent mildew from growing on the leaves. 

What to plant

For beautiful show-stopping gardens in the spring, the time to start gardening is now. For bursts of colour in the early spring, you can't go wrong with the Daisy Bush (Argyranthemum). These easy-to-grow plants grow best in full sun and moderately fertile garden soil with good drainage. They will flower from spring until the first signs of frost and will bloom all year in areas with no frost.

Another low maintenance plant to plant now is the Cape Thatching Reed (Elegia tectorum). These hardy plants can withstand frost and drought well and adapt to most climates. Their bold architectural shape makes them an attractive addition to any garden. Plant in full sun and remove brown decaying culms and enjoy the golden-brown flower spikes in autumn, they will be well worth the wait. 

Agapanthus ‘Zambezi' is like the gift that just keeps giving. These fast-growing plants with prolific dark blue flowers are fantastic re-bloomers that flower from early summer to late summer. Plant in a sunny spot with well-drained soil and enjoy these flowers every year. 

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What to Prune

This is a good time to transplant roses if necessary. It's also the best time to prune your rose bushes. After pruning be sure to feed your roses, dig compost into the rose beds, spray bare stems to kill insect and fungal spores and water your roses once a week.

July is the perfect time for you to pick and enjoy the citrus fruits that you have been growing. While you may not need to use all the fruits at once, you can keep young citrus trees lightly covered with frost protection fleece to protect the tree and its fruits to enjoy when ready. Once you have picked all the citrus fruit, prune the tree and remove any dead branches to prepare for more fruit next winter. This is also the time to prepare for spring fruits so prune your trees bearing soft fruits, such as plums and peaches, now to get the best quality fruit from your trees. 

Plant some Strawberry plants now and enjoy eating strawberries in the spring. This fruit is easy to grow in full sun, fertile, well-drained soil. Mulch can also be helpful to protect the plant from mould and keep weeds at bay. Cover your plant with a light netting at the first sight of strawberries. Make sure that light can get in thought so that the strawberries continue to grow. 

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What to sow

With Spring around the corner, this is a good time to start planting to enjoy fresh salads. Sow early crops of herbs and vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, beetroot and radishes as well as parsley and garlic chives.

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Be water-wise

As most of the country experiences a dry winter, it is especially important to be water-wise while enjoying your garden. Some plants are better at withstanding the drier months and gardens across the country stand to benefit from planting some of these beautiful plants that mostly require full sun and minimal water.

  • Aloe Orange Delight(Aloe arborescens) this easy to grow Aloe boasts beautiful orange flowers on long inflorescences. Plant it in a sunny or semi-shaded spot, water moderately and enjoy the delightful orange flowers between June and August.
  • Aloe Firechief CharlesWith its fiery red flowers, these aloes add beautiful colour to a winter garden. They are easy to grow in rich, well-drained soil and full sun.  
  • Bird-of-Paradise(Strelitzia reginae) boasting beautiful orange and blue crane like flowers, these plants are a great focal point for any garden. While they can be drought resistant, they thrive in subtropical regions with summer rainfalls.

Water-wise plants are a dream to have in the garden throughout the year. They require very little and at the same time add splashes of colour to the garden. If you're looking for low maintenance gardening, you can't go wrong with water-wise plants.  Visit us for select flowering plants and all your garden essentials to turn your garden into an instant winter wonderland.

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Feed the birds this month

The cold winter months bring several challenges for birds. In particular, food and water can be scarce. During this time you can help attract these feathery friends to your garden with brightly coloured flowers, bird baths and bird feeds. Birds are attracted to bright flowers, fruits, insects and water. Add a bird bath and feeding station to your garden and you will be sure to have a variety of birds visiting your garden this winter. Put out some suet and meat-based foods to feed insect-eating birds along with some seeds, over-ripe fruit and peanut butter to attract a wider range of birds. 

As an alternative to a bird bath, you could add a running water feature to attract the birds and add a focal point to your garden. Many of the most beautiful gardens include running water features that convert the garden to a tranquil haven. Winter is the ideal time to start working on your water feature to have it ready for the spring when most flowers will start to bloom.


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Happy gardening !

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March in the garden

Early autumn is like an alternative spring and March is actually the best month to plant new trees and shrubs. It’s logical – whatever you plant in this temperate month, will have the whole autumn and winter to establish before bursting into new growth in spring, which removes the possibility of the plants having to deal with replanting shock. So, get to it – get in the garden!

Trendy planting… 
Be part of changing the face of gardening by planting trialed and tested, hardy plants which need less water.

  • Social garlic The hardy and easy-to-grow social or wild garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) has always been a popular indigenous perennial. Grown for its bountiful mauve flower clusters on tall stems, its greyish-green strap-like leaves emit a garlicky odour. Flowers, leaves and stems are edible and can be used for their flavour, as well as garnish. Wild garlic has traditionally been used as a medicinal plant, and is also planted to deter snakes and aphids. It is a water wise plant to include in the herb garden, or to be used in mass as border plants
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  • Dreamy hibiscus– a superior selection of upright, mounding and free-flowering hibiscus marketed under the brand name HibisQs, is just waiting to be planted. The foliage is dark green and glossy, and the flowers vary from yellow (Boreas yellow), two-tone pink and white (Adonicus), two-tone orange and yellow (Apollo), bright orange (Arionicus) and apricot (Adonicus Apricot). Most of the flowers have dark coloured throats. This is a series of late summer-flowering shrubs to plant in sunny and light shade in containers on a patio or balcony, or in the garden. Medium to low water usage in the garden, but will need a little more in pots.

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National Plant a Flower Day 2019
Folks in the Northern hemisphere plant a flower on this day (12 March) in the hope that their spring will arrive soon. South Africans enjoying a balmy, early autumn and sun for months to come, will go all out with the Salvia Heatwave series – compact salvias guaranteed to add heart-warming colour in hot, and dry climates. You will enjoy lots of flowers for minimal water, minimal feeding, and minimal pruning!     

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Rose care for March

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Build healthy leaves by fertilising with a rose fertiliser this month. With lots of leaves present, the process of photosynthesis remains in full swing, strengthening the plants’ stems for fast spring sprouting, but also to enable it to flower magnificently on new stems, well into winter.

Remember: Early autumn is a perfect time to plant new roses, so jump to it!

 

Bedding besties  
March is a bit early for the traditional winter annuals, but a perfect time to plant the hardy and adaptable Verbenas, Lobelias, Alyssums, Dianthus and Petunias. They will enjoy the last heat of summer, as well as cooler weather when autumn really arrives.  

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Bug watch
It’s time to start treating conifers against the Italian cypress aphid. Use a systemic insecticide as a spray or soil drench. Continue Treating every two weeks until the end of August

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Put your pooch onto a healthy herb diet
There is a reason why dogs sometimes eat grass. It alleviates some digestive discomfort. Animals like dogs have an instinctive herbal knowledge, but probably don’t know the difference between kikuyu or other grass types, and safe dog grass (Agrospyron canina). At the herbs stand, you will find dog (and cat) grass. Plant up a patch of it for your dog to munch on.

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The following well-known herbs can be used regularly and in small doses over your pet’s food:

  • For digestive supportuse rosemary, thyme, fennel, mint and coriander.
  • For worms and parasitesuse yarrow, thyme and oregano – add to food weekly.
  • For arthritis and inflammationuse feverfew, comfrey leaves, Asiatic pennywort (gotu kola), celery, parsley and yarrow.
  • For a tonicuse parsley, comfrey leaves, pennywort, borage and yarrow.
  • For skin care(internal or topical) use calendula, thyme, chamomile and lavender.
  • For flea protectionstuff a pillow with pennyroyal, rosemary, tansy and pyrethrum and place it in the doggy bed or kennel. You can also make an infused spray with these herbs.
  • Internal use

Use small amounts of chopped herbs as a sprinkle over food or brew a tea by adding between 1t and 1T to a cup of boiled water. Cool down and pour over food.

  • External use

Brew a tea of the suggested herbs for skin ailments, cool down, and fill a spray bottle with it. Spray the affected area regularly until symptoms improve.

 

Checklist for March

  • Sow sweet peas, Iceland poppies, Primula, Foxgloves, hollyhock and larkspur. Follow the instructions on the seed packets closely.
  • Dig and prepare planting holes for new deciduous fruit trees
  • If you notice that water is simply running off the surface of the soil, leaving the soil beneath bone dry, you need to add more compost. Do not dig it in, simply layer it on top.  
  • Feed all shrubs and the lawn with a potassium-rich fertiliser, to strengthen the cells and stems before winter comes.

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Happy gardening

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January in your garden

Another new year, and there are 365 gardening days ahead so let’s get to it, and get up and garden!  

Smart planting    

  • ‘Kaleidoscope’is a dwarf Abelia grandiflorahybrid (70 x 90cm) with ever-changing foliage. The new growth in spring is bright yellow around the edges with light green in the centre of the leaves. In summer, the brightyellow changes to golden yellow, and the centre of the leaf turns deep green. In autumn, the yellow turns bright orange, and by winter it burns a fiery red. With its compact growth, ‘Kaleidoscope’ is the perfect feature plant for small gardens and is guaranteed to give you years of joy. Abelias are frost and cold hardy, fairly wind resistant, and they grow well in coastal gardens.
  • Little leaf boxwood (Buxus microphylla‘Faulkner’) is a tough, evergreen shrub. This compact, upright growing plant with its dense coat of oval-shaped, bright green leaves (which sometimes have a coppery sheen) is a much-loved container, hedge or topiary plant. It likes full sun to light shade, regular water and will flourish in cold, frosty gardens, as well as the hottest and windiest gardens at the coast.
  • ‘Little Ruby’ (Alternanthera dentata LRU30) is a perfect, mounding ground cover with a compact habit and trendy deep burgundy foliage with ruby red reverse. This plant loves humidity, but can also tolerate frost better than other Alternantheras. Plant it in sheltered areas if there is a danger. Good for full sun and light shade. Mature plant size ± 35 x 60cm.

Most unwelcome…Flies!

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One of summer’s least welcome critters is flies which can spread dreadful diseases far and wide. Consider the following ideas to curb the problem:

  • Home hygiene– the rotting fruit bowl, uncovered cooked food and dirty dishes in the kitchen will attract them. So will overflowing garbage bins with lids which do not close tightly. Keep a neat kitchen and wash all fresh produce properly before eating. Empty garbage bins regularly, and wash them every time with a strong disinfectant to kill off lurking fly maggots.
  • Garden hygiene– regularly remove rotting fruit and vegetables lying on the ground and pick up dog poop on the lawn every day. Consider a commercial composter to turn garden waste into compost, a worm farm to recycle things like vegetable peels into worm tea, and a tight-sealing bokashi bin to ferment all material like cooked food, safely and without emanating odours. Clear out anything that can hold standing water like the wheelbarrow. Leaving standing water around can also invite mosquitoes to breed.
  • Use repellent herbs– fill up pots on your patio, at the backdoor, and even on a sunny kitchen windowsill with herbs like rosemary, lavender, mint, lemongrass and basil. Flies do not like them. You can also buy essential oils extracted from these herbs. Mix with a little water in a spray bottle and spritz your rooms frequently.
  • Use pyrethrinbased insecticides as fly repellents. Pyrethrin originates from chrysanthemum flowers and is biodegradable – it breaks down on exposure to light or oxygen.     

Trending: From table to garden

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If you are planning to hold a summer fiesta and need something bright to decorate your table, pick up some floriferous specimens out of the bright ‘Conga’ range of mini petunias (Calibrachoa), with a naturally compact habit which is perfect for pots. The flowers surround the plants to such an extent that one can hardly see the foliage. Keep them in bright light and when the festivities are over, pop them in a hanging basket or another container, for a long-lasting and rewarding display.

Other plants which are perfect for festive occasions and quite willing to grow indoors, are ornamental chillies which are grown for their looks rather than their flavour.   

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Bedding bestie
The Vinca ‘Pacifica’ series is a mounded but compact and uniformly growing range of annuals with shiny, green foliage. It has bright flowers which are larger than other varieties, and can be found in a wide array of colours: apricot, blush, cherry, orange, deep orchid, pink, red, white, white with a red eye and mixed colours. The plant grows up to 20-35cm high and spreads to 15-20cm wide. Easy to grow and an excellent, low water, heat tolerant choice.

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New Year resolutions to keep  
Harvest and recycle every drop of water. This means rainwater harvesting tanks, the use of bath and washing water and even garden ponds, to use as an auxiliary water source.

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Some quick water-saving tips include:

  1. Repair leaking taps and hose-pipes
  2. Fix your borehole and install a water wise irrigation system
  3. Replace damaged hose fittings (they really don’t cost much!)
  4. Water deeply and less frequently
  5. Schedule watering to take place in the early morning or in the evening
  6. Override computerised sprinkler systems after and during rains
  7. For specific areas planted up with perennials, shrubs and roses, use a soaker hose rather than a sprinkler. Less water is required because the water is concentrated on the soil nearer the roots and there is less evaporation.

Rose care for January

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  • Keep them foliated as densely as you can, to keep the inside of the plants shaded. Do this by spraying regularly and preventatively against black spot, rust, mildew and red spider mites.
  • If your roses have become oversized – too tall and wide – attend to a summer pruning or grooming.
  • Study your roses. If the leaves are a bleak light green colour, they need rose fertiliser. Bad performance can mean that the roots are too dry, or robbed of food and water by other plants’ roots.

January Checklist

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  • Don’t allow evergreen hedges and topiaries to grow out of shape. Keep them neat by trimming them lightly, but often.
  • Feed fruit trees like mangoes, avocados and lemons.
  • Be aware that stagnant water in bromeliads is a breeding place for mosquitoes.
  • Nip out the growing tips of Chrysanthemums and Poinsettias, to encourage bushy growth.
  • Best pals: Dahlias and roses complement each other, because they enjoy the same growing conditions. Add a bright border of bedding Dahlias to hide the bare stems of large rose bushes. You will find them in full flower in seedling trays now.

 

Happy Gardening!

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November in the Garden

Summer is about colour – everywhere! Old favourites are in full bloom so you need more of them. The best news is the availability of modern dwarf hybrids of many perennials and edibles, which can be planted and enjoyed in the smallest of spaces!

On trend – containering

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Container gardening is gaining popularity by the day and what’s not to love about it?

  • you can garden in small spaces – even indoors;
  • you can take your garden with you if you move home;
  • you can change your garden according to the seasons or if you get bored with it;
  • you have perfect control over the soil
  • from the traditional and pretty decorative pots, to gumboots and repurposed wooden pallets, the variety of different containers you can use is endless.23

 

You can feed yourself royally from pots

Plant blueberries, strawberries and Cape gooseberries in large pots.

To health with blueberries!

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They say that the blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) is one of the world’s super foods due to a high concentration of antioxidants, and luckily for us, good blueberry varieties are now readily available – just in time for those scrumptious summer smoothies. Plant them in full sun in a space which will allow for a mature height of 1,5m and a spread of up to 2m wide. You can however, also plant them in a large pot. Blueberries like moist, acidic soil so mulch them with acid compost or pine needles, and feed them with a fertiliser formulated for blue hydrangeas.   

Smart planting

Brachyscome Magenta – tons of bright magenta blooms cover these mounded plants all season long and is ideal for containers and garden beds. The plants are sensitive to overwatering, and for optimal performance, can be fed with a slow release fertiliser to encourage blooming. Plant these beauties in full sun. They reach a height of between 15 to 30cm and width of 15 to 20cm.

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Petite and huge blooming beauty – dwarf Inca lilies are magnificent for the garden and suitable to grow in containers too, as they reach a height of only 30-35cm. They flower profusely from spring to autumn and can be found in a wide range of bright colours. These shorty’s can, just like their taller family members, be picked as long-lasting cut flowers.

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Hydrangeas – brighten up shady areas with glorious hydrangeas, which will now be available in flower. Colour in between them with impatiens, begonias and browallia. Hydrangeas love dappled shade, rich loamy soil and lots of water. If you want to grow them in pots, place them on the Southern side of the house for early morning sun and afternoon shade.

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Plant camels for a dry garden

Plumbago Royal Cape – huge clusters of vivid deep blue flowers cover this sprawling, vine-like shrub most of the year. It is a reliable evergreen and can be used as a groundcover, bank cover or container plant in frost-free areas.

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Statice (Limonium perezii) – an evergreen perennial that forms a rosette of large, leathery leaves. It grows in the sun in most soils as long as it is well drained. It is drought tolerant once established, but needs regular watering when newly planted. This is a reliable low maintenance plant. You only need to remove the old foliage to keep the plant tidy and looking good. The Statice plant flowers year-round but has more flowers in spring and summer. It has large clusters of bi-colour blooms on stems ranging from 15-60cm tall. These flowers are purple-blue and white and have a papery feel to them. The flowers last forever and are excellent cut flowers – both fresh and dried, as they retain their colour. Remove the old flowers to encourage new flowers to develop. Butterflies and bees love the flowers.

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Hardy bedding bestie – Portulaca!

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Portulaca grandiflora varieties are annual succulents flowering their hearts out in summer to autumn. They mature at around 15cm in height and 30-40cm in width. The reddish coloured stems are prostrate and green cylindrical leaves are arranged in clusters around the stem and pointed at the ends. Both the stems and leaves are thick and fleshy.

The flowers, formed at the tips of the stems, are rose-like in appearance and have either single, semi-double or double petals. The colours tend to be bright such as scarlet, orange, yellow, pink and white, although there are some cultivars that have been bred to have a more pastel palette.

The best uses for this plant include the following: in a rockery, between stepping stones as groundcover, or in a hanging basket. The trailing habit of this plant makes for an ideal companion in containers, as it will spill over the edges magnificently. Portulaca enjoy sandy, well-draining soil and a hot, sunny position.

Bug patrol

Infestations of red and two spotted spidermite have the following symptoms: Fine, pale mottling with small reddish or two spotted mites on the underside of leaves and stem. In severe cases, a fine silk web will be apparent and leaves lose their green colour. Leaves fall off and such weakened plants may die. Treat with an oil based insecticide.

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Bro’s growing in the air!

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Airplants (Tillandsias) are part of the epiphytic bromeliads which live off moisture and nutrients in the air. Their roots are insignificant and the hard leaves are mostly grey or white and covered in small scales, which absorb water and food. Probably the most well-known air plant is Spanish moss or old man’s beard (Tillandsia usneoides), often seen hanging like grey curtains from tree branches. But, there are more than 400 species of these very collectable plants which are so easy to grow.

Food for the wild ones

Keep on planting for birds, bees and butterflies. Wild dagga, (Leonotis leonurus) September bush (Polygala myrtifolia), Egyptian star (Pentas lanceolata) bushes are highly recommended to make your garden come alive!

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Check list for November

  • It is prime time for hydrangeas, gardenias and fuchsias. If yours are not at their best, feed them with a water soluble fertiliser and renew the mulch around them.
  • Plant out a fresh crop of sweet basil and also sow some seeds to ensure lots of these aromatic leaves for summer salads and pasta dishes. Remove all flowers as they appear to ensure good quality leaves, and to stop the plants from setting seed.  
  • Prune jasmines, banksia roses, deutzias, and spiraeas after they’ve flowered.
  • Prune lightly those shrubs suffering from hail damage, and treat preventatively with a fungicide.
  • Prune azaleas for neatness after flowering. Then give them a feed, water and mulch to help them set buds for the next flowering season.
  • Prune ivy geraniums after a first flower flush. Keep on feeding them regularly to encourage another flower flush.
  • Beware the lily borer (a black caterpillar with yellow bands) which bores into the hearts of Clivias, Agapanthus and Arum lilies. Signs of activity are decaying leaves and dying plants. Treat early or preventively with a registered insecticide containing pyrethrum or pyrethroid

 

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Awards

We are so proud to announce that Greener Tidings was awarded the BEST GARDEN CENTRE IN SA!

We were also awarded with the following:
-       1st place – Best Inspirational Displays
-       2nd place – Best Food gardening department
-       3rd place – Best staff
-       Best Retailer in Limpopo

Our team is super excited and we would like to thank you, our loyal gardeners for all your support during the year!

Contact us

015-296 0303
082 908 7510 (Premicel)

Greener Tidings Garden Centre,
Erf 7421
2 Knottrox Ave
Bendor ext 115
Polokwane
0699

Business Hours:
Mondays-Saturdays: 8am-5pm
Sundays: 9am-1pm
Public holidays: 9am-5pm