Gardening News January

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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!

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

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.   


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.




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.


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


  • 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


  • 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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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!

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Erf 7421
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