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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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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

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

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