The gardens are all looking a bit battered and faded after the heat and lack of rain. Watering manually keeps plants alive but does not add the natural nutrients that come from rain water and it also flushes out nitrogen which is why the garden greens look duller. Here’s what you should be doing in your garden this month to beat the heat and get a fresh looking garden for autumn.
Soon enough the lawns will slow down their growth. It’s time for the last feeding of the season to boost the lawn and to get your green, after the watering has washed away a lot of nutrients. By feeding your lawn now you not only extend the green time but your lawn will also green up sooner in the new spring.
Nothing looks better than bright green healthy leaves and the only way to ensure that is to feed with a fertiliser that is higher in nitrogen. BioGanic Lawns is an organic fertiliser that will boost leaf growth and improve colour. It is a slow release so it won’t need plenty of water to work but a good watering at application is needed to activate it. The best news is that if we do have a thundershower it won’t wash out so you really do get the best results with it.
Plant some fragrant roses
Roses are water wise and give colour for many years in the garden. It’s a known fact that in autumn roses can be at their best. Colours are more intense and often extra tones appear that one does not see in summer. Make sure that you keep your roses mulched in this heat. A rose fertiliser rich in potassium which will also help harden soft wood before the winter should be applied to established roses this time of the year. We have two popular choices, one organic and one quick release.
BioOcean is our first option. Being organic this fertiliser is safe for the environment and is easy to use. Ideal for roses it can also be used on all flowering shrubs and fruiting plants. Regular use ensures strong roses which are less susceptible to disease, insect attack and have stronger fragrance and better colour.
Ludwigs Vigorosa is a premium brand of fertiliser for roses and flowering shrubs. This quick release fertiliser contains additional elements to give the best results and is endorsed by Ludwig Taschner, South Africa’s rose guru. Use sparingly and water well as the additional elements can easily burn your plants.
Plant them with Bone Meal, BioOcean and liberal compost and they will not need much else this time of the year except a bit of deadheading to encourage flowering.
Have fun with succulents
We love the colours and uniqueness of succulents. Gardening with succulents is bang on trend and with that an even bigger selection now available. If there’s a spot or a container where you can’t get water to, why not plant some unusual succulents. They make a striking show and you could always move them when to get tired of them into a different spot once our weather has returned to normal.
Almost every garden will have some form of succulent in them as it is a typical South African range of plants and they don’t just die on you… which is why even in older gardens they still survive. When planting in containers make sure that the hole is not blocked and that water will drain freely. A layer of river sand at the bottom with Succulent Soil will ensure that your plants don’t get water logged. Feed at planting with Pokon Cacti Food at planting and then once a month depending on how often they get water.
I know we mentioned it last month but it is worth repeating. By the end of February the effectiveness of herbicides (weed killers) will go down considerably as they work best when weeds are growing fast. With that in mind now is the time to do a good blitz through the garden to bring it under control.
The weeds in the paving which just seems to come from nowhere are a must to help tidy the garden and if you have a weed problem on the lawn this is the time of year that they seed so get a head start on next summer by spraying now.
For paving Roundup is available as both but the concentrate and in ready to use options. Diluted 20ml into 1lt of water Roundup will work within 7 to 10 days if it has a sunny 5 hours after application.
On lawns Hormoban is the only effective option especially for the hardy clover weed that just seems to dominate in our local area.