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What to do in the garden this month

Restore the green of your lawnSoon 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 - green, after the rains have 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. Vitaliser Lawn and Leaf 7:1:3 fertiliser will boost leaf growth and improve colour. As a quick release it has fast results. One of the most economical fertilisers with 10kg feeding around 200m2 but must be well watered after application.

Plant an autumn flush of Coreopsis

Coreopsis are autumn flowering perennialsCoreopsis or Tickberry as it is known because its seeds look similar to ticks, are easy to grow. Giving a good second flush of flowers through autumn, perennial Coreopsis are happy in almost any well-drained garden soil in full sun. They are drought-resistant and grow well in hot, difficult places where they won't get watered every day. The drought-tolerant nature of the Coreopsis makes it a great plant for container gardens. Think of them as a dwarf daisy bush but they are so much more than that.
They flower in shades of yellow mostly adding a wonderful contrast when planted amongst plants with red leaves where the combination of red and yellow brings positive energy into the garden. Plant them with 2:3:4 planting fertiliser and liberal compost and they will not need much else this time of the year except a bit of deadheading to encourage flowering.

Ready - set - flower!

Azaleas are budding at EckardsSome Azaleas are already starting an autumn flush. Azaleas, Camellias, Gardenias all need attention now if they are to bloom in winter and spring. Make sure that you give them deep regular watering so that their buds develop properly. If they are allowed to dry out too much the buds abort and your flowering will be delayed.

Azaleas, Camellias, Gardenias all prefer a more acidic soil. Although most soils are slightly acidic in our local area you can improve it by feeding with Colourburst Azalea or Acid Loving Plant Food. By applying a generous layer of mulch with acid compost you will also help acidify the soil and at the same time help with moisture retention.

The extra attention given in autumn will definitely help through winter and get the spring flush ready. This treatment is applied again through August as an extra boost.

Feed your garden

Our favourite rose food!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. They will now need a rose fertiliser rich in potassium which will also help harden soft wood before the cold weather. We have two popular choices, one organic and one quick release.

Sudden Impact for Roses 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. 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.

Weed busting

Roundup kills all weeds in pavingI 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 we have two options, a ready-to- use or a concentrate. Roundup is available as both but the concentrate is more economical if you are doing large areas. 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.

Comments (1)Add Comment
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written by Helen Swart, 15 April, 2014
Hi Wayne and Dawn
Just love you blog and newsletter. I really appreciate being on your mailing list. I always forward your newsletter to my friend Tessa who is the complex manager at Surita Villas and is a keen gardener.
Hope to see you soon.
Kind regards
Helen

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