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Food gardening for winter

Plant from seed or established seedlings for a mixed basket of winter greensAutumn into early winter is the time to refresh the veggie patch or even plant up some new containers of veggies and greens to boost your kitchen garden over the coming months. By planting before it gets frosty you will find that you get some good growth with the warmer day temperatures and ultimately a better harvest down the line.

As you pull out the last of your summer crops that are ending always prepare the soil to replace the nutrients used up with the last harvest. Veggies love loads of organic matter and home-grown organic veggies even taste better than organic store bought.

Traditionally the best time of the year for root crops one can also add some leafy greens to the winter harvest. As gardens have become smaller and more protected it has become easier to grow top crops too. If your veggie patch is very exposed to the elements and covers in heavy frost then choose root crops first but if not it’s time to experiment!

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#WaterWise succulents

Frilly Echiveria are also called painted ladiesNot just because they are ‪#‎WaterWise, we love the way the cooler night temperatures intensify the colours on the succulents. Gardening with succulents and aloes is bang on trend and with that more and more varieties are more freely available. Succulents is the one group of plants that we see young and old love and even if you don't "love" them there will always be one that will catch your eye and start the appreciation :-)

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.

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Grow Fragrant Sweet Peas

Grow Sweet peas in the veggie garden to attract pollinators to increase your harvestGrowing sweet peas is easier than you think. You could just poke a seed in the ground and wait and you would actually get pretty good results too. But this is certainly not the way to get the best results. A well prepared soil with compost, organic pellets and a dusting of agricultural lime give them the best start. They have a long season of bloom and make excellent cut flowers. Sweet peas lend a romantic cottage feel to gardens. They are often grown on bamboo tripods, but they will gladly grow through shrubby plants.

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Boring Winter ... No Ways!

Create a splash of colour with bedding plantsIt's not "all the trees are brown and skies are grey" in SA in winter. It can easily be the most colourful time of the year in your garden.  Over the next few weeks it's time to sow and plant some of our all time favourite bedding plants Bedding plants are most rewarding this time of the year as there is just so much to choose from.

These include calendula, cineraria, dianthus, delphiniums, Iceland poppies, nemesia, pansies, snapdragon and stocks. The range is extended even more with the selection of seeds that make adding colour to your winter garden just so easy.

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