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Creative food gardening

The Special Collection of seedsFood gardening is one of the most popular pastimes in gardening today. There is something special about growing your own that is just not the same as supermarket convenience. Over the past few years we have seen how the world has taken to planting something for the table at home. Sometimes it's a practical kitchen growing operation but for most it's a few herbs or veggies and experimenting with something different.

They have proven that children who grow their own food become gardeners as they grow up and have a better understanding and appreciation for nature and the environment. It could be as simple as letting them grow a patch of carrots or getting involved in the whole process as an outdoor activity away from the electronic screens they use all the time.

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SA's most loved indigenous flowers

Cape Daisies flower right through springThe spring flowers of the Namaqualand draw visitors from around the world and are truly breathtaking. We can all get to the wild flowers that make up the spectacular show on the Cape west coast but the flowers that make up that show are available to get your garden or sidewalk looking just as breathtaking. We often refer to "Crazy about Daisies" which is because most of them have a typical daisy flower and yes, we are crazy about them.

Did you know the daisy flower symbolises happy times? We like that! Here is our pick of the happiness inspiring indigenous colour daisies.

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Your fertiliser quick guide

Organic fertilisers are slow releaseIf you are a new gardener or an experienced hand there is always something to learn or find useful with the Eckards fertiliser quick guide. If you are still using the same fertilisers you were using ten years ago this is a must read. Technology and information changes the way we garden and armed with this new information you will be well on your way to improved performance of your whole garden.

Plants grow right through the year and even though some may seem to be standing still their roots are always growing. It is important to feed all plants, even indigenous ones need to be fed to perform at their best. Plants need various nutrients to give their best, some more nitrogen for leaves and others more potassium for better flowering or fruiting. Here our easy guide to help you make the right choice.

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Time to prune

Lime Sulphur and Steriseal are pruning essentialsOnce the garden is pruned and had a tidy spring starts to come into your garden as one tends to get going with composting and watering as the garden cleans up. July is pruning time in the garden and rather than a dreaded chore, with the right tools and correct information, pruning can be easy. Think of it as a late winter cut-back that rejuvenates plants and prepares them for a summer of healthy growth, glorious blooms or fabulous fruit.

Pruning brings light and sunshine into the garden warming the soil and stimulating growth from the roots in the ground up. So besides the usual suspects like Roses give the whole garden a nip tuck and shaping to get the yard warmer and tease the spring. It's time to start clearing out and pruning. Roses in our area should be pruned now and hedges and topiary should get a good shaping to get them ready for the first flush of growth.

Pruning is a bit of a mystery for most gardeners and yet it need not be. Most plants need some form of pruning at some stage to stimulate new growth, flowers or to limit size. In nature this happens with frost, hail, fire or strong winds. At home this task is one that lets you put your own stamp on your garden. Sharp secateurs or a long-handled lopper will make pruning easy. Three of the most popular garden plants that need pruning are roses, hydrangeas and fruit trees. Here are our top tips ...

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