Can you belive we are almost at that time of the year when we say "autumn is here". Through February the garden starts to slow down quite fast but for now we are happy to enjoy the midsummer garden. January is a special time of the year in the garden as there are many plants that only start to do well now and with a few choice plants and simple tasks you could get your garden looking awesome. Here are four things you should be doing in your midsummer garden right now.
Plant some of the old favourites that you know will do well. Indigenous Cape Plumbago is water wise and has a second flush of flowers this time of the year. The common name for them is "Forget me not" and we don’t think you should. Duranta Gold has brilliant golden foliage and loves the heat. As an evergreen shrub it can easily grow to over two metres but usually pruned to a much lower height. Full sun is best for a good golden colour. The plant responds well to regular pruning often used as a low hedge to contrast against other foliage.
Plant something new
There are many new plants on the market this year. By planting something new you also keep your garden up to date with the latest trends and in most cases something either unusual or improved on an old favourite.
Be on the lookout for the new Hydrangea "Vanilla Strawberry" It grows in half sun to around one to two meters high and is not typical of a common Hydrangea. The flowers are born on arching graceful stems and are looser than the typical ball flower we expect to see. This new variety flowers in white and then as the blooms age they turn a strawberry pink. They are repeat flowering through the summer and it’s the mix of pink, old and white, new flowers that inspired the name.
Feed your garden
Summer rains will have flushed most of the nutrients out of your garden this time of the year. With this past heat wave watering daily to keep the garden going will also have added to that. The lawns and beds lose their bright green and look washed out. Bedding plants and veggies can also start to look not quite as fresh.
Read more on what fertiliser you should be using on your garden here: http://eckards.co.za/gardening-news/your-eckards-fertiliser-quick-guide.html
Besides the garden growing at a rate of knots this time of the year, so to do the weeds. 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 3 to 4 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.