Successful summer gardens are created in spring. There are a few spring gardening chores to get your garden summer ready. Sorting out the lawn, feeding the beds and mulching are top of the list but getting the first batch of veggies in and protecting your lemon tree are just as important too.
Getting the routine back after the winter months is always exciting. As South Africans we love to be outside and what better way to do that than in your own garden and on the patio. Time to get back into the garden and here are some tasks that will make all the difference to your summer garden.
Plant up some water wise colour
Indigenous flowers love spring. Osteospermum are certainly one of the best sellers in SA and with good reason. The indigenous Cape Daisies, Osteospermum, herald the new season with masses of flowers in a range of colours from white, yellows through shades of pink to deep purple.
Perfect to fill a container with on the patio or for a patch of colour along a border, plant them close together for an instant show. They do best in full sun in a well-drained soil with not too much feeding and keep them slightly on the dry side for the best results. Depending on the heat they can last a few months giving unrivalled colour.
Gazania species are grown for their brilliant colours in the late spring and are often in bloom throughout the summer well into autumn. The ultimate water wise and environmental warrior plant, Gazanias will also attract butterflies and bees to the garden and thrive on a little neglect. Gazania plant care does not involve much of anything, other than watering.
Gazanias are not hungry plants. Once a summer a feeding with BioGanic organic fertiliser is all they need. If one overfeeds one will find that they get more and more leaves and less flowers. In containers feed them with Multifeed Flowergro once a month to maintain flowering as in a container nutrients are washed out with regular watering.
Wake up the garden with Fertiliser
Fertilising over the next few weeks is important to green the garden and get the flowers set. Use organic pellets in the beds to give a more long term boost. Containers soon lose their luster as one starts to water more frequently with the spring heat. Feed containers at least every two weeks and hanging baskets every week with a water soluble fertiliser for best results.
BioGanic is our best selling organic fertiliser. It’s also the most water wise way to fertilise the whole garden. Feed at a rate of one handful per square meter or per shrub. This fertiliser will boost growth on application and feed over a longer period as a slow release fertiliser.
Multifeed is our best selling container and bedding plant fertiliser. Water soluble, it gets to the roots quickly and also foliar feeds the plants. We use this in all our containers here at Eckards to keep the nursery as colourful as possible. Feed your containers with Multifeed every alternate week and for bedding plants in the garden one can feed them every week to alternate week depending on how much water your garden beds get. We recommend Multifeed Classic for general growth and flowering and to use Multifeed Flowergro to keep flowering plants at their best for longer.
Sort out the lawn
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. Healthy leaves are what we need to improve the air quality we breathe every day as plant leaves absorb the carbon out of the air and provide fresh oxygen for us. It is leaves and plenty of them that we need to offset our carbon footprint.
Late August and early September is sort out the lawn time! Get the grass greener on your side by sorting it out with these simple steps.
Spring treatment for Kikuyu lawns:
- Scarify to remove the dead mat. This can be done with a rotary lawnmower set low.
- Aerate with a garden fork especially in compacted high traffic areas. To solve drainage problems, coarse river sand mixed with compost can be brushed into these holes.
- Top dress with Lawn Dressing and rake level. This will help the condition of the soil under the lawn and help with moisture retention through early summer. Lawn Dressing is like composting the lawn and Top Soil will raise the level of your lawn. One bag of Lawn Dressing covers 3 to 4m2
- Fertilising the lawn really depends on the way you water.
Wonder 3:2:1 SR: A sustained or slow release fertiliser to boost root and general growth on lawns. As a slow release fertiliser it will not damage your lawn if you water less frequently. Do not use on lawns that are well irrigated as it leaches out before all the nutrients are available. Apply every six to eight weeks for best results.
BioGanic Lawn is an organic fertiliser to boost leaf growth, specifically formulated as a crumble rather than a pellet perfect for getting the lawns healthy and bright green again. As an organic fertiliser it won’t burn the lawn if it does not get watered in well and will also not leach out if your irrigation runs every day.
Wonder Lawn and Leaf: A 7:1:3 fertiliser with bio-carbon to boost leaf growth. As a quick release fertiliser it perfect for use on lawns that are well irrigated. As a quick release it has faster results but should be applied every six to eight weeks to keep lawns looking great. The bio-carbon helps the plant absorb the nutrients easier.
Get your Lemon Tree on track
Everyone loves a lemon tree in the garden to give an almost endless supply of lemons to the kitchen. Lemon trees will come into flower soon and then flush new foliage. By feeding now with BioGanic your tree will have the nutrients it needs, giving you the best chance of a good crop and a healthy tree. As soon as the new leaves start apply Complete 350, a systemic insecticide, to prevent the bumps on the leaves.
Our tip: Pick off all the fruit on your tree now, feed, water and let dry out till the leaves start to flush.
Mulch the garden
One cannot overemphasise the value of mulch to the garden especially when you are considering the environment. Mulch regulates the soil temperature, retains moisture and encourages earthworm activity naturally in the garden. Ideally one should not see any open soil in the garden beds. If you do then add a layer of mulch to improve the all round condition and help to protect the soil.