Seasonal Gardening

Gardening month by month
The first frosts can be expected in some parts of the country this month. If you live in a frosty area keep covers handy to protect tender plants, and water the garden in the morning so that the foliage is dry before nightfall. Gardeners who are planning to plant ‘bare rooted’ fruit trees next month, will be well advised to start preparing the holes for them to grow.HARDY SUMMER FLOWERING ANNUALS
Water about once a week if the weather is dry and feed once a month with a liquid fertiliser to keep them growing steadily.WINTER FLOWERING ANNUALS
Feed twice a month with a liquid fertiliser. Remove faded flowers regularly, especially from Iceland poppies, pansies and violas. Water during dry weather, doing this in the morning in areas that experience frost.Sweet peas: If the margins of the leaves are turning pale brown and papery it is a sign of potassium deficiency. There are two ways to correct this. Dissolve either 1 level tablespoon of potassium sulphate, or 2 heaped tablespoons of 3.1.5, in 5 litres of water and apply to a metre of row every two weeks. Water before and after application.

Tie the plants on to the trellis regularly. Remove side shoots and tendrils, and water copiously once or even twice a week. Once the plants start flowering pick the blooms frequently to encourage them to produce more and more.

: Prepare the ground for planting new plants or the transplanting. They do best in rich, friable, slightly alkaline soil. If the pH of the soil is below 6.5 apply a light dressing of lime (just enough to make the surface of the soil white.)

Summer rainfall areas: Water at least once a month, as root growth does not cease in winter but only slows down. Keep the ground mulched with compost.

All bulbous plants 
(including white evergreen arums): As soon as the buds appear start feeding every two weeks with a liquid fertiliser. Water copiously once a week when the weather is dry, especially in the summer rainfall areas.
Convallaria (lily of the valley): Lift and divide if the plants are becoming overcrowded.
Liliums: In the summer rainfall areas water liliums once a month as they are never completely dormant.
Tulips: Inspect plants for aphids, which tend to hide in the crevices of the leaves.

Amaryllis, achimenes, tuberous rooted begonias and caladiums: Sprinkle lightly with water from time to time to prevent the soil becoming bone dry.

Continue to feed calceolarias, cinerarias, cyclamen, daffodils, hyacinths, jonquils, narcissi, poinsettias and primulas every two weeks with liquid fertiliser and water every two or three days.

Discontinue feeding other pot plants if this has not yet been done. Water less frequently, but never let the plants especially ferns, orchids and philodendrons, become completely dry.

Warm frost-free and winter rainfall areas: Mow if necessary.
Summer rainfall areas: Water the grass once a month.

Protecting from frost: In areas where frost is experienced continue to provide winter protection for tender shrubs at night.
Small shrubs can be covered with large cardboard boxes. To protect large shrubs place four stakes round each shrub and drape hessian over these every night all through winter. Remove the covers every morning.

Protect the roots by covering the ground around the plant with a deep mulch (7 – 8cm) of compost or bark.

Summer rainfall areas: Water azaleas, camellias, magnolias and all shrubs from the winter rainfall areas thoroughly once a week. Water other shrubs once a month.

Protecting from frost: In areas that experience frost protect tender climbers such as sweet peas, bougainvilleas, mandevilla splendens etc., at night by draping hessian over them. Remove the hessian every morning.

Summer rainfall areas: Water plants well about once a month.

In areas where heavy frost is experienced protect tender young trees at night until they have been grown above frost height (above 2m). Protect in the same way as for shrubs.

Summer rainfall areas: Water trees about once a month.

Continue routine care for all vegetables. Water at least once a week when the weather is dry. Feed once a month with 2.3.2 at the rate of 60g per square metre, or with a liquid fertiliser every two weeks.
In warm frost-free areas spray tomatoes once a week against blight.

Asparagus: If beds or trenches were not prepared last month do this as soon as possible. Follow the procedure described last month.

These vegetables can be grown in the various regions this month:

Gauteng and OFS Highveld