Page 44 - Spilpunt Mrt/Apr 2017
P. 44

Your autumn garden
The last colours of summer are fading, indicating a new season and a new opportunity to brighten up your garden. March is the ideal month to establish new plants in the ground and to move and replant trees and perennials.
Sweetgum (Liquidambar)
Flowers in season
Penstemons are the stalwarts of autumn. They are drought resistant and great for quick colour.
Salvias have many varieties and have aromatic foliage and tubular flowers which attract birds and insects. These plants grow in a wide range of growing and soil conditions and can cope with dry periods. They bloom best in frost-free areas during autumn.
Angelonias provide a colourful display in flower beds and in pots. They are mainly ideal for frost-free areas and are excellent as cut flowers. Grow angelonias in rich, well drained soils in a warm, sunny or semi-shaded position.
Gazanias flower all year round in protected gardens. Plant in full sun and in sandy soil with good drainage. Their roots bind the soil and gazanias are therefore excellent for planting on slopes.
tepid water before sowing directly into the prepared flowerbeds.
Bedding plant of the month: lobelia
There are very few flowers that can match the true blue of lobelia. The colours vary from light to dark blue, white and dark pink. Lobelias grow anywhere in full sun or semi-shade and like loose, gritty soil. When nothing else seems to grow, punnets of seedlings can still be planted out, provided the area does not receive heavy frost. There are also trailing lobelias, which have a more cascading habit and are suit- able for hanging baskets, window boxes and for softening edges of raised beds.
Rose care for March
Roses are simply spectacular in autumn! To ensure quality blooms into the winter, continue with regular preventative treatments, such as spraying for black spot, beetles and bollworm. As the days get shorter, the roses start to go dormant and withdraw food from their leaves. To compen- sate for this and to provide enough food for new growth and flowers, fertilise with rose food, and water regularly
if there is insufficient rainfall.
Fresh veggies
Spice up your food garden with deliciously different vegetable varieties. Some of the exciting varieties on the market include strange-
looking and fiery chillies,
different coloured cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, striped beetroot and differ- ent varieties of tomatoes and brinjals.
Planning for autumn planting
Fill your boot with compost, compost and more compost and apply to each and every planting bed as nutritious mulch. Prepare the soil by digging and turning it over to the depth of a large spade, while working in copious amounts of compost. Include bone meal to promote strong root growth.
Start sowing sweet peas It is sweet pea sowing time. Prepare deep trenches for the seeds by digging in compost, adding generous dustings of bone meal
or super-phosphate. (Do not use o
bone meal if you have dogs.) Soak the seeds overnight in
42 | Spilpunt IN LYN MET DIE BOER
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