Page 45 - Spilpunt Mrt/Apr 2017
P. 45

In the herb garden
Start harvesting and preserving herbs for winter, by har- vesting small quantities at a time. Chop mint, parsley, basil and lemon balm, place in an ice tray, fill with water and freeze. Aromatic herbs, like oregano, marjoram, thyme, sage, bay leaves, and rosemary, are better air dried.
Continue to feed herbs monthly with a half strength liquid fertiliser, and water regularly.
Plant more trees
Autumn is the ideal time to establish young plants before the cold weather sets in. Consider deciduous trees with striking autumn foliage. Quercus Palustris is admired and deservedly popular for the rich autumn tints of its foliage and thrives throughout South Africa. It reaches a height
of 10 to 15 metres and requires a sunny position in the garden. Take care not to plant it too close to walls, paving, etcetera. Stake the saplings during the beginning years, especially if your garden tends to be windy. For indigenous autumn colours consider Celtis africana, Liquidambar or Combretum.
Pruning
Neaten evergreen shrubs and hedges without cutting back too harshly. Take care not to prune winter or early-spring flowering plants, as you will miss out on their annual display. March is a good time to prune overgrown conifers and to experiment with conifer topiaries. Remember to spray conifers preventatively against infestations of Italian cypress aphids.
Inland gardening
(Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo)
Plants
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis longiflora, commonly known as ’Adonicus Apricot’, is praised for being a long-life hibiscus. Longifloras are a variety with longer lasting flowers. This shrub with its apricot-coloured flowers can be planted in a sunny to semi-shaded spot. In colder areas, plant them in a container in a sheltered area.
Buxus microphylla or also known as ’Faulkner’, is a glossy evergreen that can be shaped very easily into balls, pyramids or low hedges. They are low main- tenance, tough plants which grow in sun or shade. This buxus is hardy to cold and frost.
Polygala myrtifolia, commonly known as the September bush, forms a medium-sized shrub or
small tree of up to three metres and is perfect for small gardens. The flowers, in shades
of purple and mauve, are at their best in mid-October. It is a good indigenous plant for both the winter- and summer- rainfall areas of the country.
Fill pots and beds with petunias as they love the drier winter weather.
Garden tasks
Water the lawn every three to four days and strengthen for winter by top dressing with an organic fertiliser. If you prefer an inorganic lawn fertiliser, use 3:2:1 at 45 grams per m2.
Fertilise container plants, hanging baskets and seedlings with liquid plant food.
Prune all evergreen shrubs, trees and creepers immediately after they finish flowering. This allows buds to quickly set for the following season.
Prepare your containers now for a stunning spring display! By the end of March the retail nurseries will be filled with winter bulbs and seedlings, so remember to buy bulbs early, before supplies run out.
When planting a new tree, ensure that the support is suit- able and correctly tied. The support should be at least two- thirds of the planting height and the tree should be secured to it twice. Leave enough space for the growth spurt in spring so that the tie does not cut into the bark and create a weak spot.
Remember to follow good water practises and reduce watering as the weather cools.
For more information on bringing life to your garden, visit the website: www.lifeisagarden.co.za,
or join the conversation
on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ lifeisagardensa.
Hibiscus
Sweet peas September bush
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