Gardening Tips – September

August and September are the months when Spring announces its arrival. Many plants and colours can brighten up your gardens!

It’s tree season!!!

National Arbor Day will be from 1 to 7 September 2014. The tree of the year is The Lavender Tree.

September is the ideal month to plant a tree (or lots of trees!) in your garden. To inspire you, here are some useful hints and advice:

Before your plant :

• Make sure you choose a tree that suits your needs – do you want evergreen foliage, do you want it to attract birds to your garden, do you want it to provide shade?
• Consider the root system of the tree – some trees develop roots that are up to twice as long as their height.
• Look for a tree that is free of any signs of pests or fungal diseases.
• Avoid long, spindly trees. Rather choose a shorter tree with sturdy lower branches – it will be less likely to topple over once you plant it.
• Handle your new tree carefully – don’t pick it up by the trunk and provide some barrier protection when transporting it so that it doesn’t get “wind burn”.

When you plant :

• Dig a square (not round) hole measuring 60cm x 60cm. Square holes encourage the roots to grow sideways.
• Add 2 handfuls of compost, half a cup of bone-meal and half a cup of 2:3:2 fertiliser to the soil.
• Mix the soil well and fill up the hole with water.
• Plant the tree at the same depth as it was in its packaging.
• Firmly press down the soil around the trunk and water well.

Good idea – Try indigenous varieties like the Fever Tree, Leopard Tree or the Cape Wild Olive.
Add a solution of liquid fertiliser.

Herb of the Month – Rosemary

Rosemary is one of the easiest herbs to grow. It is incredibly hardy and will thrive as long as you plant it ina sunny spot where the soil drains well. In fact, the Latin generic name Rosmarinus means “dew of the sea” due to the fact that it often grows along the coast.

Grow your own Tomatoes

The summer months are a great time to grow your own tomatoes. They grow well in garden beds and pots and are available in so many easy-to-grow varieties. You can also encourage your children to grow their own cherry tomatoes in pots.

Perk up your garden on a budget

Spring is the ideal time to breathe new life into your garden and the good news is that it
doesn’t have to cause a dent in your budget.

Try these affordable gardening ideas for maximum impact on your garden and minimal
impact on your bank balance :

The cheapest way to fill garden beds with masses of colour is to sow seeds. Try sowing
fast-growing nasturtiums, zinnias and marigolds – your children will also love watching them grow.
Divide overgrown day lily and canna clumps into three sections. Throw away the old middle section and you’re left with two new plants instead of one – now that’s budget-friendly gardening!
Give tired looking pots and patio furniture a new coat of paint.
Get rid of snails cheaply – and in a way that’s good for the environment – by surrounding vulnerable plants with crushed egg shells or used coffee grounds.

The top 5 flowering house plants for spring:

• African Violets; Peace Lilies; Begonia and Kalanchoe.

On your to-do list for September

Pamper your Roses :

• Feed roses with 8:1:5 fertiliser to encourage a beautiful flush in October.
• Spray roses with a rose cocktail made from one part Rosecare, one part Trelmix, one part Seagro, one tablespoon of vinegar and one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. This will help to protect your roses against pests and fungal diseases.

Feed for Spring Growth:

• Feed lawns with 2.3.2 and 4:1:1 fertiliser
• Feed shrubs and trees with 3:1:5 fertiliser.
• Feed fruit trees with Nitrosol and 3:1:5 fertiliser

Tend to your Perennials :

• Check for signs of iron deficiency (yellowing leaves) in your gardenias. Treat with iron chelate.
• Cut back fuchsias to encourage bushy growth.
• Mulch azaleas and camellias with well-rotted pine needles or bark chips once the flowers have faded. Feed with a high nitrogen fertiliser.
Enhance the blue of your hydrangeas by watering them once every two weeks with a weak aluminium sulphate solution (25g in 5 litres of water).

Enjoy your garden! ; )