- A beautiful lawnneeds regular care throughout the year but especially in spring and summer; so if you want a gorgeous green lawn this summer you need to start preparing now.
- In warm regions you can prepare your lawn in August, but in colder regions it is better to wait until Septemberwhen all danger of frost is over.
- In the winter rainfall regions lawns are traditionally scarified and top-dressed in autumn but once the soil dries out a bit you can top dress lightly and fertilise with an organic lawn fertiliser that is high in nitrogen.
- Spring is also the best time to sow lawn seed or to lay instant lawn.
- Once all danger of frost is over you can start sowing or planting out seedlingsof all those wonderful summer flowers like;alyssum, ageratum, aster, amaranthus, aquilegia, gaillardia,gazania, candytuft, celosia, cleome, cosmos, coleus,California poppy, lavatera, lobelia, nasturtium, nicotiana, nigella, marigold,petunia, phlox, dianthus, snapdragons, sunflower, salvia, torenia, verbena, vinca, zinnia, bedding dahlia, portulaca, New Guinea impatiens, begonia, etc.
- Grouping your seedlings together in the garden according to their watering requirements and mulching will save you a lot on water bills.
Veggie and herb gardens/Fruit Trees:
- If you did not feed your fruittrees last month, feed them now and water it in well.
- Spray your deciduous fruit trees regularly with an eco-friendly spray for fruit fly once 80% of the blossoms have fallen.
- Start thinning out the fruit on peaches, plums and apricot trees when it is 5mm in size.
- Feed your grape vines with organic 2:3:2 fertiliser and Magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts).
- Keep your Granadillas well watered and feed with 3:1:5.
- Feed your strawberries with organic 3:1:5. Feed boysenberries and loganberries with organic 2:3:2.
- Water your citrustrees deeply once a week as they come into flower.
- For tropical fruits keep the roots mulched and the soil moist. Figs, bananas, paw-paws and litchis will benefit from a dose of superphosphate.
- Avocados need a light dressing of manure, watered in well.
- Fruit fly bait:Mix 3 tablespoons of molasses and 1 tablespoon of vinegar into 1 litre of hot water. Allow the mixture to cool before spooning it into containers, leaving the top open
- Hang the containers into your fruit trees or place them around squashes and other susceptible crops. Fruit flies attracted to this solution will drown.
Containers and Indoor Plants:
Dig out a layer of old potting soil from the top of your outdoor container plants and replace with fresh potting soil. Feed with an organic fertiliser and water it in well.
Feeding and Pruning:
- Start feeding your garden in early spring and continue to do so every 4 to 8 weeks throughout summer.
- Prune your late winter, spring and early summer flowering trees, shrubs and climbers when they have finished blooming and all danger of frost is over.
- If you are uncertain when a shrub flowers, it is always best to wait until it has finished blooming or fruiting before pruning.
- In extremely cold regions rosesare pruned from the middle of August or even early September.In all other regions, when your roses start growing, they must be watered about twice a week; this is especially important in the summer rainfall regions.
- Water deeply to encourage healthy root systems; shallow watering only encourages surface roots. .In the really warm regions roses should already be well advanced and need to be fed this month; but in regions were roses flower at the end of October, fertilising may be delayed until late
- Feed with a balanced organic fertiliser that is high in nitrogen and potassium like 8:1:6. Nitrogen and sufficient water are very important at this time of the year because you want to encourage lots of healthy green leaves to support the roots of your plants, as well as to protect the delicate stems from sunburn during our hot summer days.
- To prolong that first glorious flush of blooms; “finger pruning” has become the new catch word in the gardening industry, but this only applies to hybrid tea roses.
- Simply put, it is the practice of pinching out about a third of the flowering tipsfrom your plants.
- This will ensure that the bushes produce a steady supply of roses over a longer period, with better quality blooms.
- You can prune off just the tip from some stems and on other stems you can remove up to three or four leaves.
- Basal shoots grow from the bottom of the bush and are very vigorous.
- They need to be cut back to about knee height.
- Spray your roses regularly with an organic fungicide, to prevent powdery mildew and black spot.
General to do List:
- Watch out for lily borerand spray regularly with Garden Ripcord if necessary.
- Your hydrangeasshould be shooting so continue feeding your with a general purpose fertiliser and water regularly.
- To enhance colour of pink blooms, dust the soil around the plants with lime, and to enhance blue blooms sprinkle some aluminium sulphate around the roots of your plants or spray it onto the leaves by diluting 25 grams of aluminium sulphate into 5 litres of water; repeating every two weeks until January.
- Once your cliviasstart to bloom you can rest assured that spring has finally arrived. In the winter you need to keep them a bit on the dry side but now you can start watering more regularly.
- To keep them looking at their best, apply a layer of compost and a dressing of bone meal to the soil in late winter, or once they have finished blooming.
- Pinch back the young growing tipsof fuchsias regularly to encourage them to bush out.
- Mulchyour Azaleas, Camellias and Gardenias with acid compost, water regularly and feed with a food for acid loving plants.
- Camellias also make their annual flush of new growth in spring when they have finished blooming, so feed them with a slow release nitrogen fertiliser and water it in well.