October


 

Lawns:

  • Early summer is also a good time to sow both warm and cool season grasses and to lay instant lawn before it gets too hot, but do not take short cuts you will regret later.
  • Firstly, the entire area must be dug over and all old roots, weeds and stones removed.
  • Next, spread a good layer of compost and a generous dressing of bone meal or superphosphate over the area and rake it smooth.
  • Then, using a fine sprinkler, irrigate the entire area thoroughly.
  • Fill in any hollows where the water collects and rake once again.
  • Allow the soil to dry out before starting to lay the sods.
  • Lay the sods closely together, filling any cracks between them well with compost or lawn dressing.
  • Water thoroughly and continue watering regularly, never allowing the soil to dry out completely until it is reasonably established; also restrict foot traffic until completely established.
  • Allow the blades to grow quite high at first and then cut often but set the blades on your lawnmower at their highest for the first couple of months. Kikuyu; Berea; and all Year evergreen are all available as Instant lawn.

Flower beds:

  • Your winter and spring flowering annualswill start dying down as the weather warms up and it is time to start planting your summer beds.
  • Try alyssumastercleomecosmosdianthusgaillardia,sunflower, lavatera, lobeliamarigoldzinniabedding begonia,celosiaNew Guinea impatienspetuniaand vinca.
  • Pinch out the young growth on newly planted seedlings to encourage bushy growth.
  • Save money this summer by sowing flower seeds directly into your garden beds.
  • There are many easy to grow mixtures available for both sun and shade. Dig over the bed, adding lots of compost and a handful of bone meal per square meter before raking the bed nice and smooth.
  • Mix the seeds with a generous helping of fine compost or cake flour (mix thoroughly).
  • These will help you to spread the seeds evenly over the bed.
  • Rake the bed very lightly after sowing and sprinkle extra compost over any exposed seeds.
  • Never plant your seeds too deep and water the beds daily until they germinate; never allowing the soil to dry out totally.

Veggie and Herb Gardens:

Jazz up your vegetable garden this summer with some edible plants which will also add colour and interest.

Chamomile is considered a tonic for anything you grow in the garden and is used as a ‘companion plant’ to help keep neighbouring plants healthy and free of diseases and pests.

It improves the flavour of cabbages, cucumbers and onions; and is invaluable in vegetable gardens because it is loved by bees and other pollinators.

Chamile is also one of the safest and most versatile pet remedies around, with scientifically proven uses for both humans and pets.

Violas like to grow in the shade between vegetables and are great in salads, ice creams and cake icings.

Thepurple cone flower is a perfect companion for eggplants, sweet peppers and Chinese cabbage; and not forgetting Nasturtiums which are so cheerful in the vegetable patch and wonderful on cheese sandwiches, seeding themselves all over the vegetable garden.

Feed your young summer vegetables with a liquid organic fertiliser every two weeks and make sure the beds are mulched and weed free.

Thin out seedlings to the correct spacing and use the thinning’s of carrots, spring onions and beetroot to add to salads.

Tomatoes can be planted right up to their lowest leaves and the soil should be mounded up against the stems as they develop.

This helps them develop strong roots that will require less watering and will also make the plant more stable.

Once all danger of frost is over, start sowing or planting; asparagusmaizesweet cornbush beans,  climbing beans,eggplantbroccolicucumbercabbagescarrotscelerylettuceleeks,  pepperspumpkinspotatoes and sweet potatoes, radishturnipstomatoessquashesbaby marrows and melons.

Always harvest your vegetables when they are young and tender, because the more you pick the more they will produce. Spring is also a good time to divide large clumps of rhubarb.
Containers and Indoor Plants:

 

  • Add water retention granules and a good layer of fresh potting soil as well as a mulch like bark chips, rooibos tea, peach pips or even pebbles to your hanging baskets and potted plantsand remember to water and feed regularly.
  • Repot overcrowded potted ferns with fresh potting soil and start feeding with half strength liquid fertiliser every two weeks.
  • Octoberis also a good time tore-pot orchids when they have finished flowering.

 

General to do List:

WATER WISE !!!

MULCH!!! MULCH !!! MULCH!!!

Mulch is any substance that can be placed on the surface of the soil around plants in order to keep moisture in soil.

 

ORGANIC MULCHES:

. Compost, Pine Needles, Chopped Bark, Strawy Manure, Autumn Leaves, Grass Cuttings( dry).

INORGANIC MULCHES:

. Plastic Sheeting ,Gravel, Pebbles and stones.

 

WHY USING MULCHES?

. Keep moisture in soil, saving water.

. Prevent weeds growing.

. Keep wind away from soil, less water is lost.

. Provides winter protection in cold climates.

. Prevent frost damage.

. Prevent soil erosion.

. Promotes good root growth by retaining moisture in root zone.

. Organic Mulches make soil healthier.

. Attrack usefull micro- organisms and earthworms.

. Lower temperatures of soil, less water is lost.

 

LIVING MULCHES:

. WATER WISE: Low growing shrubs, perennials and ground covers will serve exactly the same purposes as a mulch.

. It shades the soil and slow down water loss.

SUNNY AREA:

. Agapanthus ,Aptenia, Bulbinella, Vygies, Dymondia, Echeveria, Erigeron, Gazania, Osteospernum, Tulbachia.

SHADY AREA:

.Agapanthus variegata, Crassula, Chloropthytum, Plectranthus variegata.