Trim hedges and clean up under them. Shape and trim balls and topiaries one last time before winter, finish in April.
Apply Wonder 7:1:3 Fertilizer for balanced root and foliage growth.
General to do List:
- Gardening in the cooler weather is a pleasure and if you do all your tidying, planting and sowing now; your seedlings will have a chance to establish themselves before the cold weather arrives, ensuring a beautiful winter show.
- All you will then need to do is to water and maintain the garden; giving you ample time to snuggle up and enjoy winter
- As the daytime temperatures drop you can expect the best quality roses of the season with the most brilliant colours, and if winter doesn’t arrive early you can have roses well into April and May.
- Late summer to autumn is a perfect time to plant new rose bushes, as these will be well established by spring, giving them a head start when the summer rains return.
- Shorter days are a signal to roses to prepare for winter dormancy and the plants start converting sugar to starches and storing it in their stems for their spring growth, so it is important to feed them regularly.
- In very cold areas you should stop feeding by mid-March to harden them off against the cold.
- Lower daytime temperatures and reduced evaporation mean that you can reduce the amount you water while still ensuring good moisture in the soil.
- Prepare your garden beds for planting out winter vegetables, flower seedlings and bulbsby digging them over about 30cm deep and working in lots of compost, sprinkle with a general purpose fertilizer like 2:3:2 (one handful per square metre) and a generous dressing of bone meal or hoof and bone meal.
- “Prick out” the seedlings that you sowed in February, transplanting them into seedling trays with individual compartments and feed with an liquid fertilizer Multifeed N (6:1:5.) Thin out seedlings that were sown directly into garden beds and feed them too.
Winter and spring flowering bulbs like daffodils, tulips and hyacinths arrive in stores this month.
- Buy them early and store them in a dry, dark and cool place until planting time next month; once the soil temperatures have cooled down.
- Consider including some of our gorgeous indigenous bulbs like Babiana, Freesias, Sparaxis, Tritonia, Ixias, Gladioli, Ornithogalum and Lachenalias.
- Once your summer flowering bulbs have died down you can lift and store them. If you plan on leaving them in the soil, mark the position where they are planted to avoid damage while they are dormant.
Sow or plant winter flowering seedlings:
- Like Iceland poppies, pansies, violas, calendulas, snapdragons, foxgloves, cornflowers, lupins, dianthus, larkspurs, ornamental cabbages, cineraria, primula etc.
- Do not plant the same seedlings into the same beds year after year as this can cause soil borne fungal diseases and will deplete the soil of nutrients.
- This is especially relevant for seedlings like petunia, pansy and viola.
- If the sweet peas you sowed last month are growing vigorously cut off some of their tendrils, continuing to do this until they bloom; to encourage larger blooms.
- If you have not sown seeds yet you can still do so; soak the seeds in warm water overnight before planting.
- If some seeds don’t swell, pierce them with a sharp clean pin.
- Plant 15 to 20cm apart into the trenches or beds you prepared last month. Birds love eating the fresh young shoots of sweet peas and other seedlings, so protect them with plastic netting or chicken mesh if necessary.