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Gardening in South Africa

In frosty and subtropical regions it’s time to sow winter and spring flowering annuals.


Primula malaciodesPrimula malaciodesIn cold winter regions which experience early frosts, gardeners generally start sowing seeds of slower maturing winter and spring flowering annuals in January and February; keeping them in a cool, shaded area until temperatures drop in late summer, before hardening them off, and planting out into the garden. In subtropical and humid regions, late summer, autumn and winter are the best times to plant a flower garden, and many winter annuals, as well as summer flowering annuals are sown during these cooler months. In other regions, many annuals can be sown into seedling trays now, but do not sow winter seeds directly into garden beds until the daytime temperatures have dropped significantly.

Some plants like alyssum, snapdragons, dianthus and petunias are grown almost throughout the year in South Africa and can be sown now, so be sure to include these on your shopping list, and remember, not all so called “winter annuals” are fully hardy to frost, and because sowing times vary from region to region, it’s always best to check with your local garden centre to find the varieties which do best in your region, before sowing or planting.

What to do in your veggie garden now.

BroccoliBroccoliUnless you live in the sub-tropical regions of South Africa, It’s too late to plant slow maturing summer vegetables this month, but in the cold winter regions it is time to sow many winter crops and to start preparing and planning your winter veggie garden.

In the warm sub-tropical regions continue to sow seeds of vegetables that can be planted out into the garden once the weather cools down. Try sweet peppers, chillies, eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, baby marrows, Swiss chard, green beans and cabbage.

In the cooler regions continue sowing winter vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and kohlrabi into seedling trays, for planting out in early autumn. If you started sowing last month, feed the seedlings with a liquid fertiliser that is high in nitrogen. In cooler regions it is also a good time to sow lettuce directly into well-prepared beds.

Handy list of summer flowering perennials for full sun to light shade


An avenue of Agapanthus. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaAn avenue of Agapanthus. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaIn our modern world we often find ourselves pressed for time and wondering where we can free up some in order to do the things we really enjoy. Gardeners are no exception, and whether you like gardening or not, everyone loves a beautiful garden overflowing with greenery and brightly coloured flowers, but seldom do we count the cost in time spent on creating and maintaining such a garden. That's where flowering perennials can save the day, because unlike annual plants which grow, flower and die all in one season, perennials can last several years before they need replacing or dividing. Also many perennials spread easily, and this, together with their longevity, makes it really worthwhile investing in them for your garden.

New DIY Garden Club in the KZN Midlands

All gardeners, and new gardeners, there is a new DIY Garden Club in the KZN Midlands that are inviting people to join (no fees to be in the club, just a small cover fee to attend the DIY’s).  They are having their first gathering on 24 February, and if you are interested, you will need to join their group on facebook and let them know you want to be part of the group and if you want to attend.  The info for the first meeting is pinned to the top of the page.

* No membership fees.
* Monthly DIY gatherings
* Small cover charge to attend the DIY’s.
* Seed and plant swapping welcome
* New gardeners very welcome
* Children very welcome if supervised by parents.

Their page is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kznmidlandsdiygardenclub/


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