We’re all praying for good rains this winter, but while we wait for the drought to break, get your garden ready for the cooler, hopefully wetter, months ahead.ON YOUR TO-DO LIST FOR MAY:To start:
Plant & Sow:
- Clear the fallen leaves and other debris out of your gutters
- Cut back Michaelmas daisies, penstemon, chrysanthemum, obedience plants (Physostegia), plectranthus, dahlias and cannas.
- Catch rain water from gutter to use later in the garden.
- Direct sow: the seeds of cornflowers, sweet peas, alyssum, African daisy, linaria, lobelia and Virginian stocks.
- HOT TIP! Encourage efficient sweet pea growth by mulching regularly, snipping off new tendrils and side shoots and using a trellis or stake to keep individual plants upright.
- Plant these seedlings: pansies, carnations, dianthus, cineraria, phlox, salvia, poppies, verbena and primula.
- Plant these bulbs: iris, freesia, ixia, narcissus, chincherinchee, ranunculus, sparaxis and tritonia.
- Plant these indigenous plants: proteas, ericas, conebushes and pincushions
- Sow these winter veggies: broad beans, beetroot, celery, peas, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, onions, lettuce, garlic, leeks, parsnips and turnips, parsnips and parsley.
- HOT TIP! When digging trenches to plant asparagus, remember that the crowns must be spaced 45cm apart so ensure the trench width is 45cm wide and then dig 25 to 30cm deep.
- Azaleas, camellias and tea bushes with a handful of 3:1:5 per bush. Mulch with compost and keep well watered.
- Lawns: sprinkle with a handful of 2:3:2 per square metre before rain falls or water thereafter.
- Spring-flowering bulbs with bulb food and keep the soil moist at all times.
- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow with Magnesium Sulphate.
- Indoor plants like calceolarias, cinerarias, cyclamen, daffodils, hyacinths, jonquils, narcissi, poinsettias and primulas every two weeks with a liquid fertiliser. Water every three days or when the soil feels dry.
- Discontinue feeding pot plants. Water less frequently, but don’t let the plants become dry.
- Treat conifers with Koinor or Bioneem to tackle aphid infestations.
- Spray roses, pelargoniums and geraniums with a fungicide like Dithane M45 to prevent rust, mildew and black spot. Spray under the leaves too.
- Try organic snail bait like Ferramol or surround precious seedlings with crushed egg shells, sawdust or coffee grounds.
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