Get your garden winter ready


DIY and how-to

Ornamental grasses with thin, variegated blades in shades of maroon and green.

Prepare your garden beds now before the cooler months, and reap the rewards when the winter rainfall arrives. Here’s what you should be doing:

Clean up
Clear out your gutters and drains of fallen autumn leaves and direct your downspout into a rainwater storage tank, so that you can save rainwater for the drier months.

Plant a drought tolerant garden
Turn to locally indigenous plants and water-wise species when relooking your garden for the new season. New plants need time to establish and will benefit from a good watering after being transplanted, which is why now is the ideal time to get them in the soil. Even if the rain is irregular, your plants will still benefit from some much needed nourishment. Choose from beautiful waterwise species such as:

  • Cape honeysuckle
  • Duinekraaibessie
  • Pelargonium Geranium Maverick
  • Natal plum
  • Iris
  • Plumbago
  • Spekboom
  • Tulbaghia
  • Margaret Roberts’ lavender
  • Leucadendron
  • Rosemary
  • Bougainvillea

Install a rain garden

Research rain gardens and start work replanting flora that can tolerate seasonal flooding, such as iris, papyrus, elephant’s ears and river pumpkin.

Stock up on compost

Buy a few bags of compost and store them in your garage. Wait until just before a few days of heavy rain are predicted and then cover all your garden beds with the compost. The winter rains will help it soak in well and your garden will respond with glorious growth in spring.

Mulch, mulch, then mulch some more

Mulch with about 5cm to prevent evaporation, stunt weed growth, reduce fungal infections, provide a source of nutrients for plants and provide a home for beneficial insects in your garden.

Secure fragile plants

Attach weak-stemmed shrubs and trees to a sturdy stake using a piece of old garden hose or pantyhose looped into a figure eight shape, as winter gales can wreak havoc on young plants.

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