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Stodels Garden Centres

April 2017
Western Cape



April is a wonderful time for gardening in the Western Cape. With the days a little cooler, it’s a productive time to get back into the garden and start getting it ready for the much-anticipated winter rains. Autumn is one of the best times to plant, as new arrivals have the cold winter months to settle in and develop root systems before the following hot summer. Where possible, establish a garden with the hardier, more drought-resilient varieties so that they have a better chance of coping when those hot, dry months come around again.

If you’re in need of a bit of a stock-up, our annual Plant Sale is happening from 10 April – 2 May, so pop in to any of our branches and choose from a huge variety of plants (thousands in fact!) at radically reduced prices.

 

SPOTLIGHT ON: SPRING-FLOWERING BULBS

Hooray for bulbs! Some of the easiest yet most rewarding plants to grow. April is the right time to plant them so that you can enjoy their marvelous flowers in spring! Plant indigenous beauties such as tritonia, lachenalia, ixias, sparaxis, babianas, watsonias and chincherinchee, and follow these handy tips to get them off to a good start.

 

ON YOUR TO-DO LIST FOR APRIL

Plant and sow:

  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs as soon as the weather has cooled. Try indigenous varieties like tritonia, lachenalia, ixias, sparaxis, babianas, watsonias and chincherinchee and exotics like ranunculus, anemone, hyacinths, daffodils and narcissus. If you’re longing for tulips, it’s best to wait until May to plant those.
  • Sow winter veggies like broccoli, broad beans, peas, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, onions and turnips.
  • Sow or plant winter- and spring-flowering seedlings like African daisies, sweet peas, Virginian stocks, cinerarias, snapdragons, lobelias, delphiniums, dianthus, nemesia, pansies, salvia, violas, scabiosa and Flanders poppies.
  • Plant out strawberry runners and cover the soil beneath the plants with a layer of straw to prevent the plants from rotting.

Feed:

  • Mow your lawn a little shorter and feed it with a potassium-rich fertiliser to strengthen it before the winter months.
  • Feed azaleas, camellias and tea bushes with a handful of shake and grow. Mulch with compost and water where possible.
  • Feed container plants with Nitrosol to give them a winter boost!
  • Feed sweet peas with 2:3:2 to encourage healthy growth and abundant flowers in the months ahead. Pinch out side-shoots to encourage upward growth.
  • Feed citrus trees with a handful of Magnesium Sulphate. Inspect the leaves carefully for signs of citrus psylla or scale; if you see traces, cover the affected leaves with a generous dose of Margaret Roberts Organic Insect Spray.

Prune and divide:

  • Prune evergreen hedges, summer-flowering shrubs and overgrown climbers.
  • Deadhead your roses to encourage a final autumn flush.
  • Cut back dahlias to 20cm above soil level. Wait two weeks before lifting the bulbs and storing them in a cool, dry place. The bulbs can be replanted in August.

 

OTHER FRESH IDEAS

 TOP TIP: Autumn leaves

Instead of fighting the autumn leaf fall, fallen leaves can be left on the grass or in garden beds to form a nutrient-rich mulch for the garden. In time, they’ll break down and become food for the soil again. Learn more here.

GROW YOUR OWN: Veggies from seed

Growing your own veggies has got to be one of the most rewarding kinds of gardening – and now’s the time to get those winter soup veggies in the ground! Here are a few tips on how to grow your own veggies from seed: http://bit.ly/2mOPajF

 

 

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