Plant some summer colour


DIY and how-to

Close-up of a yellow stamen and pink and white petals of a lily

Summer is around the corner and, even though South Africa is a water-scarce country and the Western Cape is particularly dry this time of year, there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate a little summer colour. It’s all about planting smart. 

Let’s take a look at our options.

Stunning succulents

Succulents perfect, drought-resistant plants. Get creative and buying colourful pots then re-pot a collection of your favourite cacti in and around your garden or home. Need some tips? Check out our October Garden Guide. Another option is to plant a few aloe plants into the ground.

Summer seeds

Seedlings are a fun option to try if you want instant colour in your garden. If you get cracking now, you will have some spectacular results if you sow seeds of summer- and spring-flowering annuals. Best-kept secret? It’s pretty simple to do and very kind to your budget.

Here’s what you need to know:

Buy a selection of flower seeds like marigolds, cosmos, alyssum, petunias, pansies, and lavender. You can also buy our ready-mixed ‘Meadow’ flower seed packs.

Prep your soil

Prepare the soil by loosening it and breaking it up. Lightly dig in some compost into the top few centimetres of soil. This gives the seeds a good rooting medium and will reduce your watering requirements. After that, rake the soil smooth and even.

Expert tip:

Choose a wind-free day to sow your seeds, as even a light breeze can easily scatter seeds to areas where you would prefer them not to be. Larger seeds (such as zinnias) can be sown evenly by hand, but finer seed is best mixed with fine sand and then sown as a mixture to ensure even spreading of the seed.

The final steps

Cover the seeds with a thin layer of sifted soil and water well with a fine spray attachment. A deluge of water (for example, out of a standard hosepipe opening) will cause your tiny seeds to wash away.

Keep the soil moist at all times until the first seedlings appear. A great way to keep moisture in the soil and add in extra nutrients, is to use a mulch. Feed with a general fertiliser as soon as the first flower buds develop.

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