We have not had a winter and yet we still say we are looking forward to Spring and Summer. Why? Perhaps because colours become brighter, the air will be fresher when the rain comes, and with fewer layers of clothing on we can be more active – hopefully in the garden!
September is a hustle and bustle month. Now is the right time to do a lot of things so that you can relax over the festive season:
- Spring flowering shrubs can be pruned towards the end of this month after they have finished flowering.
- Sow the following seeds – impatiens, marigolds, nasturtium, portulaca, alyssum, zinnias, ageratum, salvia, dianthus, phlox, celosia, lobelia, penstemon and verbena.
- When your citrus trees bloom, water deeply once a week.
- If you have a shady garden plant some indigenous clivias with their bright orange coloured flowers.
- Find a spot close to your house for fragrant plants such as jasmine, frangipani, roses, brunfelsia, citrus, herbs, mentha, lavender gardenia and buddleja.
- Mulch Camellias and evergreen Azaleas (Rhododendrons) with acid-based compost and they will benefit from deep watering to keep them damp and to prolong their flowering
- The summer rains will soon be here - until then mulch with as much compost as possible - this will help conserve moisture.
- Unfortunately, as your lawn grows, so do the weeds. Control them as quickly as possible. Try to identify the weed and if it is a broad leaf you can use Efekto Banweed, Turfweeder or Hormoban.
- Prune fuchsias if you feel the frost is over!
- Indoor plants will be coming into new growth and can be given a boost of pot plant food followed by a thorough soaking
- Give roses their spring feed of 8:1:5 or 5:1:5 or 3:2:1 and water it in well. Spray them with a fungicide to keep black spot and mildew at bay. As new leaves start to develop they will provide tasty food for Aphids and other sucking insects. Control them with Kohinor (one application lasts the whole season), Aphicide, Insecticide Granules or No Insect Outdoors.Spray.
- Divide and repot overcrowded water plants
- Plan your summer planting of annuals.
- Give trees and shrubs a boost by watering thoroughly, then fertilize with 3:1:5 (SR) and water well again.
Talking of trees, Arbor Week, 1 – 7 September, is a time to remember the role of ‘trees in our lives’.
- Improve the thermal efficiency of buildings
- Improve the air quality through carbon dioxide removal during photosynthesis
- Counteract global warming
- Provide shade, improve storm water management and prevent soil erosion
- Decrease noise and dust pollution
- Increase the value of properties and create aesthetically pleasing neighbourhoods.
To give your tree the best start possible here is a quick recap on basic planting:
The trees of the year are: