This month, the focus is on perennials - now’s the time to plant summer-flowering bulbs. Here are a few gardening tips:
- Spring is the time when plants send out new roots and leaf growth so all planting of young trees, shrubs and climbers should be completed as soon as possible.
Container plants have an established root system so won’t suffer as much shock when transplanted. The roots may have become pot bound and need to be gently loosened to encourage new roots to grow into the surrounding soil in search of moisture and nutrients.
- Keep your spring gardens looking good for as long as possible by feeding plants and removing spent blooms. Take time to visit open gardens, botanical gardens and flower shows for inspiration and ideas.
- If you have a sunny rockery or flowerbed, plant drought-resistant vygies – they will quickly spread, forming flowering carpets of pink, orange, yellow, magenta and purple.
- Plant tuberous dahlias for colour throughout summer. They need well composted soil mixed with a general fertiliser and a handful of superphosphate per hole. Insert a stake at planting time to avoid later damage to tubers.
Prepare soil for summer bulbs by turning over the soil and digging in compost and a handful of superphosphate per square metre. Plant Lilium, arum, dahlia, tuberose, Eucomis and Galtonia. Tuberous begonia and Achimenes are excellent for hanging baskets.
Where garden space is limited, grow tomatoes, climbing green beans and cucumbers up bamboo wigwams or trellises with chives, thyme and basil planted at their base. Sow bush beans at regular intervals to prolong the harvest.
Sow salad crops fortnightly so that there is a continuous supply of tender young leaves. Spread straw between rows to retain moisture, discourage weeds and stop mud from splashing on leaves. Keep veggies well watered in dry weather.
Words: Hilette Potgieter, Home magazine
Image: Home magazine