Jumpstart your spring garden

2010-07-24 13:36

Not everybody has a green thumb, which doesn’t mean you should leave your garden in such a state of neglect your pets mistake it for the Kruger Park.

Now is the time to give your little space in the sunshine some TLC because gardens, like closets, require change every season.

It might still be winter but experts say now is the perfect time to get ready for spring.

So get your soil fertilised, trees pruned and the grass de-weeded.

Come spring, you’ll have that garden ready to bloom into a ­fusion of colours to match your glam new threads.

Gardening authority Darlene Roelofsen of gardeninginsouthafrica.co.za says “pruning in late winter is best because the risk of plant infection is minimised.

“Pruning fruit trees, grapevines and roses can be done from mid-July in warm regions, and mid-August in the colder ones.”

So people in coastal regions such as Eastern and Western Cape should start pruning from the end of July to August.

And those in warm subtropical ­regions like KwaZulu-Natal and Venda in Limpopo should pick up their gardening shears now.

“Correct pruning will rejuvenate old plants; producing fruit- laden trees and well-shaped shrubs and roses that flower well,” says Roelofsen.

So, in essence, pruning your plants is akin to a hairstylist trimming split ends – both help them grow.

Roelofsen adds: “July is also a great month to transplant shrubs or trees that are growing in the wrong place.”

You can perform your plant transplant by digging a hole that is the same depth as the old one to make sure your plants survive and thrive.

It’s not a transplant in the same league as that of Chris Barnard, but you’ll still feel proud.

“Never plant too deep,” warns Roelofsen.

“Sprinkle fertiliser into the planting holes to encourage new root growth and water thoroughly afterwards.”

This period is not all about pruning.

JJ Van Rensburg from Garden World in Muldersdrift says this is also the time to start preparing garden beds for spring planting of vegetables and herbs.

His practical seasonal gardening advice includes pulling out or spraying grass weeds on the lawn with herbicide.

He also says birds are a garden’s best friend because in winter insects, which help with seed pollination, are in short supply.

So bribe the birdies by putting out some bird food and fruit.

Now there’s really no reason for you not to have a blooming great garden by spring.

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