February in your garden
With the awesome rain in many areas of the country, it has turned out to be a green summer, after all. February is the time for fun in the sun and almost time to prepare your garden for autumn and winter!
The summer solstice (midsummer) has already occurred in December. Summer solstice is when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky and it is the day with the longest period of daylight. This means that sunrise has already started a bit later every morning and sunset a little earlier.
We are therefore in the tail end of summer and there are a few tasks you need to do in your garden to ensure a gorgeous, colourful and healthy garden.
Prep like a pro! Good soil preparation is the key to success for any garden bed. Turn soil over to a depth of at least 30 cm. Add a layer of compost and turn it into the bed. Add Garden Phosphate or NutriGreen Gwano Pellets to ensure strong root development.
Mulch like a pro! Mulching is essential in the February heat. Mulch is material like bark, composted manure, grass clippings or shredded leaves that is spread over the surface of the soil as a covering. It suppresses weeds, retains moisture and keeps the soil cool, thereby reducing watering requirements. Organic mulches improve the fertility of the soil. Spread the mulch with a rake to a depth of 5 to 10 cm but remember to leave a space away from tree trunks and plant stems.
Sow like a pro! Timing is critical when sowing flower, herb or vegetable seeds. Make sure that you sow the seeds during the right season for your area. Follow the instructions on the reverse side of the seed packet before you start sowing. Some seeds can be sown directly into the soil eg carrots, beetroot, etc, but fine seeds should first be sown in seed trays in order to maximise success. When sowing fine seeds directly into the soil, mix the seed with a little sand before sprinkling it over the surface of the soil in order to distribute them evenly. For cheerful autumn and winter colour, sow primulas, stocks, pansies, violas, sweet peas, Iceland poppies, delphiniums, gazanias, etc. Sow herbs like basil, coriander and flat-leaf parsley and vegetables like cauliflower, onions, spinach, lettuce, carrots, beetroot and swiss chard, to suggest but a few.
Grow like a pro! For instant gratification, plant a few trays of bedding plants in your flower beds or in strategically placed pots. Divide and replant perennials and groundcovers. Prune back asters, hydrangeas and malvas and treat the open cutting wounds with a mixture of Mycoguard and Sprayfilm 10 to prevent fungal infections. You can also lift and split irises and arum lilies as well as summers bulbs as soon as they are past their prime. Trees are a wonderful addition to any garden, especially fruit trees. Speak to your nursery who can advise on the types of fruit trees for your area and remember, a lemon tree is a garden must have. The other must have is the carbon busting, waterwise Spekboom. Keep watering and dead heading flowers and feed them with a liquid fertiliser like Guanoflo. Remove any vegetables that are past their productive cycle.
Fertilise like a pro! Keep your garden green and colourful for longer. It’s now time to boost your whole garden with Protek’s wide range of organic or chemical fertilisers. To ensure that Camelias and Azalias flower during winter, it is now time to feed with a fertiliser rich in Mg and Ca. Guanoflo is a natural fertiliser made from pure seabird guano and certified organic. It contains all the macro and micro-nutrients required for healthy plants and large, colourful blooms.
Feed your lawn with Protek Lawn & Foliage 7:1:3 or NutriGreen Gro Green. Feed your leafy vegetable and herb gardens with Protek Lawn & Foliage fertiliser 7:1:3 and fruit bearing plants with Rose and Flower fertiliser 8:1:5. For a natural option, choose NutriGreen Gro Green and NutriGreen Flower Power respectively. There is a fertiliser in the Protek range for every application in your garden.
Protect like a pro! Your roses have started their autumn flush and needs to be protected from insects and fungi. Treat preventatively against sucking and biting insects with a systemic insecticide. Complete can be applied as a seasonal application to the root area of your plants. Also treat preventatively against fungus infections like black spot. Mycoguard is a contact insecticide and kills the spores of fungi, preventing them from destroying your plants. Tenazole is a systemic fungicide which can be applied preventatively as well as curatively.
Protect your seedlings against snails and slugs by putting out Scatterkill for Snails. It is made from a unique bran bait that is very palatable for snails. It also features a unique pet repellent.
Protect your lawn against broad leaf weeds with Protek Versus or ready to use Scatterkill for Weeds. Both will get rid of these weeds without killing your lawn. Treat your lawn preventatively against fungal diseases like dollar spot, fairy ring, brown spot, etc. with Mycoguard. Be on the lookout for lawn caterpillars on your lawn and treat effectively with Kemprin, Avigard or ready to use Scatterkill for Insects.