Winter has officially arrived, but your garden is not hibernating, there is still a lot of activity in the winter garden. The sun has shifted, and our nights come earlier and our mornings later. Because of the suns’ angle you have new shady areas in your garden. It is a good idea from now on to take note how the sun moves and the shade it creates in the different seasons, and this to be noted for future planting.
There is still plenty to do in your garden. Most plants are resting but if you have winter annuals and many indigenous plants, they are growing happily in the chilly winter sun. You need to however scale down on watering your gardens, water only in the mornings so that the foliage is dry by the evenings and keep the soil warm with a layer of mulch. The evaporation of moisture in the soil is happening less, so watering your garden once a week should be ample. Keep in mind that some plants might need more water, like those in your vegetable garden, also bulbs and annuals.
This is the perfect time to clean your gardening equipment. Have your lawn mower and chainsaw serviced and blades sharpened if need be. Clean and oil your secateurs, loppers, saws and other gardening equipment with blades.
Now is a good time to do that DIY wall you wanted to build or that steppingstone walkway that you wanted to lay down in your garden. It is also a good time to take a seat in your garden and to brainstorm ideas of how you plan to re-design a bed or where and what type of water feature will look best.
To attract birds to your garden, feed them and give them water. You will be surprised to see how many different birds there are in your area. This can be very entertaining, so buy yourself a bird book and start birding by marking down what birds visit your garden. You can also plant certain indigenous plants such as Tree Fuchsias (Halleria), Aloes and Wild Dagga (Leonotis) that will attract birds to your garden. There are a variety of bird feeders, some are designed to attract or feed smaller birds. Some birdfeeders have a spike on which you can place fruit. Get yourself a nectar feeder. It will attract birds in search of nectar like your hummingbirds. Remember to keep the nectar bottles full otherwise you would have bees entering the bottle and die.
Transplanting of shrubs and trees that may be in the wrong place or have outgrown their growing area can be done at this time of year. Ensure that your holes are properly prepared with compost, bone meal and a good organic 2.3.2 fertilizer. Water these plants well to stimulate early and strong root growth.
If you must move roses in your garden, June is the month to do it in. Roses do not like competition and some plants roots may be competing with the rose’s roots. Before you uproot the rose make sure you prepare the new spot carefully. Dig a deep hole and mix in compost and bone meal and water well. When the area is no longer wet but damp it is ready for planting, you might have to wait until the next day. Cut the rose bush well back by half. Push the spade into the soil, about 200mm or so from all around the stem and lift the rose bush out of the ground. Immediately re-plant the rose in the new spot and water regularly.
Enjoy your garden!