Gardening in February

Starke Ayres, West Coast Village share a few tips on keeping your garden in shape during the drought.

• Add Palm Peat when you are potting or re-potting your indoor and outdoor plants. Palm Peat provides excellent water retention properties to your soil and enhances the aeration of the soil. It is a natural product from coconut fibre promoting seed germination and root growth. Palm Peat is absolutely wonderful as bedding material for worm farming.

• Prevent evaporation and soil erosion by adding compost to your flowerbeds. Adding a layer of compost as mulch will suppress the growth of weeds, plant diseases and pests. Compost encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient lled material. This month we are spreading the benefit with our 15 dm Red Tractor compost promotion. See our Facebook page and instore for more details.

• Plant Granadillas. In a time where fruit and vegetables has become expensive we should try and supplement our requirements by growing our own. Granadillas is relatively easy to grow in full sun positions in well drained soil. Feed them with a well- balanced water-soluble fertiliser such as Nutrifeed or Nitrosol.

• Reduce and reuse water usage by implementing sound water saving measures. Use Better Earth environmentally friendly household products which makes it safe for use in the garden. In our stores you will find a wide range of products to use, from sanitising kitchen surfaces to cleaning the floor. For treating greywater use Smell Away or Tank Pong to improve the quality of greywater.

• Go green in 2018 despite the challenges that we face with the water crisis. Go for the wonder plant, the Portulacaria afra (Spekboom). Spekboom, is a succulent tree native to the Karoo region of South Africa. Spekboom trees grow to between 2 and 5 meters tall and can live up to 200 years. The plant is easy to grow and is very resilient – our wonder plant can survive frost, drought, and fire. There are also many other varieties available ranging from variegated to low growing types. A growth habit which can be incorporated in every garden big or small.

• Succulent plants are easy to love. Their ease of care, sunny dispositions and moderate growth habits make them perfect for warm seasons outdoors or well-lit interiors. The Echeveria (Dessert Rose) succulent plant is just such a specimen, thriving
 on brief periods of neglect and low water and nutrients. Echeveria care is practically fool proof and grows
 well in either containers or toasty garden beds. The many varieties and colours of Echeveria plants provide 
wonderful tones and texture for mixed beds and pots.

Starke Ayres, West Coast Village
Tel: 021 554 8450