Most gardens are not what they used to be with the dry conditions taking their toll. Every garden is praying for rain. While there is not much we can do regards the weather, following advice from the garden experts at Starke Ayres will help your garden in the long run.
• March is the month to apply a pre-emergence herbicide for Wintergrass, (Poa annua) that seeded itself last year. Pre-emergence application is far more effective that post emergence. The products Kerb or Lawntyl can be applied at half the rate, (pre-emergence rate only apply on only Kikuyu, Bualo and Cynodon Royal and Outenique varieties). Remembering that these products suppress germination seed and have a residual effect for approximately 2 to 3 months, no other lawn seed should be sown in treated areas over this period.
• Blueberry and Cranberry bushes have mostly completed their yield for the season and will benefit from an application of Starke Ayres 3:1:5 organic fertiliser to replace the lost nutrients due to bearing before winter dormancy. Application in early March ensures a higher yield the following year.
• Bulbs: In March prepare your beds or containers with some fresh compost and some Starke Ayres sterilised Bonemeal for winter bulbs. Start looking out for Sparaxis, Ranunculus, Anemone and the wonderfully fragrant Freezias. Feed your bulbs with Pokon Bulb or Hadeco Bulb Food.
• It is time for Autumn sowing. Sow Starke Ayres Namaqualand daisies and Bokbaaivygies, Mesembryanthemum in sunny places in the garden. Not only are they indigenous, but is also the perfect garden companion for the dry periods that we are experiencing. They grow easily and make a magnificent display in early spring.
• Work plenty of compost into the soil. Briefly, drought brings a general lack of rainfall, which leads to death and decay of organic matter within the soil. The organic matter no longer keeps the composure it otherwise would have, and its surface area lessens due to drying. The significance of this surface area deterioration is simply this; without surface area to absorb water, soil will not be able to maintain its composition during rainfall.
• If you have sandy of heavy clay soils, add Gypsum (Gold Dust) , it will help with the water retention potential of the soils.
• Sow Sweetpeas. Seeds of climbing as well as bush varieties (dwarf varieties that do not need staking) are available in mixed or single colours. For the best reults when planting Sweetpea flower beds, soak seed in warm water with Trelmix overnight and plant them straight into your garden.
• Control Red Spidermite. Red spider breeds in drought-like conditions when the sap flow is sluggish and more concentrated. The mites suck the sap out of the leaves, which fall off and expose the stems to the direct sun. Treat plants with Efekto Eco Fungi Mite.
• Beat the water restrictions and landscape with drought tolerant plants such as Succulents, Aloes, Grasses, Gazanias, Agaves, Lampranthus and Delosperma.
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