Gardening in January

• Grow your own Mooring oleifera tree (Miracle tree). The Moringa plant is beginning to gain more popularity as a superfood for its highly nutritious values, powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and tissue protective properties among many other health benefits. It is a small three and has been used for generations in Eastern countries to treat and prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, liver disease and respiratory, skin and digestive disorders.

• Continue planting small batches of vegetables to ensure a continued supply. Suited for pots are tomato, lettuce, peppers, chilli, beans, spinach, kale and brinjal. Select from our wide range of Organic seedlings grown especially for you. Products such as Vermiculite, Perlite, Greenscapes urban cubes and palm peat will help with improving your soil structure moisture in your soil around the root zone.

• Slimmers summer lettuce. The good news is that we can grow loose varieties such as Starke Ayres Baby Leaf lettuce, Filly Red and Green Oak, Cos and Butter lettuce throughout the summer where head forming lettuce like Ice Berg and Crisp Head is more suitable for winter. Plant in partial shade in well drained light soil. A touch of Magnesium sulphate will give lettuce a better taste and colour. Feed weekly with a balanced organic fertiliser with micro elements such as Seagro, Organic or Tailbone 6.3.4.

• During dry spells ant and cockroach activities increase. Use Kombat Ants, Kombatg Roach or Kombat TAG bait stations to control infestations. For an organic safe option use Diatomaceous earth 100% food grade quality and safe for pets and humans. Simply dry sprinkle or mix with water and spray the areas where you find the highest activity. The more you use the more they will feel unwelcome.

• Chillies are a lovely potted addition to a sunny patio. The fruits are ornamental in a range of shapes and vibrant colours from yellow to orange, red and even purple. They are held upright or pendent on the plant. Edible as well, they add a lovely piquancy to dishes. Use them in salsas, fresh or dried. A selection is available in pots and punnets. The heat is measured according to the Scoville heat scale, so you can choose whether to test the limits of your taste buds or just enjoy!

• Zeoplant is a highly effective soil additive widely used in the Middle East and Israel, made up of fully natural mineral and organic components. It has a water retaining capacity of at least 420% and stays active in the soil indefinitely. Your plants stay moist and fed because of Zeoplant absorbs and stores water and dissolved nutrients, preventing them from leaching away from the root zone. This is ideal for sandy soil, containers and even hanging baskets that are prone to drying out.

Starke Ayres, West Coast Village
Tel: 021 554 8450