Gardening in September

Every September we celebrate Arbour week. A common and a rare species are chosen to raise public awareness about the diversity of trees significant to the country. The common tree for this year is Ekebergia capensis the Cape ash, Essenhout and the uncommon one is Adansonia digitata Baobab,Kremetart. At Starke Ayres we accept that not everyone has the space for a tree, but trees can also be planted indoors in pots such as the Fiddle leaf fig, Rubber tree and the Natal Mahogany.

Summer hanging baskets are ideal for a splash of colour, even if space is limited. There are infinite colour combinations and a huge range of plants or seedlings to choose from. Planted in the exciting Bella hanging basket you can create a magnificent 360 degree showpiece. Choose a good quality soil mixture such as Culterra Herb Potting Mix and feed weekly with Hortisol, a water-soluble fertiliser.

Spring Bulbs will be on our shelves very soon. Gladioli, Dahlia, Crocosmia, Polyanthus and Amaryllis will once again reveal their splendour, reminding us of how wonderful nature is. Feeding them with Hadeco Bulb food will ensure that they get the right nutrients in the correct amounts.

Healthy plants start with healthy soils; the living ecosystem on which we are all dependent. Planting is only done once. Give your plants the best possible chance of success by building and enriching the soil in this easy 3 step approach. 1) Ecobuzz Humigro, a granular carbon-based soil conditioner feeds beneficial micro-organisms in the soil. 2) Ecobuzz Startgro is a formulated micronutrient blend for the use at planting and transplanting. It promotes early root and shot growth. 3) Ecobuzz Root Pro colonises the soil and grows symbiotically with the plant roots. It will enhance root development and also controls fungal soil diseases.

Sow seeds of green peppers and aubergines in seed trays. Plant seeds of herbs like basil, coriander, borage and rocket in situ in a warm spot. Sow beans in situ in well composted, well-drained soil once it has warmed up; in cold areas start them off in seed trays planted in Palm peat or a seedling mix. Keep them in a warm, sunny sheltered place.

Lawns require a boost in spring. Talborne 5:1:5 fertilisers and Atlantic fertilisers Lawns are organic and slow release and only needs to be applied 3 monthly. All other chemical options should be applied 6 weekly. If your lawn is sparse, now is a good time to plant grass plugs and lightly top dress with one of our weed free lawndressings. Starke Ayres Lawn Seed varieties are easily sown to thicken or establish new turf in sun or semi-shade.

Clivias, commonly known as bush lilies, bring spectacular colour to any shady area of your garden during the month of September. They are very easy to care for, are indigenous and waterwise. Plant them in Culterra’s Clivia Mix, a specially formulated organic medium with added slow-release fertiliser. Feed Clivias and all other spring flowering shrubs with Starke Ayres Organic 3:1:5 or Talborne 3:1:5.