Wednesday, 20th November 2019
GARDEN Article
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This Month's Magazine

Spring is in the air

The days are getting longer, the sun is warmer, and plants are starting to awaken from their winter slumber. It's time to roll up the sleeves and prepare for summer!

MAINTAINING A HEALTHY LAWN
The best time to top dress a lawn is in the Spring, as soon as the grass begins to show signs of growth. At this stage the extra stimulant is most effective and the top dressing is quickly absorbed.

Before top dressing, the surface should be scarified vigorously and the surplus removed. Ideal for a compost heap, if you have one.

Spread the top dressing evenly over the surface to a depth of 5 to 7.5 mm. or 1 cubit meter to every 150 square meters of surface.. The ideal mix is 50% compost, 25% topsoil, 15% river sand and 10% peat. Bags of top dressing are available from your local Vivero, in bags should you only have small areas of lawn.
 
 Saturate the ground the day before top dressing. Do not water again until the grass is well through. To maintain a green lush lawn, a regular program of fertiliser is essential; choose one with high nitrogen content. Apply with top dressing and again eight weeks later.
 
PRUNING
Hedges, roses, shrubs and trees all love a good haircut at least once a year!
Use a sharp pair of secateurs, cut out completely all dead or diseased wood and weak straggly growth. On the good remaining wood make all pruning cuts slantwise and immediately above a dormant eye. Seal roses and fruit trees with a sealer to protect stems from fungus and rot.

It's time to cut back the Bougainvillea - the more you cut, the greater the abundance of flowering in the summer.

Shape hedges and standard trees into desired shapes, round, square, oval. The different shapes in a garden create interest and are pleasing to the eye.
 
PLANTING NEW ROSES
If you are planting new roses, use the best quality plants; dig the beds at least 600 mm deep. Break up the soil in the hole and place compost to 150 mm deep. Roses like good drainage. From spring, when the active growth starts, roses require adequate water. Always water roses heavily rather than light and frequently which tends to draw the roots to the surface, weakening the plants' anchorage. Use mulch around roses in order to conserve moisture. Spray regularly during summer for aphids, your own dishwashing/water solution will not kill ladybirds and butterflies. Spray every 3 to 4 weeks.


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COLOUR IN YOUR GARDEN
Summers brights

GAZANIAS
Daisy flowers which close in the evenings, mailnly orange. Grow them at the front of a border, as they like lots of sun.
 
IMPATIENTS
Give bright splashes of colour, they flower all season and are available in shades from white to pale pink and fuchsia. Very rewarding. They like semi shaded to shaded areas.
PELAGONIUM - GERANIUM (REDS, PINKS, MAUVES)
They are wonderful in pots on the terrace. They like plenty of sunshine.

PANSY
Crimson, yellow, blue, orange,. They are good at the front of border plants. Great summer colours. They like plenty of sun.
 
 PETUNIAS
Pink, red, white, mauve. They do not need a great deal of moisture, but you must remove the dead heads to ensure continuous flowering throughout summer. They like lots of sun.
 
LAVENDER
Strong blues and a great perfume. They bring tranquillity to the garden. Perfect as a thick low hedge or massed flower beds. Lots of sun.
 
PRIMULAS
White, pinks, reds. Candelabra type with soft lacy look. Full sunshine or half shade.

BULBS
They are very seasonal and in many instances quick to flower
and die down, but nothing can quite replace the the delight of
these charmers when they pop their heads out in spring. Even if you cannot afford masses of tulips or daffodils in your garden, do indulge yourself by planting some in containers for your deck, patio or even inside the home.

ORANGE & LEMON TREES
Every spring include a cupful of 2 3 2 fertiliser with mulch of compost around the trees and feed regularly with liquid food. You will be rewarded in spring with fragrant blooms and fruit until winter, when they ripen and may be picked.



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