Posts Tagged ‘ Diamond Sponsor ’

COMPOST FOR ACID LOVING PLANTS Feature Diamond Sponsor – Bark Unlimited

Posted on: January 10th, 2022 by Cassidy No Comments

Did you know that some plants prefer acidic or “sour “soil and other love ‘’sweet” or alkaline soils? In this article we will be focusing on acid loving plants and explain the difference between acid and alkaline soils. 


First let me explain what acidic or alkaline means and how it is measured.

The measure pH (power of hydrogen) is used on a scale from 0-14 to indicate how sweet or acidic soil is. Before we get to scientific, just remember that a pH7 is neutral, anything above is alkaline (pH8) and anything below is acidic (pH6). If the pH goes too high or too low certain elements in the soil becomes unavailable to our plants and will cause nutrient deficiencies. Although most plants grow very happily in soil with a pH7 – pH8 there are some exceptions that need acidic soil with a pH6 or even lower. These are plants like Azalea, Rhododendron, Camellia, Zantedeschia, Brunfelsia, Gardenia and Hydrangeas of which the latter’s colors can be manipulated by raising or lowering the pH of the soil. Blueberries and roses also appreciate acidic soil.

How can I lower the pH of my garden soil? 

It is much more difficult to lower the pH of soil than it is to raise it. A few natural ways are to use your discarded coffee grounds, Oak leaves, or Pine needles. Layer these on top of the soil and do not dig them in as it will rob the soil of nitrogen once it starts decomposing. This must be applied to the soil on a regular basis as soil tends to revert back to pH7 or neutral. Should you not have these items readily available or save yourself the hassle of collecting it, you can always go to your local garden center and purchase a couple of bags of Acid Compost. The pH of Acid Compost can vary from pH5 to just slightly acidic pH6.5 or more depending on the materials used for the manufacturing thereof.


How do I apply Acid Compost to my garden?

For new flower beds you can just add the Acid Compost on top of the soil and dig it in. For existing beds, put a layer of Acid Compost between the plants as a mulch. When you water the plants the acidity of the Acid Compost will move into the lower layers of the soil with the water. Remember to add Acid Compost to your beds regularly, at least once a year to maintain a low pH level. If you are going to pot up one of the above-mentioned plants, you may use the Acid Compost as a potting soil straight from the bag. Remember to mix in the appropriate organic fertilizers to the Acid Compost before planting.


Products not to be used when making soil acidic.

Do not use “bluing agents” like Aluminium Sulphate, the effects are very sudden, and an overdose can lead to toxic levels of aluminium in the soil. Ferrous Sulphate or Iron Sulphate can interfere with the phosphorus levels in the soil. Synthetic fertilizers contain ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate and have an acidifying effect on soil, but the manufacturing of these products contributes greatly to CO2 emissions and should be avoided if possible. Sphagnum Peat may also be used to lower the pH of soil but bear in mind that it is not a renewable resource.


Take it slow and easy.

It is always better if we can let nature take it own way and if we really must amend the pH of soil, rather consider planting your acid loving plants in raised beds or containers. It will be much easier controlling the pH. There are no “quick fixes” for pH and doing it organically is a slow process and may take a long time to achieve the desired results, worth the wait.


Protecting trees, shrubs and flowers Feature Diamond Sponsor – Efekto

Posted on: December 7th, 2021 by Cassidy No Comments
Pruning and sealing

Not only does pruning promote new growth, but it also increases fruiting powerand capacity, ensuring the health of your plant. Throughout the season, taking your pruning in stages.

In early spring:

Prune grapes beforetheir sap starts to move in.In warmer areas, this may be your last chance to prune (like coastal Durban) but in warmer areas (inland or mountain regions), it can be done as the weather warms.

Top Tip* Avoid pruning peaches, plums and almonds while winter is still lingering because it can spread the silver leaf virus.

In late spring:

Prune back your citrus to open up the framework of the plant. By removing old growth, you are allowing more light into your plant or tree and also remove any diseased or dead wood.

As for your flowers prune back camellias as soon as they finished flowering. For extra assistance for a thorough clip and cut, refer to our pruning guide and arm yourself with Efekto Sterisel.This fungicidal pruning wound paste is designed to assist your pruning projects on all your roses, grapevines, shrubs and fruit trees.

Garden Guru Tip

For this season, in particular, protect your stone fruit treesby spraying with Efekto Virikop to protect them from leaf curl disease, with a once-off application after pruning.

Efekto Steriseal
Protection against mildew, black spot and aphids

Once you’ve clipped back your old growth, it’s time to eliminate any residual pests and stop new ones from moving in. Spray your deciduous fruit trees with a winter clean-up spray, like Efekto Kumulus WG and Efekto Oleum, to remove any overwintering pests and diseases.


In warm areas, aphids may begin to appear on fresh new shoots. They can be identified by their small, pearshaped soft bodies, usually green to black in colour.You will notice them in small groups called colonies on leaves and new growth. They are sap feeds, so this means they will cause your leaves to curl and stunt growth. To avoid further damage, control their invasions with Efekto Aphicide. As soon as your pests appear, spray crops with Efketo Cypermethrin 200EC and for the home and garden, use Efekto Malasol.


If your rose blooms are struggling with aphids or cases of black spot or midew, spray them with Efekto Rosecare 3 or Efekto Rosecase Plus.

Aphids on roses
How to identify plant fungus:
Black spot

You will notice black spots with yellow borders on older leaves. The leaves will trn yellow and fall off. To get rid of this fungus, continue spraying weekly until the fungus is controlled. Black spot should be treated preventatively after heavy rain and heat conditions.


A greyish-white powdery growth will show on the younger parts of your plants. This fungus causes shunting and shrivelling of leaves.

Black spot
To check out Efekto’s complete range of products visit their website:

Why you should fertilise all year round Feature Diamond Sponsor – Atlantic Fertilisers

Posted on: December 7th, 2021 by Cassidy No Comments

Like humans and animals, plants require regular feeding throughout the year – at least once a season. Happy, healthy, well-nourished plants are more resistant to pests, diseases, heat stress and frost.


Spring and autumn are the more recognised times to fertilise the garden, however summer and winter are just as important. Even though there’s no dramatic plant growth in winter, there is still plenty going on below the ground. Applying an organic fertiliser such as All Purpose or Bio Ocean introduces beneficial bacteria which stimulates activity within the soil, breaks down organic matter, unlocks nutrients and enhances root growth, providing your plants with a head start for spring.

The importance of organic fertiliser

With inorganic, or synthetic, garden fertilisers so plentiful, it might make a gardener wonder if it’s really all that important to use organic products instead. After all, it’s all about what works right now and makes the garden beautiful, right? Well…this is not the case. In organic gardening, the overall health of the soil and plants is the main concern, so while synthetic chemical fertilisers may do a job today, organic fertilisers ensure the health of the garden tomorrow.

We’ve highlighted the main advantages of organic fertiliser below:

Organic fertilisers work slowly. For organic fertilisers to work, the soil has to first break them down. This means that both the soil and the plants in it get the nutrition they need when they need it. Chemical fertilisers, although speedy, often overfeed the plant, do nothing for the soil, and can damage plants by burning them.

Organic fertilisers improve the soil. Organic materials and fertilisers improve the soil texture, allowing it to hold water longer, and increase the microbial activity in the soil. So, they not only assist your plants, they help the soil. Chemical fertilisers, on the other hand, deplete the soil of its nutrients, making it unproductive.

Organic fertilisers are safe. Although you won’t want to eat or drink them, you can rest assured that organic fertilisers are safe for the environment, your family, and your pets. Chemical fertilisers require a significant amount of fossil fuels to produce and process and often runoff into nearby water sources like streams and lakes.

Organic fertilisers are easy to apply. Organics are just as easy to apply as their synthetic, non-organic counterparts however organic fertiliser will not burn your lawn or plants if you don’t water after application.

To check out Atlantic Fertiliser’s complete range of products visit their website

Mulch Mulch More Mulch Feature Diamond Sponsor – Bark Unlimited

Posted on: December 7th, 2021 by Cassidy No Comments

Whether you are a McEntire from Glasgow or a Makatini from Maritz borough, not mulching your garden might just ruin a friendship.


Why mulch? Where do we start when it comes to mulching a garden? What can I use as a mulch? Where can I get mulching materials from? These are some of the most frequently asked questions about mulch. Let’s see if we can shed some light on some of these pressing issues and remove all doubt about mulch.

Mulch in the garden
Mulch in the garden

Firstly, the benefits of mulch in the garden are endless as one of the biggest reasons to mulch is water retention. We live in a country with quite a low rainfall, and it is vital to utilize this precious natural gift to the best of our ability. By mulching we create a blanket that covers the naked soil and protects it. So, when the rains come the water seeps through the mulch into the soil and less of it runs off ending up where it is of little use. Once the water is trapped under the layer of mulch it cannot evaporate easily, nor can the soil be dried out by the sun or wind. This can save an enormous amount of water. When weed seeds are blown in by the wind and lands on top of the mulch, they do not stand a good chance at germinating or developing into weeds and if they do, are easily removed. Mulch also creates the right environment for all the good microorganisms your garden needs to be healthy. These little critters as well as earthworms and other beneficial insects will slowly decompose the mulch from below and make the nutrients available to your plants. Soil temperature control is another added benefit of mulch, keeping the soil cooler during the day and warmer at night, protecting the root zone of your plants.


Often the task of mulching the whole garden seems like climbing mount Everest, a difficult and exhausting task but we need to start somewhere. My suggestion is to start off by mulching smaller or more focal areas of the garden, maybe flowerbeds or pots leading from the garden gate to the front door or around the pool or patio. The rest of the garden can be done in stages. Ideally, we would like to end up with a layer of mulch no less than 5cm and preferably as thick as 10cm for maximum effect. We can always start off with less and add more in weeks or months to come as the budget allows. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and a perfect garden takes time.


There are many products on the market that can be used as mulch, some are aesthetically more pretty than others and it is more of a choice of preference in most cases. There are for example Bark Mulch, Bark Chips and Bark Nuggets, these are highly decorative and will last a long time. Ordinary garden compost can also be used as a mulch if spread out on top of the soil without digging it in. Then there are other products like Macadamia nut shells, Peanut shells, Coconut husk or Peach pips. Avoid using stones or gravel as they tend to get very hot during the day and cold at night and does not help in protecting the roots of your plants. The clippings from your lawn and fallen leaves from trees may also be used but with caution as it easily forms impenetrable layers where water cannot penetrate. These are better used in the compost bin with your kitchen scraps and applied once composted.

Grass cuttings
Macadamia nut shells

The best place to get your mulch from is a SANA registered garden center belonging to the garden center association. Here you will have the greatest choice of excellent mulches supplied by reputable composting companies. These products are normally sold in bags and are measured by volume, for instance 30dm3 (30 cubic decimeter, equating to 30 liters). One of these bags will cover 1m2 (one square meter) with a thickness of 3cm.


As mentioned earlier, mulching is an ongoing process of adding new layers on top as the bottom layer decomposes and feeds the soil and your plants. By adding mulch on a regular basis, we can sustain this process of feeding your garden as well as protecting the soil from the elements with water saving being the greatest benefit.


In this case, more is better.

So, keep on mulching.

To check out Bark’s complete range of products visit their website:

New Mega Packs Feature Diamond Sponsor – MayFord Seed

Posted on: November 10th, 2021 by Cassidy No Comments

For decades, South African gardeners have looked to MayFord Seed to bring them the newest releases and the best quality seed at affordable prices. This spring we are in for a treat.

MayFord Seed are releasing a Mega Pack range of SA’s 12 favourite flower seeds. 7 spring and summer planting varieties are on the shelves now, with 5 arriving in time for the autumn planting season. This means that gardeners will be able fill their flower beds and patio pots with gorgeous colour without punishing their wallets.

SA's 12 favourite flowering seeds are:

Summer - Meadow Mix, Alyssum 'Carpet of Snow', Marigold 'Sunset Giants', Portulaca grandiflora 'Double Mix', Zinnia 'Sunbow', Eschscholtsia 'Californian Poppy' and Nasturtium.

Winter - Sweet Pea 'Early Multiflora Mixed', Dimorhptheca 'African Daisy Mixed',  Dimorphotheca 'Glistening White', Mesembryanthemum 'Livingstone Daisy Mixed',  Dimorphotheca 'Pastel Shades'.

To help to make sure that you are getting exactly what you are looking for or, if you are not sure exactly what it is you should be planting, MayFord have added insets to the packaging. Icons like ‘Throw & Sow’ indicates easy to grow, ‘Waterwise’ & ‘Indigenous’ means its a low water user, ‘Bee Friendly’ is pollinator friendly, ‘Cut Flower’ lets you know they’re good for the vase and a button showing you just how much space the seed will cover, e.g. ‘Enough for’ 5m².


While most gardeners find growing their flowers from seed both economical and easy to do, for those who are just starting on their green, flower filled journey, the instructions on the back of the pack have also been revamped. Borrowing from the highly successful sowing pictograms on their lawn seed packets, you are now shown how to measure out the square metres of the sowing area. Take Alyssum for example. One packet will cover 5 m² and since it’s easy enough to spread seed over one square metre at a time, you are shown you how to decant the seed packet into 5 equal piles (1 pile for each 1m²) onto white paper. This allows you to physically see the seed and then sow one pile onto one square metre at a time.

MayFord’s Mega Pack range of seed are available from all  garden centres and selected chain stores. To check out MayFord’s complete range of products visit their website

How To Sow Seeds Successfully Feature Diamond Sponsor – Starke Ayres

Posted on: November 10th, 2021 by Cassidy No Comments

Working from home, for many of us, could well be here to stay and the pros are numerous – increased productivity, less time wasted commuting, lower stress levels and a greater balance between office and family life. On the flipside, there’s the danger of the workday which never ends because your office is right there, in the heart of your home – always beckoning you to check for emails, complete one last document.

The solution: escape to your garden! But, don’t just sit there, get your hands dirty; sow seeds, plant seedlings, feed flowers, fruit trees and lawns and you’ll soon be taking regular healthy breaks from your desk to check on the progress – it’s addictive in the best possible way. Now that autumn has arrived, you’ve got an ideal opportunity to sow and plant in time to take advantage of the winter rains and bask in the glory of your garden’s springtime show.


Tips for Vegetable Growing
  • Soil needs to be well-worked, raked through and free of debris, which could hamper the development of roots. Root crops enjoy a more sandy soil as this is best for their development, clay soils in your garden could hinder the development of bulbs and roots, as it is more compact.
  • Use Superphosphate or Bonemeal which are the organic and chemical root stimulants in the soil mixture and a sprinkling of Bounce Back or Talborne on the surface 100g per square meter at planting to ensure success.
  • Root crops enjoy sunny positions or areas which receive a lot of light. Plants should be kept moist during the germination period. Feed with Bounce Back or Talborne at 50g per square meter during the growing phase.
  • When your veggies are ready and have been harvested, remember to place the onions in a cool, dark place to dry. The turnips, beetroot, radishes and carrots will last longer in the refrigerator.

Harvesting tip: Remove tops after harvesting to prolong shelf life.


Autumn is the ideal time to eliminate muddy areas. Sow Starke Ayres “Cool Season” lawn grass seed – it germinates easily, helped by winter rainfall, and provides a lush surface for those sunny winter days. Starke Ayres Garden Centre, Rosebank has a wide range to suit sunny or shady areas and staff will be happy to assist you.

Gardener’s tip: 1 x 30dm bag of lawn dressing usually covers 6 – 8m2.


Seeds to sow

Starke Ayres Namaqualand daisies and Bokbaai vygies are indigenous and ideal for water-wise gardens. Improve your germination rate by using Palm peat to help retain moisture in the sowing beds. April and May are the months in which to sow sweetpeas. You can also sow: Violas, poppies, Lobelias, snapdragons, pansies, Delphiniums, African daisies, Cinerarias, Salvias, Scabiosa and Nemesias. Alyssum and Dianthus are always good bets too.

This is the time to sow winter veggies such as broad beans, potatoes, turnips, carrots, onions, peas and cauliflower. If you’ve grown chive and garlic chives, divide them and replant in pots using freshly composted or potting soil – place these on your kitchen windowsill for easy access when cooking.

To check out Starke Ayres  complete range of products visit their website

Figuring out your Fertilizers… Feature Diamond Sponsor – Culterra

Posted on: November 10th, 2021 by Cassidy No Comments

“We may think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it is our garden that is nurturing us.” Jenny Uglow


These words are so true. Gardening is a relationship – a constant exchange of give and take - and like all relationships, it takes a little work to maintain. One of the most important things to provide for your plants each season is nutrients. Strategic use of fertilizers is a simple way to boost your garden and potted plants, and in turn be rewarded with lush greens, delicious edibles and a showier display of flowers each season.

There are so many different types and forms of fertilizer that it can be overwhelming when faced with all the options at your local garden centre. But taking the time to understand the products, their applications and your garden’s specific needs is a worthwhile process!


Organic versus Inorganic

 Inorganic Fertilizers are synthetic or artificial forms of plant nutrients and minerals. Simply put, they are man-made. Inorganics are usually faster acting than organics and include fertilizers such as Superphosphate and LAN (limestone ammonium nitrate.)

 Organic Fertilizers come from natural plant or animal sources and are slightly slower acting than inorganic fertilizers. They consist of large molecules that need to be broken down by soil organisms before their nutrients become available. Examples include Culterra’s Bone Meal, Organic Lawn Booster, Organic Seedling Food and Chicken Manure pellets.

Granular versus Liquid

Liquid fertilizers are your plants’ quick fix. They come either in a liquid-soluble powder or a liquid concentrate.Both require mixing with water before application to your plants using either a watering can or spray bottle. These nutrients last only one to two weeks, so you will need to apply it often. The major advantage, however, is that the nutrients are absorbed quickly and thus the positive results are almost instantaneous.

Use liquid fertilizer when your plants’ energy demands are at their highest. This is typically during flowering, fruiting and active growing. Liquid solutions are popular for pot plants and hanging baskets where nutrients are quickly leached out of the soil. Liquid fertilizers are also a great supplement to granular fertilizers as the slow and rapid release elements complement each other by providing a more continuous supply of nutrients.

Liquid fertilizer in the liquid concentrate form is usually organic. Culterra’s Multikelp is manufactured from natural kelp products and is a must for foliar feeding your fast-growing, leafy green vegetables. It’s also great for orchids and germinated seedlings as it is a soft fertilizer that does not burn. It promotes microbial activity and although organic, is still super-fast acting.

Granular Fertilizers consist of solid granules that are sprinkled around plants and then worked into the soil. For new gardens, dig them into your beds before you start planting. Because the granules need to break down this isn’t a fast-acting option, but with good watering and a few days’ patience you will start to see amazing results. Standard granular fertilizers are your most common form of fertilizer and may be applied every six weeks during the growing season.

Slow-release Granular Fertilizers (SRFs) are specifically designed to release nutrients gradually over a prolonged period of time. Culterra’s SRF is a urea formaldehyde product, which relies on microbes for decomposition and release. The microbial activity of soil is dependent on several environmental factors including soil temperature, moisture, pH and oxygen. Although slightly more expensive than standard granular fertilizers, the long duration of action of SRFs makes them more economical.

To conclude, remember that gardening is a relationship and every plant in your garden is an individual. Just as each of your relationships with friends, family and colleagues requires different amounts of time and energy, so do your green companions. So when next it’s time to boost your garden’s nutrients, take an extra minute to select the best fertilizer for the job!

To check out Culterra’s complete range of products visit their website

How to plant a hanging basket Feature Diamond Sponsor – Starke Ayres

Posted on: October 20th, 2021 by Cassidy No Comments
Step 1: Palm Peat :

Place a Palm Peat brick into a 10l container and add 3l of lukewarm water. Once the Palm Peat has absorbed the water, break it up and squeeze out the excess water. Your Palm Peat is now ready to use. Mix a third of Palm Peat with your potting soil.

Step 2: Hydrocache:

Place one spoon of Hydrocache add to container and add 1l of water. Mix the Hydrocache and water together until it forms a gel.

Step 3: Bonemeal:

Place one handful of Bonemeal into the soil of your hanging basket. Add two handfuls of Palm Peat and three spoons of Hydrocache to your basket and mix together.

Step 4: Kelpak:

Add the bottle of Kelpak (natural liquid seaweed concentrate) to a container together with the same about of water. Dip the roots of the plants into the Kelpak mixture and plant into your basket.

Step 5: Nutrifeed:

Add two spoons of Nutrifeed to a watering can filled with water and stir well. Water the plants in your hanging basket. Repeat every 2 weeks.

Stake Ayres Product

To check out Starke Ayres  complete range of products visit their website

Down to Earth Feature Diamond Sponsor - Culterra

Posted on: October 20th, 2021 by Cassidy No Comments
Getting to grips with when & where to use what soil…

When it comes to gardening and growing, “down to earth” is not just a compliment - it’s a necessity! We all know that healthy gardens start with healthy soil, but different plants also have different requirements. Do you know which bag of soil to select when faced with the wide range available at your local garden centre? Don’t worry - we have a few simple tips to help you get your “soil’s worth” next time you invest time and money in your garden!

You’re starting from seed …

Use Professional Germination Mix.

This lightly blended, soilless mix is carefully formulated for optimal seed germination. Fill your trays with this delicate mix, sow your seed and watch the space!


You’re planting out seedlings …

Use Seedling Mix.

Transplant seedlings from Germination Mix directly into Seedling Mix for cavity trays, flower boxes or window boxes. This will ensure that you grow healthy and resilient transplants with strong root systems.

Germination mix
Seedling Mix
You’re planting lawn …

Use Compost. Dig compost into your existing garden to enrich the earth before laying down instant lawn or sowing your choice of grass seed.


You’re feeding an existing lawn …

Use Lawndressing. Usually done in spring, scarify your lawn and apply a layer of organic lawndressing to transform your dull grass into a lush meadow of green!


You’re adjusting soil levels …

Use Topsoil. A good quality topsoil is best for filling holes in your lawn or adding height to flower beds. It can also be used in large raised beds, mixed with compost, to create better growing conditions.

You’re planting in a container …

Use Professional Potting Mix

This is the “just right” soil of the gardening world. It’s suitable for most plants so fill your pots and plant directly. Potting soil has added fertilizer and the correct amount of raw material to maintain the ideal water retention/ drainage balance and retain enough water to keep your plants healthy.


You’re planting new plants in the garden …

Use Compost or Landscapers Mix. Use either compost mixed with existing garden soil, or landscapers mix - a ready-to-use topsoil/ compost blend. Both contain organic materials and add beneficial microbes, micronutrients and macronutrients to your soil.


You’re planting acid-loving plants like Fynbos, Azaleas, Camellias and Hydrangeas …

Use Acid Compost. Before planting out acid-loving plants be sure to mix acid compost into your garden soil. Use this combination for acid-loving pot plants as well. For seasonal feeding simply mix acid compost into the top layer of soil around the plants and water well.


You’re planting out veggies … 

Use Compost.

Vegetables require large amounts of nutrient-dense soil to produce healthy edibles. Mix a generous amount of compost into your vegetable patch each year. Consider adding a little Kraal Manure and Vermicompost to produce an award-winning crop!

Potting Soil
Herb mix
You’re repotting your beloved Orchid …

Use Orchid Mix. This is usually done every one to two years, after flowering. Remove the plant, knock out any of the old mix and cut away dead roots. Then replant directly into Orchid Mix which contains organic fertilizer to nourish the annual bloom, as well as charcoal to maintain a moist but healthy root environment.


You’re planting succulents …

Use Succulent Mix

Succulents require a well-drained medium to thrive. Plant your aloes, crassulas and other succulents directly into this mix for the best results. Remember to provide plenty of sunlight and do not over-water.

Orchid Mix
Succulent Mix
You’re planting herbs …

Use Herb Mix. Whether you’re planting herbs into pots, containers or boxes, this is your top choice. Plant seedlings directly into filled containers. The extra fertilizer in Herb Mix will enable your herbs to flourish for at least three months before you’ll need to supplement with liquid fertilizer.


You’re planting Bonsais …

Use Bonsai Mix. Due to a lack of space and nutrients, bonsais need repotting fairly regularly. Do this before the growing season and use Bonsai Mix to resupply your tree with essential nutrients, while still ensuring sufficient drainage. After three months start to liquid fertilize or top with a slow release fertilizer.

Bonsai mix
To check out Culterra’s complete range of products visit their website:

Strawberries from Seed – A First for RSA Feature Diamond Sponsor - MayFord Seeds

Posted on: October 20th, 2021 by Cassidy No Comments

Rich red in colour and silky sweet to taste, few fruits are as quintessential of a sunny summer’s day as are strawberries. If it is taste and packed in goodness you are after, we all know that nothing beats growing your own.

Known for being at the forefront of innovation and always happy to oblige, MayFord Seed will be offering strawberry seed to gardeners around the country, a South African first. And not just any strawberry. This is a high quality, world class strawberry variety that wouldn’t be out of place in the Royal Box at Wimbledon.

Strawberry ‘Florian’ offers up delightful, bright pink blooms that are followed by a heavy crop of perfectly sized, aromatic, red fruit with a distinct Japanese style flavour to them. Be ready to be amazed as the sheer volume and quality of the fruit, coupled with the unbelievable taste will blow you away. Sow in spring and harvest the delicious fruits from early summer right through until autumn.

Strawberry 'Florian' is an ever bearing variety that forms a compact plant just 35cm wide. The plants are ideally suited to being grown outdoors, either in their own row in a veg garden, or because their flowers and fruit are so attractive in your garden beds. If space is limited, you don’t have to miss out; ‘Florian’s’ compact form makes it perfect for container planting on a sunny patio. Because it fruits from its runners as well as the main plant, 'Florian' is ideal for growing in hanging baskets.

Top Tips
  • Sow from early spring in seed trays using coir/peat or seedling mix.
  • The seed is very small so cover lightly, press down and keep moist.
  • Be patient as germinations takes up to 3 weeks.
  • After about 8 weeks or when they are large enough to handle, the seedlings are ready to be planted out.
  • Plant the strawberries in full sun in fertile, moist, well-drained soil and spaced 35cm away from each other.
  • Keep the plants well-watered, particularly if they are potted up and feed every 2 weeks with a liquid fertiliser.
  • To keep your plants neat, remove the runners from time to time. These can be planted in other parts of the garden.
  • As the fruits develop, place dry straw or mulching material underneath them to stop to ensure unblemished fruit.
  • If you have a healthy and hungry bird population in your area, it’s a good idea to put netting over the young fruit.
  • Strawberries are ready to harvest as soon as they turn red and are slightly firm to the touch.
  • When harvesting, cut, rather than pull, the berries off at the stem.
  • For those with a sweet tooth, the Dutch put a little powdered sugar on strawberries to make them taste even better.
  • Once the growing season is over, cut the foliage back and mulch around the plants.

MayFord strawberry seed are available from all good garden centres and selected chain stores. To check out MayFord’s complete range of products visit their website