January Gardening Checklist

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Tidy up time

Neaten borders and beds, turn over the compost heap, and mulch well after weeding. 

January gardening, gardening tasks, winter gardening, garden maintenance, seasonal gardening, winter plants, garden care, pruning, planting guide, winter landscape, gardening tips, cold-weather gardening, January plants, frost protection, soil preparation, winter crops, gardening chores, horticulture tips, winter flowers, garden to-do list
January gardening, gardening tasks, winter gardening, garden maintenance, seasonal gardening, winter plants, garden care, pruning, planting guide, winter landscape, gardening tips, cold-weather gardening, January plants, frost protection, soil preparation, winter crops, gardening chores, horticulture tips, winter flowers, garden to-do list

Festive trees

Plant wild gardenia (Gardenia thunbergia), Henkel’s yellowwood (Podocarpus henkelii ), and Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Gold Crest’.

January gardening, gardening tasks, winter gardening, garden maintenance, seasonal gardening, winter plants, garden care, pruning, planting guide, winter landscape, gardening tips, cold-weather gardening, January plants, frost protection, soil preparation, winter crops, gardening chores, horticulture tips, winter flowers, garden to-do list
January gardening, gardening tasks, winter gardening, garden maintenance, seasonal gardening, winter plants, garden care, pruning, planting guide, winter landscape, gardening tips, cold-weather gardening, January plants, frost protection, soil preparation, winter crops, gardening chores, horticulture tips, winter flowers, garden to-do list

Homegrown herbs

Plant mint, rosemary, thyme, chives, basil, and rocket.  

January gardening, gardening tasks, winter gardening, garden maintenance, seasonal gardening, winter plants, garden care, pruning, planting guide, winter landscape, gardening tips, cold-weather gardening, January plants, frost protection, soil preparation, winter crops, gardening chores, horticulture tips, winter flowers, garden to-do list
January gardening, gardening tasks, winter gardening, garden maintenance, seasonal gardening, winter plants, garden care, pruning, planting guide, winter landscape, gardening tips, cold-weather gardening, January plants, frost protection, soil preparation, winter crops, gardening chores, horticulture tips, winter flowers, garden to-do list

Try this: Grow different coloured basil between your petunias and other flowering annuals. Go for purple basil (spicy-scented with purple leaves and pink flowers), ‘Siam queen’ (green leaves with square purple stems), and ‘Magical Michael’ (compact and bushy with purple and white flowers). 

Harvest delights 

Harvest strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, and celery.

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Waterwise tips

  • On hot days, mist houseplants like ferns and orchids to provide extra humidity.
  • Punch holes in the bottom of plastic bottles and place them in shallow holes around plants. Fill with water to give seedlings slow-release moisture.  
  • Use a soaker hose rather than a sprinkler and water early morning to reduce wasteful evaporation.
January gardening, gardening tasks, winter gardening, garden maintenance, seasonal gardening, winter plants, garden care, pruning, planting guide, winter landscape, gardening tips, cold-weather gardening, January plants, frost protection, soil preparation, winter crops, gardening chores, horticulture tips, winter flowers, garden to-do list
January gardening, gardening tasks, winter gardening, garden maintenance, seasonal gardening, winter plants, garden care, pruning, planting guide, winter landscape, gardening tips, cold-weather gardening, January plants, frost protection, soil preparation, winter crops, gardening chores, horticulture tips, winter flowers, garden to-do list

Pest patrol 

  • Remove old flower stalks and dead material around the base of spent perennials to prevent mildew and red spider mite.
  • Spray roses against black spot, mildew, and aphids.  
  • Watch out for hawk moth caterpillars feeding at night on impatiens, arum lilies and fuchsias. Remove them by hand.
  • Be aware of lawn caterpillar infestations and treat with eco-friendly pesticides from your garden centre. 

Top pest tip: Spray early morning or late afternoon to avoid harming garden helps, like bees and ladybugs, that may still be active. 

January gardening, gardening tasks, winter gardening, garden maintenance, seasonal gardening, winter plants, garden care, pruning, planting guide, winter landscape, gardening tips, cold-weather gardening, January plants, frost protection, soil preparation, winter crops, gardening chores, horticulture tips, winter flowers, garden to-do list
January gardening, gardening tasks, winter gardening, garden maintenance, seasonal gardening, winter plants, garden care, pruning, planting guide, winter landscape, gardening tips, cold-weather gardening, January plants, frost protection, soil preparation, winter crops, gardening chores, horticulture tips, winter flowers, garden to-do list

Zebra plant We love succulents

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Haworthiopsis attenuata ‘Zebra plant’ is a local hero, indigenous to the Eastern Cape. They are from the same subfamily as aloe and are equally eye-catching in appearance with pointy leaves and zebra-like white stripes. Grown both indoors and out, this succulent is next on your summer adoption list!

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Getting to know your Zebra plant

Grow guide: With a high tolerance for different light conditions, you can grow them pretty much anywhere. Outdoors, they prefer morning sun and need to be acclimatised to full sun areas. Indoors, they can handle low light but need to be moved to bright light locations every few weeks to keep them healthy. 

Claim to fame: Zebra plants are hassle-free, non-toxic, and can tolerate mild frost for short periods. Locals also use this plant to ward off evil and protect homes. Zebras produce aloe, which can be applied to minor cuts and skin irritations. Plants are highly decorative with a lovely ridged texture on the white stripes.

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In the garden: This succulent will liven up any container and rock garden, reaching a sweet height of 15 cm. Pair them with other low-growing plants in well-draining soil (they do not like wet feet). Water once the soil has dried out completely and fertilise once a month during spring and summer. 

Pest patrol: Plants are generally pest and disease hardy but be aware of the usual suspects such as mealybugs and spider mites. Keep plants healthy and you will be rewarded with a friend for a decade! 

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Did you know? This plant is used in a variety of cosmetics – from shampoo to lotions, and homoeopathy medicine and beauty products. 

 Top tip: Your Zebra plant will produce pups and offsets. Separate new arrivals by removing them from mom and transplanting into moist, prepared soil. Wait until new growth appears before watering again.

Eat your heart out healthily Become a Botanical Boss this January

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New Year’s resolutions and gardening go hand in hand, especially considering the amount of healthy food we are able to grow in virtually any space. Whether you’re going for low-calorie, low-carb meals, or high fat intake and intermittent fasting, raw and purely organic or vegan – the harvest is on your side! Fuel your body for less with this mostly summer edible selection and grow guide from Life is a Garden. 

Top tip: If you missed last month’s article, click here for expert advice on how to set up a vertical hydroponic system for all-space produce growing: 

 

Calorie-conscious, nutrient-dense crops to grow

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Your farming responsibility 

As gardeners, we have a direct impact on our environment, which comes as a sweet blessing because this means we CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Sustainable water practices are an essential part of gardening and we cannot ignore how precious and finite this resource is. We saw the huge impact of day 0 in the Western Cape, and the rest of the country is not immune to this possibility either. Here are some simple and effective practices from our industry expert, Charles Oosthuizen from Tuberflora Nursery.

  • “MULCH, MULCH, MULCH - why are South Africans so hesitant about this practice? We see this in so many gardens - barren, hard-baked soil raked neatly clean on a weekly basis. This is not the way forward in terms of sustainable watering practices at all.
  • Drip irrigation is the future as it is cost-effective, low maintenance and saves a lot of water.
  • Water only in the late afternoon or early in the morning.
  • Water very well only once or twice a week instead of a little bit every day.
  • Add water-retaining gel to your pots and containers.
  • The more compost and other organic material in and on top of the soil the more water retention the soil will have.