Plant Flanders Poppy for Remembrance Day

Poppies, flanders, red, war, garden, mayford, gardening, flowers, spring, greenery, colour, life is a garden, biodiversity
Poppies, flanders, red, war, garden, mayford, gardening, flowers, spring, greenery, colour, life is a garden, biodiversity

Lest We Forget 

In anticipation of this year’s Remembrance Day, MayFord Seeds have launched a new livery seed packet, filled with Flanders poppy (Papaver rhoeas) seeds. 

War is unfortunately still a reality in our modern world, whether it be conflict between countries or the fight against Covid 19. Initially instituted to commemorate those that fell in World War 1, Remembrance Day on the 11th of November now symbolises all those that have lost their lives in the line of duty. The Flanders poppy, which carpeted the battlefields of the Western Front, is worn or laid as wreaths to mark the day. 

Time is of the essence though. If you want your very own crop of striking poppies in bloom for Remembrance Day, simply visit a GCA Garden Centre soon  and purchase your seed packet to sow. These delightful flowers  are really easy to grow. Choose a bed that gets loads of sun, dig it over, sprinkle the seed, pat down and water. If they can grow on a bombed-out battlefield, they will just love your garden! 

Poppies, flanders, red, war, garden, mayford, gardening, flowers, spring, greenery, colour, life is a garden, biodiversity
Poppies, flanders, red, war, garden, mayford, gardening, flowers, spring, greenery, colour, life is a garden, biodiversity

Top Tips 

  • The seed needs cool soil conditions to germinate, so plant them from late autumn into early spring. 
  • Germination should occur within 2 to 3 weeks. 
  • Plant in a sunny position in beds or pots. 
  • You can either sow them in drifts around the garden or do a massed planting in one bed. 
  • Dig over the bed before planting and plant the seed where you want them to mature as they prefer not to be moved. 
  • Once sown, pat down the soil firmly and water well. 
  • Keep the soil damp until the seedlings are established, after which the plants are surprisingly water-wise. 
  • They do respond well to liquid fertilisers. 
  • Deadhead any spent flowers to extend their flowering time. 
  • The blooms can be used as cut flowers.

Superstar Seedlings Dig into winter

seedlings, winter, growth, greenery, food, plants, planting, winter, OUTSIDEIN, flowers, kitchen, life is a garden, nurture, nature, water, July, colour
seedlings, winter, growth, greenery, food, plants, planting, winter, OUTSIDEIN, flowers, kitchen, life is a garden, nurture, nature, water, July, colour

There is no need for winter blues with so much life in the garden this month. With the right plants and products, you can grow food and blooms to your heart’s (and dinner plate’s) content. Let’s dig in and make the cold a little more colourful and crunchy with pre-spring seed sowing, germination hacks, and superstar seedlings!

 

seedlings, winter, growth, greenery, food, plants, planting, winter, OUTSIDEIN, flowers, kitchen, life is a garden, nurture, nature, water, July, colour
seedlings, winter, growth, greenery, food, plants, planting, winter, OUTSIDEIN, flowers, kitchen, life is a garden, nurture, nature, water, July, colour

Know your lingo 

Before we get elbow deep in dirt, it is important to know the difference between sowing, germination, and seedlings. Sowing is planting a seed from a seed packet, while germination is the process of that seed developing. A seedling is a baby plant that has already been sown and successfully germinated.

seedlings, winter, growth, greenery, food, plants, planting, winter, OUTSIDEIN, flowers, kitchen, life is a garden, nurture, nature, water, July, colour

Spring seed sowing 

What you choose to sow now will have germinated into young seedlings for springtime. We recommend that you begin the seed germination process indoors and then transplant the young seedlings into beds or larger containers later once the weather is warmer and frost has passed. Sowing according to your region is another important factor in ensuring the success of your seeds.

Gauteng: Edibles such as peas and potatoes, as well as pansy, viola, and primula flowers.

KwaZulu Natal: Edibles such as radish and turnips, as well as cineraria and Iceland poppy flowers. 

Western Cape: Edibles such as beetroot and tomatoes, as well as alyssum and cleome salvia flowers.

 

Top compost tip: Keep your tea bags, grounded coffee beans, and eggshells to use as DIY compost for all your winter plants. 


 

 

 

seedlings, winter, growth, greenery, food, plants, planting, winter, OUTSIDEIN, flowers, kitchen, life is a garden, nurture, nature, water, July, colour
seedlings, winter, growth, greenery, food, plants, planting, winter, OUTSIDEIN, flowers, kitchen, life is a garden, nurture, nature, water, July, colour

A germination station 

There’s nothing worse than sowing a seed that never makes it to meet the sun. Avoid the disappointment and begin an indoor germination station! This is a highly rewarding and educational activity for the whole family to become part of.  We recommended starting off near a sunny window or on the patio or balcony, just remember to bring your babies in at night and move them away from any glass that can get rather icy at sundown.

A hot and handsome February February Checklist

The heat is on this Feb and that means three things for the summer gardener:

  1. Mulch-up to the max
  2. Smart water-wise gardening 
  3. Exciting heat-loving plants to grow 

Life is a Garden has all you need to help you beat the heat and ensure your beloved plant children not only survive, but thrive in our African summer sun. Take care of your lawn, feed and spray, sow and grow, and keep your containers hydrated. 

What’s so magical about mulch? Leaves bark chips, macadamia shells, compost, and pebbles are all considered mulch. The magic of mulch is that it keeps the soil and plants’ roots cool, thereby decreasing evaporation and increasing water retention. That’s less water consumption for the Earth and less time spent on watering for you! #winwin

 

Sexy veggies 

To sow: Spinach, globe artichokes, parsley, carrots, radish, cauliflower, celery, cabbage, oriental vegetables, sweet basil, coriander, nasturtium, and flat-leaf parsley. 

To plant: Bush beans, onions, spinach, lettuce, carrots, beetroot, and Swiss chard.

To tend to: Remove summer vegetables that are coming to the end of their productive cycle to make space for the next seasonal harvest. Add compost to veggie beds and make sure your soil is nice and loose, and reloaded with nutrition. 

To prep:  It’s time to prepare beds for winter and spring crops. Plant your first crop of seed potatoes for an early winter harvest.

To remember: Don’t forget about companion planting as your secret pest and pollination weapon. Increase your crop yield and utilise the bad-bug-repelling power of flowers. Learn more here.

Radish
Flirtatious flowers

Primetime babes: Bougainvilleas, hemerocallis (daylilies), variegated and green foliage plants are showing off their charm this month. Yours may need some TLC if they’re not popping by now.  

Sweetheart sowing: Amazingly fragrant and fuss-free sweet peas are ready to be sown from seed packets available for your nursery. 

October Outdoor Eco-Celebration October Checklist

Garden Day
Flowers

Rev up and rejoice – it’s time to motor in October! Garden Day is on Sunday the 15th, giving you the perfect reason to host a little outdoor eco-celebration - #gardenyay. Welcome spring in full swing and give your garden, potted windowsills, and patio planters some much-deserved admiration from loved ones. Also, it’s rose month! GCA’s are stocked with some serious stunners, waiting just for you. There’s much to plant, grow, and sow too, as well some easy-peasy maintenance to take care of. With compost and spades in hand, let’s get to work!

 

Raging for roses

Your top 5 babes available at GCA’s now are:

  • Double Delight: Pointed, cream colour buds unfolding delicately into shades of scarlet.
  • Just Joey: A hybrid apricot/orange blend tea rose with a seductively sweet scent.
  • My Granny: A spreading shrub with full rosette blooms in shades of soft pink and white.
  • South Africa: SA’s top performer with huge clusters of large, golden-yellow double blooms.
  • Zulu Royal: Large, symmetrical blooms in deep mauve with a silver-lilac dust.

Rosey tips: Avoid wetting rose leaves in the late afternoon as this may encourage black spot and powdery mildew. Plant living mulch between your roses such as erigeron, verbena or lobularia. Remember to feed with special rose fertiliser every 4 weeks for max bloom power.

Double Delight
Just Joey
My Granny
South Africa
Royal Zulu
Erigeron
Rushing flower power

Plant and sow now

  • For instant colour, go for calibrachoas with masses of miniature petunia-like flowers.
  • Sun-loving annuals in seedling trays include: petunias, lobularias (allysum), gazanias, penstemons, Chrysanthemum paludosum and C. multicaule, Sunpatiens and celosias.
  • Shade-seeking seedling trays include: New Guinea impatiens, begonias, impatiens (Busy Lizzie) hypoestes and coleus.
  • Go-getter perennials for all regions are: agapanthus, gauras, nemesias, osteospermums and geraniums of all kinds. Also go for gypsophila and masses of pretty but tough angelonias.

January in the Garden Checklist January Check List

January in the Garden Life is a Garden
January in the Garden Life is a Garden

The new year is always a great time to start afresh and get back into the garden. Remove any tired or spent annuals and fill the gaps with new babies that will flower into autumn. Planting fresh herbs and veggies will also help you stick to those healthy New Year’s resolutions. Happy 2021, dear green fingers, and please do remember that your Life is A Garden!

What to do in the January garden
  • There is still enough time to sow Eschsholzia, Lobelia, and Phlox for an abundance of summer and autumn colour.
  • Water regularly during dry spells.
  • Put out snail bait after rainfall or after watering in the evening.
  • If yellow patches appear on the lawn, this is an almost sure sign of lawn caterpillar, also known as armyworm.
January Check list
Snail Bait
Lawn Caterpillar Army worm
January checklist

Tip: Use a thick, moist towel placed over a patch at night. If lawn caterpillars are the culprit, they will still be foraging on the lawn in the morning when you lift the towel. Consult your local GCA Garden Centre for a remedy.

  • Colourful Begonias are available in trays to liven up semi-shade and shady areas.
  • Deadhead hydrangeas and use the beautiful blooms in dry arrangements.
  • A light summer pruning of your roses will help to extend quality flowering into late autumn.
  • Gently prune lavender plants that have stopped flowering to encourage an autumn flush.
  • Mulch, mulch, mulch to beat the heat and save water.
January Checklist
January checklist
What to do in the January veggie garden
  • Most veggies need 60 to 90 days to harvest so if we are sowing in January, we need to think about what we will eat fresh from the garden in March and April. Never sow the whole seed packet at once as it literally contains from around 50 to several hundred seeds, so rather sow in 14-day intervals to achieve a continuous harvest.