Posts Tagged ‘ Wind ’

August in the Garden Checklist An extraordinary, rewarding August

Posted on: July 13th, 2021 by Cassidy No Comments

With the great winds of change upon us, dare we say the smell of spring approaches! All your hard work this winter will soon pay off as August comes to reward the garden with extraordinary blooms in gorgeous hues for every mood. There’s one more month of cool-season stunners to enjoy with daisy bushes leading the pack. Make sure to tick off your maintenance checklist and begin prepping the lawn for September. Edibles are exciting in August too and there’s much to sow and munch on. Hold onto your hats and let’s glide right in!

 

Fulfilling flowers
Strikingly crazy for daisies

Colour blast your way through the wind and immerse outdoor beds in bold and brave daisy bushes. The vivid variety of daisy blooms will pop off brilliantly against the winter landscape and are simply stand out additions to the  garden. Daisies flourish in containers, beds, and borders that receive full sun. Bushes can be sown and/or planted in autumn for a vibrant August gust of colour. Here are seven striking inspirations:

  1. Cape daisy (Osteospermum): Indigenous and water-wise in deep shades of many magical colours to choose from, flowering from spring to autumn.
  2. Marguerite daisy (Argyranthemum): Blooms attract butterflies, available in pretty coloured hues for every mood that flower from spring to autumn. Single and double flowers available.
  3. English daisy (Bellis perennis): A fast grower and spreader with uniquely rounded red, white, and pink flowers, blooming in masses from winter to spring.
  • Golden daisy bush (Euryops chrysanthemoides): Compact and evergreen with bright golden-yellow blooms peaking from autumn to spring.
  • Livingstone daisy (Mesembryanthemum): Dark centres blend into radiant shades of pinks, purples, orange, yellow, and crimson. Flowering begins in August, peaking in September.
  • Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum): Cheerful and quick-spreading with robust all-white petals and a yellow centre. These lovelies bloom from late spring to autumn.
  • Kingfisher daisy (Felicia amelloides): Local and lively with masses of sky-blue petals and yellow centres.  They attract butterflies and flower from spring to autumn.

 

Daisy do’s: Although performing best during colder climates, daisy bushes will flower repeatedly throughout the year. If you maintain them well with regular watering, feeding, and deadheading, your garden will be rewarded with near-constant colour and frequent surprises popping up.

 

Top tip: Fly over to your GCA Garden Centre and see which crazy daisies are in-store and in bloom now. Don’t forget your compost and organic fertiliser while you're there.

More mad blooms to sow now: It’s wakey-wakey to winter beds with marigolds, cosmos, lobularia, cleomes, godetias, lavateras, phlox, sunflowers, impatiens, and begonia.

Blushing August bulbs to plant now: These summer-flowering bulbs are ready for some rich soil, sun, and water: gladiolus, calla lilies, cannas, spider lilies, George lilies, tuberoses, galtonias, schizostylis, crocosmias, storm lilies, arum lilies, and dahlias.

Top tip: Don’t be tempted to cut off the leaves of your spring bulbs just yet. Although they have finished flowering, they need these leaves to make food for the developing bulb.

A rosy reminder: Ensure all roses have been pruned and increase watering. Spray bare stems to kill insect eggs and fungus spores. Relocation and transplanting should also be done now, followed by a good feeding. Visit your GCA Garden Centre for rose care essentials.

Marigold
In the grow zone

Edibles for sowing from seed packets

  • In frost-free areas, sow these summer crops now: runner beans, dwarf beans, maize, sweet corn, pumpkins, and squashes.
  • Herbs heralding the spring sunshine: sweet basil, coriander, and rocket.

* Remember to harvest your root veggies: parsnips, turnips, beetroot, carrot, and radish.

 

Edibles for growing from seedlings

  • Plant out rhubarb, shallots, garlic, globe artichokes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.

*Also remember to top-dress perennial crops such as asparagus.

Motivated maintenance

Lawn loving

  • Begin prepping the lawn for spring with lawn dressing, fertiliser, and compost.
  • Your pre-spring treatment includes low mowing, firm raking, leveling out, and covering with lawn dressing.
  • Sow seeds for shade lawn now.

 

Wind whirling

  • The windy month has arrived. Stake all newly planted trees to prevent toppling and breakages.
  • Ensure all creepers are securely supported on trellises and tie-down branches where needed.
  • Mulch around your edibles to prevent wind erosion and help retain warmth.

 

Slug repelling

  • Slugs and snails are eager to feast on soft spring plantings. Go to battle by planting barrier plants around new greens.
  • Barrier plants include mint, garlic, chives, geraniums, and fennel.
  • Goggas are deterred by the pungent smell and taste of these natural pest-repelling plants.

 

Ladybugs to the rescue: Our eco-hero of the month is the sweet little ladybug. She may be pretty, but mealybugs, aphids, scale, caterpillars, and thrips beware of her deadly munching crunch! These pesky critters are her favourite meals and she’ll make quick work of them too.

Some cold caution: In very cold regions, leave pruning of frost-damaged plants until next month as the affected foliage protects the plant in case of another frostbite attack.

Your GCA Garden Centre is ready to receive your August enthusiasm, so head on over to see what grabs you and sparks your inspiration. Have an extraordinarily rewarding last month of winter and well done for keeping your crops and flowers flourishing. Daisies are your best colourful cover-up for gardens that took a little beating in the cool season. Plant some now and blow away the haters! Life is a Garden, just grow with it.

June in the Garden Checklist for the outdoor artist Gardening Checklist

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

Consider the June garden as an inviting blank canvas, welcoming you to paint with a rainbow of winter blooms. For your cool-season muse, Life is a Garden has gathered a few vibrant beauts to plant-paint with, as well as some artsy edibles to inspire your soups. Learn how to defend your plant babies against black frost and enjoy our handy maintenance tips. Embrace the cold and plant on!

 

Chilled thrills in the Western Cape
  • Have faith in your fynbos and head over to your GCA Garden Centre to checkout new protea hybrids and visit some old faves too. Leucospermums (pincushions) and leucadendrons are stunning choices you can go bos with in the garden. Remember, proteas grow in pots too!
  • Aunt Gale’s wind is always around the corner so make sure all ties and stakes supporting young trees and roses are super secure. You may also want to check your garden furniture and make sure that nothing will end up in your neighbour’s yard.
  • Avoiding flooding at home by clearing drains and gutters of old plant material.
  • Begin winter pruning on vines, peach, plum, and apricot trees. Visit your GCA Garden Centre for products to spray on dormant trees after pruning.
Plant flowers from Wonderland
  • Pansies and Violas: These annuals are perfect to plant as borders and edgings, in window boxes and containers. Position them where they receive full sun in winter but partial shade in spring and early summer, to give them a longer lifespan. They like fertile, composted soil with good drainage and regular watering.
  • Snapdragons: These short-lived, yet super-cute perennials are ideal in mixed border gardens, flower boxes, and as potted patio décor. Bright snapdragon flowers will bloom profusely all winter long in full sun to partial shade. Begin germinating seeds indoors and when they’re ready, pop them into nutrient-rich soil that drains well.

Blooming muses to plant: Primula, primrose, calendula, stocks, gazania, poppy, bellis, alyssum, conifers, hellebores, narcissi, Camellia, Erica, pincushion, and ornamental grasses.

Triumphant cold troupers to plant: Abelias, Elaeagnus pungens ‘Variegata’, Pittosporum tobira, P. tenuifolium, rosemary, confetti bushes, Melaleuca bracteata ‘Johannesburg Gold’, and holly.

Artsy-potsy plant pick: Lewisia is one tough babe and will handle pretty much everything winter has to throw at her. She likes sun or partial shade, good drainage, but not the richest of soil. Water her moderately and deadhead spent blooms. She’ll reward you with gorgeous rosettes, slender stalks, and pastel-pink flowers for patio pots and just about everywhere else really!

 

Pruning particulars
  • If you live in a frost-free area you can begin pruning roses in June.
  • Very chilly and frost-prone areas should wait until the 2nd week of July.
  • Everyone can prune and cut back deciduous trees, conifers, vines, peach, plum, and apricot trees now.

Black Frost se voet

  • What is it: Black frost happens when humidity is too low for frost to form, but the temperature drops so low that plant tissues freeze and die, becoming blackened.
  • Where it affects: The leaves of plants are the most affected. Avoid pruning the burnt leaves as they will continue to protect the plant in case of another freeze invasion.
  • How to protect: You can protect plants even more by using raised beds, mulching up (a lot), covering growing trees at night, and changing to mid-morning watering to allow all water to evaporate before evening temperatures drop.
  • What to do: Once a plant has succumbed to the black frost horseman, do not prune or feed it, simply send it love – this too shall pass. Once the temperature increases, some plants will shed dead leaves on their own, while others that have died back will begin to regrow.

Inspirational edibles to plant: Rocket, cabbage (red and baby), horseradish, asparagus, global artichokes and rhubarb, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, beetroot, turnips, Brussel sprouts, oriental vegetables, celery, parsley, peas, and leeks. Pop into your fave GCA Garden Centre and see which seedlings are available.

Homegrown’s to harvest: Citrus and avocados (finally), leeks, Brussel sprouts (from the bottom upwards), carrots, parsnips, and cabbages.

Mulch-up your canvas: Mulch the entire garden with lovely autumn leaves to protect plants from the cold and assist in water retention in dry areas. Cape gardeners, get on top of those rain-loving winter weeds with max mulch power.