PROPERTY NEWS - Spring is in the air! Trees are blossoming, delicate green leaves are beginning to make an appearance, nests are being built and the days are getting longer…
Spring is always welcome, particularly after a hard, cold winter. No matter how big or small your garden is, you can make the most of it this spring. Here are a few ideas:
Your lawn will probably need quite a lot of attention after winter. Frost, dry air, hungry birds (and possibly snow) can wreak havoc on a lawn and leave it looking dead, ugly and even bare in some areas.
One of the first things to do to improve your lawn is to sweep away any dry, dead leaves which can block the sun from reaching the grass. Once it is clear of leaves, carefully spread a layer of top soil over the grass, water it profusely and re-seed areas that have died off.
Not only does top soil give your lawn a boost, it improves drainage and drought resistance and reduces the need for supplemental fertilisers.
It's hard to stay involved with your garden during the winter months due to the cold and the fact that not much is growing. Chances are that piles of leaves have accumulated around your garden, weeds have sprouted and some plants have died off entirely.
September is the time to give your garden a proverbial spring clean to pave the way for the warmer months.
Start by raking up old plant litter and debris, de-weed where necessary, prune or remove any dead vegetation and start preparing your beds for new plants. Don't forget to fill up the bird feeder too, as birds will need extra nourishment for the breeding season.
Once you've prepped the lawn and cleaned out the garden, you can begin to take stock and decide what you would like to get out of it and exactly how your'e going to go about it. Perhaps you are happy with the existing layout. Perhaps you feel a change is necessary.
Maybe you would like to install a water feature, add a braai area or start a vegetable garden. Whatever you decide to do, plan well in advance before implementing changes, as you could end up making mistakes that are expensive and could ruin your garden.
According to those in the know, certain plants and flowers do better in certain parts of the country at this time of year.
For instance, in Limpopo, gardeners should plant celosia, snapdragons and marigolds. In the Eastern Cape, now is the time to plant amaryllis, pineapple lily, begonia, geraniums and marigolds. In the Western Cape, pincushions, clivias and chamelaucium are the way to go.
Colourful daisy varieties are recommended for gardeners in Mpumalanga while marigolds, cosmos, sunflowers and cleomes are but a few of the plants that will do well in KwaZulu-Natal gardens. In the Free-State, it's prime time for roses and pelargoniums.
If vegetables are your thing, now is the time to start planting beetroot, baby marrows, carrots, parsley, rhubarb, runner beans, sweetcorn and pumpkins among many other summer type vegetables.
If you are unsure about which plants, vegetables and/or flowers you should plant in September, your local nursery should be able to guide you.
Lastly, it's always a good idea to plant indigenous plants as far as possible and ensure that they are well watered.
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