Autumn has crept upon us, before winter sets in our gardens will need a bit of attention. Here’s some sound advice from local our garden experts at Gardens Galore.
It’s time to prune or cut back many summer flowering perennials as their blooms fade and growth slows down. They are normally cut down low to the ground and will reappear when spring growth starts again. Cut back woody or leggy plants e.g. Pelargoniums and Bougainvillieas, once flowering has finished.
Faithful Pansies, in a variety of colours will add that splash of colour for this time of year. Primulas can be planted in shadier areas, and Dianthus with Alyssum for semi shade to full sun.
Thinking ahead for spring, start sowing Bokbaaivygies, Linarias, Virginian Stocks and Flanders Poppies and you will have a wonderful spring bloom!
Fertilise one last time before winter – Roses continue until April, with your regular feeds. Lawns will need one more application of higher percentage of nitrogen end March and one more application of phosphates end April; and then stop your program until August /September. Always start off the program with higher percentage of phosphates, thereafter, alternate between the nitrogen and the phosphates. (This will depend on whether you are using Organic or Chemical)
Most lavender types flower in spring and again in autumn, allow them to finish their turn and prune them neatly into rounded bushes to allow sunlight to stimulate new growth down to ground level – this prevents bare spots and leggy specimens and looks much smarter. Lavenders do not like hacking, so prune them lightly and never into old wood! More regular, and less at a time is a good.
Don’t wait until it is too late to save your prized conifers from the havoc wreaked by the cypress aphid! Some of them are unfortunately sucked dry by these pests, which become active in the cooler months of the year. The plants turn brown in spring, and sometimes die off completely. To play it safe, treat your conifers with a systemic insecticide from March until the end of winter. Contact your local nursery for more information. There are a variety of sprays you can use.
With that being said – as us Capetonians tend to hibernate in Winter, do what needs to be done for a healthy and happy garden when you eventually venture out again to watch the early sunrise in spring.
Contact Gardens Galore for more information and advice on a happy garden.