Spring is a time of rejuvenation, and August brings with it the first whispers of the season as little buds begin emerging on trees and plants. So, this is a great month to prep your garden for the sun-soaked days of summer.
Time for planting
To brighten up flower beds, baskets or containers, your annual planting shopping list should include:
- Dianthus (sweet William)
- Calibrachoa (million bells)
Home-grown spring colour
Indigenous plants are trending bigger than ever, given our current water situation.
Succulent groundcovers such as vygies aren’t always the prettiest in other seasons, but they don’t hold back in spring with an abundance of brilliantly-hued, satiny flowers.
There are many varieties of African daisies (osteospermums) that have been bred from our indigenous Cape daisy, with new arrivals every year. These are great for rock gardens and containers.
Most of the nemesia hybrids available at your local garden centre are great for edging plants, ground cover, and in mixed borders. They are compact, sweetly perfumed and will flower repeatedly after a light trim.
Primping and pruning
Before you start planting get out there and start preparing your garden. Even if you have an established garden, there are going to be tasks that need to be done before the days start warming up.
Early spring is a great time to rejuvenate your roses, so don’t forget to prune and fertilise them.
Your lawn will also need a little TLC at this time of year, which means a low cut, firm raking, spiking, generous feeding, levelling out and covering with a nutritious blanket of organic dressing.
Some of your shrubs and trees (for example, poinsettias, plumbagoes, tecomas, hypericums, heliotropes, solanums, canary creepers, golden showers and buddleias) might need a bit of a haircut if you haven’t done so already. You don’t need to be a landscaper to cut back a few branches, think about how you want to shape your shrubs, or where excess growth needs to be removed and then use a pair of sharp secateurs or trimmers to cut.
Pruning encourages strong, lush spring growth. Don’t forget to mulch afterwards with a thick layer of compost.
Give your container plants a new lease of life by removing the top layer of old potting soil and replacing it with a fresh mix of potting soil and compost. Feed them with a slow-release general fertiliser, water well afterwards and add a layer of mulch.
In late August, you can start planting all the beautiful summer-flowering bulbs like gladiolus, calla lilies, cannas, spider lilies, George lilies, tuberoses, galtonias, schizostylis, liatris, crocosmias, eucomis, and storm lilies.