Green tips

Our resident horticulturalist Niall shares his tried-and-tested tips for the season ahead…

“Spring is in the air – all the allergies, sniffy noses, and red eyes are fairly good indicators that things are happening to the trees and flowers around us.

Now we need to get going with our summer garden planning…


SOW – Cosmos, impatients, marigolds, nicotianas and herbs are best planted now.

PLANT – Plant your summer flowering bulbs like arums and gloriosa superba (flame lilies). Be sure to add healthy new compost and a granular feed, as new plants have pretty good appetites.


PROPAGATE – Lift dahlias, cannas and day lilies, and split them, remembering to clean the cutting tool after each slice. Make sure it’s a sharp, clean cut.


POTS & PANES – Check on all your potted garden plants, and see that they are not pot bound (having roots that fill the flowerpot, leaving no room for them to expand). If they are, then they need re-potting and a tad of jazzing up, so they can burst into new growth instead of just existing. Here, you’ll need 5.1.5. and new soil where necessary. Your window boxes probably need to be attended to too, now’s a good time to replace the soil and replace the plants, to your choice.


MULCH & SPRAY – Ensure your roses are mulched well. Spray fruit too – apples, pears and peaches – against coddling moth and fruit flies. This should be done on a 10-day cycle.


MOW & FEED – Mow your lawn, then give it a good feed, using sifted compost or a lawn dressing. Try and fit this in just before forecasted rain, or you might damage the new growth.


PLANT A VEGGIE PATCH – Herbs and veggies should be started now too, either seeds or nursery six packs. Why not look at some of the following… cabbages, beetroot, carrots, beans, lettuces, marrows, peppers, spinach, tomatoes and parsley, just to name a few.


BE WATER WISE – If you’re in the Cape, water as best you can with saved water, or, if you are lucky to have a well point or borehole, use sparingly.