|This is usually a busy month in the garden. In many parts of the country
gardeners will be busy sowing winter flowering annuals. Most of the summer
flowering annuals will go on flowering for some time if the faded blooms
are removed promptly, and if the plants are fed from time to time, and
watered regularly when the weather is dry. Red spider can be troublesome
during hot, dry weather, so watch carefully for the telltale yellow
stippled leaves. Snails are active in the summer rainfall areas and can
only be kept under control if bait is put out regularly at night.
SUMMER FLOWERING ANNUALS
Remove faded flowers, and water regularly in dry weather. Feed
once a month with 2:3:2 and water immediately or alternatively feed with
HARDY SUMMER FLOWERING ANNUALS
Any of the annuals listed below that were not sown in January can
still be sown this month. Best results are usually obtained from seed sown
in seed trays. If these annuals are sown now the seedlings will stand
through the winter and start flowering early next summer:
Alcea rosea (Hollyhock)
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Daucus Carota var. carota (Queen Anne's Lace)
Delphinium grandiflorum (butterfly delphinium)
Digitalis purpurea (foxglove)
Iberis umbellata (candytuft)
Malcolmia maritima (Virginian stocks)
Petunia x hybrida
Tropaeolum majus (nasturtium)
Verbena x hybrida
WINTER FLOWERING ANNUALS
Sweet peas: These can be sown at the end of the month in all
areas. A week before sowing, give the soil a light sprinkling of lime and
rake this into the top layer of soil. Erect the trellis before sowing.
Summer rainfall areas: Any of the annuals listed below
can be sown from the beginning of the month onwards, unless otherwise
Winter rainfall and warm frost free areas: Any of the
annuals listed below can be sown from the beginning of the month onwards,
unless otherwise stated:
Calendula officinalis (pot marigold)
Chrysanthemum carinatum (annual variety)
Consolida ambigua (larkspur) (sow in situ)
Dorotheanthus bellidiformis (Livingstone daisy or Bokbaaivygie) (protect
seedlings from birds by putting chicken wire over the beds)
Lathyrus odoratus (sweet pea)
Linaria maroccana (toad flax - sow in situ)
Lupinus hartwegii (lupin - sow in situ)
Matthiola incana (stocks - sow at end of the month in all areas)
Papaver nudicaule (Iceland poppy)
Schizanthus (poor man's orchid)
Ursinia anethoides (jewel of the veld)
Venidium fastuosum (Aus daisy or bitter gousblom)
Viola cornuta (viola)
Viola x wittrockiana (pansy)
Seedlings sown in November and December should be large enough to
plant out into the garden now.
Delphiniums: Water copiously and cut down old flower
Dianthus and carnations: These can be propagated now by
Hellebores: These are probably starting to bud. Give the
plant about a heaped tablespoon of 2:3:2 scattered round each plant, and
mulch with compost. Start watering regularly if the weather is dry. Put
out snail bait round the plants if necessary.
Pelargoniums (geraniums): Start pruning. Cut zonal and
regal pelargoniums back by half, and trim ivy leafed pelargoniums if they
are spreading too much. The tips of prunings can be used for cuttings. The
cuttings should be about 7- 8cm long. Cut just below a node or leaf joint.
Trim off the lower leaves, and dip the end of each cutting in a rooting
hormone. Insert the cutting in sand, firm, and then water.
SUMMER FLOWERING BULBS
Agapanthus: Water abundantly in dry weather.
Amaryllis belladonna (March lily): Before flowering, in
the summer rainfall areas, if the plants have become overcrowded, lift,
divide and replant the bulbs, with the neck of the plant just below the
surface of the soil. In the winter rainfall areas, lift in April, after
Cannas: Water during dry weather, and scatter 60g of
2:3:2 round each clump once a month. Water in after application. Remove
old flower stems by gripping them firmly at the base and giving them a
Dahlias: Water during dry weather, and feed every two
weeks with a soluble fertiliser. Dis-bud by removing all but one bud on
each stem. Tie to stakes and watch for red spider.
Gladioli: Water regularly, spray once a week against
thrips and gladiolus fly, and spray for rust if necessary. Lift those
which are dying back.
Liliums: As the blooms fade, remove the seed heads
(unless the seed is to be saved), cutting off the heads with the minimum
amount of stem. Give each clump a tablespoon of 3:1:5 dissolved in 5litres
of water. Apply this to the root area and water in. Keep the ground well
mulched with compost.
White evergreen arum lilies: If the plants are
overcrowded and were not lifted last month they can still be lifted and
divided this month. Cut off some of the older leaves, and then replant the
tuber-like rhizomes in soil enriched with compost and a dressing of
WINTER FLOWERING BULBS
These bulbs can be planted now:
Amaryllis belladonna (March lily - plant now only in the summer rainfall
Gladiolus carinatus (mauve afrikander)
Ipheion uniflorum (star of bethlehem)
Lachenalia (cape cowslip)
Veltheimia bracteata (V. viridifolia - forest lily)
Keep the ground mulched with compost and water once every three
weeks during hot and dry weather. Pay special attention to watering
camellias and azaleas. Hose down azaleas once a week in dry windy weather.
If azalea foliage is turning yellow apply iron chelate at the rate
recommended on the container, plus a tablespoon of magnesium (Epsom salts)
per bush, and acidify the soil with pine needles, acid peat or a light
dusting of sulphur.
Roses: Continue preventative spraying against black spot,
rust and mildew combining this with a foliar feed. Water once a week
during dry weather.
FRUIT (AND NUTS)
Apples, almonds, apricots, cherries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears,
plums and quinces: Once the fruit has been harvested gives trees
and vines their final application of fertiliser. Give all these deciduous
fruits (only 1.5kg for almonds and grapes) 2kg of 2:3:2 scattered over the
root area. Water in well.
As the leaves start falling, rake them up and put them on the compost
Continue to put out bait for fruit fly.
Litchis: After the fruit has been harvested, give each
tree 500g of 3:1:5 scattered over the root area. Apply the 3:1:5 to damp
soil and start at least 10cm away from the trunk. Water in after
Pawpaws: Give each tree 125g of LAN (limestone ammonium
nitrate). Scatter this over the root area starting at least 10cm away from
Pecans: Water thoroughly once a month. Pineapples: Apply
60g of 2:3:2 scattered along per metre row.
Strawberries: Prepare the bed now for planting in April.
Dig in plenty of old, well-rotted manure and/or compost, then scatter
3:1:5 at the rate of 250g per square metre.
Continue to feed summer vegetables still producing good crops.
Either scatter 2:3:2 along the rows at a rate of 60g per metre or apply a
liquid fertiliser. Water before and after applying any fertiliser.
Continue to water vegetables regularly. Pull up any, which have finished
bearing. Transplant the seedlings of winter vegetables as soon as they are
These vegetables can be grown in the various regions this month:
Gauteng and OFS Highveld
Brussels sprouts (finish sowing)
Swede turnip (finish sowing)
Lowveld and warm frost free areas
OFS and Northern Cape
Kwa Zulu Natal Midlands
Eastern Cape and Karoo
Western Cape: Winter rainfall areas