INDOOR PLANT OF THE MONTH
Tulips are exotic, colourful and best of all are happy to bloom indoors. A pot of tulips will flower for a month or more because each pot contains more than one bulb. The secret is to buy a pot with mostly closed buds because each bloom only lasts a week. To bring the tulips into flower, place the pot where it receives plenty of bright, indirect light but not direct sun because this makes the blooms go over faster. Let the potting soil dry out moderately before watering. Details: lvgplant.co.za
We’re planting … Cineraria Senetti because it loves the cold and we love its huge, showstopping daisy-like blooms. This garden or container variety thrives in full Winter sun or partial sun as well as indoors in bright light. The colour range incudes bi-colour magenta, blue and violet blooms with bright, white centres as well single colours.
Cut back by 50% after each flush of blooms to encourage another flush. ‘Senetti’ will flower through to early summer, only stopping to flower when night temperatures reach 26º C. Water regularly so that the soil doesn’t dry out and boost flowering with a liquid fertiliser twice a month. Plants grow up to 60 cm with a 45 cm spread, which is taller than the normal cineraria. Details: ballstraathof.co.za
Garden tasks for June
• Keep up the flower power of Winter flowering annuals with liquid fertiliser applied every two weeks. Remove the dead flowers to encourage new flowers. • Don’t let daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs or shrubs, like azaleas, camellias or magnolias dry out otherwise they will not flower. • Use all your garden waste and household scraps to make compost. • Spread the dried leaves onto the garden beds as thick mulch. • Move herbs in pots to a sheltered, sunny area, where there are no draughts. Water them once or twice a week and supplement with a liquid fertiliser (at half strength) every second week. • Water vegetables once a week
VEGGIE OF THE MONTHMicro greens are the only veggies you can safely sow in Winter. Use the big, black plastic seedling trays filled with a proper seedling soil mix which is weed free. Pre-fertilise by watering with Margaret Roberts Organic Supercharger so that the soil is damp. It is not necessary to fertilise again.
RAW seeds has two flavourful mixes: ‘Old Mexico’ that consists of coriander, red beets, cabbage, radish and pepper cress and ‘Rainbow blend’ with beetroot, Asian cabbage, kohlrabi, Italian broccoli and radish. Sow seeds thickly, cover lightly with the soil mix, firm it down, and spritz with a spray bottle to dampen the soil. Cover the whole tray with plastic wrap and keep in a warm, sheltered place like a balcony, or patio. The seed should germinate within seven to 14 days. Harvest from 15 days onwards when the shoots are 5 to 10cm high. If you allow the leaves to grow bigger they can be harvested as baby leaves. Use as a garnish, salad topping, on open sandwiches and in omelette’s.
Text: ALICE COETZEE