Plant!

Indoor plant of the month

We’re massive fans of the white anthurium, a lovely Easter flower. As the blooms age, they often develop a soft green tinge … really pretty. The combination of lush green leaves and glossy white ‘flowers’ – which are in fact really coloured leaves – lighten and brighten a room, improving and purifying the air as well. Anthuriums thrive anywhere with good light and a little water once a week. A good plant for beginners, they forgive neglect and are almost indestructible. And if you feed them with liquid fertiliser once a month, except in winter, you’ll encourage them to keep on pushing out flowers. Details: lvgplants.co.za

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Your garden tasks

  • For an abundance of indigenous Spring flowers, sow Namaqualand daisies now.
  • Plant pansies, violas, primulas, Iceland poppies, snapdragons, and calendulas for Winter colour. Feed once a week with a liquid fertiliser for masses of flowers.
  • Wait until Easter to plant your daffodils, ranunculuses, and other Spring bulbs.
  • Fertilise Spring flowering camellias, azaleas and hellebores and water regularly
  • This is the last month to fertilise your roses and the lawn with 5:1:5 or Ludwig’s Vigorosa.
  • Keep on sowing and planting out Winter veggies – broad beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, peas, spinach, and Swiss chard.
  • Look out for healthy strawberry plants … April is the right time to plant them.

 

We’re planting…

Osteospermum Serenity Coral Magic is a really wonderful, neat, compact plant, that’s always covered in flowers and is great for tucking into the front of a border, and is a breathtakingly beautiful patio plant. With its soft coral blooms with a glowing inner ring and deeper pink or lilac centre, they’re at their best in Autumn … and as the flowers mature they change colour, hence the ‘magic’. We like it alone, but if you want some added colour, it combines well with Osteospermum Blue Eyed Beauty – which has a purplish-blue centre and yellow petals. Plant these in a sunny spot, in well-composted soil that drains well. They are not water-hungry but will bloom better if the soil is kept moist while they are flowering. They are easy to grow, reliable and vigorous … flowering a little less during the very cold months but bouncing back with a great Spring flush. Details: ballstraathof.co.za

Eat your greens…

No space? No excuse. Baby cabbages are an excellent crop for small gardens, or for growing in containers. Baby Green Gonzales and Baby Red Primero are minis from Kirchhoffs, that produce heads the size of a large fist. Great … since this means they’re usually gobbled up after one meal, and don’t sit in the refrigerator while you try to figure out another way to cook them. They are crunchy, sweet, and mild in flavour, delicious eaten raw in salads (fantastic in an Asian salad), as well as braised, steamed, roasted, or stir-fried. Sow seed in trays, two weeks apart, for a continual supply, and plant out when they have their first true leaves. You’ll need to space plants 25cm apart. Cabbage likes fertile, well-composted soil, full sun in winter, and regular watering that keeps the soil consistently moist. Once heads start to form, prevent aphids by spraying with Margaret Roberts Organic Insecticide. They will be ready for harvest within 55 days. Yum. Details: kirchhoffs.co.za

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