Hands in the dirt

We’re planting …

Roses, because October is rose month, and this is the perfect opportunity to plant a new rose that celebrates the world-renowned South African opera singer Pretty Yende. Like its namesake, ‘Pretty Yende’ (LUDkrilbaP) is a powerful performer, with classically beautiful blooms of soft apricot-yellow that exude a delicate perfume. This South African bred rose by Ludwig Taschner is a strong growing hybrid tea rose with glossy green disease-resistant leaves. The long lasting blooms don’t fade in the sun, making this an ideal garden and picking rose for the home.

Details: ludwigsroses.co.za

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Veggie of the month

Tomatoes are by far and away our most popular summer veggie. But did you know that the classic Italian plum tomato – ‘San Marzano’ (RAW seed) – is considered by many chefs to be the best in the world? Its skin is an intense red and peels off easily, and the flesh is firm and almost seedless. For the juiciest fruit, grow these tomatoes in full sun, spaced 50cm apart. The first fruit should be ready for harvest within 60 to 70 days.

To get the most out of your tomatoes, follow these top tips …

  • Plant in fertile well-composted soil.
  • Space plants well apart for good air circulation. This helps prevent pests        and diseases.
  • Water regularly so that soil remains consistently moist. Tomato yields suffer if plants receive irregular watering or dry out followed by over watering.
  • For the sweetest fruit, let it turn red on the plant. Details: rawliving.co.za

Did you know that the Areca palm releases oxygen at night and absorbs carbon dioxide? So an exceptional choice for indoors, and especially in bedrooms. Such plants refresh the air and help us to get a better night’s sleep. With their graceful, feathery foliage Areca palms can be used as an indoor feature plant throughout the home, even in bathrooms. They like bright, high light and watering when the surface of the potting soil starts to dry out, but don’t let them stand in water. Details: lvgplant.co.za

Garden tasks for October

  • Plant out summer bedding colour such as honey-scented alyssum, red bedding salvia, and old fashioned favourites like dahlias, vinca and zinnia.
  • Use impatiens ‘Beacon’ or New Guinea impatiens for shady areas.
  • Water deeply twice a week and fertilise roses and bedding plants towards the middle of October.
  • Mulch beds to keep the soil moist and cool.
  • Spread acid compost underneath azaleas and hydrangeas.
  • Water shrubs and trees if there is no rainfall.
  • Trim spring flowering shrubs that have finished flowering.
  • Let the lawn grow slightly longer by setting the lawn mower higher. This helps the lawn become more drought resistant.

Text: Alice Coetzee

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