Blooming Spring

The weather’s warm, flowers are blooming, it’s our favourite season of the year!

Order now, plant and reap the (beautiful) benefits

The Dahlia Cornel – perfectly formed, dark cherry-red velvety flowers, productive and reliable – is, according to Adene Nieuwoudt, hands down the best red variety in the world. Well, we think Adene’s job is hands down one of the best in the world. She’s the passionate force behind Adene’s Farm Flowers, a working flower farm dedicated to producing high-quality, beautiful and long-lasting cut flowers. And it’s from their website that you can shop for seeds and tubers … Amaranthus and lace and dahlias (swoon) and sunflowers … a collection of the most magnificent blooms imaginable, for you to grow at home. There’s also linen and pretty floral masks for those who don’t have green fingers. Details: adeneflowers.co.za

From pod to plate

We know we’re not the only ones embracing growing our own herbs and veggies … and we know you’re going to love our new discovery as much as we do. Vegepod gives the average person (that’s us) a simple and easy way to grow veggies at home. Boasting to be an award-winning Australian designed product, these are raised gardening beds (no more crouching down with stiff knees), which have a self-watering, built-in mist irrigation spray (so plants last weeks without you having to do any watering), and a permeable mesh canopy, which keeps out bugs, and helps manage temperature. It comes in three sizes, so will suit every household, and you can choose to have it on a permanent stand, or a trolley on wheels – massively helpful if you have a small space. The pods cost from R2799 to R5999, depending on size, with stands and trolleys starting at R1499. You can also buy gardening tools and accessories online, as well as RAW seed packs – the Summer Seed 10 Pack costs R300 and has all the veggies and herbs you need for the season. Really fabulous idea … we’re massive fans. Details: vegepod.co.za or email [email protected].  

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We’re planting …

Osteospermum Flowerpower Magic Orange 20, a glowing orange daisy with sunny yellow tips … a bright perennial which flowers mainly in spring and autumn. This hybrid of the spring-flowering, indigenous Cape daisy is hardy and vigorous, tolerating cold and rain. It is a well-branched, low-growing plant that is covered with masses of flowers, so excellent for garden borders, beds, and containers. For a real show-off bed, group three to five plants together … lovely. Plant in full sun or partial shade in well-drained soil, and water regularly, for consistently moist, but not soggy, soil. You should also fertilise once a month during the flowering season and removed faded or dead flowers to prolong its blooming. Once established, the weeds will struggle to push through. Details: ballstraathof.co.za

 

What to do in the garden

  • Sow annual herbs like basil, coriander and rocket. Trim back perennial herbs and enrich the beds with compost.
  • Increase watering from once a week to twice a week as the temperatures rise, especially for vegetables.
  • Keep deadheading, watering, and fertilising pansies, violas and primulas and they will continue flowering until early October.
  • Plant bedding begonias for non-stop summer colour … they’ll grow in semi-shade or full sun.
  • Lift and divide flowering perennials.
  • Fertilise lawns with 5:1:5 and begin regular weekly mowing – but set the blades high so that the grass can establish deep roots.
  • Veggies to sow this month are cabbage, spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce, root veggies, green beans, brinjals, cucumber, peppers, bush and trailing squash, sweetcorn, and tomatoes.

In the veggie garden, we’re planting beetroot – an excellent early-spring crop since it germinates in cool soil. Chioggia (pronounced kee-OH-jee-ah) Guardsmark is not just any beetroot. The plants have bright green leaves with light pink stems, and when sliced open, it’s candy-striped. This Italian heirloom variety produces medium-sized beets that also work well as baby beet … its mild, sweet flavour becomes super sweet when roasted, so lovely used in salads. It can be sown year-round in warmer areas, a spring planting matures in about two months, and you can order seed online from Gro-Pak. Details: gropak.co.za

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