Get your garden ready for winter

POLOKWANE – For many gardeners, keeping colour and functionality to their gardens all year round is a priority. This may prove more difficult as the weather becomes cooler, as we are currently experiencing.

Rose says its best to get garden beds in shape for winter, adding liberal amounts of compost will go a long way.

She also suggests feeding with 2:3:2 fertiliser and adding a final blanket of mulch to coat the ground.

“Ensure you water plants in the early mornings, as this allows surface water to dry up during the day, reducing the risk of frost damage at night,” Manamela said.

She recomends frost cover for sensitive plants that need to be protected against frost.

Her top tip for lawns include being fertilised with a mixture of 50% 2:3:2 and 50% LAN, which will keep it green and thick during winter.

She also advises planting a corner of Ericas, Restios, Leucadendrons and Proteas as they provide stunning autumn and winter colours, even far away from their normal distribution. Add mulch around their roots with acidic compost.

Ericas can be planted in April and will bloom throughout the winter.

Proteas thrive in harsh conditions and are therefore the perfect plants for a winter garden.

To ensure you’ll have colour in your garden in the months ahead, Rose offers the following tips:

• Include Anemones, Daffodils, Ranunculus and Bluebells.

• Plant Dutch iris bulbs in pots among spring-flowering annuals.

Bluebells will give colour to your garden in the dry months ahead.

Yellow Daffodils will give colour in the winter to gardens if they are planted in April.

“Plant new trees and shrubs as well as winter and spring seedlings, add petunias to the garden in summer-rainfall areas. Sow seeds of spring-flowering annuals like calendulas, Californian poppies and cornflowers,” she says.

Rose urges residents to remain water wise and to contact local gardening centres for plant advise.

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Riana Joubert

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