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December

The end of the year has arrived once again. The garden is a wonderful place to spend the summer months. The weather is generally starting to become more settled and plants begin to make their vigorous summer growth. Lawns grow rapidly and need mowing more regularly. Shrubs like hydrangeas make our summer gardens really special. Outdoor living around swimming pools and on patios with braais and a few beverages makes gardening all the more worthwhile.


  • Make sure that hanging baskets and pots are planted full of summer annuals.
  • Fill up odd bare patches in flower beds with flowering annuals.
  • Water during the early morning to prevent plants from wilting during the heat of the day.
  • Check for snails, especially in marigolds.
  • Continue with dead heading, it’s a never ending process.
  • Apply water soluble plant food every 2 to 3 weeks.

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  • Water the veggie garden with water soluble plant food at least every 3 weeks.
  • Continue planting out seedlings like globe artichokes, asparagus, leeks, celery and all the cabbage family.
  • Harvest ripe crops like peas and broad beans.
  • Continue to sow successive crops of carrots, parsnips and turnips.
  • Dispose of spent plants like cauliflowers and broccoli by pulling out the plants and adding to the compost heap.

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  • Keep herbs well watered but not water logged. They need good drainage.
  • Some battle with the summer heat and humidity.
  • Fertilise monthly to keep them in active growth.
  • Plant basil regularly through the summer months.

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  • Harvest many of the deciduous fruit types.
  • Litchis and mangoes are in season now.
  • Pick up and bury all fallen fruit to combat future insect infestation.
  • Fertilise with a balanced fertiliser. Apply as far out as the drip line as this is where the feeder roots are under the soil. Keep fertiliser granules away from the stem of the tree.

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  • Lily borer or amaryllis worm is active now. Check clivias, agapanthus and amaryllis plants for signs of these striped caterpillars in the crown of the plant. They can really wreck havoc if left unchecked.
  • Extra watering during hot and dry weather conditions is vital.
  • Stake dahlias to help support their heavy blooms.
  • Prune back foliage shrubs so that they can grow back during the summer season.

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  • Spray every 10 to 14 days to prevent fungal diseases.
  • Check for red spider mite.
  • Water up to 3 times per week depending on rainfall.
  • Fertilise with your favourite rose food.

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  • Mow regularly.
  • Fertilise with a nitrogen fertilise like LAN.
  • Water during extremely hot weather.
  • Trim the edges more often as grass grows rapidly now.
  • Don’t let the lawn become overgrown during the holiday season.

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  • Clip or prune hedges and topiary specimens regularly.
  • Mulch wherever possible to prevent soil from drying out in extreme heat.
  • Wage war on all weeds.

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