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.
- This is a lean month in the veggie garden. Most summer vegetables are busy growing or being harvested.
- Plant small numbers of lettuce at regular intervals, they tend to bolt in the heat.
- Sow late crops of cucumbers, squashes, pumpkins, maize and beans.
- Leave part of the garden fallow or sow a green manure crop like marigolds to get the garden ready for autumn planting.
- Stake tomatoes and runner beans.
- 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.
- 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.