July is a cold month in South Africa, it’s that time of year when the sun is beaming, and the air is crisp and dry. Due to the dry air and hardly any rain, your garden may need some extra TLC during the winter months, and we want to give a few tips on garden care.
Plant for spring
Winter is the best time to plant trees and shrubs. The cool temperatures help the plant roots to develop fast and get lots of deep watering from the abundant rainfall that occurs during the spring months, and growth is exponential during summer.
Why not do your part in helping climate change by planting a Spekboom? Scientists have recently discovered that the spekboom is particularly good at inhaling excess carbon in our atmosphere that contributes to climate change. It’s also a beautiful plant that It produces star-shaped pink flowers from late winter until spring.
If you have any roses and ornamentals in your garden, you will need to start thinking about pruning them at the end of June/beginning of July. Roses need to be pruned down hard, about two thirds of the rose bush, in order to allow and promote healthy growth and flowering during the summer months.
Once plants become dormant and the leaves have fallen you can shape and prune them in the winter months if necessary. Shrubs and perennials that have become too big and woody, can also be reduced by a third to half, depending on the available space.
Lift the crowns of trees to let in more light. Remove the lower branches one by one and stand back between each cut to check the effect. Remove broken and dead branches to allow for new seeds to be planted.
Add a Pop of Colour
Plant pansy and viola seeds now in well composted flower beds, in late winter you’ll start to see a splash of colour to warm up the winter blues.
General Garden Care
Make sure that all flower beds are turned and kept weed-free. Most plants love a well turned, aerated soil. You can water your lawn once or twice a week, preferably early in the day, you can water in the late afternoon, as studies have shown that water raises soil temperature and won’t cause damage to plants. But water on leaves can freeze in extreme cold, causing damage. Spreading mulch in your garden can also help protect the soil from damage caused by wind, cold or frost. Mulches also protect the ground from soil erosion and compaction from heavy rains.
The quieter winter months are great time to do some general maintenance work around your garden. Rake up any remaining autumn leaves, spring clean your garden shed or garage. Give your outdoor garden/patio furniture a good wipe down and clean all your gardening tools and equipment.
Make the most of the cold winter months by pruning and prepping your garden so it can blossom beautifully in the spring! The Kloof project are also going to be doing our bit to prepare the Kloof verges for the spring and summer time. Please consider making a donation to The Kloof Project so you have stunning and well-kept verges to greet you when you drive through our village.
We greatly appreciate your support!