Autumn Western Cape Landscaping – April in the Garden.
As the weather starts to cool plant spring-flowering indigenous bulbs – Sparaxia, Babianas, Watsonia tritonia, Ixias, Lachenalia, Anemones and Rananculi. Sow or plant winter and spring-flowering seedlings like Cinerarias, Delphiniums, Nemesia, Salvia, Scabiosa and Pansies.
Grow winter veggies – broccoli, peas, cabbage, broad beans, carrots, spinach, rocket and onions.
Feed container plants to give them a boost before winter.
Prune overgrown climbers, summer -flowering shrubs and evergreen hedges, also deadhead roses.
Thinking of planting a hedge? April is the perfect time as the plants have time to settle in before winter.
Try Plumbago (Plumbago auricalata), a bushy shrub which flowers profusely from summer to autumn and will tolerate full sun or light shade. Escallonia ‘ivey’ is a hardy, fast-growing evergreen shrub which also flowers summer – autumn.
Amatungulu (Carissa macrocarpa) is an indigenous plant for hedging with white flowers and edible fruit.
Abelia, Callistemon, Solanum rantonnetii and Camellia sansangua will all grow into colourful flowering hedges that don’t need pruning. Pittosporum or Vibernum Odoratissumon make a high, dense evergreen hedge.
Plant low-growing annuals like Calendulas, Lobelias, Pansies or Alyssum to hide the bare stems of roses.
Young fruit trees such as peaches, plums, nectarines or apricot can be planted in April.
Keep weeding but leave some seed heads for the birds.
Remember to feed your citrus trees with a general fertiliser to ensure a good crop of fruit.
Divide overgrown perennials like Gaura, Lobelia and phlox. Split clumps of Agapanthus and Dietes.
If you have a compost heap keep turning it weekly. Otherwise, if you have space, make a start on making one!
Move any shrubs and small trees needing a different position as the cooler conditions will give them time to recover. Always add fertiliser and compost to the hole and water well.
Jobs done in the garden now will reward you next spring and summer!
Autumn Western Cape Landscaping -
Some more Autumn Gardening Tips
Autumn is the main planting time in the Western Cape and when the dry season has been broken by the first winter rains, the soil is perfect to plant fynbos like restios, proteas, leucadendrons and ericas.
Finish planting out winter and spring flower seedlings this month. For sunny spots try plant: alyssum, delphinium, dianthus, Iceland poppies, statice, Shirley poppy, nemesias, gazanias, godetia, pansy and viola, calendulas, ornamental kale, helichrysum and stocks; while for shady spots try aquilegia, Canterbury bells, nicotiana, cineraria, primulas and foxgloves. Nemesias are really worth planting because they are indigenous to the Cape and thrive in our region, despite their delicate appearance. May is also traditionally the month to sow sweet peas in the Cape.
Trim shrubs in the garden, to allow some extra sunlight into the winter garden. Raise containers off the ground to prevent them from getting water logged. Finish pruning your summer flowering shrubs and mulch your entire garden if you did not do so last month.
Fertilize your winter and spring flowering plants regularly with organic 3:1:5. Put down Ferramol organic snail bait, it stops the snails from feeding and is safe to use around children and pets. Cover your compost heap to prevent it becoming too wet.
Tidy up perennials like lavender, daisy bushes and geraniums. Take hardwood cuttings of your plectranthus when they have finished flowering
Autumn is a good time to plant lawn plugs for areas which have suffered. Remember that Kikuyu lawn does not grow well in the shade and may rot in wet weather; plant Berea grass instead. Feed with organic food pellets and bone meal, and apply a light top dressing. Allow your lawn to grow quite long before cutting and do not mow it too short; mow Buffalo lawn for the last time.
I’m passionate about bringing nature into one’s garden and not pushing nature away, so please try NOT to use pesticides, we have other organic ideas and means for pest control so just give us a call.
More advice and articles :
We at village gardens have a knowledge of all of your local edible plants here in South Africa. We can happily plant up your garden with edibles of all varieties from Mediterranean herbs and local indigenous edibles. We are surrounded by such stunning hardy indigenous plants, let’s get back to nature and have our own garden of local goodness.
Western Cape Landscaping and garden designs …..