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Tracey Cole

Tracey Cole

The February garden

With Autumn just around the corner the Summer garden is probably needing a tidy-up

There’s lots of jobs you can be doing now to keep your plot looking good well into Autumn.

Keep deadheading flowering plants, watering and feeding them fortnightly, especially in containers and hanging baskets. Plant Zinnias, Marigolds, Petunias, Phlox, Salvias and Nicotianas to replace Summer annuals that have finished flowering. 

It’s also a good time to annuals like Iceland poppies, Gazanias, Cinerarias and Dianthus. For brilliant, hassle-free plants that will flower in late Summer try Salvia gregii, Hemerocallis, Pentas lanceolata ‘new look’ (the perfect ‘gap’ filler!), Echinacea ‘cheyenne spirit’ and Leucanthemum ‘daisy May’. Agastache plants have spikes of blue flowers, is drought-tolerant and is irresistible to butterflies. Wonderful in borders!

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In the vegetable patch a start can be made on planting and sowing broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, oriental veg, celery, cabbage, turnips and sweetcorn for a Winter harvest. It’s also time to sow carrot and beetroot seeds.

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Herbs like basil, coriander, Parsley, thyme, dill, chives and origano will soon flourish if planted now. Mint is best grown in a container as it will quickly spread.

Keep up with weeding! If left, it can quickly get out of control. Little and often is the answer! A good mulch around all plants and veggies will help smother weeds, also reducing the need for watering.
Trim any woody plants like rosemary and lavender but take care not to cut into the old wood.
Remove any dead material around the base of spent perennials to prevent mildew, rust and red spider mite.

Sweet peas can be sown at the end of February in a trench with plenty of compost and bone meal. Soaking the seeds before sowing will encourage germination.

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Now you will be ready to enjoy a colourful, bountiful Autumn!

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.

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