By Life is a Garden – www.lifeisagarden.co.za
Like the calm before the storm. Winter preparations are smooth sailing this month with this April checklist. Gardening during the cooler months definitely has its own challenges, but there are also so many exciting flowers and veggies to look forward to. Did I hear someone say Spring bulbs?
Chillax with flowers
Bulba-licious beauties: You can plant all Spring-flowering bulbs now – hooray! Bulbs with fingers or claws, like ranunculi, should be planted with their fingers pointing downwards. Try planting small bulbs like anemone, leucojum, muscari, lachenalia, tritonia and ranunculus, or larger bulbs such as hyacinth, freesia, and Dutch iris.
Pretty and pleasing: April is the perfect time to buy and plant out pretty primula, poppy, pansy, and gazania seedlings.
Indoor inspiration: Spathiphyllum, known also as Peace Lily, is an easy-care, low-light houseplant with majestic, long-lasting white blooms.
Colourful corners: Try planting a corner of ericas, restios, leucadendrons, and Proteas – they provide stunning Autumn and Winter colour.
Balmy blooms: Plant cool-season annuals at the base of bare-stemmed bushes. Choose sun lovers like alyssum, calendulas, dwarf snapdragons, lobelias, Namaqualand daisies, phlox, and pansies.
Bedding babe: Available in many bright hues, Cineraria enjoy moist soil in semi-shade beds.
Pot of purple: Lavender is waiting to perk up your patio pots with an easy-going purple flush.
Feeding and frost
Feed aloes and flowering succulents for a glorious Winter show.
If you’re living in a frost-prone area, be sure to purchase some frost protection from your local garden centre before Winter arrives in full force.
Continue feeding your evergreen, cool-season lawn to ensure it remains lush during Winter.
In the grow-zone
Grow garlic bulbs, which you can purchase from your local garden centre. Pick a sunny spot with well-drained soil and plant the cloves about 15cm apart in drills of about 7cm deep.
Plant a lemon tree now to enjoy Summer lemonade on the rocks!
Veggies to be sown now include: peas, parsnips, carrots, onion ‘Texas Grano’ (short-day varieties), beetroot ‘Bulls Blood’ (the leaves provide extra vitamins for Winter), and good old broccoli.
Green steam ahead
Start sowing herb seeds in windowsill containers. Avoid leaving your babies near glass overnight as the cold chill may affect their growth.
Revitalise your veggie beds to boost Winter crops and give roots added nutrients. Mix in a hearty dose of compost to your soil with a handful of organic bone meal.
Prune back old canes of raspberries and blackberries that have finished fruiting.
Feed citrus trees with a general fertiliser and a handful of Epsom salts.
Enjoy your time chilling out and ticking off your April checklist. Ride the wave of cool-season thrills and all that is up for grabs in the garden. Whether you are maintaining, sowing, planting, or pruning, there is always something to do in the backyard. Life is a Garden – welcome the refreshing Autumn breeze into yours.