January and February Garden Calendar

January and February are two of our hottest months, plagued further by the South-Easter which dries out the soil. We need to take the necessary precautions to protect our plants. Here are some tips to help you maintain your garden in these hot months:

  • Dig plenty of compost or kraal manure into your flowerbeds & add a thick layer of organic mulch to help plants cope with hot, dry & windy conditions.
  • Mow lawns regularly & on a higher setting to protect the roots from the summer heat.
  • Fertilize lawns with a fertilizer high in potassium to encourage strong hard plant growth which will assist in making your lawn more heat tolerant. Watch out for lawn caterpillar. ┬áIf patches of your lawn start going brown even with watering, you could have lawn caterpillar. Use a pesticide spray like Garden Insects or Makhro Cyper which must be applied to a dry lawn & then watered in.
  • Fertilize your bougainvilleas with 3:1:5 & water well after application.
  • Continue to deadhead flowering plants regularly to promote continual flowering.
  • Deadhead roses regularly to prolong flowering & make sure they have enough mulch. Spray roses fortnightly with Rose Protector & use a foliar feed at least once a month to add trace elements.
  • Control ants, as they introduce aphids & scale to your plants.
  • Watch out for hawk moth caterpillars that feed at night on plants such as impatiens, fuchsias & arum lilies. You can remove them by hand as they are usually not present in great numbers or treat with Makhro Cyper or Kombat Garden Insects.
  • Indoor container plants will need extra humidity to help them cope with heat & dry air. Dampen the foliage by spray misting with water. Fertilize at least once a month with any liquid fertilizer.
  • Spray apples, pears & quinces against coddling moth with Makhro Cyper. Spray apricots, cherries,nectarines, peaches & plums against fruit fly with Kombat Fruitfly. Watch out for powdery mildew on grapevines & spray with Orius, Chronos or an organic fungicide like Margaret Roberts Fungicide. Fertilize fruit trees with 3:1:5 & a sprinkling of Epsom Salts.
  • Sow vegetables like beans, beetroot, brinjals, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, dwarf beans, green peppers, lettuces, leeks, onions, parsley, parsnips, radishes, runner beans, spinach, squashes, tomatoes, turnips, herbs & radishes.