In Durban we don’t really have much of a winter, but if you are a gardener, July is a good time to get ready for spring. Even if you have an established garden, there are going to be tasks and projects that need to be done before the days start warming up.
Colourful Seedlings for Spring
This time of the year is beautiful outside, perfect gardening weather to make sure the spring seedlings or bedding plants as they are also called are ready for planting.
Nursery people say that spring starts in the middle of July in Durban, so this weekend is the perfect time to get to your local nursery of hardware store to get your seedlings. A bed or border full of beautiful colour does so much for a garden.
Gardeners all have their favourites, but there is no doubt that the P’s – pansies, poppies, petunias and primulas are the most popular. If you aren’t sure which will grow better in sunny or shady sports ask the folk at the nursery for advice.
Most of these seedlings also do great in pots, and will keep growing throughout the summer if cared for. These bedding plants can be used in many places – beds, borders, rockeries, pots and hanging baskets.
Bougainvilleas in Durban
This is the time of year when the bougainvilleas come into full bloom covering Durban in patches of purple, orange, pink, red, white and many other shades.
Easy to grow, drought-tolerant, free of disease and pests, colourful and versatile, they are suitable for pots and tubs, screens, fences, pergolas, banks and shrubberies. They have been on nursery bestseller lists for decades – and rightfully so.
You can grow bougainvilleas in a pot very successfully. Ask your nursery which varieties do best in the space that you want them to grow.
Bougainvillea performs well in a relatively small container where its roots are slightly restricted. When the plant is large enough for repotting, move it to a container only one size larger.
The container used for growing bougainvillea must have at least one drainage hole. Install a trellis or support at planting time; installing one later may damage the roots.
Prune Roses in July
If you haven’t yet pruned trees and shrubs, or cut back straggly growth, you need to do this before it warms up. Cold weather reduces the risk of infection by giving cuts time to heal.
Time to put on your gardening gloves, grab the secateurs and prune your roses.
Pruning roses is not difficult – just remember you are shaping the plant for future growth and flowering. Remove twiggy, spindly growth first, and thin out and shape the plant, leaving an open shape that allows in the sunlight.
Always prune to an out-facing “eye” to encourage an open shape. Pruning to a downward facing “eye” will encourage a weeping or cascading shape. It takes about 40 to 45 days for newly pruned roses to flower.
Time to Transplant Shrubs
If you need to transplant any shrubs, now is the time to do so. The plants are just beginning to wake up for spring, so will start to grow easily in their new position.
Cut back enough top growth to compensate for the roots that will get left behind when you dig up the plant. Try not to damage the root system, and take as much root as you can.
Dig and prepare a big enough hole to take the plant without cramping the roots, adding compost and bone meal.
Flood the plant into the new hole by using lots of water to wash soil right into the root ball and to expel any air pockets. Stake and support the plant well until you are sure it has established itself.
Grow Indigenous Plants
Why not start growing some indigenous plants in your gardens? The Department of Environment and Primary Industries describes indigenous plants as any original flora or plant that occurs naturally in any given location.
Gardening in Pots and Planters
If you don’t actually have a garden or have restricted space, you should come along to one of our fours Household Plastic stores and find some pots and planters that suit your needs.