August usually is a windy month, with dust and heightened allergies. Although it can still get very cold, occasional snow reports in September has been recorded. This is, however, the month that you need to prepare for spring. We’re not quite yet done with winter, but it is certainly time to start planning and planting for warmer weather. Don’t forget to put out seeds for the birds, which are slowly returning to the garden!
Due to the extreme winds experienced sometimes during August, ensure that all your standard plants and young trees are securely staked and protected. When securing your ties, ensure that they are not too tight, or they will damage the bark/ stems causing damage to the plants.
With water becoming more scares and very expensive, grouping your seedlings in the garden according to their watering requirements and mulching will save you a lot of money, whilst creating a canvas of colour.
Now is the time for the ‘spring preparation treatment’. Your garden needs compost – no matter what the weather, your garden will always need feeding, just like you! Compost improves the texture of your soil and increases the air content, which is vital for roots to grow. Also remember that if you add compost, fertiliser must also be added. This will increase the nutrients needed by your plants, thus assisting and feeding them when new shoots sprouting take place. That will shake the winter blues off your plants and cause them to rejuvenate and grow well.
Cut the lawn shorter than normal, do firm raking, spiking it and supply generous feeding, levelling out the lawn by covering it with a nutritious blanket of organic lawn dressing.
However, only use registered or known reliable lawn dressings, which are available from your local nursery, to avoid unwanted weeds in your lawn. Ask your local nursery what their preferred lawn fertiliser of choice is. There are many good, reliable products available that will wake your lawn up from its winter sleep. This is normally done in August, while September is still fine for colder areas. However, this treatment should only be applied to runner-type lawns like Kikuyu.
Give new life to your containers that are housing feature plants (and which do not need repotting yet) by removing the top layer of old potting soil and replacing it with a mix of fresh potting soil and compost. Feed them with a slow-release general fertiliser, water well afterwards and add a layer of mulch.
When preparing the soil for new seedlings/plants, take one bag of compost and a handful of superphosphate (bone meal), adding some general fertiliser and work through. This will ensure healthy growth.
Having a beautiful, colourful garden is hard work, but well the worth. Visit Graskop Build It for all your gardening essentials, as well as your tools. Enjoy preparing for spring!