Hints And Tips

  • General Hints And Tips
  • Lawn Dressing
  • Herbicides
  • Flowering Bulbs
  • Lawn
  • Roses
  • Pesticides
  • Nature's Helpers
  • Prepare for your winter garden.
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  • 1. MAINTENANCE
     

    Once the plants are placed in the exhibition area, use compost to fill up the bag. Broken stakes must be replaced and plants must be tied. Old flowers, twigs and yellow leaves must be removed regularly. The plant should not be kept in the same container for more than a year.

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  • 2. FERTILIZER
     

    During the propagation period the plants have ample "feed". After delivery, fertilizer should be given from Spring untill Autumn at least every six weeks. During Winter give ferilizer only once. Fertilizer must never be strewn on dry plants. We recommend 2:3:2 (22) to be used on most plants.

    Dosage :

    • 1 teaspoon for a 4 litre plant
    • 2 teaspoons for a 10 litre plant
    • 3 teaspoons for a 20 litre plant

     

    Fertilizer must not be strewn near the stem. The plant must be watered immediately. When using a soluble fertilizer, 1ml per litre of water is recommended.

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  • 3. DISEASES
     

    Plants should be inspected regularly for diseases, and treated with the correct spraying program. When using a spraying programme, remember not to water the plant for at least 4 hours afterwards.

    NB! Please read instructions before you commence spraying.

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  • 4. BASIC RECOMMENDED SPRAYING PROGRAM
     

    Sucking and biting insects:

     

    • Redspiderspray 15ml to 10l water or
    • Redspidercide 20ml to 10l water or
    • Malasol 25ml to 10l water or
    • Garden Ripcord 5ml to 5l water.

    Rust, Leaf Spot or Downy Mildew, and Black Spot:

     

    • Bravo 500, 25ml to 10l water or
    • Virikop 50g to 15l water.
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  • 5. RECOMMENDED PLANTING PROCEDURE
     

    Dig a hole twice the size of container

    Drench plant thoroughly in container with water, if possible. Larger containers must be drenched thoroughly with water.

    Mix removed soil with half compost

    Scatter some soil mixture on the bottom of the hole, so that when plant is planted, it should be slightly below the actual soil level.

    Fill the hole with water and let it drain.

    Remove plastic bag or container from the plant and place it in the hole.

    Add rest of compost mixture into hole.

    Ensure that soil around the plant is firmly pressed down.

    Make a dam around the plant and fill with water.

    Fertilize with granular fertilizer once the plant is established (± 3months).

     

    Use double dosage as instructed for containers.

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  • 6. General maintenance in Winter.
     

    Maintenance:

    • Winter is the ideal time to get on top of maintenance
    • Add a coat of paint – to gates, pots & any garden area that needs a touch up!
    • Keep bird feeders full – our feathered friends will appreciate it!
    • Prune overgrown shrubs and trees, a good rule of thumb is to cut back by 1/3
    • Protect tender plants from frost. Frost Cover available at Plantland

     

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  • 7. 7 tips for creating a water-wise garden
     

    Written by: Catherine Browne

    Water is a scarce and dwindling resource, and South Africa is a dry country with unpredictable rainfall and an ever increasing demand for it. As the demand for this precious resource grows, so will its price along with legislation discouraging excessive use. It is, therefore, important to garden for the future.

    Water-wise gardens cut down water usage but are still beautiful and, as there are so many indigenous options to choose from, water-wise gardening should be the norm

    The succulent sour fig (Carpobrotus deliciosus) © Alice Notten

    The succulent sour fig (Carpobrotus deliciosus)

    1. Choose locally suitable water-wise plants

    There are numerous beautiful plants that require minimal to no watering once established. Remember to plant in autumn, after the first rains – this gives plants a full winter to develop a strong root system before facing the dry season.

    The plumbago (Plumbago auriculatastrong) has a deep, strong root system © Alice Notten

    The plumbago (Plumbago auriculatastrong) has a deep, strong root system ©Alice Notten

    2. Group plants according to their water needs

    Water-wise plants need minimal watering once established. And by grouping your plants according to their water needs, you avoid wasting water on plants that don’t need it. Those plants that need more watering should be planted together in a small area where their water needs can be attended to.

    The succulent kerky bush (Crassula ovata) requires little water © Alice Notten

    The succulent kerky bush (Crassula ovata) requires little water ©Alice Notten

    3. Reconsider your lawn

    Lawns are thirsty so think about the lawn space you use and need. Buffalo grass requires less water and less mowing. Just don’t cut the grass too short as longer leaves shade the roots and reduce water evaporation.

    Consider using a ground-cover instead of a lawn like this trailing gazania (Gazania rigens) © Alice Notten

    Consider using a ground-cover instead of a lawn like this trailing gazania (Gazania rigens) ©Alice Notten

    4. Prepare the soil well and add compost

    Dig in plenty of compost as it aids the water retention ability of the soil, adds nutrients, and also encourages earthworm activity, which improves aeration and drainage. Remember to compost your beds at least once a year.

    Cape honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis yellow) is highly adaptable and grows well in a variety of soils © Alice Notten

    5. Use lots of mulch between plants

    Mulch helps to keep the soil cool and reduces evaporation. It also reduces run-off and erosion, suppresses weed growth, enriches the soil and prevents compacting of the soil. Mulch is available in a variety of options including bark, compost and dried leaves.

    The different types of mulch © Alice Notten

    6. Water correctly and only when necessary

    Most people overwater. Save water by watering thoroughly but less often and when evaporation is lowest (early morning and evening). A drip or underground irrigation also saves water and reduces weed growth.

    The wind and drought tolerant coastal camphor bush (Tarchonanthus littoralis) © Alice Notten

    7. Create shade and windbreaks

    Wind and sun can dry out plants. Plant fast-growing, wind-resistant, water-wise trees and shrubs suited to your area to provide shade and shelter.

    The wind-resistant and fast-growing Keurboom (Virgilia divaricata) © Alice Notten

    The wind-resistant and fast-growing Keurboom (Virgilia divaricata)

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  • 8. How do I start a garden?
     
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  • 9. How do I start a Garden?
     

    1. Get an idea. Is this going to be a vegetable garden? An herb garden? A flower garden? If you choose to grow flowers, do you want annuals, which you must replant each year but which give color most of the summer? Or do you prefer perennials, which have a shorter bloom time but come back year after year? You can mix any of the above -- after all, it's your garden. Just one bit of advice: Start small. 'Tis better to succeed just a little, than to fail grandly.

    2. Pick a place. Almost all vegetables and most flowers need about six hours of full sun each day. Spend a day in your chosen spot and watch how the sun moves across the space. It might receive more sun than you think. But don't despair if your lot is largely sunless; many plants tolerate shade. Check plant tags or ask the staff at your local garden center to find out how much sun a plant requires.

    Put the garden where you can't ignore its pleas for attention -- outside the back door, near the mailbox, by the window you stare out when you dry your hair. Place it close enough to a water spigot that you won't have to drag the hose to the hinterlands.

    3. Clear the ground. Get rid of the sod covering the area you plan to plant. If you want quick results, you can dig it out, but it's easier to smother it with newspaper. A layer of five sheets is usually thick enough; double that if your lawn is Bermudagrass or St. Augustine grass. Spread a 3-inch layer of compost (or combination of potting soil and topsoil) on the newspaper and wait. It'll take about four months for the compost and paper to decompose.

    If you don't want to wait or if the area is covered with weeds such as creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea), you're better off digging the sod out.

    4. Improve the soil. Invariably, soil needs a boost. The solution is simple: organic matter. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost, decayed leaves, dry grass clippings, or old manure. If you dig soil (see Step 5), till the organic matter into the soil. If you decide not to dig or are working with an established bed you can't dig, leave the organic matter on the surface and it will work its way into the soil in a few months.

    To learn more about your soil, have a soil test done through your county cooperative extension office. They'll lead you through the procedure: how much soil to send from which parts of the garden, and the best time to obtain samples. Expect a two-week wait for their findings, which will tell you what your soil lacks and how to amend it.

    5. Dig or don't. Digging loosens the soil so roots can penetrate more easily. But digging when the soil is too wet or too dry can ruin its structure. Dig only when the soil is moist enough to form a loose ball in your fist, but dry enough to fall apart when you drop it. Use a spade or spading fork to gently turn the top 8 to 12 inches of soil, mixing in the organic matter from Step 4. In vegetable gardens and beds of annual flowers, turn the soil only once a year in the spring before you plant.

    6. Pick your plants. Some people pore over catalogs for months; some people head to the garden center and buy what wows them. Either method works if you choose plants adapted to your climate, your soil, and the amount of sunlight in your garden. You can even surf the Internet for plants to purchase. Here are a few easy-to-grow plants for beginners. Annual: marigolds, impatiens, geraniums, Calendula, sunflowers, and zinnias. Perennials: , pansies, and daylilies. Vegetables: lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

    7. Put them in the ground. Some plants, such as pansies and kale, tolerate cold, so you can plant them in autumn or late winter. Tomatoes and most annual flowers, on the other hand, are touchy about cold, so don't plant them until the danger of frost has passed in your area. Midspring and midautumn are good times to plant perennial flowers. Check the county cooperative extension office or local garden center for a list of recommended planting dates.

    Some plants, such as lettuce and sunflowers, are easy to grow from seed. You can sow them directly in the garden. Be sure to read the seed packet for information about when to plant, how deep to plant, and how far apart to plant the seeds. If you're an adventurous beginner, you can get a head start on the growing season by sowing seeds indoors before the last frost date. You can buy containers or flats designed especially for seedlings, as well as seed-starting soil mixes (available at garden centers). Follow seed-packet instructions, and place the containers on a sunny windowsill or under artificial lights if you don't have window space. Be sure to keep the seeds and seedlings moist but not wet (or they may rot).

    An easier method is to buy young plants, called set plants or transplants. Just dig a hole and plunk them in the ground.

    8. Water. Seedlings should never dry out, so water daily while they are small. Taper off as the plants get larger. New transplants also need frequent watering -- every other day or so -- until their roots become established. After that, how often you need to water depends on your soil, how humid your climate is, and how often it rains. Plants are begging for water when they wilt slightly in the heat of the day. Water slowly and deeply, so the water soaks in instead of running off into the street. To minimize evaporation, water in the early morning.

    9. Mulch. To help keep weeds out and water in, cover the soil with a couple of inches of mulch. All sorts of mulch are available, from pine needles to cocoa hulls to bark chips. For a vegetable garden or bed of annuals, choose a mulch that decomposes in a few months. For perennials, use a longer-lasting mulch, such as bark chips.

    10. Keep it up. Your garden is on its way. Keep watering when needed, and pull weeds before they get big. Fertilize with a dry fertilizer about halfway through the season. If you use a liquid fertilizer, fertilize every month or so. And remember to stop and smell the -- well, whatever you grow.

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  • 1. About
     

    It is commonly known that lawns should be ‘Lawn Dressed’ in Spring, but few people realise why this is such an essential gardening activity…

    The main purpose of Lawn Dressing is to incorporate organics back into the soil.

    The addition of Lawn Dressing rejuvenates, initiates and invigorates new lawn growth. This  results in an immediate and visible improvement of your lawn within 4 to 6 days. More importantly however, Lawn Dressing improves the soil structure and provides a basis for future microbial activity in the soil, ensuring your lawn performs better for the entire season.

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  • 2. HOW TO APPLY LAWN DRESSING
     

    Prepare your lawn by mowing it short and scarify if possible. This allows the dry dead grass to be removed so the lawn dressing can penetrate the soil more easily.

    Always apply fertilizer to the dry lawn before applying lawn dressing. Plantland recommend Wonder Vitaliser Lawn & Leaf or if you prefer an organic fertilizer use Wonder Organic Lawn + Leaf+C. Broadcast by hand or with a spreader, at a rate of 20g per m2.

    Thereafter spread lawn dressing over your lawn using the back of a rake. The thickness of the layer may vary, but the tips of the lawn should be visible through the lawn dressing. A 30dm3 bag covers ±3m2 depending on the type of lawn and the length of the grass.

    Water thoroughly to dissolve the fertilizer and to initiate lawn growth.

    Continue watering regularly until the lawn is established.

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  • 3. WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE WEEDS
     

    In lawns that have existing weeds, do not mow the lawn.

    Apply a selective broadleaf herbicide (Efekto Hormoban or Turfweeder) allowing at least a week before mowing for the herbicide to act on the plant tissue.

    Lawn Dressing is recommended during early Spring (August and September) on existing lawns. It can however be applied at any time of the year and will enhance and improve the overall lawn growth in your garden.

    A Lawn Dressing application during late Autumn reduces weed growth and ensures your lawn stays in a healthy vigorous condition, promoting it’s endurance over Winter.

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  • 4. WHAT is a fertiliser?
     

    Fertilisers are a blend of plant nutrients that enhance and promote plant growth.

    Plant growth is affected by elements contained in the soil referred to as macro- and micro- elements from the soil.

    As these names suggest – macro elements are the major elements, needed in regular supply. Micro elements (or trace elements) are needed in smaller amounts.

    There are 3 macro elements - nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K)

    • Nitrogen (N) – the leaf-maker. Nitrogen stimulates the growth of leafy vegetables, improves leaf colour in lawns and increases the size of evergreen plants.

    • Phosphorus (P) - the root-maker. Phosphorus (P) stimulates early root formation. It is essential in soil used for sowing seeds and for growing young plants. Phosphorous also enables plants to resist disease and encourages winter hardiness.

    • Potassium (K) – the flower and fruit maker. Potassium or potash (K) improves the quality of flowers and fruit, and the flavour of fruit and vegetables. Essential for photosynthesis, potassium also makes plants more resistant to temperature extremes and drought.

    There are 7 micro-elements, Aluminium (Al), Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Magnesium (Mg), Molybdenum (Mo), Sodium (Na),

    Micro-elements are needed in small quantities and perform a variety of different functions within different plants. A deficiency in any one of the micro-elements may result in growth retardation or deformities

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  • 5. HOW do I understand which fertilizer to use when?
     

    Fertilizers are named according to the 3 macro-elements they contain. If you understand the ratio and the elements, you’ll always know exactly what is contained in each fertilizer bag!

    Fertilizer are represented as follows:

    N:P:K (%)

    Ie. 2:3:2 (22) is 2 parts N, 3 parts P, 2 parts K

    7:1:3 (21) is 7 parts N, 1 part P, 3 parts K

    The percentage (in brackets) ie. 22 or 21 in the above examples indicates the total percent of the combined elements in the fertilizer bag

    SR indicates that the formulation is Slow Release

    This means that nitrogen is released slowly into the soil over a period of weeks.

    SR* indicates that the formulation is Sustained Release.

    Release their nutrients (NPK) at a specific rate over a specific period of time.

    Did you know?

    Phosphorous is immobile in the soil. This means it does not leach readily through the soil as do Nitrogen and Potassium. As such, it is vitally important that phosphorous is added to all new plantings as it is then incorporated directly at the root zone where it is needed. Ensure Superphosphates, Bonemeal or 2:3:2 are incorporated with each new planting.

    Traditional fertilizers contain a blend of the three macro-elements. More advanced formulations may include micro-elements or have other additives that improve and enhance plant growth.

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  • 6. Organic Fertilizers
     

    The term ‘Organic’ refers to products that are not synthetic or manufactured, rather derived from the earth, having natural origins.

    ORGANIC Fertilizers have the following benefits:

    • Organic and safe to use
    • Chlorine free
    • Promote microbial activity in soil
    • Specially formulated
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  • 7. WHY are fertilizers necessary?
     

    In nature, plant nutrients are replenished over thousands of years through by the decomposition of dead plants and animals. This is slow process that has been severely impacted upon by today’s modern world

    The nutrients utilized by plants need to be replenished.

    Plant growth is reduced when soil nutrients are reduced and as such we need to replenish the nutrients to maintain and enhance plant growth.

    Soils vary and plant requirements vary. To ensure you get the best plant growth you need to ensure all plant elements are available to the plant.

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  • 8. WHEN & HOW to apply Fertilizer correctly
     
    • At planting – Always include phosphorous with new plantings - Wonder Bonemeal or Wonder Super Phosphates are ideal. Alternatively use Wonder Vitaliser Plant & Veg 2:3:4 (15) + C (8) SR or Wonder 2:3:2 (14) + C (8) SR or for an organic alternative use Wonder Organic Granules Vita-Boost as a starter solution.

    As per the recommendations on the bag, this fertilizer should be incorporated into your planting soil or potting soil during planting

    • Broadcast application
      This method, which covers large areas well, is used to apply granular fer­tilisers to lawns or to garden beds. The broadcast method can be done by hand, simply ‘throwing’ fertiliser over the area to be treater. Alternatively you can use a hand-rotary or drop spreader.

    Always adhere to the recommendation rate on the bag

    • Top dressing application
      This technique, which provides nutrients to individual plants such as shrubs and perennials, is done by hand with granular fertilisers. Simply apply the fertiliser around the base of the plant, extending to the drip line. For vegetables, place the fertiliser in a strip parallel to the plant­ing row.
    • Side Dressing

    Dry fertiliser is applied as a side dressing once plants are actively growing. Scatter fertiliser on both sides of the row 15 to 20 cm from the plants. Rake it into the soil and water thoroughly.

    • Banding
    • Narrow bands of fertiliser are applied in furrows 5 to 8 cm from the garden seeds and 2.5 to 5 cm deeper than the seeds or plants. Careless placement of the fertiliser band too close to the seeds will burn the roots of the seedlings. The best technique is to stretch a string where the seed row is to be planted. With a corner of a hoe, dig a furrow 7.5 cm deep, 7.5 cm to one side, and parallel with the string. Spread 1/2 the suggested rate of the fertiliser in the furrow and cover it with soil. Repeat the banding operation on the other side of the string, and then sow seeds underneath the string.
    • For widely spaced plants, such as tomatoes, fertilisers can be placed in bands 15 cm long for each plant or in a circle around the plant. Place the bands 10 cm from the plant base. If used in the hole itself, place the fertiliser at the bottom of the hole, work it into the soil, and place a layer of soil about 5 cm deep over the fertilised soil before putting the plant in the hole.
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  • 9. Fertilizer Do’s & Don’ts
     
    • Don’t apply any fertilizer until you have read the directions carefully.
    • Don’t try to apply one or two year’s supply of fertiliser at the one time. It is far better to provide little and often; trying to get fast growth by a heavy application is a recipe for plant failure.
    • Don’t apply fertiliser to a lawn and then neglect to water it in very thoroughly, especially in hot weather. It is inevitable that leaf burn will occur with careless applications of fertiliser on lawns.
    • Don’t continually fertilise lawns with Wonder Ammonium Sulphate, as it encourages excessive top growth. It can also alter the soil pH level towards acid conditions (which grasses don’t like). It is okay to apply the occasional feed with Wonder Ammonium Sulphate providing there are follow up applications of a complete lawn food like Wonder Vitaliser Lawn & Leaf 7:1:3 (15) + C (8) SR.
    • To raise the pH of your soil when it is too acidic use Wonder Agricultural Lime.
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  • 1. HERBICIDES explained
     

    Weeds can be described as any plant growing in an area where it is not wanted.

    Weeds can be small (clover) or large (Bugweed) in size. They are typically fast growing and spread rapidly impacting on plant growth in and around them.

    In gardens, weed growth most commonly refers to weeds growing in existing lawns. Weed growth in paving, vegetable gardens and flower beds are also problematic.

    Weeds are characterized as: narrowleafed (grasses), broad-leafed or woody.

    Large weeds can often be removed by hand, but the use of an effective herbicide can eliminate hours of arduous weeding.

    There are two types of herbicides:

    1. Selective herbicides control certain types of weeds - either broad-leafed or grass-like weeds
    2. Non-selective herbicides control and kill ALL plant types with which it comes into contact.

    Selective Herbicides

    These products are effective on either broad-leaf or grass type plants.

    The application of a broadleaf herbicide will affect and control the growth of broadleaf plants. As such, this herbicide can safely be applied onto existing lawns, but will control broadleaf weeds.

    A grass herbicide controls the growth of grass type (parallel veined) plants.  Grass herbicides can safely be applied to flower beds and will have no impact on broadleaf plants, but will control and impact on grasses.

    Non selective herbicides

    Non selective herbicides are effective on all growing plants. These herbicides should be applied with extreme care as they have been developed to retard all types of plant growth.  Drift from the herbicide application will impact on the plant growth in the vicinity, so herbicides should always only be applied in cool, calm conditions.

    Herbicides are most effective on actively growing plants.

    The solution is carried by the sap of the plant. The faster the plant is growing, the quicker the solution will be translocated through the plant, impacting on plant growth.  Applications done during less active growth period are also effective, however the results will take longer to be observed.

    Weeds are persistent. Most weeds are not controlled after only one application and several, consecutive applications are recommended. Applications should be done every 2 weeks during the growing season and should continue until the weeds have been successfully controlled.

    Remember – weeds are fast growing and quick to set and disperse seed. These seeds germinate to form new weeds, so regular herbicide applications are essential.

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  • 2. Plantland’s recommendation for controlling broadleaf weeds in lawns
     
    • Apply a selective broad leaf herbicide to remove unwanted weeds. Efekto Hormoban APM and Efekto Turfweeder APM can be mixed and sprayed over the lawn using an Efekto pressure sprayer.
    • Buffalo grass is sensitive to many herbicides but Efekto Banweed MCPA is safe to use on buffalo lawns
    • Efekto’s No Weed Lawn RTU is a convenient ready to use product ideal for small lawned areas.
    • Efekto’s new granular herbicide Spread and Kill for Weeds is easy to use. Apply evenly at a rate of 50 g per m2 of lawn and water in afterward..

    Always read and follow the label and make sure that the product is suitable for your grass type

    Herbicide applications should be done evenly across your lawn. The easiest way to achieve this is to use a qualitypressure sprayer – Plantland has a selection of sizes in store for you to consider.

    The herbicide solution should be applied to cover the growing leaf blades to the point of ‘run off’. Any excess solution will ‘run off’ the foliage into the soil where it is ineffective – so don’t ‘over apply’.

    Applications should be done in cool and dry conditions.  Do not water or irrigate the lawn for a period of 3 hours after the application.  Should rain fall within 3 hours of the application it is advisable to repeat the application.

    Always use the entire contents of the herbicide solution, so only mix as much solution as is required. Do not keep the solution for a later application. After the application has been completed, be sure to rinse out the pressure sprayer at least 3 times with clean water to remove all herbicide traces prior to the sprayers next use.

    Gardening Tip: A wetter such as G49 or INSURE should always be added to herbicide solutions to ensure proper coverage is achieved.

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  • 1. Where to plant what?
     
    Full Sun Full Sun to Semi-Shade Semi-Shade
    Ixia Daffodil Allium
    Ornithogalum Muscari Anemone
    Ranunculus Lachenalia Bluebell
    Sparaxiz Dutch Iris Freesia
    Watsonia Tritonia Hyacinth
      Snowdrops Tulips

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  • 1. Stunning lawns made Easy
     

    It is commonly known that lawns should be ‘Lawn Dressed’ during early Spring, but few people know or understand what the purpose of lawn dressing really is.

    The main purpose of ‘Lawn Dressing’ is to incorporate organic goodness back into the soil.

    Malanseuns Top Soil is the ideal product to use when lawn dressing your garden!

    The application of Malanseuns Top Soil rejuvenates, initiates and invigorates new lawn growth. This results in an immediate and visible improvement in your lawn. More importantly however, the addition of Top Soil improves the soil structure and provides a basis for future microbial activity in the soil, ensuring it will perform better for the entire season.

    How to ‘dress’ your lawn?

    Prepare your lawn by mowing it short and scarify if possible. This allows the dry dead grass to be removed so the Top Soil can penetrate the soil more easily.

    Always apply fertilizer to the dry lawn before applying lawn dressing. Plantland recommends Wonder Vitaliser 7:1:3+C, if you prefer an organic fertilizers Wonder Organic Lawn + Leaf+C is ideal. In lawns where caterpillar activity has been problematic, we recommend Wonder 4:1:1 with Karbaril – early control will have a huge impact on your lawn results! The fertilizer application can be broadcast by hand or with a spreader, always use the application rate indicated on the fertilizer bag.

    Thereafter spread Malanseuns Top Soil over your lawn using the back of a rake. The thickness of the layer may vary, but the tips of the lawn should be visible. A 30dm3 bag covers ±3m2 depending on the type of lawn and the length of the grass.

    Water thoroughly to dissolve the fertilizer and initiate lawn growth.

    Continue watering regularly until the lawn is established.

    WEEDS.

    If there are lots of existing weeds do not cut the lawn. Apply a suitable selective broadleaf herbicide allowing at least a week before mowing for the herbicide to act on the plant tissue.

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  • 2. CROP ROTATION
     

    Crop rotation is the age-old practice of rotating crop families. Crop rotation is vitally important to the health and productivity of the vegetable garden. From disease prevention to nutrient balancing, the benefits of crop rotation make it well worth the extra planning.

    WHY?

    • Disease prevention is the main reason why crops are rotated. Pathogens build up over time, reducing productivity and may eventually result in crop failure. Rotating crops keeps diseases in check.
    • Insect control – Crop rotation reduces insect infestations
    • Healthy soils. Different plant families require different nutrients. Crop rotation prevents the soil from being depleted of specific nutrients and keeps the soil nutrients balanced
    • Nutrient enhancement. Some crops enhance the soil – so rotating and incorporating them into the ‘mix’ produces free organic soil conditioning.

    THE BASICS

    Crop rotation involves dividing your vegetable garden into sections and planting a different plant family in each section after each season. A systematic rotation schedule ensures a steady balance is maintained.

    Most crop rotation systems make use of 4 rotating plant groups:

    1.    Plants grown for leaves/flowers ie. Lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, spinach etc

    2.    Plants grown for fruits ie. Tomato, peppers, eggplants, cucumber, mielies

    3.    Plants grown for roots ie. Carrots, turnips, beetroot, radish, onions

    4.    Legumes – plants that FEED the soil ie. Beans, pea’s, rye & clover

    (Legumes are ‘nitrogen fixing plants’. They have nodules along their roots with specialized bacteria called rhizobia that absorb nitrogen from the air and release it into the soil)

    TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL CROP ROTATION

    • In small vegetable gardens, divide beds into 4 different sections
    • Ideally, legumes should be planted after the root crop – as these are most nutrient intensive
    • Incorporating legumes increases the natural nitrogen within the soil, reducing the need for fertilizers

     

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  • 3. How do I maintain my Winter Lawn?
     

    Lawns:

    • In frost free area’s maintain a regular watering routine
    • Control winter weeds ie. Winter grass with Efekto Kerb 500
    • Control Harvester termites with Efekto Kamikaze, now in Plantland stores
    • Get your lawn-mower serviced! It’ll soon be put to good use

     

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  • 1. ROSE PRUNING
     

    Many gardeners are intimidated by rose pruning – when in fact, there is nothing to be nervous about.

    The purpose of pruning is to remove dead wood and selectively ‘choose’ strong buds to thrive in the new season. Pruning promotes healthy plant growth and development. It encourages flowering, promotes healthy foliage and rejuvenates the entire plant.

    Selecting the bud which you feel is the strongest and best allows the fresh, new growth to be its best and to grow, exactly as YOU would like it to grow

    There are a few simple guidelines to follow, but other than that, there is no right and wrong…, so relax and do your best, whilst enjoying the time in your garden.

     

    How pruning should look like - Before and After:

    pruing - before & after

    Pruning positioning of bud:

    pruning position of bud

    Pruning to outward facing bud:

    pruning to outward facing bud

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  • 2. PRUNING GUIDELINES
     

    Pruning is done during dormancy, when plants are inactive, prior to ‘budding’ and ‘shooting’. The best time to prune varies in different parts of the country and our Plantland staff at each branch will advise on the best time for your specific region.

    Tackle your rose garden with enthusiasm and the understanding that you are giving each individual plant a ‘fresh start’.

    Traditional pruning of roses

    Pruning roses in winter ensures that they flower magnificently in

    Summer

    Roses are pruned to encourage better blooms. Pruning is done during their dormant, leafless season. The time varies with each climatic zone. In warm, subtropical areas, prune from the middle of June. In temperate areas, prune in the middle of July.

    In cold areas with late frosts, wait until August. In winter rainfall areas, prune from the end of July into August as the rainy season comes to an end.

    Prune floribunda roses before hybrid teas as they take longer to come into bloom. Delay pruning heritage roses that only flower once until after they have bloomed in spring.

    How to prune

    • Remove all dead, diseased and damaged wood.

    • Remove all growth that is thinner than a pencil.

    • Thin out all crowded or badly placed branches. Branches that rub against each other or cross close to each other must be removed. Always give preference to younger, more vigorous shoots.

    • Remove old wood which looks grey and rough, taking this out right down to ground level.

    • Where a strong shoot from the base has branched at the top into a candelabra formation, remove the central shoot, leaving

    two or three side-shoots. Never cut these strong basal shoots right back.

    • Shorten the remaining canes by a third. Shorten to a prominent outwards facing bud.

    After pruning Care

    • Immediately after pruning, seal cuts with STERISEAL, a sealant that contains a fungicide. Shake well and apply.

    • Spray the plants and the surrounding soil with LIME SULPHUR diluted to winter strength (1 part LIME SULPHUR to 10 parts water). If you have had severe black spot, rust or scale infestation, use a stronger solution of 1 to 8. Repeat the application after 10-14 days. Always use fresh LIME SULPHUR.

    • Then fertilize with WONDER VITALISER ROSE & FLOWER 8:1:5 (17) + C (8) SR*. Apply 25g for smaller plants and 50g for big plants, water in well, and repeat every four weeks. Alternatively, you may prefer WONDER ORGANIC FERTILISER ROSE & FLOWER + C (8), enriched composted chicken manure with a high organic content. 25g for smaller plants and 50g for big plants, water in well, and repeat every four weeks. Always apply fertilizer to damp soil and scatter it over the entire root area.

    • Mulch with a 5cm layer of compost.

    • Water regularly.

    How pruning should look like - Before and After:

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  • 3. Growing Roses the water-wise way
     

    Roses are a popular and favourite garden plant!

    Herewith a few GREAT reasons why you should include roses in your garden:

    • Roses look soft and delicate but are actually hardy, tough plants
    • Roses add colour to the garden almost all year round!
    • Roses are long lasting and easy to grow
    • Roses picked from your own garden are simply the best – whether for friends, loved ones or the home, roses are a talking point and pride for every grower!
    • There is a rose for every purpose and every garden:
      • Floribunda’s are free flowering, ideal for hedges & garden shrubs
      • Hybrid Tea’s produce blooms on taller stems, ideal for cut flowers
      • Bloomin Easy/Paulson rose – low maintenance & low water needs
      • Climber roses are fast growing and cover areas with mass colour
      • Groundcover roses offer a hardy, spreading & colourful solution
    • New rose varieties are largely disease resistant
    • Many varieties are highly perfumed – ask our Plantland team for advice
    • Roses are excellent in cottage, romantic & contemporary gardens
    • They can be planted with herbs – they make excellent companion plants
    • Roses make excellent container plants and a personal, special gift!

    Water-wise growing advice for roses

    • Water deeply, slowly & infrequently to develop stronger root systems
    • Mulch between and around roses to reduce evaporation
    • Opt for early morning watering: water droplets on the leaves/blooms overnight make the plant more susceptible to diseases
    • Healthy plants are water-wise plants! Control diseases and feed regularly
    • RoseCare 3 offers ‘3 in 1’ protection, the quick and easy way

    ‘Some people grumble that roses have thorns, I am grateful that thorns have roses’ Alfonso Karr

    Happy Rose Gardening!

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  • 1. 5 DIY Spring Pest Control Tips
     

    1. Remove standing water, fix leaks

    Bugs enjoy hanging out in water. Any water sources close to the home will attract pests.

    “Homeowners should address any roof leaks or other exterior leaks around the home as soon as possible,” says Vic Palermo, president and staff entomologist forUltra Safe Pest Management in Topsfield, Massachusetts. “Standing water in lawn furniture, plant containers and toys can become a breeding source for mosquitoes and harmful micro-organisms.”

    Palermo adds that carpenter ants and termites can tunnel through moist wood, as can rodents and other animals.

    Tip: Address any water sources before spring arrives. Palermo says this includes assessing any leaks around the home's exterior.

    One simple way to is by cleaning your gutters a couple times a year to ensure water flows properly. Tom Dieringer, owner of All Pest Control Company in Tigard, Oregon, says it's also important to make sure the home drains properly and that all crawl spaces are dry.

    2. Keep food where it belongs

    Keeping food sources near your home's exterior attracts insects. Palermo says this includes trash, bird seed, vegetables from gardens and pet foods.

    Tip: Palermo recommends keeping bird feeders 100 feet away from your residence, pet food indoors and secured in a container and trash in closed containers. Consider adding fencing or netting around vegetable gardens.

    “Common, every day items around a residential property can become active food sources for pests,” Palermo says.

    3. Clean up that mess!

    Yard debris, such as leaves and branches, can attract insects, especially ticks and biting and stinging insects, Palermo says.

    Tip: Clean debris from your yard and also clean under decks, porches, basements and behind shutters.

    “These dark, quiet spaces, if left unchecked, can become breeding ground of pest activity,” Palermo says.

    4. Seal your home

    Cracks and gaps in your home's foundation are easy entryways for critters.

    Tip: Use compound cement or caulk to fill the cracks, holes and gaps.

    "Caulk all interior cracks and crevices versus only focusing on exterior openings and penetrations," Dieringer says. "Employ window screens and close open doors even if the weather has turned nice."

    5. Treat the perimeter of your home

    Spraying insecticide is a good line of defense against insects, as it will stop ants, box-elder bugs, Asian lady beetles, stink bugs, bed bugs and other invasive pests.

    Tip: Generously spray pesticide around the perimeter of your home.

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  • 1. Beneficial Insects
     
    Beneficial insects are insects which you can attract to your garden, or buy from catalogues, which prey on harmful insects or their larvae. There are many different species for specific problems, and more information is available at several of the links listed on this page.

    Brachonids,Chalcids and Ichneumon Wasps

    These small beneficial insects destroy leaf-eating caterpillars. You can attract them to your garden by planting carrots, celery, parsley, caraway and Queen Anne's lace, all members of the Umbelliferae family. These plants are easy to grow, and some should be left to flower. It's the flower that attracts the insects.

    Ladybugs
    These common insects consume aphids, mites, whiteflies and scale. They can be attracted to your garden by planting members of the daisy family (Compositae), tansy or yarrow. 
    Lacewings
    Lacewings are avid consumers of aphids, and their larva eat aphids and other varieties of other insect pests. They are attracted to "composite" flowers, such as yarrow, goldenrod, black-eyed susan's and asters. 
    Hover-flies
    Hover-flies are avid consumers of aphids, and the larva of hover-flies eat aphids and other insect pests. Like the Lacewings, they are attracted to "composite" flowers, such as yarrow, goldenrod, black-eyed susan's and asters. 


    Praying Mantis
    These large insects have an appetite for most garden pests. Praying mantis eggs are set out in the garden where they hatch and quickly grow to adult size. 

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  • 1. Preparing your Garden for Winter.
     

    Putting the garden to bed for the winter is mostly a matter of cleaning up and covering up. As fall progresses and temperatures drop, those plants that aren't killed outright by frost prepare for dormancy. Clear out the blackened stems and foliage of annual flowers and vegetables to prevent the possibility of their harboring disease pathogens and insect eggs over the winter. The cool weather is a good time to make a cold frame, dig and box in raised beds, and make general repairs.

    While it appears as if all activity in the garden has stopped, there's a lot going on under the soil until it freezes. Newly transplanted trees and shrubs, divisions of perennials, and hardy bulbs are all growing roots, drawing on soil nutrients and moisture around them. Earthworms and various microbes in the soil are still processing the organic material they're finding. Most likely, the organic mulch you spread to protect the soil during the summer months has substantially decomposed. It's important to spread new mulch now -- a thicker winter layer -- to protect plants and soil over the winter months. The idea is not so much to keep the soil warm as it is to keep the temperature even. Once the soil is frozen, mulch keeps it frozen. So if you have shade trees, convert the fallen leaves to mulch and use it throughout your property.

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  • 2. How to Prepare Perennials for Winter?
     
    • Cut back dry stems of perennials to soil level after frost to neaten the garden and remove pest eggs and disease spores that may linger. Leave stems with attractive seed heads for winter interest.
    • Compost dead plant debris to create an organic soil conditioner. Hot, active piles kill weed seeds and disease pathogens; passive, inactive piles do not. Throw questionable plant material in the trash.

    • Cut off diseased foliage from evergreen plants and shrubs and discard it in the trash. Rake up and discard the old, disease-bearing mulch, too.

    • To prevent rodents from nesting in the soil, wait until the ground freezes before adding a 6-inch layer of organic material as winter mulch.
    • Mulch perennial and shrub beds with pine needles or chopped leaves. This protects both plant roots and the soil and moderates the effects of extreme temperature changes during winter freezes and thaws.
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  • 3. How to Prepare Bulbs for Winter
     
      • Mulch bulb beds with evergreen boughs to protect the soil from shifting and cracking during the winter. Otherwise plants, especially small, shallowly planted bulbs, can be heaved to the surface.
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  • 4. How to Prepare Trees for Winter
     
    • Protect the tender bark of young trees from gnawing critters by wrapping stems or trunks with wire or commercial tree-guard products.

    • Screen evergreens, particularly exposed broad-leaved types, from drying winter wind and sun by setting up burlap screens or shade cloth shelters.
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