General Hints and Tips for your Garden

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

6. General Maintenance in Winter


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

7. Tips for Creating a Water-wise Garden 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

  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.
  2. Group Plants According to the 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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  6. Water Correctly and Only when Necessary

    Most people over water. 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
  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.

8. How do I Start a Garden?

  • 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.
  • 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 centre 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pick your Plants

    Some people pore over catalogues for months; some people head to the garden centre 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.
  • 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 mid-autumn are good times to plant perennial flowers. Check the county cooperative extension office or local garden centre 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 centres). 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.