Who doesn’t love a beautiful pot spilling over abundantly with tumbles of flowers and greenery? It gives an instantly fresh “spring” appeal to your living space. IN this blog we give tips on container gardens and potting soil, with Living Earth potting soil.
Healthy gardens start from the ground up which means you need to nurture the soil with regular and ongoing feeding for a healthy landscape. One of the best ways to do this is to use compost in your garden.
If you haven’t yet felt the slight nip at your heels, you can be sure it will happen soon. Winter is almost upon us and whilst our gardens on the coast take much less strain than those inland, there is still a lot of activity you can undertake in your winter garden to prepare for a beautiful summer garden.
WHAT ARE SUCCULENTS AND WHY SHOULD YOU BE GROWING SOUTH AFRICAN SUCCULENTS IN YOUR GARDEN?
For a start, succulents are not to be confused with Cacti. The latter are part of the succulent family but are mostly thorny and not proliferous in South Africa. They occur most commonly in the Americas (yes, a picture of Mexico should pop into you head!).
Veggie and Herb Pots:
Veggie and herb pot gardening is one of the fastest growing gardening activities. Now days we are often asked to include veggie and herb pots in our landscapes. So what more of a reason do we need to have a little chat about this hot and wonderful trend? In fact there is so much to talk about that we will be doing a two part series followed by a very exciting GIVE AWAY!
What is all the fuss about?
Health is the biggest reason we grow our own vegetables and herbs. Did you know that the spinach we buy at the shops has had an average of eight chemical sprays before it gets to the shelves? We, the consumer, would far rather have more control over our health, so that is why we are growing our own food now!
With a great hurrah we planted our seedlings into an array of different containers we had collected to do this special trial. I am amazed at the deep feeling of satisfaction one gets once you have done a little planting for the family. So far we have had two reapings and have even been able to share the produce with several families. We are now keeping a watchful eye on some of the veggies that still need time to mature before we can taste them.
One of the golden rules is: Location, location, location. Veggies and herbs require plenty of sun, so keep an eye out and see where the sun moves, and search for the sunniest spot. If your patch isn’t too sunny, you can still plant lettuces, greens and some herbs that don’t require as much sun.
We use a premium grade potting mix to give seedlings the best start in life. The potting soil contains a full range of balanced, nutrients and has a large water holding capacity; it is rich in organic matter and is weed free. This has been the difference between success and disaster for me, as soil conditions are so important for plant growth. I am thrilled at how much better all the plants in the containers are doing, than they ever did in my garden soil.
We were a little over enthusiastic about our herb and veggie pots and we went to our local nursery and bought one tray of each veggie and herb they had on offer. Thank fully we placed the seedlings before we planted them because we realized that we were trying to squeeze them in, which is not a clever idea as they grow you know! Then we re-arranged them with lovely colour combinations. That too, we realized was foolish as landscape and design principles do not really apply to veggie and herb pots. We then came to our senses and grouped crops together that could complement each other in one planter. I must admit, we did not get it completely right as some have grown a lot bigger than we anticipated and have grown over their neighbors. Well this is all in the learning and practice of planting, we will know better next time. But as a general rule keep the herbs and veggies in separate containers and combine some bigger growing varieties with smaller shorter growing varieties to maximize the space you have in one container.
So with herbs and veggies planted and watered we were so proud of ourselves! Time is the biggest resource your veggie garden will require and we were ready to give them plenty of that. A successful kitchen garden needs a little bit of attention every day. Watering, fertilizing, weeding and disease control we will talk a lot more about that next month.
Here are some suggestions for July planting:
Beetroot, Eggplant, peppers, tomato, Asian greens, beans (runners or French), cucumber, dill, fennel, fenugreek flax, lettuce (all varieties), nasturtium, pansy, radish, rocket, Swiss chard, watercress, cabbage, horseradish
Well placed garden lighting can add an interesting dimension and transform your garden after sunset. We love and nurture our gardens during the day but tend to disappear indoors as soon as the sun sets. Lighting will not only extend the time spent in the garden, but can also highlight garden features, special plants and walkways as well as create an enchanting mood and keeping your home secure.