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5 steps to a winter-ready garden

What a beautiful time of the year it is with the fresh autumn evenings and crisp early mornings. Now is a good time to follow these five simple steps to get your garden ready for the winter months.

#1 Check your irrigation timers and adjust accordingly

As we head into winter I will only allow my irrigation to come on from 7am, in much cooler areas I would even set it to come on at 8am. If you have frost in your garden and your plants and lawns get burnt I would set the irrigation to come on at sunrise so that the water will help wash off the ice crystals.

Top tip: Remember to check the water restrictions time table for your area.

#2 Compost and mulch your flowerbeds

Spread a thick layer over your flowerbeds this will help retain moisture as well as keeping your ground slightly warmer during the cold months. Instead of bagging all of your leaves, place them in your flowerbeds, they will decompose during winter.

Yes, it may look unsightly but it really works wonders!

#3 Buy frost guard for your tender plants

frosted leaves

Due to the very late rains I suspect that we are going to have a very cold winter this year as the water table is very high.

#4 Plant winter flowering seedlings

When the temperatures are still too high many winter flowering seedlings won’t flower as profusely as they did the previous year, my favourites are Poppies, Primula and Sweetpeas most garden centres will start stocking these annuals.

Top tip: Remember to plant them with lots of compost and water them frequently for the first three weeks.

#5 Perform essential maintenance of machines and tools

This is something that can easily be forgotten, especially when it’s cold and we spend less time outdoors.  Don’t leave repairs and upkeep until you need these tools or machines in spring; ensure that your lawn mowers, secateurs, brush cutters (weed eaters), loppers and pruning shears are sharp, well-oiled and ready for the new growing season.

The only gardening tools you’ll ever need

Enjoy this time in the garden, if you are looking for some inspiration in the garden, and stay in the Highveld, visit the Walter Sisulu Botanical garden and see what is flowering at this time of year.

Got a burning question? Email mariette@hometimes.co.za and we’ll be sure to assist

Who is Nicholas Spargo?

Nicholas Spargo, owner of Spargo Landscape Consultants.

Nicholas Spargo, owner of Spargo Landscape Consultants.

Nicholas Spargo, owner of Spargo Landscape Consultants, has been in the landscape trade for 12 years as well as being a lecturer at the Lifestyle Garden Design Centre for the past year. He was awarded a Gold for a design at the Lifestyle Garden Design Centre Design Show in 2008, is an Invasive Species Consultant and is affiliated with the South African Green Industries Council.

Landscaping and education are very close to his heart.


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