Your January Gardening Guide
Ready, set, grow your Summer garden with our January Gardening Guide!
The New Year announced itself with an abundance of rain – what a relief for both plants and gardeners after the extreme heat of December. We hope you’re returning with renewed energy and great ideas and we look forward to continuing to bring life and style into your homes and gardens as we have done for the past 30 years!
Getting back into it…
- If you’ve been away on holiday, you might have returned to a very weedy garden and hopefully not too many plant casualties. Weed all beds thoroughly before the weeds go to seed and top up the mulch if needed. Keep weeding throughout the month to stay on top of things.
- Deadhead summer annuals, replace spent ones or fill gaps in beds with new seedlings that are not too ‘thirsty’ and will endure the heat. Feed all annuals in beds, baskets and containers fortnightly with an organic liquid fertilizer.
- Check rose bushes for signs of black spot, aphids, red spider mite and chafer beetles and spray fortnightly if needed. Fertilise with a balanced rose fertilizer and water deeply 3 times per week (about 15L per week), unless it rains sufficiently. Give rose bushes a light pruning this month to encourage another flush of flowers.
- We have just been blessed with heavy, prolonged rain which, unfortunately, also leaches nutrients out of the soil. Fertilise the whole garden this month with organic 3:1:5 for flowering and fruiting plants and 8:1:5 for other foliage plants and lawns.
- If you’re adding new plants to your garden, plant them early in the morning or in the late afternoon. Water thoroughly before and after planting. It is best to wait until autumn to transplant existing shrubs and perennials.
- Trim and shape unruly topiaries, evergreen hedges and standards.
- Keep an eye out for lawn caterpillar, mole crickets or fungus in the lawn and treat if necessary. Don’t mow the lawn too short – keeping the grass blades slightly longer will protect the roots against heat and dry winds. Fertilise lawn now with a balanced fertilizer like 5:1:5 or 3:1:5 to promote a well-developed rootsystem and continue watering twice a week, unless it rains.
- Also, don’t let your guard down as far as lily borers go. They’re still very much out there. Spray affected plants with an organic caterpillar spray.
- Ants are out in full force now. Take the necessary precautions to control them; you can click |HERE| to read our more organic suggestions for dealing with ants in your home and garden.
- Water the garden preferable in the early morning or, if not possible, late afternoon (adhering to water restrictions for your area) and rather water deeply, less often than a quick sprinkling every day. Water plants in pots and baskets every day.
- Now is also the perfect time to take advantage of summer rainfall and invest in a rainwater tank to harvest our precious rainwater to be used throughout your home and garden, and to help save on your water bill!
- Consider installing a drip irrigation system to more efficiently water your garden – enquire at Mica Lifestyle for more info.
Fruit and Veg
- It’s piping hot out there and vegetables and herbs could take strain in the heat of the day. Provide some relief by constructing a simple, portable structure from stakes or plastic pipe and 40 – 50% shade cloth, that can be moved around where needed to protect more sun-sensitive plants like lettuce, brinjal, peppers and most herbs.
- Give all vegetables and herbs a quick boost with a liquid fertilizer and follow up with an organic, slow release fertilizer like 6:3:4, which should last them through the rest of the season. Water well and top up the mulch layer around plants if necessary.
- Harvest potatoes planted in early spring when all the leaves have died down. A second batch of seed potatoes can be planted now for early winter harvesting.
- Harvest all vegetables regularly to promote production.
- Make a final planting of tomato seedlings. You can also still plant seedlings of beans, sweet corn, leeks, cucumber and zucchini if you provide protection from the hot sun.
- Plant a variety of loose-leaf lettuces in a semi-shade position or amongst taller veg like Swiss chard or runner beans.
- Remove all spent or diseased vegetables and plant a green manure in beds that are lying fallow to enrich the soil in preparation for the cooler weather crops of autumn and winter. Look out for seeds for the cooler seasons on the shelves at Lifestyle. Cabbage, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts can be sown now in sowing trays.
- Regularly check all plants for aphids, white fly and fungal disease and spray fortnightly with an organic pesticide. Put out snail pellets or traps – you can enquire at our inside information desk and plant doctor section for advice on pest control.
- Have fun with the kids and plant some sunflower seeds in the vegetable patch. They will pop up in no time and they grow fast and very tall – just the kind of thing kids like. Birds will also love it when the flowers go into seed.
- If necessary, thin out the fruit on citrus trees and water trees twice a week if rain is insufficient.
- Continue spraying or putting out bait against fruit fly. Collect fallen fruit around fruit trees and dispose of it in the refuse to prevent fruit flies from breeding.
The Pinks of summer
Pack a punch in your summer garden with these plants in shades of pink available in the nursery right now:
- Gaura lindheimeri
- Impatiens ‘Sunpatiens’
- New Guinea Impatiens
- Pentas lanceolata
- Petunia (try the new ‘Baby Doll’)