fbpx

Winter

Your Winter Garden

Despite the cold, Winter is a very colourful time in the garden! Days are cooling down and the weather can be unpredictable, but there is so much to do in the garden, so many vibrant and exciting plants to dig in and so many indoor options to bring life indoors…

General Winter Garden Tasks and Care

aloe winter in the garden season seasonal colour lifestyle home garden nursery plant shop gift ideas johannesburg gauteng

  • Winter is the time to ensure that all tender plants are covered against the frost, either with sheets of frost cover or frost bags, available per meter or in pre-packed sizes. This will protect plants to a temperature of -3°C, while still letting in light, air and water, so it can be left on the plants during the daytime.  Remember to also cover tender climbers and your bonsai – we tend to forget those.
  • Cut down on watering and if you have an irrigation system, ensure that it is programmed for reduced watering now. Most larger shrubs, trees, perennials, climbers and the lawn will only need a good watering every 2 to 3 weeks. However rose bushes as well as spring flowering Camellias, Azaleas and Magnolias need to be watered weekly to prevent bud-drop.
  • Water the garden early in the day to allow leaves to dry and for the soil to dry out a bit before nightfall.
  • Spread a thick layer of mulch in all beds or top up the existing layer to protect roots against the cold.
  • Winter annuals will be in full bloom. Feed with a fertiliser of your choice and pick out all dead flower heads to ensure that their colour brighten up the garden for as long as possible.
  • Into Winter, continue planting more colourful winter flowering annuals to fill gaps and liven up the garden, applying a foliar feed fortnightly.
  • Plant new rose bushes or transplant existing roses now if necessary. Deadhead now, and water once a week. Read our Rose Care Guide |Here|.
  • July is the best time for planting and transplanting rose bushes and deciduous trees, like maples and birches, while they are dormant.   This will give them enough time to settle and reward you with their beautiful bright foliage next autumn.
  • Winter flowering Aloes will add instant colour and attract nectar feeding birds to the garden. Treat aloes for white scale.
  • Weeds will show off clearly now against the dormant deciduous lawn. Use the opportunity to manually remove as much as possible.
  • Continue feeding and providing water for our feathered friends as food is in short supply during the winter months.
  • This is the perfect time to work on water saving and harvesting strategies and implement them in time for hot, dry days at the start of spring and the rainy season that follows.
  • Repair and sharpen tools, install or fix water features, paving and retaining walls or create that special corner in the garden you’ve been meaning to.
  • Divide perennials, cut back dried leaves and replant in freshly composted soil.
  • Tie sweet peas to trellises or obelisks at regular intervals. Nip side shoots and pick blooms when they appear as frequently as you can in order to encourage more flowers. Water copiously.

orange winter fruit lifestyle home garden citrus tree lifestyle home garden nursery plant shop johannesburg gauteng

In the fruit and vegetable garden:

  • In Winter you can start pruning deciduous fruit trees and vines from late June while they are dormant to ensure a good crop in the coming season. Water thoroughly.
  • Cover young citrus trees with frost protection cloth.
  • Water winter veg once a week and feed monthly with an organic 6:3:4 or liquid fertiliser.
  • Brassicas are heavy feeders and need a fortnightly application of a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. They tend to be prone to aphids, so check them regularly and spray immediately, if needed, with an organic aphicide. Interplant with sage to repel white fly and caterpillars.
  • You can still sow peas, radishes and turnips. Thin out carrots.
  • Continue planting seedlings of Brassica, Swiss chard, peas, chives, leeks, onions, rocket and spring onions. Globe Artichokes can also be planted now and are stunning structural plants to add to the garden.
  • Plant seedlings of Asian greens, mustard and winter lettuces in window boxes, pots and planters near the kitchen or on a sunny windowsill for a constant supply of fresh greens for your salads.
  • Don’t be afraid to interplant your vegetables with winter annuals like Calendula, Violas, Pansies, Petunias and Dianthus. Not only will they add colour and interest to the patch, pots and planter boxes, but they will also help to repel insect pests and attract beneficial insects – the beauty of companion plants!
  • Continue staking and guiding peas, broad beans and Brussels sprouts.
  • Cut back overgrown evergreen herbs like rosemary and thyme.
  • If you have a worm farm, move it to a warmer, protected space as the worms are sensitive to cold.
  • Near the end of Winter, plan and prepare beds for spring vegetables. Enrich the soil quality and add to the nitrogen content by planting a green manure, like lucerne or clover now and digging it into the soil when it starts to flower.  Alternatively dig in a thick layer of compost.  Try a combination of the brand new 3Sixty Compost and 3Sixty Nutricast to turn around the condition of your soil and give your new plants a great start. Click |HERE| to learn more about our new 3Sixty products and why composting is so important.
  • Plant another batch of cabbage and lettuce and do a last sowing of peas (click |HERE| to learn more about growing peas).
  • Continue harvesting winter veg.
  • Brassicas tend to be prone to aphids, so check them regularly and spray immediately, if needed, with an organic aphicide. Feed  fortnightly with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
  • Water the vegetable garden thoroughly once a week and apply 6:3:4 or 8:1:5 fertilisers to leafy veg and herbs.
  • Divide and transplant asparagus and rhubarb now.
  • Replenish the mulch layer around your citrus trees. After fruiting, prune out any dead branches and spindly growth. Cut off water shoots at the base of the tree.
  • Sow beetroot, radish, carrots, beans and a last batch of peas directly.
  • Sow green peppers, aubergines, capsicums, lettuce, Swiss chard and tomatoes in seed trays and keep well protected. Transplant when all danger of frost has passed.
  • Growing your own potatoes is very rewarding, and the cold resistant variety is available in-store now. We also stock a very handy and convenient Potato Bag for growing your spuds. Click |HERE| to learn how to grow and harvest your own potatoes.
  • Fertilise citrus trees now with organic 3:1:5 and a cupful of Epsom salts (Magnesium sulfate) spread along the dripline of the trees. Water in well. Spray with a kelp solution to provide trace elements. Start an organic preventative treatment for psylla, if needed. Read our Citrus Guide |HERE|.
  • Feed deciduous fruit trees with 3:1:5.
  • Winter scale can be a problem on fruit trees and berries. A good treatment to use for this is Oleum.

Indoor Plants

  • Bring life indoors as the outdoors get colder, and discover your wild with our vast range and wonderful variety of trendy indoor plants. We dish the dirt on our pick of the trendiest indoor plants this season and how to care for them; click |HERE|.
  • Cut down on watering of indoor plants in the cooler weather.
  • Feed flowering indoor plants fortnightly with a liquid fertilizer and water when needed.
  • The beautiful and dainty Cyclamen is flowering in early winter. In shades of pink, red and white, it will add colour and warmth indoors or outside on a well-protected patio.
  • Another winter beauty in flower now is the graceful Cymbidium, available in a variety of colours. Place them indoors in bright light (no direct sunlight) where they will flower all winter long. Caladium are striking plants and the watermelon tones of their leaves are incredibly beautiful in any room.
  • Re-pot indoor plants or fill up with fresh potting soil (Click |HERE| for a step by step guide to repotting your indoor plants).

Feeding and Fertilising Your Garden in Winter

  • Apply a general garden feed of organic 2:3:2 fertiliser and/or worm castings throughout all garden beds in the beginning of June. Use the same for new plantings and when transplanting. It is high in Phosphorus, which is essential for healthy, strong root formation.
  • Feed all winter annuals and spring-flowering bulbs fortnightly with a liquid fertiliser. Water weekly and regularly. Deadhead and pick flowers to prolong their flowering time.
  • Brassicas are heavy feeders and need a fortnightly application of a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
  • Feed deciduous fruit trees with 3:1:5.
  • Feed indoor plants with a liquid fertilizer every 3 weeks. Clean the leaves with a soft, damp cloth.

What To Plant in Winter

Bulbs

  • Plant winter and spring-flowering bulbs available from June. Prepare soil by mixing in compost and bone meal or vermicast before planting. Feed with a flower bulb food immediately after planting and at monthly intervals throughout the growing season. Water deeply every 4 days.

Seedlings

  1. Continue planting seedlings of Brassica, Swiss chard, peas, chives, leeks, onions, rocket and spring onions. Globe Artichokes can also be planted now and are stunning structural plants to add to the garden.
  2. Plant seedlings of Asian greens, mustard and winter lettuces in window boxes, pots and planters near the kitchen or on a sunny windowsill for a constant supply of fresh greens for your salads.
  3. Interplant your vegetables with winter annuals like Calendula, Violas, Pansies, Petunias and Dianthus. They add colour and help to repel insect pests and attract beneficial insects.
  4. Mulch well to keep their little roots warm.

Shrubs

  • This is an ideal time to plant new rose bushes.
  • It is also perfect time for aloes and fynbos.

See below for more on colourful suggestions of flowering plants perfect for the Winter time.

Annuals

  • Plant more colourful winter flowering annuals like Calendula, Viola, Pansy, Primula, Primrose, Petunia, Bellis perennis, Snapdragons and Ornamental Kale, Iceland Poppies, Cineraria, Nemesia, Dianthus, Virginia Stocks, Linaria, Alyssum, Phlox.
  • Pick flowers and dead head regularly to encourage continuous flowering.

Seeds to Sow in Winter

Vegetables:

  1. You can still sow peas, radishes and turnips. Thin out carrots.
  2. Plant another batch of cabbage and lettuce and do a last sowing of peas (click |HERE| to learn more about growing peas).
  3. In August, Sow beetroot, radish, carrots, beans and a last batch of peas directly.
  4. Sow green peppers, aubergines, capsicums, lettuce, Swiss chard and tomatoes in seed trays and keep well protected.  Transplant when all danger of frost has passed.
  5. Plant seed potatoes now.

If you are new to sowing seeds or need some guidance on how to sow and understand seed packets, click |HERE| to read our seed sowing guide.

Flowering Plants for Your Winter Garden

These plants will add colour to your garden, come the cold winter months:

  • Annuals to plant include: Ornamental Kale, Iceland Poppies, Cineraria, Calendula, Snapdragons, Nemesia, Pansy, Viola, Petunia, Dianthus, Primrose, Primula malacoides, Virginian Stocks, Linaria, Alyssum, Bellis perennis, Phlox
  • Groundcovers for winter include: Vygies, Arctotis, Gazanias
  • Shrubs ideal for Winter include: Camellia japonica, Azalea spp, Erica spp, Leptospermum spp, Leucadendron spp, Chaenomeles spp (Flowering  Quince), Coleonema pulchrum, Mahonia lomariifolia, Buddleja auriculata, Chamaelaucium  spp (Geraldton Wax), Hypoestes aristata, Pelargonium peltatum, Pelargonium zonal
  • Perennials Perfect for now… Aloe spp, Crassula spp, Euryops pectinatus, Kalanchoe, Bergenia, Hellebores, Kniphofia praecox
  • Climbers worth clambering for: Gelsemium sempervirens

Winter is Hardscaping and Maintenance Time

lifestyle home garden bird feeder food seed johannesburg gauteng nursery plant shop feathered friends

  • Install birdbaths, water features and statues or drain and fix leaky water features and faulty pumps. Top up bird feeders regularly.
  • Repair damaged garden tools and service and sharpen pruning tools in preparation for the big prune!
  • Construct the paths and lay the paving you’ve been meaning to.
  • Fix and paint sheds and fences.
  • Find a cosy corner in the wonderful winter sun and work on ideas and plans for the upcoming Spring season!

Winter Gardening Tools

Visit us to see the wide array of Pruning tools, Hardscaping and Maintenance equipment available from Lifestyle Home Garden and MICA.

Click |HERE| to view our latest leaflet, with promotions on Bird feeders and bird seed.

mica hardware tools maintenance hardscaping landscaping lifestyle home garden watering can loppers saceteurs

In Winter you will find the following helpful around the garden:

Secateurs, Schnipp Schnapp, Loppers, Hedge clippers, Gardener’s saws, Gloves, Watering cans, and a solid wheelbarrow for some heavy hauling.

Share this: