During the cold winter months here in the southern hemisphere plants still require watering and feeding. Now is the time to attend to all those maintenance chores which have been neglected and by July the winter annuals and early spring flowering bulbs should provide a riot of colour in the garden.
The first of the winter/early spring flowering bulbs will start opening this month and the main concern is to keep them well watered when the weather is dry. As the buds develop a fortnightly application of soluble fertiliser with the addition of some liquid seaweed will increase the size of the blooms and increase the size. Not only does liquid seaweed have trace elements in it but it also helps plants to absorb other nutrients.
Winter flowering pot plants such as cinerarias, primroses, hyacinths an cyclamens must be watered regularly and fed using Multifeed every two weeks or plant sticks as directed on the containers. Other pot plants such as ficus, peperomias, rex begonias and dieffenbachia can be watered less frequently but the soil must not be allowed to dry out completely.
THE FLOWER GARDEN
As the winter/spring annuals start blooming remove the faded flowers promptly, this not only encourages the plants to produce more flowers but also keeps the garden looking tidy and fresh. Feed the plants regularly. Pansies are gross feeders and to produce larger blooms they must be fed every two weeks. Feed sweetpeas with special sweetpea fertiliser or 3.1.5 once a week. Dissolve a tablespoon of 3.1.5 in 5 litres (household bucket) of water and apply this to a running metre of row. Rwmove the tendrils and side shoots from the plants regularly and tie them to the trellis as they grow.
If you are going to propagate your own seedlings rather than buying seedlings fro nurseries, prepare the seed pans for sowing bedding begonias and petunias next month. Put a layer of finely sifted soil on top and level carefully.
In the warm coastal areas the lawn can be mown if it is necessary. In dry inland areas water the lawn occasionally but thoroughly.
Check this blog regularly as we will continue the Garden Diary as a permanent feature