• Traditionally, the first small sowing of sweet peas is done on St Valentine’s Day. Soak the seed overnight and then sow in well-composted soil in an open, sunny position.
• In the kitchen garden, remove spent vegetables and rejuvenate the soil with generous amounts of compost. Plant beetroot, broccoli, carrots, celery, brinjal, lettuce (choose heat-tolerant varieties), peppers, spinach and Swiss chard. Do a first sowing of peas and a final sowing of beans in cold gardens. Extend the season for harvesting cabbage and cauliflower by growing varieties that mature at different times.
• Divide overcrowded bearded irises and plant with the top of the rhizome slightly exposed in a sunny position in compostenriched soil.
• Cut back leggy growths on abelia, Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis) and plumbago.
• Identify and simplify high-maintenance areas in your garden. Keep favourite plants and discard those that are taking up valuable space or have outgrown their space. Instead of a variety of plants, simplify with easy-to-grow, lowmaintenance plants such as agapanthus, day lily and wild iris.
• Avoid digging around the root area of fynbos plants as they do not like their roots to be disturbed. Suppress weeds by mulching, making sure to keep away from the main stem.
• Watch out for red spider mite on the underside of fuchsia and hydrangea leaves. Control with Efekto Redspidercide that is non-toxic to bees and beneficial insects. >>
Bearded iris Sweet peas