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• 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

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