HERE’S A QUICK CHECKLIST TO REMIND YOU WHAT TO DO IN YOUR GARDEN
IT’S a myth that all aloes flower only once a year, are disease ridden and only belong in the veld or large gardens.
If you choose superior hybrids with a dwarf growth habit and attractive and healthy foliage (which most have), you can plant a whole collection of repeat-flowering and very delightful bird and butterfly attracting aloes in your small garden or in pots.
Some are very cold and frost tolerant, and there’s a way to protect those that aren’t — simply use frost covering to keep them safe. The only thing you need to do is plant them in full sun, and don’t over water them as aloes are water-wise.
Scale insects — tan or brown oval insects with a hard shell — can sometimes infect the stems and undersides of the leaves of indoor plants.
The best way to curb scale attacks is to keep your plants clean from dust, in a humid atmosphere and in optimal health.
If you notice the presence of these pests, remove them by wiping them off the leaves and stems with a damp paper towel or cloth dipped in a little dishwashing liquid.
Sow some wild grass seed somewhere in your garden to encourage birds in winter. These seed mixes are available in seed packets at most outlets selling flower and vegetable seed.
In the winter rainfall regions, clean up gutters, downpipes and drainage channels, right down to the stormwater drains in the street in front of your house, to prevent flooding.
As soon as dahlias have died down completely, they can be lifted, cleaned up, dusted with a fungicide powder and stored. FEED THESE • Spring-flowering bulbs should be up now. Water them well and start feeding with bulb food. • Sweet peas every fortnight. • Pansies that are not growing all that well, with a trace element mixture like Trelmix or Seagro.
Falling leaves can clog up ponds. They sink to the bottom, decompose and cause harmful by-products.
Remove them from the pond, and to prevent them from falling in the water you can place fine mesh netting across the top and secure the edges with bricks.
Hellebores, those old stalwarts in cold gardens, will be sprouting new foliage so you can remove the old, tatty leaves and give them a fresh layer of compost. They will soon be in flower.
Happy gardening! • For more information visit www.thegardener. co.za or www.tanyavisser.com