The rains are upon us and the most important thing to do is to try and encourage the water flowing off your roof (which is the biggest catchment area on your property) to your water tank. You can buy plastic piping or gutters at about 4 inches/10cm in diameter. Then measure the length from your source of water/gutter to the lowest point or tank (lower than ground level, so that the water just flows in the pipe or is gravity fed). Then you can pump the water out of your tank to your vegetable garden, flowerbeds, orchids and your lawns.
This is also the time to sow your summer seeds; never forget the good old Marigolds!
They are very smelly, as you know, but they are ideal for keeping all the insects, worms and other flower destroyers at bay, plus they have the added advantage of cleansing the soil and keeping the worms and the like away from the plants that help you to beautify your gardens.
Talking about beautification, this is the time to plant your summer annuals to give you that vibrant colour and the “WOW” effect. If you choose plants for colour, do not forget that most of them are thirsty little people. They need lots of water and, need I say yet again? Mulch, Mulch Mulch!
Did you know that old newspapers, magazines and old cardboard boxes work extremely well when they are torn up and used as mulch. They also work very well to hold and conserve the water.
Summer time is the ideal time for block colour planting: not ten Petunias but a hundred will do the job. A border of Marigolds keeps the worms at bay, helps to cleanse the soil (especially when they are over). When they are finished flowering, dig them in to help the soil become more porous. This also helps to get the bed ready for the next planting.
This will also help to keep the compost heap producing compost for you. It is essential to uplift your plastic covering at the first sign of rain, so that you make sure that your compost heap is kept watered. You can use your bath water and any other sources of water available to you.
Do not forget all of the above needs awareness, care and attention for wonderful results. One of the most important things to do to keep your flowers producing that beautiful colour is pinching. For every one you pinch, out you get two flowers to replace. You pinch when the flowers first start growing; that helps it branch into four, four gets you eight, eight to sixteen, etc. This is known as mass/block planting and it is also a great way to achieve a stunning display of brilliant and vibrant colour.
Do not hesitate to call and ask if you need any further advice. I am happy to share – Ann Hamilton King 0772-133 016 or 744029 or 745704.