Pre-winter gardening tasks.

By Morag Flight

Hymenocallis, Spider Lilie

With the rainy season nearly over, much of our gardening from now on will depend on how much water you make available.

Make sure your lawn is cut and collect the cuttings for use in compost or for mulching plants.  It is not too late to plant a crop of sweet peas before the end of the month. Plant all your bulbs as soon as possible as this gives them a better chance of making a good root system.

This is a good month to strike cuttings of various plants especially Geraniums.  Put the young tips of plants into sand in semi shade and water to keep them moist. Do not give them too much water as this can cause rotting. April is also a good month to split your Hymenocallis if they have stopped flowering. See article in Ndeipi March 2017 for more details.

Blistered leaves, sooty mould, aphids and scale on citrus is a problem this month and it is advisable to seek advice from your garden centre or chemical company as to the treatment.

You can sow vegetables this month and regular sowings at 10 to 14-day intervals will give you a steady supply.  If you intend on transplanting the seedlings, you must sow them thinly which will give you a stronger plant. This is a busy month for seedlings as you need to pick them out and set larger ones into their flowering positions.  When you prepare the soil, make sure it is made fertile with compost and fertiliser as this will lead to better plants that can stand limited watering.

It is a good idea to water the plants individually until they are well established. This prevents leaching out of the plant food, saves water and reduces weed growth.

The correct way to plant out seedlings is to cut out each seedling with its own ball of soil and roots.  Make sure the soil is moist by watering the plants an hour before planting and then again water them as they are set in the soil and made firm.

Images provided by Morag Flight.

© Ndeipi magazine, Issue 109.

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