Water clivias sparingly during the winter months to induce better flowering in spring.
Prune shrubs like Chinese lanterns, yesterday, today and tommorows, Buddleja davidii hybrids, calycanthuses, Mexican oranges, crotons, cigarette bushes, deuzias, sand olives durantas, pineapple- guavas, veronicas, hibiscuses, hydrangeas, hypericums, indigo bushes, lavenders, privets, river bells (Phygelius capensis) firedart bushes mimulus spp., ngayos, myrtles, pentas, Cape fuchias, plectranthuses, plumbagos, flowering pomegranates, fire-thorns, rosemary bushes, elderberries, santolinas, solanums, Spanish brooms, bridal wreaths, baby mays, wild phloxes, snowberries, Cape honeysuckles, tibouchinas and viburnums.
When pruning hydrangeas, cut back only the stems that have flowered. Reduce them by ½ or 2/3 of their length, and remove all diseased, weak, dead or damaged growth.
Prune and thin out vigorous climbers, bougainvilleas are often still in flower, so cut back only those stems that have finished flowering.
Do not prune late winter and spring flowering shrubs and trees until they have finished flowering. These include flowering peach, almonds and cherry trees, may flowers and wigelias.
Continue treating conifers against Italian cypress aphids by either spraying them or drenching the soil with a systematic insecticide or an organic remedy.
This is the ideal time to redesign your garden as most plants can be successfully transplanted now. Plants are dormant during winter and will not suffer as much from transplant shock as when they are transplanted during the active growing cycle.
Azaleas can be planted now, even if in full flower. Plant them at the same depth as they were in the pot or nursery bag.
Plant hardy, evergreen conifers for green colour during this otherwise dead time of the year.
Water azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas and magnolias deeply once a month to avoid buds from aborting.
Continue maintaining a thick mulch of compost to help protect plants against frost.
Continue pruning deciduous trees and shrubs that are not due to flower in late winter or spring.
It is a good time to transplant evergreen shrubs as they are dormant in winter and will not suffer as much from shock as they would it transplanted in summer.
Continue maintaining a thick mulch of compost to help protect plants against frost.
Water azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas and magnolias deeply once a week to avoids buds from aborting.
Water Gelsemium sempervirens, the Carolina jasmine, deeply once a week while in flower.
Trim and cut back overgrown creepers and climbers that are growing over the gutters or into roofs.
Do not place any pruned branches on the compost heap as fungus spores can spread in this way.
Start pruning roses from the middle of July until August, depending on the severity of winter in your area. In areas with milder winters you can start pruning earlier than in areas with severe winters. If you are nervous about pruning your roses yourself, attend a pruning demonstration at your local nursery or garden centre. With some professional advice, a little common sense and the following guidelines you should be able to do a good job.
Prune rose bushes as follow:
Mature rose bushes:
Get the overall impression of the bush and remove all the dead, diseased and weak growth. Aim for a cup shaped and identify 3 or 4 strong shoots, preferably from the previous years growth. Cut about ½ a centimeter these back to the knee height: make the cuts at a slant about ½ a centimeter above an outward- facing bud.
Cut these back by ½, also removing the all thin and diseased wood.
Cut out the oldest flowering canes to ground level. Tie new shots to the trails or support system to replace old canes. Prune the side shoots on these remaining canes back to the third bud from the base.
Feed roses with special rose fertilizers after pruning, or with 3:1:5 at a rate of 60g per plant, water well and apply a thick layer of compost.
Spray roses with winter strength lime sulphur and repeat after 10 days. It is advisable to also spray the surrounding soil under the rose bushes to kill fungi.
Water and mow the lawn when necessary.
Sow seed of petunias and bedding begonias in trays. Cover them with glass or clear plastic and keep them in a sheltered, warm place.
Plant perennials like red-hot pokers, gazanias, Felicia or kingfisher daisies and arctotises for colour this month.
Plant ponies, taking care not to plant them too deep. The crown should be covered by about 3cm of soil. Provide a mulch of compost to protect the plants from drying out or getting damaged by severe cold.
Start planting gladiolus corms in small groups every second week to ensure a continued display in late spring and summer. It usually takes about 85 days from planting to flowering time.
Water rises regularly and liliums once a month.
Remember to provide tender plants with protection against frost.
Remove faded flowers from winter annuals.
Prepare beds for perennials and summer flowering annuals by digging in plenty of well rotted kraal manure and compost and adding bone meal or super phosphate at a rate of 60 g/m2.
Feed annuals and bulbs with a liquid fertilizer every 2nd week.
Brighten up your rock garden this winter by planting petunia seedlings in a variety of colours.
Most water plants will have died down by now, with only a few like the water iris still remaining green. There is still time to clean the pond and do repair work if you didt have the time to attend to it last month.
Lift and divide gunnera rhizomes and pickerel weed to replant on the page of the pond or in a marshy area.
Brighten up your kitchen windowsill with a few potted geraniums which can be planted out into the garden in spring. Primroses also make a lovely windowsill plant.
Indoor plants dry out faster in artificially heated rooms, so place a bowl of water near the heater or stand pot plants on the tray of the pebbles and water. Also keep bottle of fresh water close at hand to spray foliage from time to time to help raise the humidity.
Continue feeding activity growing container plants like spring bulbs, slipper plants and cymbidium orchids with special fertilizer for flowering plants.
Evergreen container plants are dormant in winter and need to be watered sparingly.
Look out for flowering succulents and acti to grow in your rockery.
Do all your maintenance work on water features and paved areas.
Make sure that outdoor containers are well mulched and watered once a week.
Take care not to over water container plants, especially indoor plants.
Take advantage of the dry season and do all your maintenance work on water features and ponds.
Do not place indoor plants in areas with a draught or too close to a window with direct sunlight.
Continue watering and feeding flowering pot plants like cyclamens, calceolarias, primulas, poinsettias, annuals and bulbs regularly.
Water other container plants less frequently and stop feeding them during their dormant phase.
Sow vegetables like peas, cabbages, spinach and radishes.
Plant bare rooted deciduous fruit trees.
Plant rhubarb and asparagus crowns. Divide rhubarb plants if you have not done so in the last few years.
Water the vegetable garden regularly and feed with liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks.
Prune and shape deciduous fruit trees as follows:
They bear fruit on the previous years shoots, so thin them out and cut the remaining side shoots back to one third of their original size. Never cut back a shoot that grows straight upwards as this will result in a cluster of leafy shoots.
Apple, pear and apricot trees:
They bear fruit on spores and needs to be pruned as severely as peach trees. Simply shape them and open them up so that the sun can reach all the sun.
Vine: Cut vines back to 2 buds.
Cherry and Plum trees:
Do not prune these, they only need the occasional shaping.
Remove only the canes that produced fruit last season.
Cut back the bushes to one third of their original size.
Clean and sterilize all pruning equiptment after pruning diseased plants to prevent disease from spreading to healthy plants.
Spary all pruned fruit trees and vines with lime sulphur at a rate of 1 part time sulphur to 8 parts water 10 days after pruning.
Sow vegetables like asparagus, beetroot, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, swede turnips, parsnips, peas, radishes and Swiss chard. Water herbs regularly.
Dig out spent winter vegetables and start preparing the beds for summer crops.
Feed citrus trees by broadcasting a balanced fertilizer up to the drip line, then water well.