November in the garden

November in the gardenNovember in the garden.
The extended period of heat and lack of rain has me feeling desperate to help our environment. There is something we can do to help lessen the burden on Mother Nature.
Obviously, first and foremost – conserve Water. Be thought full and aware of how much water you are using. In the house for personal consumption, as well as in the garden.


Water
Install a water tank and catch what you can off the roof to use on the garden when needed.

Choose water wise Plants. Indigenous plants are best, especially ones found naturally in your area. Ask your garden Centre for advice when choosing plants.
Add compost to your garden two or three times a year. The organic matter holds on to water and can keep you soils moist for longer periods of time.
Cover the soil with mulch – This can be Course compost, Bark chips, nut shells or even stones. This too helps keep the water in and also helps prevent weed germination.

Try to not use chemicals
Insects naturally attack plants that are weak and malnourished. The secret is to make sure that you have super rich soils.
Just like humans, (we need vitamins and minerals) Plants need general fertilises: N,P and K as well as Trace elements. Use prepared organic fertilizers or use basic organics like Kraal and chicken Manure. Chicken manure is very high in Nitrogen N (use instead of LAN) and will boost your green growth. Kraal manure is a well-balanced fertiliser (use instead of 2.3.2). Add bone meal to your soil when planting as this is high in Phosphorous P (use instead of Super phosphate).

Potassium K is needed for disease resistance and good flowering. Compost usually has good quantities of Potassium, if you make your own, beef it up with banana peels. You can also add ash from your wood fire to your compost heap.
Seaweed products are high in Trace elements.
Good soils = healthy plants = keeping the natural balance
A natural balance means that you can see the odd aphid, but there will be Lady birds and White eyes there doing their job as nature intended.


Choose plants that benefit nature
Indigenous plants will do the best job of sustaining birds, insects and animals that are adapted to our flora.
Birds love to build their nests in thorn Trees. Butterfly larvae utilise specific indigenous host plants. Predators and pests have a balance established over thousands of years.
Get Rid of Alien invader Plants.
These plants destroy natural habitats and can cause extinction of indigenous plant species. This month we focus on Lantana.


Article written by Wendy Wright from Green Scene Landscaping. 076-826-7288 or Greenscene@vodamail.co.za. As a horticulturalist Wendy is qualified to offer garden consultations, regarding the health and wellbeing of your garden. She also designs gardens (Domestic and industrial) and offers garden reconstruction.

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