Alright! Here is the first edition of the Seasonal Planner series! We start off with the gardening jobs of Autumn for the Southern Hemisphere, specifically South Africa, Gauteng!
I will be handing over this post to Colonel Whiskers Flowers, who will take you through the steps! *Itallics = Afrikaans words, you can Google Translate them if you like 😉
#1 Where do we start? Well at the beginning of course, jou stoelpatat*! Where in the world are we? Hmm? Highly relevant information seeing as this influences our seasonal and growing patterns, ya?!
We are situated in the highveld region (should you be geographically impaired!). Get the lowdown (or the highdown I suppose) on the Highveld Biome and Other South African Climates & Hardiness Zones here.
2# We have established that the Autumn is falling its way to our doorstep, which usually means general clean-up and maintenance time!
#3 Armed with our biome-specific information let’s start herding cats and make a list of gardening jobs: (Aw, what it this new wordpress editor doing now??? Come-on, I wants a list, why no add button? Ha! It has woken up … hmm, that one!)
- Firstest! Everything tired, old and icky needs to go!
- Remove dead, damaged and diseased plants
- Prune remaining healthy plants focusing on dead, damaged and distressed parts. NO FRUIT TREE PRUNING NOW!
- All that plant waste goes to the compost heap! Only throw away or deeply bury diseased plant matter!
- Requires 1 person, 1 pruning shear and 30 minutes
- Read more about general gardening rules here!
- Next! The soil needs food (or rather the organisms in the soil needs foods). No soil food = no plant food = no human food!
- Add a generous 10 – 20 cm of matured organic compost. NO SMELLY STUFF OK!!! If you can smells it, don’t adds it! That goes for manure based compost too! It has too much nitrogen and will likely burn remaining plants.
- No compost? No problem, get yourself some organic slow-release fertilizer, I highly recommend Talborne Organic’s – Vita Fruit and Flower
- Has Earthworm Juice? Good, gooi dit op! *ahem* Chuck some of that black-gold in there too!
- Let the soil ‘rest’ for about 2 weeks, so that all the soil goggas can start pulling the nutrients into deeper levels.
- Requires 1+ people, 1+ tools and 1 (maybe +) hour(s). If only one person, then 1 big spade, lots of elbow power and 2+ weeks! Ooh, Nice biceps!
- NO SOIL TILLING ALLOWED! THE GHOST OF GARDEN PAST WILL GET YOU!
- Read more about Compost, Soil Horizons and Conservation Agriculture here!
- Then! Zap ’em pests!
- NO SYNTHETIC PESTICIDES ALLOWED! STEP AWAY FROM THE DOOM!
- See my environmentally friendly pest control recipes for a myriad of nasty-control
- Else, let their predators at them! Vat hom fluffy! You can find a list of Biological Control posts here!
- What now?! After waiting for two weeks you are finally ready to plant some winter vegetables! Here is the list of winter veg in the library archives so far:
- Alternatively, if you can’t stand the cold, you can sow green manures and dig those in at the end of the season. Why? I’ll tell you why!
- Easy maintenance
- Builds soil structure and nutrients during the low activity months
- Read more about Green Manures Here!
- So what are you gawking at now!?! Those plants aren’t going to take care of themselves! Go! And put your back into it!