Add a cheerful and pretty touch to your garden

If you do not have lots of time for gardening, Petunias are your answer to easy blooms.

If you are living a hectic lifestyle with precious little time to potter around the garden, then petunias are for you.

They are one of those rare gems that reward very little care with masses of blooms.

Petunias are one of the most recognisable and popular of the ornamental bedding plants. This is probably due to their hardiness coupled with their ability to bloom prolifically.

There is a petunia for every season and for every garden.

When planting petunias, whether in containers, window boxes or beds, placing them along a north-facing wall is preferable, as it will trap a lot of heat and light.

These are a prime growing position for petunias and will encourage them to flower throughout winter and spring – for up to five months.

While your soil need not be particularly rich to grow good petunias, it must drain well. After planting, water regularly until the seedlings are established. Once settled, the secret behind successful petunias is to allow the soil to dry out

slightly before watering again. This is important as the drying out cycle encourages them to flower more profusely and keeps pathogens at bay.

You might think that this small creeping daisy, with its all too familiar white petals and yellow centre, has its roots in South Africa, especially when you hear them referred to as Madeliefies. They are in fact native to the Mediterranean basin though, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying them to their fullest.

Something for your pots
Chrysanthemum paludosum, also known as Creeping Daisy or Madelifies, produce masses of flowers from spring all the way through to late autumn.

Their creeping nature make them excellent for hanging baskets, containers and window boxes.

This fast growing cutie grows easily to about 25cm tall and 30cm wide, so give your seedlings enough room to spread when planting. They should get a deep heavy watering once a week so not a good choice for drought stricken areas. Plant in full sun, pinch back growing tips to encourage a more compact and floriferous plant and don’t be shy to prune them right back once they’ve finished blooming.

Catnip will add a soft, friendly touch to your garden and your cat will thank you for it too.

Catnip
Anyone who has not yet enjoyed watching a cat go crazy for catnip, has not lived yet!

New seedlings will not last long if you leave them unprotected with cats in the vicinity so try putting them in hanging baskets or out of reach until they have established a solid foothold.

Did you know that catnip is an effective insect repellent? Placing twigs among dog blankets or fresh cuttings rubbed on their fur will repel ticks and fleas!

It also sends other insects packing, so can also be used as a border plant around your vegetable garden.

>>  Expect to find the latest trends in Health, Wellness and Beauty in Ballito.

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  AUTHOR
The North Coast Courier

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