Winter Is Coming!

We all recognise the quote “Winter is coming” from the famous "Game of Thrones" series and if you have not watched it, perhaps it would make for a great winter treat! Luckily our South African winters are just a few months unlike in the series where they last for years and years!
Over the years, the South African winters have not been prone to producing snow, however lately the high-lying areas in certain provinces get to experience the wonder and beauty of snow, whereas a number of other areas are prone to frost . To prepare your garden for winter is a project that needs to start now, in autumn already as winter is slowly gaining upon us.
Vegetables and flowers can still be grown successfully in winter! More options are to grow inside on windowsills or simply as microgreens. We will go through some varieties best suited for our winters and some practices that will benefit your garden this special time of the year that makes us all just want to be warm and snuggled up inside of our homes.  
Wintertime is the perfect opportunity to move plants or trees in your garden, if they are in an ill-suited spot. Plan the outlay of your garden now so that you can prepare the holes for replanting.
The best fertilizer to put in the holes before planting is the Talborne organics Vita Bone Phos. The reason it needs to be put inside the hole before planting is that it does not move through the soil easily and needs to be close to the roots to be absorbed, as its excellent for root development.
Wintertime is also a great time for pruning your shrubs and trees, which can then grow with new vigour in the spring months. Also, your plants need the maximum light you can give them in your garden so its best to trim back overgrowing branches and climbers and shrubs that grow wilder and create more shade. To assist you in that task have a look at our range of scissors - they are adequate to cut most shrubs and thin tree branches can be cut by the PST-8.
The uptake of water and the movement of fluids in plants itself is very minimal in winter as plant growth slows down. But weeds will flourish with the rain and cooler weather and there will be no stopping them. You can use the Biogrow Finalsan, which is a natural herbicide that kills annual weeds, moss and algae. It does not stain bricks or pavements and in fact, occurs naturally in plants.
Mulching might be an option for the areas that get severe frost and harsh winds in the cold months to prevent the soil from getting too cold and the strong winds removing the topsoil. When planting vegetables for the winter make sure they are not in a shady spot as they will need to get the full benefit from the few hours sun that they might receive. When planting annual flowers for the winter make sure that they are best suited for the winter season. Annuals will bring wonderful colour to your garden; to spruce it up!
Not sure of what to plant? The following vegetables will be great for sowing now for the wintertime: Cauliflower, Carrots, Broad beans, Kale, Microgreens, Onions, Radishes and Snap Peas.  Fruit trees such as Apples, Pears and Peaches as well as Nectarines are also great to plant in winter.  
Microgreens are a wonderful winter planting idea, because they can be grown inside and are a great way to ensure that little touch of greenery to your dishes, like soups and stews. A Microgreen kit that has the seeds, soil and tray all in one, will be a great help - And will make a super gift for a friend!
Now you can enjoy your hot cup of coffee and snuggle up in your warm clothing this winter while still having a garden that is functional, because you were prepared.
Winter might be coming, but we will be ready!

About the Author

Adele Siemssen is the Seeds for Africa Operations supervisor.  Adele is a qualified horticulturist with 30 years of hands on experience and loves pets and assisting customers to make their garden dreams come true!