Agri Kultuur March/ Maart 2016 - Page 81

Sunbird on Leonotis kitchen and bath or shower so that your plants get watered automatically without having to use clean water, and plant your trickier choices in a limited area near your house so you can monitor them easily. Ideally, most of your garden should consist of low maintenance shrubs, perennials and ground covers, and there are plenty of attractive options among our indigenous plants. Do a little homework to find out where they choose to grow in a natural setting, and try to find places in your garden that match. For example, many Fynbos plants grow in mountainous areas and Gazania splendens pink Hypoestes aristata Purple Ribbon most of them prefer well-drained soils. By creating a raised berm in your garden, you can emulate those conditions quite nicely. How much can you manage and when? Newly planted gardens are high maintenance, and unless you stick to very hardy succulents, you will need to provide aftercare no matter what plants you choose. If you have a large area to landscape, irrigation can help you to pull through this early phase, but later on, you may find that you seldom if ever need to irrigate. Consider tackling one particular area at a time and phase your gar- Hypoestes forskaolii mass den planting project in three-month intervals so that you never have a large area needing a lot of attention all at once. If you have a reliable rainy season, you may find it easiest to plant just after the first rains. “Mulch, mulch, mulch”. No matter what plants you choose, weeds are a problem, especially in soils that have recently been dug over. The weed seeds get the exact soil temperatures they like, and they’re quite capable of coming up like hair on a dog’s back as soon as there’s available water. A layer of mulch (grass clipping will do) keeps most of the weeds that would oth- Felicia amelloides Out of the blue2