What to plant and where to buy it
Are you ready to do your early autumn planting? You’ll be glad once it’s done, as the rewards can be spectacular! If you’re a fan of organic produce (and who isn’t?), choose areas that you know will stay frost-free and sow those veggies. If your garden needs a splash of colour, now is the ideal time to plant a whole array of lovely blooms. And when you’re planting, always think indigenous!
Fresher, darker mornings seem to do wonders for the appetite, and happily early autumn is a wonderful time to plant all manner of delicious veggies. Do give some thought to where you do this, as frost can (literally) be a killer, and you’d hate to see all your hard work get nipped in the bud.
Many of these vegetables (and yes, we know tomatoes are a fruit – but we also know not to put them in a fruit salad!) will also liven up your vegetable patch with their lovely colours and shapes. So, get busy planting peppers, cucumbers, aubergines, tomatoes, beans and marrows!
You can also start to prepare the soil for planting deliciously tart strawberries (always smaller but more flavourful than shop-bought ‘strawbs’), as well as lettuce, baby spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, kale, celery, beetroot, carrots, radish and cauliflower. This is the cheapest way to ensure a healthy supply of leafy greens for your juices and smoothies.
Many flowering plants give of their best when you put them in the soil in March. Have fun sketching out colour plans, but don’t wait to long. Alliums, anemones, aristeas, babianas, bulbinellas, chincherinchee, freesias, gladiolus, hyacinths, ixias, irises, muscari, narcissus, ranunculus, sparaxis and tritonias are all impatient to be planted!
As a water-wise gardener, you’ll know that indigenous plants are particularly thrifty when it comes to drinking. Intersperse them throughout your beds of Namaqualand daisies, nemesias, felicias, heliophila (blue flax) for an interesting – and eco-friendly – display.
The best place to buy all of the plants mentioned above – and to get friendly, expert advice - is of course your local garden centre or nursery. You can also check out the seeds and seedlings at your closest Builder’s Warehouse store.