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Gardening in South Africa

September is a busy month in the garden.

Jasmine polyanthumJasmine polyanthumAll Regions

September means springtime and gardens are filled with the heady fragrance of jasmine and yesterday, today and tomorrow. Ornamental and edible fruit trees burst into bloom overnight and spring flowering bulbs are looking at their best. September is a very invigorating month in the garden and there’s a lot to be done; but the weather can still be quite unpredictable, with late frosts in cold regions, so exercise caution before sowing and planting out summer plants.

“Growing Vegetables in South Africa”

This e-book is written especially for South African gardeners and includes a sowing guide. All 100 pages are jam-packed with good advice and lovely photographs; and the instructions are so easy to follow that even a child could understand. In fact, growing your own veggies can be so much fun that the whole family will want to get involved. Small children are especially fond of growing vegetables and this is sure to encourage them to eat them too.

Whether you want to grow vegetables in the conventional manner, or are keen to practice companion planting and organic methods, this e-book offers all the information you need to get you started. If you follow the growing instructions in my e-book you will soon be harvesting your very first crops, and nothing is more rewarding than that first meal, using your own home grown produce.

I hope you will have as much fun reading it as I had writing it.

Order your e-book here..

Common Trees of the Year 2016

Ficus Burkei Picture courtesy www.kumbulanursery.co.zaFicus Burkei Picture courtesy www.kumbulanursery.co.zaAccording to SANBI (South African National Biodiversity Institute) the official list for trees of the year, which was developed several years ago by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, the 2016 common tree of the year is Ficus thonningii. However, recent phylogenetic evidence suggests that several distinct Ficus species are classified as F, thonningii. F. thonningii was described from Ghana and is restricted to West Africa. Two southern African species, F. burkei and F. petersii, previously synonymised under F. thonningii, are regarded as good species and are therefore listed as the 2016 trees of the year.

Rare (uncommon) Trees of the Year 2016

Maerua cafra Picture courtesy www.wildflowernursery.co.zaMaerua cafra Picture courtesy www.wildflowernursery.co.zaCommon Bush-cherry, White-wood, Gewone Witbos (Maerua cafra) National Tree Number:133

Maerua is a large genus with about a hundred species in Africa and Asia. Eleven occur in Southern Africa, and can commonly be found in bushveld regions, rocky areas, in wooded grasslands and along forest margins. It is widely distributed along the eastern side of South Africa, but is also found in Gauteng and the Northern Province towards Zimbabwe.The origin of the name Maerua is uncertain, but it may come from Arabic. Cafra is an unusual spelling of caffra, a name given in the past to many plants from the eastern regions of southern Africa. It is derived from the Hebrew kafri and means “a person living on the land". The common name "white-wood" or "witbos" refers to its light-coloured trunk.

Are you ready for National Arbor Week, Iviki Lezihlahla - 01 to 07 September!

Vepris lanceolata Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaVepris lanceolata Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.za During National Arbor Week South Africans around the country are encouraged to plant indigenous trees in their gardens, schools and communities.

The first Arbor Day was celebrated on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska, USA. Mr J Sterling Morton, a newcomer to the treeless plains of Nebraska, was a keen proponent of the beauty and benefits that trees provide. He persuaded the local agricultural board to set aside a day for planting trees as a means of promoting conservation and correcting the gradual deforestation of the prairie. His petition was granted, and through his position as editor of Nebraska's first newspaper, he encouraged participation in the event by publishing informative articles on the value of trees, not only for their beauty and the cool shade they provide for both people and livestock, but also for their fruit, their value as building material and fuel, as well as to stop soil erosion.

Books

Gardening in the Shade

shade book

Growing Vegetables in South Africa

Growing Bedding Plants in South Africa

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