We’re planting…

Regal pelargonium ‘Novita’ for its knockout colours and neat, bushy growth. It looks good anywhere; in large containers, in coastal gardens, and in the garden in full sun or semi-shade. It doesn’t get leggy like older varieties used to do and it is a great bloomer. The colour range is purple, violet, dark red with a purple eye and a pink bicolour. The medium-sized flowers cover the bush. Plant in well-drained fertile soil and protect from the frost in colder areas. Garden plants need regular watering but allow the soil to dry out before watering again. Plants in containers need watering more often. Fertilise monthly with Vigorosa fertiliser. For further information: www.ballstraathof.co.za

Garden tasks for October

• Plant summer colour. Annuals that grow quickly and easily from seed are alyssum, cosmos, lavatera, portulaca, California poppy, and nasturtium. They all do best in full sun.
• Trim back invasive groundcovers to give other plants room to grow.
• Renew containers. Replace the potting soil and fill with summer annuals, trailing groundcovers or grasses.
• Fertilise perennials with Vigorosa or granular fertiliser 3:1:5 or 5:1:5, and annuals with a liquid fertiliser. Use either pink or blue hydrangea food for hydrangeas.
• Water regularly and spread a layer of mulch over beds to conserve water and keep the roots cool.
• Mow lawns at least once a week, but if it is very hot and dry mow less frequently and set blades higher.

Perfect for patios…

Snack-sized sweet orange peppers are easy to grow in pots on the patio or on a sunny windowsill. ‘Sweet Snack’ pot peppers produce loads of crunchy, delicious fruit, about 25 to 30 fruits in two flushes. It’s a healthy snack for kids and good for chopping into salads, platters and stir-fries. The more you pick the better they produce. The plants are just as pretty and stay compact (50cm high). They just need regular watering, plant food once a week and a warm, sunny spot. For further information: www.ballstraathof.co.za

Protect your skin while you’re busy in the garden with Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. It is a powerful SPF 50 that helps shield the skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays that can cause sunburn, surface skin cell damage and premature signs of ageing. R350. Details: Woolworths. Help block harmful rays with a frayed straw hat, R 249. Details: www.superbalist.com

Relax with the sound of trickling water and incorporate some art into your outdoor space with water features. From R1009 Details: Water Plant, 086 198 7654