Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Use of Water in Your Garden

So we have had a good rainy what? This will now be followed by months of no or little rain leaving our gardens dry and parched.

Use of Municipal water is limited and often rationed and even with a borehole to rely upon one has to be careful.

I always feel that watering the verges outside ones house is a waste - as is watering large areas of grass inside one's property. Grass needs to die down naturally and be given a rest.

The most important things are to keep the vegetable garden going and save the most vulnerable of plants.

Watering with a hose pipe is wasteful and very hit and miss with some plants not getting enough water and others being drowned!

Sprays are the best method of getting water evenly distributed. Sink drums under stand pipes and collect water in watering cans for those small patches of flowers or other plants.

Plan your watering so each part of the garden gets its share.

Make small holes in the bottom of a plastic juice bottle and plant this with the neck protruding from the soil, near to bushes and plants that need water on a constant basis. Fill the bottle as needed and your plant will get the water it requires.

Monday, March 24, 2008

What Fungus is this?

Every morning for the last week we have woken up to a display of these mushrooms on our front lawn. Mysteriously by 9 am they are gone!

I have identified it as Coprinus plicatilis or the Japanese umbrella. It is edible but the fungus is so delicate and there are so few of them appearing at a time that eating them would not be an option!

Flowers to Plant During March

Every garden should have some colour and planting a few flower beds will be most rewarding.

These flowers can be planted in Zimbabwe during March:
Alyssum, Anemone, Antirrhinum, Blue lace, Browallia, Calendula, Campanula, Candytuft, Canna, Cineraria, Clarkia, Coreopsis, Cornflower, Delphinium, Dianthus, Eschscholtzia, Foxglove, Fushia, Gaillardia, Geum, Gypsophila, Helichrysum, Heuchera, Hunnemannia, Larkspur, Leptosyne, Linum, Lupin, Matricaria, Michaelmas daisey, Mignonette,Mina Lobata, Myosotis, Nemophilia, Pansy, Pentstemon, Phlox, Polyanthus, Poppy, Pyrethrum, Ranunculus, Scabious, Schizanthus, Statice, Stocks, Sweet pea, Sweet Sultan, Viola, Violet, White Lace.

With a list this long i am sure you will find something to suit your garden theme.

good planting!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Vegetables to Plant in March

We are back on the vegetables! The following is a list of vegetables you can plant in Zimbabwe during March. It is important to stagger your plantings so that you do not have a glut of any one vegetable at a time but have variety throughout the year.

So in March plant:
Broad beans, Dwarf beans, Runner beans, Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cress, Endive, Kale, Kohl Rabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard, Onions, Parsley, Parsnip, Peas, Potatoes, Radish, Shallots, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnips.

Good vegetable gardening!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Growing Bananas

A small grove of banana trees will provide you with fruit for your family with very little work.

There are a number of varieties to choose from so ask your local nursery what they have in stock. I prefer the lady fingers and musa paradisica or plantain.

Place your plants in a frost free area of your garden and out of the prevailing wind. Bananas prefer well drained soils although rich humus loam is better than a lighter sandy soil. Suckers of 60 to 90 cm can be removed from mature plants and replanted.

The average banana reaches full maturity in 3 to 4 years. Bananas flourish best in conditions that are allow large amounts of nutrients. This enables the plant to produce maximum yields.

Allow a continual mulch around the plants and cut the stems at the base as soon as the bunches have been harvested - use them to mulch the plants.

The life of a banana tree is 5 to 7 years after which new planting should be made in most cases.