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Why you should Examine Plants carefully before purchasing

As the winter season draws closer to its end you might be considering buying new plants to spruce your garden up for spring. When planning your trip to the local nursery you should try budget enough time to be able to examine each plant carefully before committing to a purchase.

Plants can sometimes be infected with fungi or viruses while sitting in the nursery so it important that you conduct a thorough examination in order to prevent any new plants contaminating the existing plant life in your garden. A sign that a plant may be infected is discoloration or abnormalities on the plants leaves.

The roots of the plant are a major indicator of the health of the plant. When examining the plant you need to make sure that the roots reach all the way to the bottom of the pot that the plant is planted in. If the roots do not reach the bottom of the pot then they have not developed to the stage where they will grow well in your garden.

You should also buy plants while they are still in bud form because if they have bloomed by the time you buy them then you will not get to enjoy them in your garden. This is especially true with plants that only bloom once a year, you want to enjoy the pop of colour in your garden rather than at the nursery.

An aspect that is often neglected when one is examining plant is the reading of labels. This will advise you on where the plants will thrive and what conditions will help them grow to their mature size. Most importantly you should go to a nursery that you trust, where you know that they will sell you top quality plants and give you the best plant advice.

Ground Cover Plants deserve a place of their own…

Gardens offer a refreshing space to wind down and relax after a long day at work or school. With beautifully arranged flowerbeds and the fresh scents released into the air by the plants, this space can offer much needed peace and tranquility. There are many plants that you can use to give your garden some personality; such as ferns and ground cover plants.

The amazing thing about ground cover plants is that they require very little attention and care. Most will not be too affected by people stepping on them or pets pulling at and eating them; they will simply go back to growing the way they are supposed to. This is because most ground cover plants act like creepers; they grow out and not up – their designed to spread out horizontally and not vertically.

Ground covers are quiet fruitful; some do not develop woody stems or deep root systems which makes it easier for them to spread horizontally covering as much ground as possible. If they spread too far into areas you didn’t want them to occupy you can simply dig up the excess growth; which you can give to someone else, replant it in a different location or you can throw it away.

Most ground covers can be used to fill in gaps between stepping stones or rocks they can also be used as filler where you are not looking to plant in your garden. With general weekly garden maintenance ground covers can survive for many years without shrinking and dying out in the process. They require little maintenance and survive independently.

Some ground covers are not just leaves but sprout out beautiful little flowers that add to their appeal. These types of ground covers can be useful and help to decorate your garden with little effort on your behalf. Ground covers also serve a vital purpose for the general upkeep of your garden.

They reduce water evaporation from the soil, they prevent weed problems and they buffer soil temperatures. They also help to provide shelter for smaller creatures and provide them with substantial food. Earthworms and smaller insects survive well in the cool moist soil beneath the ground covers. This protects them from the birds that tend to feed at ground level for smaller insects and worms.

Some ground covers like the low growing Aloe types provide nectar that attacks nectar eating birds and bees- helping to feed the food chain. Ground covers are extremely useful and will definitely add some personality to your garden.

Best tips & tricks on Organic Gardening

There once was a time when organic gardening was sneered upon made to look like gardening for hippies or health nuts or people who thought they were better than others; however those sentiments are now a thing of the past and organic gardening is now on a rise.

One of the major purposes of organic gardening is that it provides healthier food options while helping to maintain and keep or environment safe. The more information becomes available about chemical herbicides and pesticides, the more we see the harmful effects of synthetic fertilizers and genetically modified crops and then we become less likely to use those products in our homes.

Organic farming allows you to reduce the amount of pesticides and toxins in the environment; due to the production process of organic foods they tend to be more expensive when purchasing them from a supermarket therefore we recommend you growing your own organic produce at home as this will save you a lot of money.

Below are some vital tips for how you can effectively grow organically:

  1. Plan: Have a vision for the type of garden you would like, envision it as you go about preparing the area for your garden. Decide which fruits, herbs and vegetables grow best in your area and find local sources that sell organic seeds for you to plant. Decide on the space and budget how much you are willing to spend towards your garden.
  2. Less can sometimes be more: It would be wonderful if you could have all the fruit and vegetables you wanted straight from your garden however sometimes space can be an issue and also tending to the specific needs of eat plant may be a bit of a problem. Also by starting small this allows you to build your confidence seeing your produce blossom may be the motivation you need to expand to a bigger garden.
  3. Choose productive plants: There is nothing more demotivating than not seeing progress three months down the line. This is enough to demotivate you completely from ever pursuing to have your own lavish garden. Therefore go for plants that will guarantee you some positive results and ensure that you at least have some produce when harvest time comes.

Growing organically is a way of taking control of the type of food you expose your body to.  It’s a way of making the places where your children and pets play as safe as they can be- safe from pesticides and herbicides.

10 ways to maintain a healthy garden

There are many factors that contribute to making a healthy garden. Your garden is your sanctuary and as such should reflect a place of refuge.

Your plants are susceptible to so many elements including the weather, insects and birds and diseases. In order to maintain a healthy garden you must regularly check the health of your plants. Continue reading “10 ways to maintain a healthy garden”

10 Tips on Keeping Intruders out of your Garden

Some time ago, the most exceedingly awful thing that could happen to your garden was someone digging up a couple of your prize daffodils. Times, however, have changed, and today’s green-fingered criminals run outfitted with devices significantly more complex than only a small trowel and crossed fingers. They don’t consider anything like removing hanging baskets by the lorry load.

As of late, an organised gang was linked to a case where wisteria from some gardens in the Northern suburbs were stolen. Also, if a sculpture or stone statue is too heavy to move by hand, they won’t falter to bring a bulldozer or a small crane. They actually wait until you are away, and tell any inquisitive neighbours that you have chosen to dispose of your solid brass Venus de Milo, or collection of gnomes.

We would like to share with you some tips that can keep intruders away from your garden.

  • Try not to plant tall trees or shrubs around a garden entryway; this gives cover to intruders.
  • Utilize Nature’s defences: prickly hedges of holly, berberis, hawthorn, pyracantha and blackthorn. Good thorny climbing roses include: ‘Compassion’, ‘New Dawn’ and ‘Maigold’.
  • Reinforce your ramparts by installing garden trellis and screens on top of your fence; it breaks and alerts you to an intruder.
  • Install a rock drive; you can hear footsteps a long way off.
  • Put two locks on a side gate.
  • Secure hanging baskets with locking sections; one gang of hoodlums customised their van rooftop to carry up to 70 baskets a time, and were making a fortune from selling the plants.
  • Secure your containers and ornaments with a land anchor (e.g. Platipus).
  • Discover the insurance situation; often, stolen plants and statues aren’t covered.
  • Chain up your bin; intruders normally utilize them to climb over garden gates.
  • Microchip your prize specimens.

Your garden constitutes the overall image of your home and you would want to maintain its glory by making sure it’s secure from uninvited intruders. Let’s face it, some plants and artificial features quite costly and may attract intruders, hence keeping your garden protected is as important as the effort that you take to keep that garden looking fantastic.

Landscaping with Ground Covers: For a healthier, prettier garden!

Having a low maintenance garden that looks stunning all year round sounds like the ideal for any homeowner that lives in the big city. Save yourself time of having to maintain your magnificent garden by the implementation of ground cover plants.

Except for looking great there are a couple of benefits of ground cover plants that will make your garden healthier than ever before. Some of these benefits include water retention – this will lead to watering your garden less often keeping your water bill in check and also giving the environment a helping hand during times were droughts are a real threat to South Africans.

Weed elimination- the healthier you plant, the less space there is for the bad to grow. This will leave you with a low maintenance garden that requires little to no attention. Planting ground cover plants will avoid ground erosion making sure you are covered should any major storms hit.

Synthetic ground covers like gravel are available but adding plants adds interest and beauty to your garden and home.

Ground covers are great for sorting out those shady areas under the tree where the grass refuses to grow. Ground plants will add a beautiful touch of uniqueness that round off a great looking garden. They require little maintenance so it will easily take care of those stubborn spots with ease.

Here at Mnandi our ground covers are grown in 2lt, 4lt and 5lt sizes, especially for your specific needs and size requirements. Trust our professional to guide you on choosing the correct ground covers for your garden.