When my garden begins to smell like jasmine, I know spring is here and the rain is coming. In Johannesburg, when hot summers bring rainfall, it’s a good time to get planting.
Planting seasons are typically categorised into two region types: summer rainfall or winter rainfall. Local summer-rainfall regions include Gauteng and Limpopo, the Free State Highveld, Mpumalanga Highveld, North West and Northern Cape, and the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
With any planting calendar, it’s important to keep in mind that climate is never consistent. And while sowing the wrong seed at the wrong time is silly, hotter, longer summers will also affect your seedlings, and the soil, so be sure to monitor your plants as you plant.
Common herb choices for September are basil, coriander, parsley, rosemary and sage. (Oregano and thyme will do better from October.) Rich in vitamins and minerals, parsley will do well in a pot in the kitchen, but it’s worth remembering that while curly parsley is fast-growing, it’s not always easy to clean. Flat-leaf parsley grows well in the garden and, as an added bonus, it’s known to attract butterflies!
Fruit and vegetables
September is the perfect month to plant tomatoes. They’re an easy, relatively fast first choice and do well in pots (try cherry tomatoes in a hanging basket). Other summery options include sunflowers, asparagus, beans (a nice option for gardening with kids), chili peppers and rocket.
From seedlings to slabs
Looking for a new way to buy seeds? Find Sow Delicious’s range of seed bars online. They’re packaged to look just like chocolate bars, but are actually a slab of soil, organic fertiliser and heirloom, non-GMO seeds. They’re also designed with pots in mind, so whatever your space constraints, you’ll be able to grow seasonal, fresh produce.