Garden Day 2022 finally arrives this Sunday, 9 October. In celebration of all things gardening, Garden Day’s Flower Crown Ambassador and Babylonstoren master Gardener Gundula Deutschlander has put together some garden tips for you:


1) What tips would you give a rookie who wants to start their own garden?

Think about how would you like to engage with your garden? What is its purpose?

Take note of your specific environmental challenges (predominant wind direction, difference between winter and summer sun, soil condition, access to water, marauding animals, nosey neighbours) to access the most practical ways to create your safe haven. 

Your soil is your foundation and so worth investing time and effort into.  Show your garden love by keeping an earthworm farm or making your own compost and your garden will respond in kindness.

Mulch with any available material to help keep your soil as moisture retentive as possible and also to help stabilise the soils’ temperature and to keep the micro-organisms in soil active and alive.

Work towards a vision that’s makes your garden loveable and fun, it’s going to be a process, but that’s what’s so enjoyable.


2) What are the benefits of growing your own vegetables?

They will feed you mentally and physically as there is the pleasure of picking fresh and flavoursome food. You can also grow interesting varieties that are often not found in shops. If you add sufficient compost and organic fertilizer, you can be reassured you will be receiving proper nutritional value from your own vegetables that most commercially grown vegetables do not necessary provide.


3) What are the best vegetables to plant this time of year?

Sow now solanums: tomatoes, aubergine, peppers . The cucurbits: melons, marrows, cucumbers and pumpkins. Beans and maize. Chard, lettuce and herbs can also be planted.


4) Tips for starting a vegetable garden.

  • Start small and with good soil.
  • Choose a sunny spot. Vegetables need a lot of sun.
  • Make use of good quality seeds and space them correctly.
  • Mulch well, especially with summer on its way. It will keep your soil moist and will serve as an extra source of food.


5) Tips for creating an urban garden space.

  • Observe your surroundings to assess what you have and how you can use it.
  • Be creative by using old buckets and tyres. You can also think of vertical gardens, but start small.
  • Open your mind to study nature and expose yourself to garden design.


Gundula’s gardening tips for small spaces:

Smrithi Rao

1) Choose your plants wisely

Some plants like the butterfly bush (gauras) or roses have beautiful flowering times but need high maintenance. Others involve using technical skills like espaliering of fruit trees, but it is so rewarding. There are plants that stay evergreen and grow slowly like the popular spekboom or many kinds of aloes. Do some research and see what grows well in your area to make sure every plant that you choose has a functional role in your garden.


2) Use pots

They make beautiful displays and you can play with the collection of plants you use in them. Also, they can add height when placed inside flower beds.


3) Think out of the box

Vertical or hanging plants can be an interesting addition in small spaces.


4) Invite nature in

Use your garden to create a haven for butterflies, birds, bees and other insects by using things like water. The sound of running water is so soothing and little creatures like frogs can help you control those mosquitoes and flies in the summer.

Photo by Geraldine Dukes on Unsplash

Feature image: Kaufmann Mercantile on Unsplash 


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Tips to make your garden more sustainable