Spring gardening in South Africa: What to plant per climate zone • Wonder

The season of regrowth, renewal and rebirth is here! We bet you’re raring to get into your garden to enjoy all of spring’s sweet rewards. But before you do, we urge you to explore this article – full of planting advice and tips for the different South African micro-climates. You’ll find everything you need for a flourishing season of growth in your specific area, from plant species and vegetables to plant foods and fertilisers. And if you’re interested, you can also visit our Greenfingers Spring Gardening Guide to discover more tips and tricks for gardening in South Africa.

Micro-climate spring gardening in South Africa:

1. Subtropical climate zone

Areas with a warm and subtropical climate zone have coastal summer rainfall and experience a fair amount of humidity. During the spring months, these areas see little rain and weather that is cold, but not freezing, with temperatures averaging between 20°C to 23°C. If you live in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, this is your climate zone. Grow a gorgeous spring garden with Wonder.

Plants these flowers for a summer bloom:

Marigolds, sunflowers, pansies, poppies, petunias, primulas, begonias, dahlias, and other seasonal bloomers.

Plant these vegetables for a summer harvest:

Beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrots, maize, cucumber, eggplants, lettuce, parsnips, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, radish, swiss chard, spinach, tomatoes, and chillies.

Maintenance focus:

Prune back overgrown hedges and shrubs. Also keep an eye on weeds as gardens tend to see a resurgence of them in spring.

Highlight of the spring garden:

With so many veggies thriving in the subtropical climate, the vegetable garden is definitely a highlight during the spring months. Maize, kidney beans or runner beans and pumpkins are companion plants, so are good to grow together. You can start by planting maize in rows about 60cm apart and 5cm deep. And once the seeds start to germinate and grow, you can interplant the rows with beans, squash, and other salad veggies. (Before you get going with your veggie garden, remember to prepare the soil first! Read our blog post for soil prep tips.)

2. Mediterranean climate zone

Spring gardening in South Africa looks a little different when we get to the Mediterranean climate zone, which covers the Western Cape and neighbouring areas. This zone experiences coastal winter rainfall and takes a while to warm up in spring. The more inland parts tend to see temperatures below freezing as well as frost-covered lawns and garden beds. As the dry heat sets in, gardeners return to the garden to plant herbs, vegetables and flowering shrubs.

Plants these flowers for a summer bloom:

Lavender, arum lilies, pincushions, clivias, dahlias, chamelaucium, arctotis, gazanias, blue felicias, plectranthus, and scabiosas. (Before planting, be sure to balance the soil’s acidity levels with Wonder Agricultural Lime.)

Plant these vegetables for a summer harvest:

Beans (climbing), beetroot, celery, maize, cucumber, eggplants, lettuce, parsnips, peppers, potatoes, radishes, pumpkin, tomatoes, and artichokes.

Maintenance focus:

Prune, treat, and mulch perennials like gardenias, fuchsias and azaleas. Wonder Iron Chelate and nitrogen-rich Wonder Fruit & Flower fertiliser will come in handy for this process.

Highlight of the spring garden:

In Mediterranean climate zones, spring is the season of white arum lilies! Propagate existing arums by dividing the bulbs and replanting them on the south-facing side of your garden. Arum lilies like cool areas, but direct sunlight. So for optimal growth, plant yours in moist soil in an area that receives full sun for most of the day.

3. Semi-arid climate zone

The inland Karoo and Highveld areas experience summer rainfall and extreme day-to-night temperatures. In spring, this climate zone is recovering from a winter dry period. (If you live in Gauteng or the Freestate, we are sure you’re no stranger to the winter drought.) As spring rolls around, these areas recover from the excessive dryness and see a resurgence of greenery.

Plants these flowers for a summer bloom:

Sweet violets, carpet geraniums, columbines, sunflowers, clivias, petunias, impatiens, begonias, gazania, dianthus, delphiniums, alyssum, salvia varieties, and marigolds. (Keep your newly planted flowers happy with Wonder Kelp – an organic plant growth stimulant.)

Plant these vegetables for a summer harvest:

Asparagus, beans, beetroot, carrots, celery, maize, cucumber, lettuce, parsnips, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, radish, tomatoes, spinach, swiss chard, and rocket.

Maintenance focus:

Fertilise and care for your lawn. Use Wonder Lawn and Leaf on your grass, watering three times a week. Also remember to treat existing flowering plants, like begonias, for frost damage. Clip away dead parts and fertilise with Wonder Rose & Flower.

Highlight of the spring garden:

The highlight of the semi-arid spring garden? The humble asparagus. Growing this vegetable is a long-winded process. But when done in this climate zone, the results are so worth it! Scroll through our Greenfingers Spring Gardening Guide and find the asparagus section to learn how to plant it.

Spring is the perfect time to start gardening in South Africa

Whichever climate zone you fall within, there are many seedlings, shrubs and vegetables to plant in your backyard. Before you get started, discover top-quality fertilisers and plant foods from Wonder – all designed for gardening in South Africa.