Say what? ‘Winter’ growing season? Yes, sure! It’s our rainy time, which means that this is the most sensible time to establish plants, especially those indigenous to the Cape.
When you plant a new nursery specimen, its roots are confined to the little space of the plant bag or pot. This is its most sensitive time. As soon as the roots begin to grow into the natural soil (establishing themselves), the plants become much more drought tolerant and need less additional watering.
Reducing your garden’s watering requirements over the summer will save you money and time, so it makes sense to plant trees, shrubs and perennials while the weather’s wet. They won’t need so much extra water while they’re newly planted, and they’ll already be toughening up when the hot weather hits.
It’s amazing what establishment into a soil system (you won’t believe the stuff that goes on down there) does for a plant.
In the nursery, there are plants that require water every day which become drought tolerant after planting out. That’s because their vigorous roots (which would ordinarily make them more drought resistant) quickly drink up the water available in the confined space of the pot. Let them grow into good, deep soil, and they hardly ever need extra water.
So what are you waiting for? Get planting!