A Garden for Every Location

A Garden for Every Location

A Garden for Every Location

In the Southern hemisphere, sparks of change arrest the morning breath with hints of frost swiftly sweeping over lips and nostrils. Up north, the chill is slowly giving way to a meandering warmth – accented with the slightest sweet of early blossoms.

In a bit of an intermission from distasteful politics, Rand Rescue tends to your garden, wherever you may be.

Disclaimer: please consult an expert in your region before planting or consuming any plants.

Hardiness zones across the world

There are numerous maps and planting tables available online which show you which zones are suitable to which plants, including Gardeners HQ.

Germination: light, heat, water & air

Different plants germinate and thrive under different conditions, so it’s important to check whether you’re germinating and growing them under the right conditions, and some seeds require a bit of help to germinate. This can be achieved in different ways.

 – Placing in the fridge for 6 – 8 weeks to ‘mimic’ winter environments.
 – Scarification to remove part of outer shell.
 – Softening the seed in water for 1 – 3 days.
 – Certain seeds can be primed to germinate by treating them with a smoke primer.
 – Fermentation to remove gel coating around seed.
 – Warm stratification
 – Sterilisation through nutrient-free seedling mixes, boiling soil, or hydrogen peroxide treatment.

Companion planting

Companion planting increases yield by reducing nutrient loss and limiting diseases and pests.

Nitrogen fixing plants – Nitrogen fixing plants ‘infuse’ the soil with nitrogen necessary for other plants to grow without sucking the soil dry of these nutrients.

Copper fixing plants – Some plants ‘fix’ copper in soil which prevent the growth of fungal disease and deter certain aphids from attacking plants.

Pollinator plants – Certain plants attract pollinators like bees, hover flies and birds.

Pest deterrents – Some plants are great at deterring pests – whether aphids, mites, beetles, rats or snails.

Canopy plantsCertain plants help other plants by protecting them from wind, sun or flying pests. Canopy companion plants are chosen based on the size and type of plant you want to protect.

Flavour enhancers – Some plants are great for enhancing the flavour of nearby plants.

Tilling soils – Certain plants are great for tilling hard soil or providing much-needed ventilation in compacted clay soils.

Mycorrhizal enhancers – Mycorrhizae are beneficial fungi which connect with plant roots and between plants to spread nutrients and enhance nutrient uptake.

Growing your favourite crops

Below are some tips for germination, growing and caring for some of our favourite crops and plants.


Tomatoes are one of the crops which grow worldwide, thanks mostly to the numerous cultivars available on the market. Some cultivars have shorter maturity rates, some can tolerate mild frost and others can face the heat.

 – Soil needs: well-drained, nutrient-rich soil, potassium
 – Companion plants: basil, marigolds, chives, asparagus, parsley, garlic, squash, mustard greens, oat, radish, thyme.
 – Care: tomatoes aren’t fond of wind, so make sure you stake or protect them from wind with other crops. Avoid over watering as tomatoes can develop fungal disease and root rot fairly easily. Once fungal disease presents, it’s important to destroy the infected plants and not to add them to your compost.


Since coffee takes such a long time to germinate and requires consistent moisture and temperatures throughout, many people readily give up on the idea of growing coffee plants. Fresh beans work best to ensure germination.

 – Soil needs: coffee prefers sandy loam soil and would benefit from volcanic red earth.Avoid clay or high silt soils.
 – Companion plants: soy, groundnuts, kale, beans
 – Care: coffee requires high humidity, moist soil and bright indirect light.


Apple trees are usually grown from cuttings since apple tree seeds are a bit of a gamble. The problem is that each apple tree requires pollen from a different variety of apple tree to bear fruit which means your final fruit probably won’t resemble the one you got the seed from.

 – Soil needs: loamy soil which is slightly acidic benefits apples
 – Companion plants: comfrey, nasturtium, chamomile, basil, lemongrass, coriander, dill, rose
 – Care: apple trees require trimming each year and also require pollinators to produce fruit.


Fennel is a bit of an odd guy out. While fennel can be highly beneficial for your garden, it’s important not to plant it in the same bedding as other plants since fennel is allelopathic which means it inhibits the growth of other plants or cause them to bolt prematurely and die off.

 – Soil needs: rich, well-drained composted soil
 – Companion plants: since fennel can kill other plants, there are few plants it can grow with. Peas, lettuce, cucumber and sage are some of the companion plants.
 – Care: fennel can grow quite big, so be sure to give them sufficient space with at least 6 hours of sun per day.


Most of us have germinated avo from seed, but since these trees take so long to grow, we’re often baffled when they produce fruit which won’t ripen, or no fruit at all. That’s because avo’s require male and female flowers for pollination and yet not all types of avo trees have the same flower varieties.

 – Soil needs: avo likes well-drained sandy soil which is slightly acidic.
 – Companion plants: strawberry, garlic, comfrey, lavender, sweet potato, melons, squash, rosemary, nasturtiums, banana
 – Care: shelter avo trees from wind and allow for dappled sunlight until the tree is established. Provide frequent fertiliser given the soil drainage requirements.


Strawberries grow well once established, but it can be quite difficult to germinate the seeds and find the right spot in the garden for them.

 – Soil needs: well-drained, fertile soil.
 – Companion plants: cucumber, dill, marigolds, melon, mint, pole beans, clover, nasturtiums.
 – Care: strawberries require regular watering, but are also sensitive to high heat and birds. The best idea is to plant your strawberries under shade netting and provide a drip-watering system. Mulching around strawberries helps retain moisture in the soil.


Garlic is usually cultivated from bulbs or cloves since garlic flowers are so small and fragile that they often fade before they can produce any seed. To get proper seed, you need the right climate and cultivar for the plant to produce flower stalks.

 – Soil needs: well-drained organic matter.
 – Companion plants: tomatoes, fruit trees, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, dill, beet, spinach, eggplant
 – Care: while garlic doesn’t grow as deep as some other plants, the bulbs still require sufficient space and depth to develop as the roots can often push the bulbs above the ground surface.

Helpful weeds

While it’s good to get rid of weeds which drain the soil of nutrients, certain plants we consider ‘weeds’ are actually highly beneficial and nutritious.


Dandelions are not only highly nutritious, but readily available. Moreover, they act as pollinators and their long taproots are perfect tillers for your garden. Dandelions can be eaten raw or cooked.


Lambsquarters are one of the most common weeds in gardens throughout the world and are often weeded out because they proliferate so easily. Lambsquarters contain about 42% more protein as well as far more iron, beta carotene, calcium and vitamin C than most any plants in your garden.

Stinging nettle

While they may not be easy to handle, nettles are marvellous for your yard and kitchen. Nettles are one of the few plants that rodents avoid at all costs, and they can easily be washed or cooked to get rid of the prickly leaves – making it a healthy and readily available plant..

The green grass across the border…

While many South Africans are looking for ways to reduce their living costs it’s good to keep in mind that there truly is green grass across the border where you can flourish without all the hassle. If you’re considering emigration, talk to Rand Rescue about your needs and we’ll get back to you to discuss all your options.

Tired of being caught out by the Rand’s movements against the Dollar, Euro and Pound? Or just wanting to get a better idea of where the Rand is going in these markets to rescue your Rands at the right time? Then we have the answer for you. Rand Rescue has partnered with Dynamic Outcomes Rand Forecasting Service to provide a full 14-day Free Trial of their forecasting service of the Rand vs Dollar, Euro and Pound. Get a clear, emotion-free and objective view of the Rand’s value today.

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