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Regional Guide - South Africa
Regional Guide - Western Cape
Regional Guide - Western Cape Coast
Regional Guide - Northern Cape
Regional Guide - Southern Cape
Regional Guide - Eastern Cape Interior
Regional Guide - Eastern Cape Coastal Strip
Regional Guide - Western Free State
Regional Guide - Eastern Free State
Regional Guide - Gauteng
Regional Guide - Northwest
Regional Guide - Limpopo
Regional Guide - Mpumalanga
Regional Guide - Lowveld
Regional Guide - Kwazulu-Natal Highveld
Regional Guide - Kwazulu-Natal Mist Belt
Regional Guide - Kwazulu-Natal Coast
South Africa is famous for its rich plant life due to our warm climate. Knowledge of your region’s climatic pro’s and con’s makes gardening easier, for you can (a) choose from those plants growing indigenously in the area, or (b) you could establish micro-climates by growing windbreaks for instance. A visit to your local botanical garden can be of great help and very inspiring. Keep in mind that it is near impossible to classify the major climates under ‘provincial' boundaries, for Mother Nature does not believe in borders!
Nevertheless the more or less five major zones (which can be subdivided into sixteen as in the map below) include:
Winter Rainfall Region: Southwestern Cape including the Cape Peninsula has a climate characterized by summer wind and winter rainfall. The southeaster a.k.a “Doctor" provides a lot of headaches for gardening enthusiasts, but do not forget that northwester, winter winds are destructive too. Summers are hot, dry and windy with winters very wet and also windy. Consider planting hedges or wind-hardy plants.
Dry Continental Region: The Karoo and Northern Cape experiences hot, dry summers and its low rainfall occurs through thunder storms. Higher rainfall, and often during winter, occurs in areas lying closer to the mountains of the south and southwest. Winters are as cold as the summers are hot and frost does occur.
Summer Rainfall Region: Most of Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Southern Cape coast and the Orange Free State have extremely cold, dry winters and warm summers with high rainfall in the east. Because drought and frost can make gardening difficult, try grouping plants with the same characteristics together. This way you could protect/tend to whole beds at the same time.
Subtropical Region: Eastern Cape, Eastern Mpumalanga and Kwazulu Natal falls under this region and is known to have hot, humid summers with high rainfall and mild, dry winters, excluding the southern section which experiences winter rainfall. Beware of planting types that are prone to fungal diseases.