This week we are looking at a couple of things we can do to protect the garden. Often by the time we realise there is a problem it is too late to do anything about it.
One thing to think about – although not a vegetable growing tip - now is the best time to treat prickles in the lawn – especially that nasty Onehunga Prickle. Most hardened kiwi kids can master the careful walk across an infested lawn barefoot in the height of summer with their toes curled for the least risk.
There are a couple of places local to us where there is a huge prickle problem and I tell the kids not to walk on that grass. And I do a shoe inspection before anyone gets out of the car to make sure there are no prickles on the bottom of shoes.
But it doesn’t have to be that way – the best time to treat these weeds is now when they are actively growing before the prickles appear.
You can find out more >HERE<
Now is also a good time to treat apples and pears to keep codling moth out of your fruit. There is nothing worse than cutting into a juicy apple and find someone else has beaten you to it. You can just chop the bad bit out and still eat the fruit, but it is always better not to have to do that. Action should be taken as soon as the petals start to fall. You can spray with Yates Success Ultra. In autumn you can trap them by wrapping cardboard around the trunk of the tree. You can find out more about what to do >HERE<
Keep a close eye on your seedlings in their containers. For most it is still way too cold to plant outside, and they can tell you it is cold by rolling their leaves or showing a purple colour. These all go back to normal when it warms up again.
Lift up the pots and check to see if you can see roots coming out the bottom. This is a sign they need to be moved into larger pots. If they stay in pots that are too small for too long, it can stall their growth as they run out of space and nutrients. Some may need repotting a couple of times before eventually being planted out in the garden.
Take care when transplanting to avoid holding them by the stem as if this is damaged it can cause long term harm to the plant. If a leaf or fragment of root gets damaged the plant can grow more.
My favourite thing of the week this week was to see my >Behemoth Giant Pumpkin< seeds have germinated. It looks like they will need to go straight from the seed raising mix into one of my large sized transplant pots – they are huge! These seeds are aimed at kids, and I used to get mine to have a competition with them. But all they would do it plant the seeds with all the competitive banter about how they would beat each other. Then they would neglect it completely until harvest time – except when I got them to plant out the seedlings, so they knew where they were. There was always a discussion as to who actually had the largest as the vines crossed all over each other, so they’d have to follow it back. Our biggest was 72kgs. Fun times. Now I grow them because I want to and that is a good enough reason!
I hope these tips help.
Happy gardening and as always – if you want to get in touch leave a comment below.
Sarah the Gardener : o)