Heading into hot weather

Beautiful Jacaranda trees in full bloom in November.
Red and white geranium.

THE last month of spring is a busy one out in the garden, with tasty vegies and herbs growing rapidly, developing fruit, beautiful roses and lush green lawns. It’s also time to start preparing the garden for the hot summer weather ahead. Let’s get gardening!

Grow the best rockmelon!

Rockmelon has luscious, sweet flavoured fruit that is deliciously versatile and can be used in sorbets, juices and fruit salads as well as savoury dishes like herb, rockmelon and prosciutto salad.

It’s easy to grow your own juicy rockmelon at home. During November, sow Yates® Rockmelon ‘Hales Best’ seed 20 mm deep directly into a sunny garden bed that’s been enriched with some Yates Dynamic Lifter® Organic Plant Food. Rockmelon vines will trail over the ground so you’ll need a bit of room (1 – 1.5m between plants) however they can also be encouraged to grow up a trellis and the developing fruit supported with slings of pantyhose.

Feed rockmelon plants each week with Yates Thrive® Flower & Fruit Soluble Plant Food, which is rich in potassium to encourage lots of flowers and scrumptious fruit. It’s also important to keep the soil moist, as drought stress can adversely affect the harvest.

Late spring citrus care

Citrus trees are busy throughout the year and during late spring are setting their delicious fruit for the next harvest. Citrus trees have a shallow root system and water stress can lead to trees dropping their small fruit, so they’ll need a good deep soaking at least once a week (more often for potted citrus) if there isn’t adequate rainfall to supply their water needs.

An easy application of Yates® Waterwise™ Soil Wetter around the root zone (or over the pot) will help get the water down where it’s needed, by breaking down the waxy, water repellent layer that can develop on the surface of soil or potting mix. Lucerne hay or pea straw spread 50 mm deep over the root zone can help retain soil moisture and protect the citrus’ vulnerable roots.

Continue to protect new citrus foliage from aphid damage by spraying each week with Yates Nature’s Way® Pyrethrum & Oil Citrus & Ornamental Insect Gun. Based on natural pyrethrin (from the pyrethrum daisy) and vegetable oil and boosted with the goodness of seaweed, this spray is certified for use in organic gardening.

Yates Nature’s Way® Pyrethrum & Oil Citrus & Ornamental Insect Gun will also control sap sucking scale insects on citrus. Tell tale signs of scale include ants running up and down the trunk and stems and also sooty mould, a black ash like film which develops over stems and leaves. Spray over stems and foliage (including the undersides) as soon as scale and aphids are noticed and reapply each week if required.

Regular feeding of hungry citrus will really help to promote a fantastic harvest so it’s important to make fertilising citrus trees a priority. It’s as simple as diluting 2 capfuls of Yates Thrive® Citrus Liquid Plant Food into a 9l watering can and applying over the root zone each week.

If new foliage on citrus trees remains yellow and leaves are small or mottled, it may indicate a potential zinc or manganese trace element deficiency. To restore the foliage to a healthy lush green, apply Yates Citrus Cure Zinc & Manganese Chelate. This is an easy to use liquid trace element mix, and is applied as a foliar application, helping to deliver fast results.

Fruit tree protection

Pear and cherry slug

Keep an eye out for pear and cherry slug on the leaves of pear and cherry trees during November and December. These shiny black or brown slug like caterpillars are the soft skinned larvae of the glossy black sawfly and if not controlled they will quickly skeletonise the leaves.

Pear and cherry slug can also attack apples, apricots and plums and doesn’t discriminate between fruiting or ornamental pears and cherries. When the slugs have had their fill, they’ll drop off and burrow down into the soil to pupate and emerge as adults. The adults fly up to lay eggs on the leaves for a second generation attack in January. Pear and cherry slug can decimate the foliage on your trees. Control pear and cherry slug by spraying foliage thoroughly every 7 days with Yates® Nature’s Way Pyrethrum Natural Insect Spray. It contains natural pyrethrin which is derived from the flowers of the pyrethrum daisy.

Leaf rollers, fruit moths and thrips

Protect your stone fruit trees like peaches, nectarines and plums from insect pests like leaf rollers, Oriental fruit moth and thrips with Yates Success® Ultra Insect Control. Leaf rollers are caterpillars that tie leaves around themselves with silken threads and eat the leaves from within this shelter.

Oriental fruit moth lay eggs which hatch into caterpillars that eat into twigs and fruit.

Thrips are sap sucking insects which can damage developing fruit.

Leaf rollers, Oriental fruit moth and thrips can all be controlled with fortnightly sprays of Yates Success Ultra Insect Control. The addition of Yates Sprayfix Wetting agent into spray mix will help ensure thorough leaf coverage.

Purple rain and a teatree to tempt you

Jacarandas

In warm areas in New Zealand Jacarandas are at their spectacular purple flowering best in November.

Not only are jacarandas gorgeous when in flower, they are fabulous shade trees for large gardens and parklands. The leaves fall in mid-spring followed by their glorious floral display.

Native to South America, jacarandas grow best in temperate and tropical climates, however in cooler areas will tolerate light frosts once established (protect the tree from frost while it’s young).

Jacarandas prefer a well-drained soil that has been enriched with concentrated organic matter like Yates Dynamic Lifter® Organic Plant Food. Sprinkle Yates Dynamic Lifter around the root zone every 6 – 8 weeks during the warmer months, gently tickle it into the top soil, water in well and then mulch around the tree with an organic mulch like bark chips. This will help keep the roots protected and reduce moisture loss from the soil.

Leptospermum ‘Merinda’

Commonly known as teatrees (and in the same family as Manuka), Leptospermums are shrubs and small trees native to New Zealand, Australia and parts of Asia. They have distinctive and beautiful five-petaled flowers that bees and other beneficial insects adore.

Leptospermum merinda is a stunning Leptospermum that has been bred by crossing pastel pink Leptospermum Pink Cascade and candy pink Leptospermum Aphrodite. Growing around 1m tall and 1.5m wide, Merinda has vibrant magenta pink flowers that smother the bush in spring.

Leptospermum merinda will grow well in a wide range of soil types and climates but will perform best when planted in well drained soil in an open sunny position. Early growth can be spreading or cascading but will mature into a rounded shrub.

Create some Christmas colour

Whether your Christmas colour theme is purest snowy white, sparkly silver and purple or traditional green, gold and red, you can coordinate your decorations with some gorgeous pots of flowers to brighten up your Christmas dinner table or outdoor entertainment area. Early November is the time to get planting so your potted creations are looking fabulous for the Christmas party season.

Here is some inspiration:

• Crisp white lobelias, alyssum and geraniums combined with trailing Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’.

•Hanging baskets filled with vibrant red calibrachoas and cascading white lobelia.

• A planter bowl with a showy red geranium in the centre surrounded by a halo of white alyssum.

• Purple and white petunias and grey leafed cineraria Silver Dust planted together in a decorative trough.

THE last month of spring is a busy one out in the garden, with tasty vegies and herbs growing rapidly, developing fruit, beautiful roses and lush green lawns. It’s also time to start preparing the garden for the hot summer weather ahead. Let’s get gardening!

Grow the best rockmelon!

Rockmelon has luscious, sweet flavoured fruit that is deliciously versatile and can be used in sorbets, juices and fruit salads as well as savoury dishes like herb, rockmelon and prosciutto salad.

It’s easy to grow your own juicy rockmelon at home. During November, sow Yates® Rockmelon ‘Hales Best’ seed 20 mm deep directly into a sunny garden bed that’s been enriched with some Yates Dynamic Lifter® Organic Plant Food. Rockmelon vines will trail over the ground so you’ll need a bit of room (1 – 1.5m between plants) however they can also be encouraged to grow up a trellis and the developing fruit supported with slings of pantyhose.

Feed rockmelon plants each week with Yates Thrive® Flower & Fruit Soluble Plant Food, which is rich in potassium to encourage lots of flowers and scrumptious fruit. It’s also important to keep the soil moist, as drought stress can adversely affect the harvest.

Late spring citrus care

Citrus trees are busy throughout the year and during late spring are setting their delicious fruit for the next harvest. Citrus trees have a shallow root system and water stress can lead to trees dropping their small fruit, so they’ll need a good deep soaking at least once a week (more often for potted citrus) if there isn’t adequate rainfall to supply their water needs.

An easy application of Yates® Waterwise™ Soil Wetter around the root zone (or over the pot) will help get the water down where it’s needed, by breaking down the waxy, water repellent layer that can develop on the surface of soil or potting mix. Lucerne hay or pea straw spread 50 mm deep over the root zone can help retain soil moisture and protect the citrus’ vulnerable roots.

Continue to protect new citrus foliage from aphid damage by spraying each week with Yates Nature’s Way® Pyrethrum & Oil Citrus & Ornamental Insect Gun. Based on natural pyrethrin (from the pyrethrum daisy) and vegetable oil and boosted with the goodness of seaweed, this spray is certified for use in organic gardening.

Yates Nature’s Way® Pyrethrum & Oil Citrus & Ornamental Insect Gun will also control sap sucking scale insects on citrus. Tell tale signs of scale include ants running up and down the trunk and stems and also sooty mould, a black ash like film which develops over stems and leaves. Spray over stems and foliage (including the undersides) as soon as scale and aphids are noticed and reapply each week if required.

Regular feeding of hungry citrus will really help to promote a fantastic harvest so it’s important to make fertilising citrus trees a priority. It’s as simple as diluting 2 capfuls of Yates Thrive® Citrus Liquid Plant Food into a 9l watering can and applying over the root zone each week.

If new foliage on citrus trees remains yellow and leaves are small or mottled, it may indicate a potential zinc or manganese trace element deficiency. To restore the foliage to a healthy lush green, apply Yates Citrus Cure Zinc & Manganese Chelate. This is an easy to use liquid trace element mix, and is applied as a foliar application, helping to deliver fast results.

Fruit tree protection

Pear and cherry slug

Keep an eye out for pear and cherry slug on the leaves of pear and cherry trees during November and December. These shiny black or brown slug like caterpillars are the soft skinned larvae of the glossy black sawfly and if not controlled they will quickly skeletonise the leaves.

Pear and cherry slug can also attack apples, apricots and plums and doesn’t discriminate between fruiting or ornamental pears and cherries. When the slugs have had their fill, they’ll drop off and burrow down into the soil to pupate and emerge as adults. The adults fly up to lay eggs on the leaves for a second generation attack in January. Pear and cherry slug can decimate the foliage on your trees. Control pear and cherry slug by spraying foliage thoroughly every 7 days with Yates® Nature’s Way Pyrethrum Natural Insect Spray. It contains natural pyrethrin which is derived from the flowers of the pyrethrum daisy.

Leaf rollers, fruit moths and thrips

Protect your stone fruit trees like peaches, nectarines and plums from insect pests like leaf rollers, Oriental fruit moth and thrips with Yates Success® Ultra Insect Control. Leaf rollers are caterpillars that tie leaves around themselves with silken threads and eat the leaves from within this shelter.

Oriental fruit moth lay eggs which hatch into caterpillars that eat into twigs and fruit.

Thrips are sap sucking insects which can damage developing fruit.

Leaf rollers, Oriental fruit moth and thrips can all be controlled with fortnightly sprays of Yates Success Ultra Insect Control. The addition of Yates Sprayfix Wetting agent into spray mix will help ensure thorough leaf coverage.

Purple rain and a teatree to tempt you

Jacarandas

In warm areas in New Zealand Jacarandas are at their spectacular purple flowering best in November.

Not only are jacarandas gorgeous when in flower, they are fabulous shade trees for large gardens and parklands. The leaves fall in mid-spring followed by their glorious floral display.

Native to South America, jacarandas grow best in temperate and tropical climates, however in cooler areas will tolerate light frosts once established (protect the tree from frost while it’s young).

Jacarandas prefer a well-drained soil that has been enriched with concentrated organic matter like Yates Dynamic Lifter® Organic Plant Food. Sprinkle Yates Dynamic Lifter around the root zone every 6 – 8 weeks during the warmer months, gently tickle it into the top soil, water in well and then mulch around the tree with an organic mulch like bark chips. This will help keep the roots protected and reduce moisture loss from the soil.

Leptospermum ‘Merinda’

Commonly known as teatrees (and in the same family as Manuka), Leptospermums are shrubs and small trees native to New Zealand, Australia and parts of Asia. They have distinctive and beautiful five-petaled flowers that bees and other beneficial insects adore.

Leptospermum merinda is a stunning Leptospermum that has been bred by crossing pastel pink Leptospermum Pink Cascade and candy pink Leptospermum Aphrodite. Growing around 1m tall and 1.5m wide, Merinda has vibrant magenta pink flowers that smother the bush in spring.

Leptospermum merinda will grow well in a wide range of soil types and climates but will perform best when planted in well drained soil in an open sunny position. Early growth can be spreading or cascading but will mature into a rounded shrub.

Create some Christmas colour

Whether your Christmas colour theme is purest snowy white, sparkly silver and purple or traditional green, gold and red, you can coordinate your decorations with some gorgeous pots of flowers to brighten up your Christmas dinner table or outdoor entertainment area. Early November is the time to get planting so your potted creations are looking fabulous for the Christmas party season.

Here is some inspiration:

• Crisp white lobelias, alyssum and geraniums combined with trailing Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’.

•Hanging baskets filled with vibrant red calibrachoas and cascading white lobelia.

• A planter bowl with a showy red geranium in the centre surrounded by a halo of white alyssum.

• Purple and white petunias and grey leafed cineraria Silver Dust planted together in a decorative trough.

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