Growing your own gorgeous flowers or tasty vegetables

Heavenly hydrangeas, sweet tomatoes or versatile beetroot.

Heavenly hydrangeas, sweet tomatoes or versatile beetroot.

A beautiful pink hydrangea in a garden. File picture

Hydrangeas are stunning flowering shrubs and make a beautiful inclusion in cool to warm temperate zone gardens . . .

New gorgeous varieties of hydrangeas are being released regularly and flower colours include the traditional brilliant blue, white and bright pink, as well as ruby red, lime green and multi-toned and lacecap flower heads.

With summer around the corner, so is hydrangea flowering season. Here are a few tips to help keep your hydrangeas healthy in preparation for their showy flowers:

  • Most hydrangeas prefer growing in a position that is protected from harsh sun. Morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal or dappled sun all day.
  • Keep hydrangeas well-watered, as the large leaves can rapidly lose moisture and wilt. Hydrangea foliage can also be susceptible to sunburn during hot dry weather. Move potted hydrangeas into a more sheltered location. Apply Yates Thrive Natural Seaweed Tonic around the root zone of hydrangeas to help them cope with heat and drought stress.
  • Feed hydrangeas regularly with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food. It contains a rich blend of chicken manure, blood & bone, fish meal and seaweed and provides slow release organic nutrients to hydrangeas and improves the quality of the soil. Scatter Yates Dynamic Lifter around the root zone of hydrangeas and water in well.
  • Watch for white talcum powder looking spots on leaves which could indicate the damaging disease powdery mildew. Regular sprays of Yates Rose Gun will keep powdery mildew under control.

The sweetest of tomatoes

Small, bite-sized cherry tomatoes are fantastic for throwing into salads, adding to pasta dishes, quiches and tarts and make a healthy snack all on their own. Freshly-picked, sun-ripened cherry tomatoes are delicious and easy to grow at home.

Yates ‘Sweet Bite’ Tomato is a prolific cherry tomato that can produce 100 or more fruit on each plant. Smaller-than- normal cherry tomatoes, Sweet Bite fruit are produced in clusters on long branches.

Here are the easy steps to grow your own Sweet Bite cherry tomatoes:

  1. Before planting into a sunny vegetable patch, mix some Yates Dynamic Lifter Plant Food into the soil. It’s is a rich source of organic matter that helps improve the quality of the soil and encourages earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms.
  2. Sweet Bite Tomato will need to be staked or grown in a tomato cage. It’s a good idea to carefully insert the stake or tomato cage at the time of sowing or planting, to avoid damaging the plant’s roots later on.
  3. Seed can be sown directly into the vegie patch or seedlings raised in trays or punnets of Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix and transplanted when they’re around 5 cm tall.
  4. Once the seedlings are established, start feeding each week with Yates Thrive Tomato Liquid Plant Food, which will provide the tomatoes with a balanced diet of nutrients to promote lots of healthy leaf growth and additional potassium to encourage lots of flowers which will turn into delicious fruit. It takes around 10 weeks from sowing seed to harvest time.
  5. Keep the soil around tomato plants consistently moist.
  6. Spread a 3-5cm layer of mulch, such as lucerne or pea straw, around the tomato plants, which helps reduce moisture loss from the soil.

Grow your own beetroot

Beetroot is a versatile and delicious vegetable that’s low in fat and is a rich source of folate and fibre. The red pigment in beetroot is also reported to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits, so there are lots of fantastic reasons to eat beetroot.

The root part of beetroot can be roasted, used in relish, hummus, soups and sandwiches and the colourful leaves can be mixed into salads.

Larger beetroot varieties like Yates Super King and Yates Derwent Globe are great for growing in a sunny vegie patch.

Here’s how to grow your own beetroot:

  1. Prepare and enrich the soil in the vegie patch by digging in some Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone. This will add valuable organic matter to the soil and provide the establishing plants with gentle, slow release organic nutrients.
  2. Each ‘seed’ is a cluster of 1-4 true seeds in a corky outer coating. Soak the seed for two hours before sowing to ensure water penetrates to the seeds.
  3. Sow the seeds directly into the vegie patch, 12mm deep.
  4. Seedlings will emerge in 10-14 days.
  5. Beetroot roots can be harvested after 10-12 weeks. A few young tender leaves per plant can be picked earlier for use in salads.
  6. Apply further Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone around the root zone to encourage healthy leaf growth and root development.

Space saver tip: balcony and patio gardeners can still enjoy their very own beetroot by growing Yates Baby Beets in pots or troughs. They’re tender and sweet and are ready to harvest only 6-7 weeks after sowing.

— Courtesy of Yates

Hydrangeas are stunning flowering shrubs and make a beautiful inclusion in cool to warm temperate zone gardens . . .

New gorgeous varieties of hydrangeas are being released regularly and flower colours include the traditional brilliant blue, white and bright pink, as well as ruby red, lime green and multi-toned and lacecap flower heads.

With summer around the corner, so is hydrangea flowering season. Here are a few tips to help keep your hydrangeas healthy in preparation for their showy flowers:

  • Most hydrangeas prefer growing in a position that is protected from harsh sun. Morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal or dappled sun all day.
  • Keep hydrangeas well-watered, as the large leaves can rapidly lose moisture and wilt. Hydrangea foliage can also be susceptible to sunburn during hot dry weather. Move potted hydrangeas into a more sheltered location. Apply Yates Thrive Natural Seaweed Tonic around the root zone of hydrangeas to help them cope with heat and drought stress.
  • Feed hydrangeas regularly with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food. It contains a rich blend of chicken manure, blood & bone, fish meal and seaweed and provides slow release organic nutrients to hydrangeas and improves the quality of the soil. Scatter Yates Dynamic Lifter around the root zone of hydrangeas and water in well.
  • Watch for white talcum powder looking spots on leaves which could indicate the damaging disease powdery mildew. Regular sprays of Yates Rose Gun will keep powdery mildew under control.

The sweetest of tomatoes

Small, bite-sized cherry tomatoes are fantastic for throwing into salads, adding to pasta dishes, quiches and tarts and make a healthy snack all on their own. Freshly-picked, sun-ripened cherry tomatoes are delicious and easy to grow at home.

Yates ‘Sweet Bite’ Tomato is a prolific cherry tomato that can produce 100 or more fruit on each plant. Smaller-than- normal cherry tomatoes, Sweet Bite fruit are produced in clusters on long branches.

Here are the easy steps to grow your own Sweet Bite cherry tomatoes:

  1. Before planting into a sunny vegetable patch, mix some Yates Dynamic Lifter Plant Food into the soil. It’s is a rich source of organic matter that helps improve the quality of the soil and encourages earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms.
  2. Sweet Bite Tomato will need to be staked or grown in a tomato cage. It’s a good idea to carefully insert the stake or tomato cage at the time of sowing or planting, to avoid damaging the plant’s roots later on.
  3. Seed can be sown directly into the vegie patch or seedlings raised in trays or punnets of Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix and transplanted when they’re around 5 cm tall.
  4. Once the seedlings are established, start feeding each week with Yates Thrive Tomato Liquid Plant Food, which will provide the tomatoes with a balanced diet of nutrients to promote lots of healthy leaf growth and additional potassium to encourage lots of flowers which will turn into delicious fruit. It takes around 10 weeks from sowing seed to harvest time.
  5. Keep the soil around tomato plants consistently moist.
  6. Spread a 3-5cm layer of mulch, such as lucerne or pea straw, around the tomato plants, which helps reduce moisture loss from the soil.

Grow your own beetroot

Beetroot is a versatile and delicious vegetable that’s low in fat and is a rich source of folate and fibre. The red pigment in beetroot is also reported to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits, so there are lots of fantastic reasons to eat beetroot.

The root part of beetroot can be roasted, used in relish, hummus, soups and sandwiches and the colourful leaves can be mixed into salads.

Larger beetroot varieties like Yates Super King and Yates Derwent Globe are great for growing in a sunny vegie patch.

Here’s how to grow your own beetroot:

  1. Prepare and enrich the soil in the vegie patch by digging in some Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone. This will add valuable organic matter to the soil and provide the establishing plants with gentle, slow release organic nutrients.
  2. Each ‘seed’ is a cluster of 1-4 true seeds in a corky outer coating. Soak the seed for two hours before sowing to ensure water penetrates to the seeds.
  3. Sow the seeds directly into the vegie patch, 12mm deep.
  4. Seedlings will emerge in 10-14 days.
  5. Beetroot roots can be harvested after 10-12 weeks. A few young tender leaves per plant can be picked earlier for use in salads.
  6. Apply further Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone around the root zone to encourage healthy leaf growth and root development.

Space saver tip: balcony and patio gardeners can still enjoy their very own beetroot by growing Yates Baby Beets in pots or troughs. They’re tender and sweet and are ready to harvest only 6-7 weeks after sowing.

— Courtesy of Yates

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