Summer in the garden

Tips for protecting your garden during January.

Tips for protecting your garden during January.

JUST ADD DRESSING: Home-grown salad, such as this red and green mesclun mix, produces tasty, tender leaves all summer long.
IT'S A SNIP: Don’t forget a strong pair of gloves for when you’re pruning roses.
UNHEALTHY: Scale insects can be seen on these citrus leaves which are also coated in sooty mould.

Gardens can suffer from heat stress or lack of water or both during our long, hot summers. We can’t change the weather but there are a few things we can do to help protect our gardens during January.

  • Water storage — when planting new plants, mix some water storage crystals into the soil or potting mix. These crystals can store up to 400 times their weight in water and release moisture back to the plants over time, making them very handy during the drier months. It’s a good idea to pre-wet the crystals before using them.
  • Effective watering — it’s best to water garden plants deeply and thoroughly once or twice a week, rather than more frequent light watering. Deep watering encourages the plant’s roots to grow deeper into the soil, helping them to cope during summer.
  • Mulching — spreading mulch over garden beds, vegie patches and on the top of pots will help to reduce the amount of moisture lost from the soil. It also helps to protect the soil surface from the baking summer sun.
  • Move sensitive potted plants into a more shaded location, away from the harshest afternoon sun.
  • Seaweed tonic is great for helping to improve plant resistance against heat and drought, as well as aiding recovery from stress conditions.

Summer rose care

Summer can bring heat, hot dry winds and high humidity, which all affect the health and appearance of roses. If your roses have developed leggy or sparse growth and spindly stems, they need a summer prune. Summer pruning roses refreshes and reinvigorates the plants and they will respond in a matter of weeks, putting on new growth, ready for another flush of flowers. In fact, you can time rose re-blooming if you have a special event coming up, as they’ll flower again around 6-7 weeks after pruning.

Rose pruning is not tricky — just trim off around 30 percent of the overall growth and also remove any dead or thin stems. You can use hedge shears or a good sharp pair of secateurs. Don’t forget to protect your hands, arms (and face!) from rose thorns with sturdy gloves, long sleeves and glasses.

After pruning, collect up all the fallen leaves and stems (this helps to reduce the incidence of disease) and apply some Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food and water in well. It’s a complete and balanced liquid fertiliser that has been boosted with extra flower promoting potassium. Next, spread a layer of mulch, like lucerne or pea straw around the root zone, which will help keep the soil moist and protect the top soil from baking sun. Reapply Yates Thrive each week to encourage healthy new foliage growth and lots of flowers.

New foliage and flower buds can attract damaging insect pests like aphids. Regular sprays of Yates Rose Gun will help control common insect pests like aphids, as well as caterpillars and diseases like black spot, rust and powdery mildew.

Summer citrus care

Small fruit developing on many varieties of citrus trees during summer heralds what we’ll be enjoying during the cooler months. We can help nurture those promising fruitlets by taking a few simple citrus care steps over summer:

  • Sooty mould control — if you’ve noticed a black ash-like film over citrus leaves or stems (which is a disease called sooty mould) or ants crawling up and down the tree, it could indicate the presence of insect pests like scale. Scale are sap-sucking insects that can be covered in a waxy white, brown or pink coating and appear as small raised bumps on foliage or stems. Scale deplete plants of important sugars and nutrients and excrete honey dew, which is a sweet sticky substance that ants eat and sooty mould will grow on. If the scale insects are controlled, the sooty mould and ants will gradually disappear.

Control the scale insects by spraying leaves and stems with Yates Conqueror spraying oil. The oil smothers the scale and will also control common citrus pests such as aphids, citrus red mite and thrips. This spraying oil is certified for use in organic gardening.

  • Watering and feeding — regular, deep and thorough watering of citrus trees, particularly potted citrus, will help reduce water stress, which can lead to citrus dropping their developing fruit. It’s also a good opportunity to apply or top up mulch around the root zone, which will help protect the shallow root system. And regular feeding of hungry citrus trees will really help to promote a fantastic harvest.

Apply Yates Thrive granular citrus food around the root zone. It’s a fast-acting and balanced blend of nitrogen for healthy foliage growth, and phosphorus and potassium for large juicy fruit. It also contains trace elements for all round citrus health.

Gourmet salad

Lettuce and leafy greens are always fantastic to have on hand to create a healthy salad and add to a sandwich or wrap. Home grown is not only convenient, you can also pick them at their most tender and sweet.

Yates Mesclun French Salad Mixed is a gourmet selection of colourful greens like loose leaf lettuce, endive, corn salad, peppery rocket and chicory. Individual leaves can be picked fresh as you need them after only 4-10 weeks. Yates Mesclun mix is also a great choice if you’re short on space, as it’s perfect for growing in a pot.

Here’s how to grow your own Mesclun French salad at home:

  • Sow seed mix direct where the plants are to grow or raise in trays and transplant when the seedlings are 3-4cm high.
  • Mesclun salad can be grown in a sunny vegie patch or in pots. A pot positioned on a deck or courtyard near the kitchen makes it super convenient to harvest.
  • Keep the soil moist while the seedlings establish. If the plants are closer than 20cm, you may need to thin them. There’s no need to waste these — dig them out carefully and you can transplant them into another spot.
  • As the plants grow, water them regularly and each week apply some Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food. It’s a complete and balanced fertiliser that contains the right blend of nutrients to encourage lots of leafy green growth.
  • Harvest leaves regularly from four weeks, while they’re young and tender. This will also help promote a longer harvest.

Summer is tomato mite time!

Related to spiders, two spotted mites are tiny, pinkish-red sap-sucking pests that cause mottled yellow or bronzed foliage and distorted leaves and flower buds. Large colonies can produce masses of fine webbing and a severe infestation can lead to tomatoes losing much of their foliage.

After overwintering in protected places, mites are active during hot dry weather. The life cycle for eggs to adults is completed in a week, so they can multiply very quickly. In addition to tomatoes, mites can also affect other vegies like capsicum, beans, squash, cucumber and zucchini.

As mites dislike humid conditions, overhead watering is a useful deterrent and regular sprays of Yates Nature’s Way Natrasoap Vegie Insect Gun can also help reduce mite populations. This soap-based spray is certified for use in organic gardening. Make sure to thoroughly coat the leaves on both the upper and lower leaf surfaces as the spray works via contact.

Continue to feed tomato plants each week with a specific tomato food like Yates Thrive Tomato Liquid Plant Food. It will help sustain both healthy leaf growth and flowering and fruiting throughout summer.
It’s important to keep watering tomato plants thoroughly to ensure the soil is moist. Inadequate or irregular watering, which contributes to calcium deficiency, can predispose tomato fruit to develop a condition called blossom end rot. An application of Yates Hydrangea Pinking Liquid Lime & Dolomite can help reduce the incidence of blossom end rot by supplying plants with calcium.

Tomato harvest tip: tomatoes taste better when vine ripened, however really hot weather can scorch or even cook the tomatoes on the vine. So during scorching weather, harvest tomatoes just as you see a blush of colour and ripen the fruit indoors on a bright windowsill or in a paper bag along with a banana to encourage the tomatoes to ripen.

Whitefly

Have you seen tiny white insects on your vegies, herbs and flowers that fly up when disturbed? They are whitefly — sap-sucking insects that can congregate predominantly underneath foliage. Whitefly deplete plants of valuable sugars and nutrients, can cause wilting and stunting of new shoots, silvering and yellowing of leaves, and adversely affect yields of edible plants. You may also find plants develop a black ash-like layer, which is a disease called sooty mould which grows on the sweet honeydew that whiteflies excrete.

Vegies and herbs like tomatoes, broccoli, kale, eggplant, squash, beans and mint are particularly prone to white fly infestations, as well as ornamental plants like hibiscus, gerbera and poinsettia. Whitefly can be controlled with Yates Nature’s Way Natrasoap Vegie Insect Gun, a soap-based spray that suffocates and desiccates whitefly. The key to effective whitefly control is persistence and spraying both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves. Disturb the whitefly as little as possible and re-spray every 10 to 12 days, as new generations of whitefly can appear every 1-2 weeks.

Sizzling summer lawn care

  • Give the lawn regular deep waterings, rather than more frequent light waterings.
  • If your lawn has been “loved” over summer and trampled by lots of happy feet (and paws), it will benefit from being aerated. Aeration will help loosen up hard and compacted soil underneath the lawn, make it easier for water and air to penetrate down into the roots, and makes it physically easier for grass roots to grow. Aerating the lawn is as easy as pushing a garden fork down through the grass and around 10 cm deep into the soil, then gently lever the form back and forth a little to open up the holes the fork tines have made. Do this multiple times over the lawn. For large lawns, mechanical aerators or corers can be hired. — Courtesy of Yates
  • <

Gardens can suffer from heat stress or lack of water or both during our long, hot summers. We can’t change the weather but there are a few things we can do to help protect our gardens during January.

  • Water storage — when planting new plants, mix some water storage crystals into the soil or potting mix. These crystals can store up to 400 times their weight in water and release moisture back to the plants over time, making them very handy during the drier months. It’s a good idea to pre-wet the crystals before using them.
  • Effective watering — it’s best to water garden plants deeply and thoroughly once or twice a week, rather than more frequent light watering. Deep watering encourages the plant’s roots to grow deeper into the soil, helping them to cope during summer.
  • Mulching — spreading mulch over garden beds, vegie patches and on the top of pots will help to reduce the amount of moisture lost from the soil. It also helps to protect the soil surface from the baking summer sun.
  • Move sensitive potted plants into a more shaded location, away from the harshest afternoon sun.
  • Seaweed tonic is great for helping to improve plant resistance against heat and drought, as well as aiding recovery from stress conditions.

Summer rose care

Summer can bring heat, hot dry winds and high humidity, which all affect the health and appearance of roses. If your roses have developed leggy or sparse growth and spindly stems, they need a summer prune. Summer pruning roses refreshes and reinvigorates the plants and they will respond in a matter of weeks, putting on new growth, ready for another flush of flowers. In fact, you can time rose re-blooming if you have a special event coming up, as they’ll flower again around 6-7 weeks after pruning.

Rose pruning is not tricky — just trim off around 30 percent of the overall growth and also remove any dead or thin stems. You can use hedge shears or a good sharp pair of secateurs. Don’t forget to protect your hands, arms (and face!) from rose thorns with sturdy gloves, long sleeves and glasses.

After pruning, collect up all the fallen leaves and stems (this helps to reduce the incidence of disease) and apply some Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food and water in well. It’s a complete and balanced liquid fertiliser that has been boosted with extra flower promoting potassium. Next, spread a layer of mulch, like lucerne or pea straw around the root zone, which will help keep the soil moist and protect the top soil from baking sun. Reapply Yates Thrive each week to encourage healthy new foliage growth and lots of flowers.

New foliage and flower buds can attract damaging insect pests like aphids. Regular sprays of Yates Rose Gun will help control common insect pests like aphids, as well as caterpillars and diseases like black spot, rust and powdery mildew.

Summer citrus care

Small fruit developing on many varieties of citrus trees during summer heralds what we’ll be enjoying during the cooler months. We can help nurture those promising fruitlets by taking a few simple citrus care steps over summer:

  • Sooty mould control — if you’ve noticed a black ash-like film over citrus leaves or stems (which is a disease called sooty mould) or ants crawling up and down the tree, it could indicate the presence of insect pests like scale. Scale are sap-sucking insects that can be covered in a waxy white, brown or pink coating and appear as small raised bumps on foliage or stems. Scale deplete plants of important sugars and nutrients and excrete honey dew, which is a sweet sticky substance that ants eat and sooty mould will grow on. If the scale insects are controlled, the sooty mould and ants will gradually disappear.

Control the scale insects by spraying leaves and stems with Yates Conqueror spraying oil. The oil smothers the scale and will also control common citrus pests such as aphids, citrus red mite and thrips. This spraying oil is certified for use in organic gardening.

  • Watering and feeding — regular, deep and thorough watering of citrus trees, particularly potted citrus, will help reduce water stress, which can lead to citrus dropping their developing fruit. It’s also a good opportunity to apply or top up mulch around the root zone, which will help protect the shallow root system. And regular feeding of hungry citrus trees will really help to promote a fantastic harvest.

Apply Yates Thrive granular citrus food around the root zone. It’s a fast-acting and balanced blend of nitrogen for healthy foliage growth, and phosphorus and potassium for large juicy fruit. It also contains trace elements for all round citrus health.

Gourmet salad

Lettuce and leafy greens are always fantastic to have on hand to create a healthy salad and add to a sandwich or wrap. Home grown is not only convenient, you can also pick them at their most tender and sweet.

Yates Mesclun French Salad Mixed is a gourmet selection of colourful greens like loose leaf lettuce, endive, corn salad, peppery rocket and chicory. Individual leaves can be picked fresh as you need them after only 4-10 weeks. Yates Mesclun mix is also a great choice if you’re short on space, as it’s perfect for growing in a pot.

Here’s how to grow your own Mesclun French salad at home:

  • Sow seed mix direct where the plants are to grow or raise in trays and transplant when the seedlings are 3-4cm high.
  • Mesclun salad can be grown in a sunny vegie patch or in pots. A pot positioned on a deck or courtyard near the kitchen makes it super convenient to harvest.
  • Keep the soil moist while the seedlings establish. If the plants are closer than 20cm, you may need to thin them. There’s no need to waste these — dig them out carefully and you can transplant them into another spot.
  • As the plants grow, water them regularly and each week apply some Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food. It’s a complete and balanced fertiliser that contains the right blend of nutrients to encourage lots of leafy green growth.
  • Harvest leaves regularly from four weeks, while they’re young and tender. This will also help promote a longer harvest.

Summer is tomato mite time!

Related to spiders, two spotted mites are tiny, pinkish-red sap-sucking pests that cause mottled yellow or bronzed foliage and distorted leaves and flower buds. Large colonies can produce masses of fine webbing and a severe infestation can lead to tomatoes losing much of their foliage.

After overwintering in protected places, mites are active during hot dry weather. The life cycle for eggs to adults is completed in a week, so they can multiply very quickly. In addition to tomatoes, mites can also affect other vegies like capsicum, beans, squash, cucumber and zucchini.

As mites dislike humid conditions, overhead watering is a useful deterrent and regular sprays of Yates Nature’s Way Natrasoap Vegie Insect Gun can also help reduce mite populations. This soap-based spray is certified for use in organic gardening. Make sure to thoroughly coat the leaves on both the upper and lower leaf surfaces as the spray works via contact.

Continue to feed tomato plants each week with a specific tomato food like Yates Thrive Tomato Liquid Plant Food. It will help sustain both healthy leaf growth and flowering and fruiting throughout summer.
It’s important to keep watering tomato plants thoroughly to ensure the soil is moist. Inadequate or irregular watering, which contributes to calcium deficiency, can predispose tomato fruit to develop a condition called blossom end rot. An application of Yates Hydrangea Pinking Liquid Lime & Dolomite can help reduce the incidence of blossom end rot by supplying plants with calcium.

Tomato harvest tip: tomatoes taste better when vine ripened, however really hot weather can scorch or even cook the tomatoes on the vine. So during scorching weather, harvest tomatoes just as you see a blush of colour and ripen the fruit indoors on a bright windowsill or in a paper bag along with a banana to encourage the tomatoes to ripen.

Whitefly

Have you seen tiny white insects on your vegies, herbs and flowers that fly up when disturbed? They are whitefly — sap-sucking insects that can congregate predominantly underneath foliage. Whitefly deplete plants of valuable sugars and nutrients, can cause wilting and stunting of new shoots, silvering and yellowing of leaves, and adversely affect yields of edible plants. You may also find plants develop a black ash-like layer, which is a disease called sooty mould which grows on the sweet honeydew that whiteflies excrete.

Vegies and herbs like tomatoes, broccoli, kale, eggplant, squash, beans and mint are particularly prone to white fly infestations, as well as ornamental plants like hibiscus, gerbera and poinsettia. Whitefly can be controlled with Yates Nature’s Way Natrasoap Vegie Insect Gun, a soap-based spray that suffocates and desiccates whitefly. The key to effective whitefly control is persistence and spraying both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves. Disturb the whitefly as little as possible and re-spray every 10 to 12 days, as new generations of whitefly can appear every 1-2 weeks.

Sizzling summer lawn care

  • Give the lawn regular deep waterings, rather than more frequent light waterings.
  • If your lawn has been “loved” over summer and trampled by lots of happy feet (and paws), it will benefit from being aerated. Aeration will help loosen up hard and compacted soil underneath the lawn, make it easier for water and air to penetrate down into the roots, and makes it physically easier for grass roots to grow. Aerating the lawn is as easy as pushing a garden fork down through the grass and around 10 cm deep into the soil, then gently lever the form back and forth a little to open up the holes the fork tines have made. Do this multiple times over the lawn. For large lawns, mechanical aerators or corers can be hired. — Courtesy of Yates
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