We’re not the only ones who love roses

NewsMail - - GARDEN - with Angie Thomas Angie Thomas is a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist at Yates.

THE gor­geous rose blooms that you’ve been wait­ing pa­tiently for are also be­ing ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated by some very hun­gry cater­pil­lars. Cater­pil­lars can chew through and into rose buds as well as eat the leaves.

Con­trol th­ese de­struc­tive crit­ters by spray­ing roses with a pest con­troller thor­oughly ev­ery two weeks, in­clud­ing the un­der­sides of fo­liage where cater­pil­lars of­ten hide.

Keep feed­ing roses ev­ery week with a liq­uid plant food.

Sweet corn

If you have a few spare square me­tres in a sunny spot in your gar­den then try grow­ing some of your own sweet corn.

◗ En­rich the soil in a sunny gar­den bed by mix­ing in some fer­tiliser. It’s best to grow corn in blocks of short rows (rather than long thin rows), which helps to im­prove pol­li­na­tion and yield.

◗ Sow corn seeds in pairs, 25mm deep, in moist well-drained soil di­rect where they are to grow. No fur­ther wa­ter­ing is needed un­til seedlings ap­pear. The weaker of the two seedlings can be thinned out when they reach about 15cm tall.

◗ Corn is a hun­gry plant and should be fed each week with a plant food.

◗ Mon­i­tor corn plants for aphids and cater­pil­lars and spray to con­trol both th­ese com­mon in­sect pests.

◗ Pick cobs when the fine “silk’’ has just browned.

PHOTO: FILE

Hairy cater­pil­lars munch­ing their way through the leaves of a rose bush.

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