Our end of winter tasks
AS the weather slowly begins to warm up, many unwanted insects become more active in the garden. One of the biggest pests at this time of the year is aphids. You will see aphids enjoying the new growth on your roses. Check for them regularly and deal with them before they have too big an impact. You can squash them by hand, hose off or spray with a garlic spray or an insecticide. Whichever method you prefer. Lawns will be looking dull and patchy at the end of a cold frosty winter. Weeds will be quick to take advantage of bare patches in your lawn so now is the time to start aerating, feeding and watering. Although we have had rain you need to make sure there is enough moisture in the ground to enable good strong growth before summer. There are weeds that you can spray for now. Bindii is definitely one to get on top of while they are small and still easily dealt with. If you only have a few you can dig them out by hand or spray with a herbicide to help eradicate. You will need to repeat in a few weeks to ensure you get the ones that germinate after the initial spray. Many bulbs will be poking their heads through the soil now and perennial plants will be sending out new shoots. This fresh growth is very tempting to snails and slugs. Snails are not as active in the colder months but you will find their numbers will increase as the temperature rises so it is best to protect plants now. Snails are more active after rain. Put out some eco friendly snail bait, crushed up egg shells or copper barrier tape to ensure you get to enjoy your plants in their full spring glory! If you don’t mind some after dark activity in the garden, you can head out with a torch and hand remove snails - this is when they are most active. If you have chooks or ducks, they will very happily eat the snails for breakfast. Only feed them to your poultry if you haven’t used snail bait. Remember - start getting your fruit fly control organised now. Happy gardening.
◆ HUNGRY: Gardeners need to keep an eye out for snails at the moment, as they are very attracted to new growth as a source of food.