Ba­sic spring gar­den main­te­nance tips

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING - WALLY RICHARDS

Time for a spring gar­den main­te­nance check list.

Roses: If there is any sign of black spot or rust, spray the plants and the soil un­der­neath with a so­lu­tion of potas­sium per­man­ganate mixed at 1⁄4 a tea­spoon to a litre of non chlo­ri­nated wa­ter. Cau­tion, this can stain walls tem­po­rar­ily.

Ideal rose food is horse ma­nure or sheep ma­nure pel­lets with blood & bone cov­ered with pur­chased com­post and a sprin­kling of Rok Solid.

Once a month add a small sprin­kling of Fruit & Flower Power. Bio Boost is also a good nat­u­ral slow re­lease fer­tiliser. Avoid soil dam­ag­ing rose fer­tiliser and ni­trophoska.

Al­ways use nonchlo­ri­nated wa­ter by fit­ting a car­bon bonded fil­ter to the gar­den tap.

Lawns;

Jet spray any moss with Moss & Liver­wort Con­trol. It kills moss com­pletely with­out dam­ag­ing the grasses. Tra­di­tional sul­phate of iron only burns the top of the moss which quickly comes back. For thatch prob­lems, wait two weeks be­fore spray­ing with Thatch Busta.

Bare patches can in­di­cate root dam­age caused by grass grubs. Emerg­ing shortly as bee­tles, they eat the fo­liage of sev­eral plants leav­ing holes in the leaves. Check plants for bee­tles af­ter dark and spray with a mix of Key Pyrethrum and Wally’s Neem Tree Oil. Re­peat nightly.

Other bare patches can in­di­cate po­rina cater­pil­lars. Spray lawns with Wally’s Neem Tree Oil to stop dam­age and starve the cater­pil­lars. Treat ev­ery three months. Weeds:

Be­fore they seed, weeds are an ex­cel­lent soil as­set. Good­ness they take up can be re­turned.

Ei­ther pull them out, shake off the dirt and lay them on the soil sur­face to break down, or use a sharp knife to slice them just be­low soil sur­face. This leaves the roots in the soil to rot and pro­vide food for the soil life with­out dis­rupt­ing the ben­e­fi­cial soil fungi. Lay the tops on the sur­face and build up hu­mus quickly by spray­ing with My­cor­rcin. Cit­rus;

Sprin­kle Wally’s Neem Tree Gran­ules un­der­neath from the trunk to the drip line, to counter in­sect dam­age.

Cover a good sprin­kling of chook or an­i­mal ma­nure (or sheep ma­nure pel­lets plus blood & bone) in the root zone with com­post. Once a month, add a sprin­kle of Fruit & Flower Power.

A spray of Wally’s Liq­uid Cop­per with Rain­gard will help with any cit­rus dis­eases. If the tree is look­ing a bit sad add Perk­fec­tion Supa to the cop­per spray. For wet feet, treat with Ter­racin to sup­press pathogens and help save the tree. Three weeks later spray the soil with My­cor­rcin. Pip Fruit;

Ap­ple trees are start­ing to flower. To foil codlin moth sprin­kle Wally’s Neem Tree Gran­ules from the trunk to the drip line. Af­ter fruit set, wrap some branches with crop cover, taped at the trunk end, with the over­lap held with clothes pegs. Codlin and guava moths can’t lay eggs on the pro­tected branches.

Spray the ap­ples with Wally’s Neem Tree Oil and Rain­gard, and re­peat ev­ery 10 to 14 days.

Spray pear trees with Wally’s Liq­uid Cop­per to con­trol black coloured pear slugs.

Prob­lems - ring me at 0800 466464 (Palmer­ston North 3570606), email wal­lyjr@gar­de­news.co.nz, web site www.gar­de­news.co.nz

PHOTO: FAIR­FAX NZ

Get ready to deal to grass grub bee­tles, which at­tack the fo­liage of other plants as well as cre­at­ing bare patches on the lawn.

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