Autumn’s a great time to garden
Autumn is a great time to garden and to get out and do those end of the season jobs.
Among them, dealing to black sooty mould on citrus when copper sprays don’t work.
Black sooty mould is caused by insects that feed on the plant and pee out honey dew from the plant’s sugars. This honey dew attracts the mould. It is sticky and can take a long time to weather off after the insects that caused the problem have gone.
If the insects are still present the mould will build up into thicker layers.
Sooty mould not only looks unsightly, it’s as if the plant has dirty ‘solar panels’ and can’t work at full sunlight extracting efficiency. It’s a double whammy if the insects that pee out the honeydew are actively sucking on the plant.
First, get rid of the insects, and on a citrus tree all you need to do is sprinkle Wally’s Neem Tree Granules under the tree from trunk to drip line. Lightly water and after about six weeks all the pests should have gone including any borer in the tree.
Treat the sooty mould at the same time by spraying the tree with Wally’s Karbyon. Mix and give the mould a good soak. Leave for 48 hours, and then blast it off with the hose.
Multi layers of mould may require a repeat treatment.
Autumn is a prime feeding time for citrus and the best foods are natural such as blood & bone, chicken manure, sheep manure pellets, BioBoost, Neem Tree Granules, Rok Solid and Fruit & Flower Power. Sprinkle as many of the above as you like under the tree and cover with a layer of compost.
Avoid man-made fertilisers as they harm the soil life and can lead to disease problems.
The right time of the year for planting the last winter vegetable crops, it is also the time for planting or sowing flowering plants to brighten up those weary winter days.
Try planting varieties of hybrid and heirloom sweet-pea - some for their colour and the rest for their fragrance.
Place support netting along a wall that has good morning sun. Like snow peas and vegetable peas, sweet-peas love a good natural diet and plenty of lime to do well.
Autumn is also lawn sowing, repair and maintenance time. When sowing new lawn, prepare the area first and keep it moist to germinate any weed seeds. When these show and grow about 10 to 20mm tall, slice them off with a sharp Dutch hoe. Using weed-killer prior to sowing can cause yellowing of new grasses. Repeat more than once so there are fewer weeds.
A suggested lawn seed is Super Strike, which can also be used for patching. Feed with BioBoost, an inexpensive natural slow release prill.
In established lawns, thatch is the layer of debris that builds up on the soil. Remove it either with a scarifying rake or machine, or easier, apply Thatch Busta
Problems ring me at 0800 466464 (Palmerston North 3570606)Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web site www.gardenews.co.nz
For a winter bouquet of colour and fragrance, sweet peas are perfect for growing up against a frame or a wall, either from a bed or from pots. All they need is some netting or a wooden frame to climb on and they’ll do the rest.