Au­tumn’s a great time to gar­den

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING - WALLY RICHARDS

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 wal­lyjr@gar­de­news.co.nz Web site www.gar­de­news.co.nz

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

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.

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