Handling seasonal transition
Daylight saving is over meaning less time after work to do things in the garden before dusk. It is only our clocks that change; the clock that guides our plants keeps rolling on, and plants began adapting to the less hours of daylight a while back.
Deciduous plants have started to show signs of leaf colour change and dropping, as well as autumn diseases such as powdery mildew on susceptible foliage.
For those deciduous plants and annuals finishing for the season there is little point in trying to put the brakes on nature by using remedial sprays.
Unless you are trying to squeeze out a bit more time on pumpkins, cucumbers and zucchini so you have a few more mature fruit to harvest.
Spraying the foliage with Wallys Neem Tree Oil cleans off the mildew and allows the leaves to function fully, gaining energy from the sun to ripen the last fruit.
An alternative is to mix a tablespoon of baking soda into a litre of warm water with one ml of Raingard and spray that.
Those concerned that diseases are creating spores that lie dormant to attack plants in the spring, can use potassium permanganate (Condys crystals) at 1⁄
4 teaspoon per litre of water to spray plants and the soil beneath.
Repeating this inexpensive treatment during the winter and spring can make a big difference to diseases affecting roses and other plants in the new season.
Potassium permanganate is available from many gardening outlets and by mail order.
There’s a plant called cat grass that animals, including cats and dogs, love for their digestion and health.
Available from some retail garden shops or as seeds, it is important to have fresh grass for cats (dogs like it too) to nibble on or to eat in larger amounts so the animal can bring up fur balls.
Keep cat grass healthy by watering it with Magic Botanic Liquid every two weeks for the extra minerals and elements.
Even if your cat or dog has access to outdoor grasses, it still is a good healthy principle to have some cat grass by your back door to for them to nibble on.
Avoid using bee killing insecticides such as the neonicotinoid, Confidor, and ensure you have plenty of bee-friendly nectar and pollen rich plants growing in your garden. Overseas research has concluded that more bee visits during the main flowering season means significantly higher crop yields.
It’s time, now that the soil has cooled down and a bit of rain has started to happen, to safely plant spring bulbs.
Bone flour used to be the special food to use with bulbs, but that’s hard to come by now. Instead, use a little gypsum and some blood & bone, and for protection against soil insects damaging the bulbs, apply Wally’s Neem Tree Granules.
Moisture means weed seeds germinating. Slice them off at soil level while they are small and easy to deal to.
Curcubits, like this zuchinni are particularly susceptible to powdery mildew, which restricts the plant’s energy absorption capabilities.