Harden up for winter
Now is the time to start hardening up plants for winter. Tender and preferred plants will benefit from a sprinkling of Fruit & Flower Power. Repeat this combination of magnesium which helps keep the foliage green, and potash which hardens up the growth, once a month over winter and into spring.
Also apply Silicon & Boron soil drench, and a foliage spray of Silicon Cell Strengthener combined with Silicon Super Spreader from the psyllid-controlling Summer Cell Strengthening kits to tender and preferred plants only. There’s no need to do the whole garden.
Time to remove the mulch and weedmat from around citrus and other plants that can suffer or die from wet feet. Spray their foliage with Perkfection Supa at full strength and a month later at the lesser rate.
Perkfection boosts plant immune systems and helps prevent root rots. Add Raingard if you have used Vaporgard in the last 3 months.
Citrus trees especially limes, as well as tamarillo, banana, choko, and late tomatoes are among plants to spray with Vaporgard for its frost protection abilities.
Vaporgard will give plants down to minus 3 degrees of frost protection within three days of application for up to three months. Spray in sunlight so film sets quicker.
Vaporgard develops a polymerised skin over each spray-droplet which filters out UVA and UVB and provides a sunscreen for the chlorophyll, which is normally under attack by UV light. This results in a darker green foliage within a few days of application.
The chlorophyll build-up makes the leaf a more efficient food factory producing more carbohydrates, offering stress protection from moisture loss and extra fuel for better growth and faster maturity.
It also works fine as antifreeze for the occasional frost every few days, but for a series nightly of frosts, additional protection from frost cloth is advisable.
Leave any frost-damaged and burnt leaves on the plant as they still offer some protection to the leaves lower down.
Only use Vaporgard on evergreen plants, as deciduous fruit trees and roses are able to cope with winter conditions; but a spray of Perkfection on these before leaf drop would not go astray.
Plants do not require much water in the winter, and this is especially so for container plants both outdoors or indoors.
Remove saucers under outdoor containers as wintering plants don’t need them as reservoirs. Replace the saucers with a couple of slats of wood to allow free flow out of the drainage holes.
Water glasshouse plants in the morning so the plants have a drier root zone when it gets colder in the afternoon or evening.
Treat powdery mildew with a spray of baking soda at one tablespoon per litre of water with 1ml of Raingard.
Cut off old raspberry canes. I cut back low both old and new canes and let the plants produce a new lot. This gets rid of disease and pests while new canes still crop well later in the season..
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Ensure container plants are not over moistened during winter by placing them in free-draining mode.