How to go for green

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOOD DIGGING -

ing to spray away ev­ery prob­lem.

Iden­tify the prob­lem be­fore you try to fix it. Check­ing your gar­den daily will alert you to small prob­lems be­fore they get out of hand. One or two chewed leaves are to be ex­pected. And be­fore you pull out the big guns look for the cause of the prob­lem. If you see a colony of in­sects or an egg sack, then take ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures. That might mean sim­ply re­mov­ing the egg sack.

Know if the prob­lem is caused by an in­sect or a dis­ease. A good dose of fungi­cide may poi­son an in­sect, but no amount of in­sec­ti­cide is go­ing to cure a fun­gal dis­ease. And some in­sects – such as lady­birds – are good for the gar­den, so don’t choose a spray that is go­ing to kill ev­ery­thing in its way.

More is not bet­ter. Read and fol­low la­bel di­rec­tions. Even or­ganic pes­ti­cides can be danger­ous if used too fre­quently or at too high a con­cen­tra­tion. and beau­ti­ful healthy plants.

At the very least, add a bucket full of com­post to the plant­ing hole.

Dig up the soil as lit­tle as pos­si­ble. Till­ing breaks up the soils struc­ture and dis­turbs the or­gan­isms in it. The no-dig gar­den is the fu­ture of green gar­den­ing.

Ap­ply com­post or com­posted ma­nure reg­u­larly.

Un­cov­ered soil lets rain and ero­sion wash away nu­tri­ents and gives weeds space to grow. Place a thick layer of or­ganic mulch around plants or plant fast-grow­ing wa­ter smart ground­cov­ers.

In sunny ar­eas plant agapanthus, apte­nia ( Apte­nia cordi­fo­lia), bul­binella, sour fig and other vy­gies, sil­ver car­pet ( Dy­mon­dia mar­gare­tae), erigeron daisy, trail­ing gaza­nia ( Gaza­nia rigens) or trail­ing mauve os­teoper num ( Os­teosper­mum ju­cunda).

In shaded spots plant agapanthus, hen-and-chicken ( Chloro­phy­tum co­mo­sum), fairy cras­sula ( Cras­sula mul­ti­cava), gos­sip ( Plec­tran­thus ver­ti­cil­la­tus), or var­ie­gated plec­tran­thus ( P. mada­gas­carien­sis).

PIC­TURES: AN­TON BRE­DELL

BIRDLIFE: The masked weaver will be at­tracted to gar­dens with seeds and build­ing ma­te­ri­als.

LOVELY VIS­I­TORS: By plant­ing wa­ter­wise win­ners such as the blue king­fisher daisy ( you will at­tract but­ter­flies.

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