Last night, I attended the Mitre 10 garden club event at my local store in Manukau. As always, I had a great time thanks to Maureen and the team. The key message of the evening was the importance of liquid feeding. Two points arose from this:
· Granular fertiliser isn’t a substitute for regular liquid feeding, but it’s better than nothing
· Seaweed is a tonic and doesn’t have NPK
I had prepared some questions to ask the Yates expert in advance. I thought I would summarise Shaun’s advice, incase other gardeners had the same issues.
· Rust on garlic – Shaun had a look at a photo of my garlic and confirmed that it has indeed been struck by rust. It’s too far gone to do anything about it this season (as I suspected) BUT the good news is that he said it should still produce, even though it may mean the bulbs are a bit smaller. Next year, Shaun advised to spray plants with Yates Liquid Copper from the time they emerge (not when they’re too small), every 2-3 weeks, to prevent rust. He said that I can replant any cloves from my stock and it shouldn’t cause rust in future, as it’s not spread that way. If storing cloves for planting, Shaun advised to dust them with flowers of sulphur powder, which I use on my daffodils, dutch iris and other spring bulbs after I lift them in summer
· Fruit trees – Shaun said not to spray my fruit trees with Yates Liquid Copper now that the weather is warmer, as it may burn the leaves. The same goes for my roses. Since I sprayed the fruit trees regularly over winter with Yates Lime Sulphur, Yates Liquid Copper and Yates Copper Oxychloride, Shaun said I didn’t really need to worry about spraying them anymore but if I wanted to, Yates Fungus Fighter was the product to use. He said I should be using Yates Super Shield or Yates Fungus Fighter spray on my roses from now until the end of summer.
· Yates success spray – Shaun recommended I use this product to protect seedlings which are being munched in the greenhouse. It’s hard to say what has been attacking them but some plants have been completely decapitated, others have holes in the leaves. I have a bottle of Yates Success which I won in a gardening competition run by the NZ Gardener magazine a number of years ago, but haven’t needed to use this product until now
· Destroy Bravo but Confidor is ok – As you might recall from one of my earliest photos, I have SO many Yates products stockpiled in the garage and I needed to quickly check which ones have been pulled from the market due to environmental concerns. Shaun told me not to use Yates Bravo, which I used to use on my roses, as a link with cancer was found. However, he said Confidor is still on the shelves. I have had to use Yates Confidor in the past when our lemon tree had borer and still have a bit left. Shaun said spraying is best done in early autumn, so I’ll wait until then.
Today was an exceptionally beautiful day and I was extremely productive. I always work more efficiently when the weather’s fine. I powered through my task list, which included:
· Planting the tray of silverbeet shown in yesterday’s picture (I intended to do this yesterday afternoon but ran out of time)
· Lifting the row of Heather potatoes planted on 20th August (see photo of harvest)
· Planting a row of Agria potatoes in the same place after mixing compost, Nitrophoska fertiliser and potato food into the soil
· Liquid feeding the entire garden. I used Yates Thrive Tomato Liquid Plant Food on my tomatoes, chillies, capsicums, cucumbers, pumpkins and squash; Yates Thrive Strawberry and Berry Fruit Liquid Plant Food on my strawberries; Yates Thrive Natural Citrus and Fruit tree Liquid fertiliser on my fruit trees (which I won in Mini Challenge 2) and the Yates Thrive pods that I purchased on special from Bunnings for $1 each on the rest of the plants
· Sowing two rows of tall sunflowers on either side of the melon patch – Skyscraper, Taiyo, Zohar, Fantasia, Evening Sun and Chocolate Cherry (all from Kings Seeds). I inserted some stakes as doing so later on might damage the roots of the plants
· Sowing a container of basil (McGregors seed mats)
· Sowing more beans on the heat pad (Kentucky Pole climbing beans from McGregors)
· Taking some photos of the garden. Sometimes I am so busy working in the garden that I forget to capture and admire all the plants!
All these tasks took me 7 hours in total, with a half hour break for lunch in the middle. Tonight, I’m going to have a think about what needs to be done tomorrow. I definitely won’t do 7 hours again, as I have the YMCA 10k run in the evening. Last week, I had a lighter Thursday in the garden and was 5 mins faster than the previous week. I think doing less gardening helped as I wasn’t so exhausted by the time of the race. I set a new PB for the course of 1 hour 7 mins 7 secs. Wish me luck!