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Garden Tips October 2015

What to do in the garden in October


Take another look at that public garden stalwart - Libertia peregrinans. That's a NZ iris to us lay people. It's a plant that really captures the 'orange' in garden tones, its leaves are deeply coloured after a hefty bout of cool temperatures this winter. Play it up with your dahlias, rudbeckias and bright canna lilies.

LOVE AT FIRST BITE - pest control

Or not, if the caterpillars of the codling moth hatch inside your beautiful crop as the apples grow...

Apples trees everywhere are producing the blossom that drops and leaves young fruit exposed to the very aggressive moth. Try using pheromone traps (that's the sticky stuff you hang in the tree) and there's a reasonable chance you'll deal with the little blighters.

There's another great remedy - Success Ultra. Digger Dan used this last season and had perfect apples for a change - not apple hotels for crawly caterpillars. The trick is to begin the spray programme now as the petals fall and only spray for 4 times in the season. The spray is a naturalyte, yet does the same job as a chemical. Environmentally that's better!


When did the lawn become a mud bath? After 3 straight months of rain if you live in Auckland! If this is the case try to stay off it for a while, hoping it gets a little drier. However you can broadcast a white powdery substance called Gypsum all over it. Strangely it's the stuff in gib board on the walls (but don't go tearing your living room down okay?) Don't be put off by the look of icing sugar all over the back yard - just repeat it in 2 weeks. Gypsum will 'open up' hard clay soils, allowing water penetrate and generally making the grass happy. (As in the song). Get gypsum from your nearest Central Landscape yard.

Spring Renovation: With the weather warming up and hopefully drying out you will want to turn your attention to your lawn. After a long, wet winter even existing lawns need some TLC and the sooner you do this the better your lawn will look heading into summer and that all important BBQ season. if your lawn is looking tired, yellow, full of weeds or just a little thin then it's time for a spring renovation.
If you looking at sowing a new lawn or re-doing an existing one, now is a great time to use SRL (self-repairing lawn) This new and innovative rye grass will provide you with a genuine low maintenance lawn option, with its fine dark leaf and 50% less mowing you will be the envy of the street.
Check out the website or pop in and talk to your local Central yard for more information.
How to renovate:
1. Fertilise with or Garden Supreme to encourage strong growth.
2. Spray weeds with Broadsword selective weed killer to control broadleaf weeds.
3. About 3-4 weeks later scarify the lawn heavily to create a good seed bed.
4. Oversow bare or weak areas with the appropriate Prolawn seed blend and fertilise with Turfmaster Starter

FAST FOOD - Veggie garden

October is the 'now' month for growing food. Basically if you plant it now you can pretty much eat it all summer.
Grow organically, it tastes better and if we all stopped using chemical fertilisers, there would be less of them leaching into the storm water system and heading out to poison our fish! Living Earth's BioGro certified Organic Veggie Mix and BioGro organic certified Liquid Compost are the perfect companions to grow you natural, healthy food.

Its petal fall time - spring blooms don't kick around for all that long, due to their often fragile nature. Don't mourn the dropping of these magnolia blooms - they served their purpose to attract delicious insects which feed the breeding birds! Love the effect on your lawn - but clear the leaves after a week, otherwise the grass may begin to yellow off and sulk!

YUM (harvesting food)
Got a wealth of coloured stem silver beet (also known as Swiss chard)? So pretty and so good for you.

Silver Beet Pie

GET WELL SOON: Health straight from the source - Beat colds and 'flu the way Nature intended… Digger Dan used lemons travelled from Tairua and honey from Mangawhai's Worsfold Farm.

- In water-logged soils avoid doing anything until the rain lessens and the temperatures stay constantly in the upper teens. If you need to, put down a row of boards or organic mulch to tread on, that can be repatriated later and work on the surrounding garden, without treading on it. Gently forking over soils that are more free-draining, adding compost as you go to reinvigorate the soil and replace nutrients that have washed through.

After planting, or even after you've simply turned the soil, mulch will, strange as it seems, help the soil. It acts like this: when the rain hits the bigger mulch pieces the water will run down the sides into the soil, allowing more even dispersal, rather than the water congregating in dips or at the low point of the garden bed. The best mulch that will do this: Central Landscape & Garden Supplies BLACKGOLD Mulch.
You can scrape back the mulch for planting, then replace it and you have an excellent weed suppression cover. Extra compost in the mulch will gradually add more nutrients to the soil below.

HOT TIP: Place tiny terracotta pots on the ends of low garden stakes to prevent eye-gouging when gardening - unless you want to look like an All Black!

DID YOU KNOW? That sweet honey scent in the evenings just now is most likely coming from the karo flower, a NZ tree botanical name Pittosporum crassifolium. You might mistake it for a pohutukawa tree. (How about that on top of the red peak flag?)

NO IT'S NOT A FUNGUS - This succulent with its perfectly formed rosettes got a nasty shock recently when hailstones pitted its fleshy leaves. Sadly, it won't recover, but new growth will look prettier.

Garden Thought of the Month:

"One of the healthiest ways to gamble is with a spade and a package of garden seeds."
Dan Bennett

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