Feed the Garden
With the rain the nutrients in the ground will have leached out. To maintain the growth and rich green colour of the leaves this is the perfect time to fertilise the beds. Feed with organic pellets for sustained growth. We always recommend BioGanic for lush green gardens and BioOcean for flower and veggies gardens.
The rain will also wash out some of the micro nutrients and some plants will show an Iron shortage after such a prolonged rain week. Hydrangeas in particular show an Iron shortage with pale green leaves with dark green veins. Gardenias tend to do the same. Feed them with Trelmix or Iron Chelate once a week till the colour is restored.
Let the light in
As the garden grows some shrubs and trees grow quite fast after a rainy week. Most times we like that but sometimes it creates dark spots under them and plants below or lawns below start to suffer. By lifting a few branches or even by taking some of the weight off the tips one can allow more light into the beds below and get stronger growth.
This is also the perfect time to shape young trees. Our tip is to keep the top two thirds of the tree to grow naturally and to only clear or shape the bottom third of a tree. If your tree is newly planted don’t trim or cut it for the first two years and only shape after that. This will help it develop a stronger trunk.
The wet weather and the lush undergrowth will make perfect weather for snails and slugs to flourish. A few snails we don’t mind but when left unchecked they become a menace especially when you plant out young seedlings or veggies. A quick blitz to stomp a few out will keep the population of snails under control. Alternatively use the new Protek Skatterkill for Snails. It works as a bait and will get rid of a good few at a time especially the slugs which one doesn’t always see.
After the rain stops the Christmas the tree top bugs in our area will be hungry and start their damage big time. Be on the lookout for Mole crickets, Clivia worm and Christmas beetles.
Mole crickets are identified by a rolling sound they make at night, the damage to lawns is visible by the lawn becoming loose and thin in patches as they burrow just beneath the surface. Clivia worm attacks the Clivia leaves this time of the year by burrowing through the leaf all the way into the base of the plant and it can kill your plants.
The Christmas beetle eats lace like holes into the leaves of Roses, Fuchsias and Arums. They only come out in the early evening and can make your plants look quite unsightly.
Because of the nature if these bugs we recommend using a systemic insecticide – Efekto Plant Protector, as this goes into the plant with a residual of a few months.
Blitz the weeds too
Just as the garden was taking strain in the heat before the rain so too did the weeds in the paving and in the lawn. That’s about to change. As soon as the sun is out and a few dry days follow all the weeds from now and from the past few months will all germinate and come up. Stay on top of it before it gets out of hand and they start to seed and make the problem worse.
Weeds in paving need a non selective weed killer and weeds in lawn need a broad leafed weed killer. Broad leaf weed killers kill everything except lawn. Be on the lookout for the dreaded clover weed that will eventually destroy your lawn if left unchecked. We have concentrates such as Hormoban which will sort out large patches of lawn. Alternatively use No Weed Lawn, Ready to Use.
This is perfect as a spot spray and for easy use. The one thing we don’t recommend when weeding the lawn is a manual pull out. The process of pulling out the weeds disturbs the soil bringing dormant seeds to the surface and perpetuates the problem.
On paving we have a selection of ready to use options which will kill everything from grass to general weeds. No Weed Lawn has become increasingly the most popular ready to use spray on our shelf.