Gardening with Eugene
Gardening with Eugene
The summer season is always promising, especially with the rains we had, which kept our gardens alive. To my utmost surprise when I arrived home after a holiday, was the vigorous growth of weeds in my garden due to the good rain. I could hardly recognize my own garden. Weeding is always a less enjoyable activity in the garden but is crucial unless you follow strict organic rules in your garden. The very best and most effective way of weeding is to pull the weeds out by hand. You may use a weeding tool or small hand fork, but to weed with a spade is not very effective, for you leave all the roots behind that mostly regrow even more vigorously.
There is nothing like rainwater nutrition for plant growth and it is always amazing how well plants react after a good shower. Hoeing is an easier alternative but rather for open areas, not for flower beds. Herbicides can be used wisely also in open areas, depending on the type of herbicide. The normal general herbicide will affect any plant, while your selective broadleaved herbicide is recommended for broad-leaved weeds in lawns.
Now that we have managed to get the weeds under control, let us have a glimpse at what to give attention to, this time of year. While we are at lawns, we might experience yellow patches in the lawn caused by lawn crickets feasting on the roots of the lawn. The same does the Lawn caterpillar or Army Worm. Both appear after the first good showers and start damaging the lawns. For both, you may use the same treatment, 4:1:1 with insecticide, Karba dust, or Cypermethrin. Apply with a watering can instead of a spraying applicator. Repeat after two weeks’ time with at least three applications.
Also, now with the new soft growth developed, one should inspect your plants more often for aphids, Mealybug and Australian Mealybug. You should treat with a systemic poison e.g. Insecticide Granules or Aphicide. Caterpillar and cutworms in your veggie patches will also start to feast on soft, newly developed plant tissue. Since we are at the Vegetable garden, we still have quite some time in this growing season to still plant some vegetable’s, Tomatoes, Carrots, Tzucinni (Baby marrows), Squash, Lettuce, Spinach, Radish, Beetroot, etc.
It is of utmost importance that the soil is organic-rich and that you have enough sunlight as well as watering is done regularly, without overwatering. Your flower beds may also need some attention after the holidays, give some high potassium feeding to stimulate flower development e.g. 3:1:5(26) SR of if you prefer organic, use Bio Ganic or Bio Ocean. Cut back on vigorous growth on certain fast-growing shrubs and climbers, especially after the rain. Fruit trees may also be cut down to prevent them from growing to high making it impossible for you to reach the top branches, especially with Citrus trees.
What watering of lawns is concerned; you must at least water every second day especially with the high temperatures we are currently experiencing? Ten to eight minutes per watering time, not less, otherwise you will have dying lawn resulting in bare patches, taking a lot of effort to recover. Flower beds may also now be watered at least every second day for 8 to 6 minutes at a time. Roses that finished flowering must be cut back daily to stimulate more flower growth as well as feeding with 8:1:5 or Bio Ocean to get the last flower burst before end of the season. In Namibia we have a second rose season, and may all roses be cut back by middle February, with no more than one third to have a final colour display up to end of May. Annual colour can be added now still by using Petunias, Portulaca vygies, Allysumn, Lubelia, Antherrinum, Phlox, Salvia, Tagetes, etc. Enjoy your summer gardens!
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