Autumn Abundance:  Gardening success in the cool season – PROTEK

Autumn Abundance:  Gardening success in the cool season – PROTEK

Protek @ Garden World

May marks the transition from the warmth of summer to the crisp coldness of winter.  The days may be shorter, but during this time, gardeners have ample opportunity to tend to their gardens and prepare for the cold months ahead. 

Tasks include cutting back dead and diseased branches, shaping and the nurturing of plants as well as planning for the upcoming seasons.  Cool-season vegetables like spinach, broccoli, carrots and many more provide fresh produce for our pantries, while autumn beauties such as pansies, sweet peas, African daisies and calendulas add colour to our gardens. 

Here are some tips to make the best of our gardens:

Good soil preparation is the key to success for any garden bed. Double dig the soil by turning soil over to a depth of at least 50 cm and remove all old vegetation, including the roots.  This will assist with good drainage, help prevent root rot in new plants, air the soil and improve the absorption of nutrients via the roots.  Work in a layer of compost together with Protek’s Garden Phosphate or Bonemeal into the top 30cm of the soil. Superphosphate stimulates root growth which will help the plants establish quickly in the soil.  The last step is to add Protek’s Peat Moss Universal Blend into the soil to improve the water holding capabilities of the soil and to reduce leaching.  Peat moss also supports strong root growth, germination of seeds, ensures healthier plant life and acts as a soil conditioner.

May is a wonderful month to plant herb and vegetable gardens. Try herbs like oregano, basil, lemon grass, parsley, thyme, rocket, fennel, dill and mint, to name a few.  Plant cool season vegetables like beetroot, radishes, cabbage, peas, broad beans, spinach, broccoli and carrots as they thrive in die milder temperatures of autumn and winter. 

Check your vegetables for aphids and treat them with Avi Gard Mercaptothion which has a quick knock down and a short withholding period on vegetables.  If snails cause destruction in your vegetable bed, treat them with Scatterkill for Snails.  Scatterkill for Snails is made from a bran bait that is very palatable for snails. It also features a unique pet repellent.  Be on the lookout for cabbage moth caterpillars and treat them with Knox Worm

May is the perfect time to plant winter and spring annual seedlings such as snapdragons, petunias, pansies, dianthus, carnations, poppies, primula, phlox, and many more.  You can also sow African daisies, alyssum, lobelia, Virginian stocks, gazanias and cornflowers.  Remember to include perennial beauties into your garden like chrysanthemums, calendulas and salvias.  Bulbs like daffodils, freesias, tulips and hyacinths are favourites amongst gardeners.  They can be planted in beds or containers creating a stunning display of colour, fragrance and a touch of magic to outdoor spaces.  Water and feed your flowers and bulbs regularly with Rose & Flower Fertiliser 8:1:5 or for an organic option, choose NutriGreen Flower Power.  Feed seedlings with Guanoflo every 2 weeks. 

Treat diseases like black spot, powdery mildew and rust preventatively with Mycoguard or Copper-Flow-Plus. Tenazole offers preventative and corrective control from a large range of fungi.

Remember to preventatively treat your conifers against dreaded conifer aphids.  The first sign you will notice is brown patches beginning to appear.  Unfortunately the damage done by these insects is only visible in October.  The best advice is to treat your plants preventatively with Protek Imidor as a soil drench at the roots of the conifer.  Also be on the lookout for ants around the conifers as their appearance is a tell-tale sign that the Italian Cypress Aphid is present.  The ants “milk” the aphids for honeydew, which is a food source to them.  The honeydew can also cause a secondary fungus infection, ie. sooty mould.  Treat preventatively with, Protek Tenazole, a systemic fungicide. 

Be on the lookout for scale and mealybugs which are readily found on citrus, roses and indoor plants in particular – treat them seasonally with Complete as a soil drench.

As the weather transitions from autumn to winter, it is crucial to ensure adequate water for aloes.  Although they can withstand periods of drought, adequate watering, especially when the rainfall decreases, will help them thrive, but avoid overwatering. 

Do not let the approaching winter give you cold feet when it comes to gardening.  With thoughtful planning and care, your autumn garden will flourish with seasonal beauty and an abundance of fresh, healthy and delicious vegetables! 

 

 

 

All Protek products now available in our store at Garden World!