Chase away the winter blues and kickstart spring!

Chase away the winter blues and kickstart spring!

Protek @ Garden World

Nature knows that August is a time for change.  The air becomes cleaner, the sun rises earlier and nature starts to wake up from its winter slumber.  You can expect temperature lows of 6°C in very cold and wintery areas, but most of South Africa is very warm in August with maximum temperatures of up to 33°C. 

August might bring dusty winds which blow away old dirt and dead leaves making way for fresh new beginnings.  

Gardeners know that this is the perfect time to banish the winter blues by planning and planting their summer gardens.

If you have planned your winter and spring garden well, this is the month in which you are rewarded with a mass of colour.  Namaqualand Daisies, sweet peas and Icelandic poppies are just a few of the winter seedlings that now provide beautiful colour in our gardens. Feed them regularly with NutriGreen Flower Power and remove spent flowers.  The more you pick the flowers from your sweet peas and Iceland poppies, the more you will be rewarded with additional flowers.

Divide and replant overcrowded groundcovers and perennial plants like agapanthus and clivias and transplant them immediately into well-prepared beds. Gently pull apart the actively growing plants from the outside of the clump, choosing only healthy-looking pieces. Mulch the clumps and feed with NutriGreen Gwano Pellets or General Fertilizer 2:3:2. Prune untidy ornamental grasses right to the ground if they do not need dividing.  Feed them with NutriGreen Grow Green or Lawn & Foliage Fertiliser 7:1:3.

Re-pot any overgrown pot plants into slightly larger containers.  Use good quality potting soil and add NutriGreen Gwano Pellets or Garden Phosphate to the soil to ensure strong root development as well as Peat Moss Universal Blend, Peat Moss Acidic Blend or Coco Peat, depending on the plants’ requirements.  Peat moss is 100% weed free, has high water holding capabilities and assists with the slow release of important nutrients.  It supports strong root growth, germination of seeds and long plant life.  Coco Peat has high water holding capabilities, promotes superior root growth, is environmentally friendly and sustainable – it is pathogen, parasite and weed seed free.

Delay pruning your roses until the middle or even the end of August if you live in extremely cold regions.  Seal all pruning wounds with a spray mixture of Mycoguard and Sprayfilm 10 to prevent fungal infections. It is a much easier and convenient way to seal all the pruning wounds than sealing individual cuts one at a time, especially if you have loads of rose shrubs!  After pruning your roses, feed with General Fertilizer 2:3:2 or NutriGreen Gwano Pellets.  One week later, feed with Guanoflo liquid foliar fertiliser for extra vigor.  When the leaves become damaged and disease-ridden your rose bush will not perform well. Roses are susceptible to attack from insects like aphids and red spider mite. Fungal infections such as black spot, powdery mildew and rust directly affect the leaves. With the first appearance of shoots, treat shrubs by soil drenching the root area with Complete at 1ml per liter of water for season long control of sucking and biting insects.  Treat preventatively against fungi with Mycoguard or Copper-Flow-Plus, or preventatively and correctively with Tenazole and repeat treatment every 2 weeks.   Protek’s Rose Guard offers effective 3-in-1 protection against these common pests and diseases. This contact insecticide and contact and systemic fungicide will get rid of insects and fungi infections. To conserve water, mulch the root area and water once a week. 

In most parts of the country pruning of deciduous fruit trees and grape vines is generally completed in July; but in very cold regions pruning is often delayed until the middle of August. Fruit trees like peaches, apricots, plums, nectarines, pears and apples will be coming into bloom this month, especially the early varieties.  Mulch the root area with compost and feed with NutriGreen Gwano Pellets. It is extremely important to start treating your fruit trees against fruit fly at 70 % of petal drop.  Alternate between Spraykill 5 and Kemprin every 14 days.  Remember to add Sprayfilm 10 to the mixture in case of rain.  Sprayfilm is rainfast within 1 hour and can withstand 25mm of rain.  It is a wetter, sticker and spreader (used in conjunction with pesticides, fungicides etc.) for the effective treatment of plants and offers UV protection against the damaging rays of the sun.  Treat until the first fruit starts ripening.  Citrus trees should be fed with organic NutriGreen Gwano Pellets or General Fertilizer 2:3:2. If citrus psylla was a problem the previous season, soil drench with Complete 350 SC for season long protection.  Remember to first pick the fruit still on the tree as Complete has a very long residual period (212 days). 

Do not prune your evergreen shrubs until the danger of frost is over.  Wait for spring and early summer flowering plants to finish blooming before you start pruning them.  After pruning, fertilise your shrubs and trees with NutriGreen Grow Green and flower bearing plants and trees with NutriGreen Flower Power.

Ensure that standard roses and shrubs (lolly pops) as well as young trees are securely staked and supported to prevent August wind damage.  Do not tie too tightly as to allow for some movement.

To establish new garden beds for sowing, prepare the soil by digging it over to a depth of 30 cm, add a thick layer of compost and work it into the soil.  Add Garden Phosphate or NutriGreen Gwano Pellets for strong root development.

Rake the bed level, water well and allow the bed to lie for at least 2 weeks before sowing seed.  The perfect soil for growing vegetables is a loose, crumbly, well-drained soil that retains moisture and nutrients. 

Summer vegetables can only be sown directly into garden beds when the danger of frost is over and soil temperatures are warm. In less frosty regions you can start sowing summer vegetables like maize, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, pumpkin, squash, cabbage, lettuce, runner and bush beans, beetroot, parsnips, rhubarb, radish, Swiss chard, turnips, carrots, melons, Cape gooseberries and many more.  Vegetables must grow quickly for optimal flavour and quality, so prepare the beds well.

Prepare a herb garden for summer, preferably as close to the kitchen as possible, or alternatively, plant them between the rows of the vegetable garden.  Grow fast-maturing herbs like rocket, caraway, dill, chervil, coriander and basil.

August is a great time to plant spring and summer annuals like sunflowers, pansies, petunias, begonias, alyssums, dianthus, geraniums, marigolds, zinnias and many others. Vygies, osteospermums, nemesias, diascias and gazanias are indigenous plants suitable for our environment.  They save water, are fast growers and offer loads of colour.  Some can be sown in situ, whilst others are best sown in seed trays.  Follow the instructions that appear on the reverse side of the seed packets.  Remember to group seedlings together according to their watering and light requirements.

August is also the ideal time to sow evergreen lawn seed before it gets too hot. Pro Lawn All Seasons Grass Mix is ​​evergreen, frost-resistant and can be sown in the shady spots in your garden as well as in full sun. Do not scarify cool-season lawns like Pro Lawn.

To avoid burning grass blades, do not scarify and fertilize your established lawn until the danger of frost is over. If your kikuyu has a thick mat build-up, scarify the lawn. To remove the thick top growth, set the mover on the lowest setting.  After mowing, water your lawn well and leave for two to three hours before aerating it by digging a garden fork into the ground as deep as possible, moving the fork forwards and backwards.  To stimulate root and new growth, spread General Fertilizer 2:3:2 or NutriGreen Gwano Pellets (both are high in phosphates) over the whole lawn, top dress lightly with lawn dressing and then water well.  Follow up with Nitrogreen

Clear the garden of weeds before they become problematic.  In a case where the beds are already planted with perennial shrubs, the weeds should be removed carefully with root and all. If the beds have been barren throughout the winter, you can clear them of weeds using Clear All or Clear Pave, leave the bed as is for two weeks before planting new plants. Apply Clear All or Clear Pave on weeds growing between the cracks of paving.  For longer control, use Two Step SC, a systemic and residual herbicide for pre- and post-emergence control of a wide spectrum of annual and perennial broadleaf weeds and grasses.  Two Step has a long residual action and can control weeds up to 6 months which makes it ideal for fences, curbs, etc. 

Since weeds are now thriving on your lawn, treat your lawn with a selective broadleaf herbicide such as Versus or Pure Lawn that controls weeds without killing the lawn. Alternatively try the convenient, ready-to-use Scatterkill for Weeds which is a selective granular herbicide that controls a wide range of broadleaf weeds on lawns without killing the lawn.

Be on the look-out for insects.  Harvester termites and mole crickets on your lawn are common after winter. Harvester termites can be treated with Termite Stop, a convenient, ready-to-use granular bait, and if you spot mole crickets, you can treat the lawn with Imidor systemic insecticide. 

Check all your bulbous plants for early signs of the dreaded lily borer, especially your clivias, agapanthus and amaryllis.   Clusters of tiny eggs underneath the leaves will develop into zebra-striped caterpillars.  They will start eating the leaves, working their way right down to the heart of bulbs. Spray regularly with Knox Worm before they destroy your much-loved plants.  Feed bulbs with a fertiliser rich in Potassium (K) such as Rose and Flower Fertilizer 8: 1: 5 or NutriGreen Flower Power.

When conifers get brown patches it could be due to diseases caused by insects, fungi, bacteria or viruses.  One of the most common causes of brown patches is the cypress aphid.  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. 

Enjoy your time in the garden and remember gardening is a wonderful way of keeping fit. 

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Gwano Pellets:  B4904, N 21 g/kg, P 32.5 g/kg, K 27.6 g/kg, Zn 2000 mg/kg, Cu 70 mg/kg, Mo 4500 mg/kg, Fe 2200 mg/kg, B 1200 mg/kg, Mn 1000 mg/kg C 350 g/kg, Group 2 fertiliser, registration holder: Farmworx (Pty) Ltd, company registration number:  2012/092415/07, PO Box 645, Heidelberg, 1439, telephone number:  011 812 9800.  Gro Green: B4665, N 39 g/kg, P 10 g/kg, K 40 g/kg, Zn 61 mg/kg, Cu 17 mg/kg, Mo 22 mg/kg, Fe 869 mg/kg, B 256 mg/kg, Mn 212 mg/kg, C 315 g/kg, Group 2 fertiliser, registration holder: Farmworx (Pty) Ltd, company registration number:  2012/092415/07, PO Box 645, Heidelberg, 1439, telephone number:  011 812 9800.  Flower Power: B4655, N 48 g/kg, P 10 g/kg, K 36 g/kg, Zn 61 mg/kg, Cu 17 mg/kg, Mo 22 mg/kg, Fe 869 mg/kg, B 256 mg/kg, Mn 212 mg/kg, C 296 g/kg, B4652, Group 2 fertiliser, registration holder: Farmworx (Pty) Ltd, company registration number:  2012/092415/07, PO Box 645, Heidelberg, 1439, telephone number:  011 812 9800.  Guanoflo: B3415, 13.8 g/kg N, 17 g/kg P, 2.1 g/kg K, 40.38 mg/kg Ca, 2521 mg/kg Mg, 1990 mg/kg Na, 16 mg/kg Mn, 606 mg/kg Fe, 11 mg/kg Cu, 91 mg/kg Zn, 6 mg/kg B, Group 2 fertiliser, registration holder: Farmworx (Pty) Ltd, company registration number:  2012/092415/07, PO Box 645, Heidelberg, 1439, telephone number: (011) 812 9800.  Garden Phosphate 8.3:  K7668, 83 g/kg P (8.3 % soluble in 2 % citric acid), Group 1 fertiliser, registration holder:  FarmWorx (Pty) Ltd, company registration number: 2012/092415/07, P O Box 645, Heidelberg, 1438, telephone number:  011 812 9800.  General Fertilizer 2:3:2 (14): K9913, 40 g/kg N, 60 g/kg P, 40 g/kg K, Group 1 fertiliser, registration holder:  FarmWorx (Pty) Ltd, company registration number: 2012/092415/07, P O Box 645, Heidelberg, 1438, telephone number:  011 812 9800.  Lawn & Foliage Fertilizer 7:1:3 (15): K9915, 95 g/kg N, 13 g/kg P, 41 g/kg K, Group 1 fertiliser, registration holder:  FarmWorx (Pty) Ltd, company registration number: 2012/092415/07, P O Box 645, Heidelberg, 1438, telephone number:  011 812 9800.  Rose & Flower Fertilizer 8:1:5 (17): K9914, 96 g/kg N, 12 g/kg P, 60 g/kg K, registration holder:  FarmWorx (Pty) Ltd, company registration number: 2012/092415/07, P O Box 645, Heidelberg, 1438, telephone number:  011 812 9800.  Copper-Flow-Plus: L6831, copper ammonium acetate 315 g/l, CAUTION, registration holder: Arysta LifeScience South Africa (Pty) Ltd, company registration number: 2009/019713/07, 7 Sunbury Office Park, Off Douglas Saunders Drive, La Lucia, 4019, telephone number: 031 514 5600.  Mycoguard 720 SC: L8417, chlorothalonil (phthalonitrile), 720 g/l, CAUTION, registration holder: Arysta LifeScience South Africa (Pty) Ltd, company registration number: 2009/019713/07, 7 Sunbury Office Park, Off Douglas Saunders Drive, La Lucia, 4019, telephone number: 031 514 5600.  Rose Guard: L10840, bifenthrin (pyrethroid) 10 g/l, bupirimate (pyrimidine) 75 g/l, propiconazole (triazole) 25 g/l, HARMFUL, registration holder:  Arysta LifeScience South Africa (Pty) Ltd, company registration number: 2009/019713/07, 7 Sunbury Office Park, Off Douglas Saunders Drive, La Lucia, 4019, telephone number: 031 514 5600.  Tenazole 250 EW: L8558, tebuconazole (triazole), 250 g/l, CAUTION, registration holder: Arysta LifeScience South Africa (Pty) Ltd, company registration number: 2009/019713/07, 7 Sunbury Office Park, Off Douglas Saunders Drive, La Lucia, 4019, telephone number: 031 514 560.  Complete 350 SC: L7959, imidacloprid (chloro-nicotinyl) 350 g/l, HARMFUL, registration holder: Arysta LifeScience South Africa (Pty) Ltd, company registration number: 2009/019713/07, 7 Sunbury Office Park, Off Douglas Saunders Drive, La Lucia, 4019, telephone number: 031 514560.  Imidor 350 SC: L8019, imidacloprid (chloronicotynil) 350 g/l, HARMFUL, registration holder: Villa Crop Protection (Pty) Ltd, company registration number: 1992/002472/07, PO Box 10413, Aston Manor, 1630, telephone number: 011 396 2233.  Kemprin 200 EC, L3145, cypermethrin (pyrethroid) 200 g/l, HARMFUL, registration holder: Arysta LifeScience South Africa (Pty) Ltd, company registration number: 2009/019713/07, 7 Sunbury Office Park, Off Douglas Saunders Drive, La Lucia, 4019, telephone number: 031 514 5600.  Spray-Kill 5: L4288, cypermethrin 2 g/l, piperonyl butoxide 10 g/l, tetrachlorvinphos 20 g/l, CAUTION, registration holder:  Effecticide (Pty) Ltd, registration number:  08/06493/07, Unit 5, King Court, Mineral Crescent, Crown Industrial, Johannesburg, 2001, telephone number: (011) 839 1636.  Sprayfilm 10: L7120, terpenic polymer, 902,4 g/l, L7120, CAUTION, Arysta LifeScience South Africa (Pty) Ltd, company registration number: 2009/019713/07, 7 Sunbury Office Park, Off Douglas Saunders Drive, La Lucia, 4019, telephone number: 031 514 5600

Distributed by: Protek, a division of PE-BEE Agri (Pty) Ltd, PO Box 72, Heidelberg, 1438, tel no (011) 812-9800 or 0861 PROTEK (0861 77 68 35), www.protek.co.za

 

 

 

 

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