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Wally Richards
Wally Richardshttp://www.gardenews.co.nz
Wally Richards has been a gardening columnist for over 30 years. Check his websites - for gardening news and tips visit www.gardenews.co.nz. For mail order products visit www.0800466464.co.nz. Wally also has a gardening problem help line on 0800 466 464.

Gardening with Wally Richards: Prepare for the new season

Winter gardening news

The year is slipping away and now there are only a few weeks till the shortest day which heralds in a new season for gardening.

While its quiet gardening wise you have ample time on those nice days to prepare for the coming season of gardening.

Lets start off by those that are fortunate to have a glasshouse or tunnel house and to get it ship shape and ready for growing in soon.

Likely there has been insect problems over the past season and that is very normal as a glass house provides ideal conditions for pests to breed.

You may have some plants still in there growing either coming to the end of their days or not too bad.

What I am going to suggest is a simple way of fumigating your glasshouse but in doing so the plants in there may or may not survive.

It is better to leave any plants that are coming to the end of their days inside to be fumigated and kill the pests on them rather than take them outside and then the pests can colonise your outside plants.

If you have the odd plant in a container that you do not want to lose then best take them out while you are fumigating the house.

Any plants taken out should be placed in a good light but sheltered place and spray them all over; later in the day near dusk, with Wallys Super Neem Tree Oil with Wallys Super Pyrethrum added.

Also in case of root mealy bugs in the mix sprinkle some of Wallys Neem Tree Powder onto the top of the growing medium.

This, with later watering, will fix any pests in the mix feeding on the plants roots.

Place 2-3 tablespoons of Wallys Sulphur Powder onto a heath shovel or spade sitting in the middle of the glass house on the ground. In a larger tunnel house or glasshouse you would need to have more than one sulhpur burning to give a good coverage from the fumes.

A metal plate could be used instead if preferred as long as it is metal and cant catch on fire.

Close all vents leaving the door open for you to leave once lite.

The sulphur powder is not easy to light and you need a very strong flame such as used for killing weeds.

Otherwise dampen a little of the pile of sulphur with some Methylated Spirits and light that.

A fire Starter may also be used. Once the sulphur gets burning it is very difficult to put out.

Once alight it is time for you to get out as the fumes will make it difficult to breathe and you dont want to die with the pests.

Close the door behind you and leave closed up for about 24 hours.

Then open door and vents and any plants you left in the house give them a light sprinkling with water from the hose. It may help save some on them.

After a few hours close down the vents and door as you don’t want any stray pests finding their way back in.

Its a good idea to build up a smell in the house to deter pests from entering by sprinkling Wallys Neem Tree Granules over the floor or soil.

Hang some fresh yellow sticky white fly traps in the house to catch any flying pests.

If you grow in soil in the glasshouse and have any concerns about diseases in the soil then apply Terracin to the soil as a drench and a couple of weeks later a drench with Mycorrcin.

Your glasshouse is now ready for the coming season and you can start germinating or planting seedlings after the 21st of June.

In the gardens outside keep the weeds down while they are slow to grow.

I prefer to use a sharp carving knife and slice below the crown of larger weeds in under the soil.

This leaves the rest of the roots to decompose in the soil and feed the soil life and plants.

Smaller weeds just scrape the blade of the knife over the soil and wipe them out.

Whitefly and pests on citrus trees are easy to control by placing Wallys Neem Tree Granules under the tree from trunk to drip line and in about 6-8 weeks all the pests feeding on the tree or on the roots will be gone.

There will be a lot of pests from last season harboring over in your gardens so later in the afternoon when the sun is off the plants spray Wallys Neem Super Tree oil with Wally Super Pyrethrum added over and under the leaves of plants where there was infestations earlier.

Good idea to add some Raingard and MBL to the spray as well.

If you have not done so yet spray all cold sensitive plants with Vaporgard, spray on frost protection.

Vacant vegetable gardens can be planted into a green crop.

Ones that can be used for different advantages are:

  • Blue Lupin – a quick growing, nitrogen fixing crop suited to cooler climates.
  • Barley – adds protein, nitrogen and organic matter to strengthen the soil structure.
  • Oats – used to combat soil erosion and to help break up hard clay soils.
  • Mixed grain – adds nitrogen and organic matter to the soil as well as helping to prevent wire worm.
  • Mustard – cleans up harmful soil fungi and provides good control of wireworm and nematodes, which often ruin root crops such as potatoes and carrots.

Mustard is a good weed suppressant suited to cooler climates but do not use this crop if you are planting cauliflower, broccoli and other brassica in the same area the next season.

It is not a good time of the year to re-pot house plants as going into a larger container may cause over watering and damage.

This time of the year small drinks of water just to moisten up the mix of potted plants indoors.

Warm water is nice for them also.

Keep warm and dry.

Image credit: Julia Filirovska

Products mentioned are from Wallys Range of products and can be found in some garden shops or by Mail Order on www.0800466464.co.nz

Problems ring me at: Phone 0800 466464
Garden Pages and News at www.gardenews.co.nz
Shar Pei pages at www.sharpei.co.nz
Mail Order products at www.0800466464.co.nz

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