Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Gardeners' Diary - July 2015

spray grapes to prevent leaf curl and fungal diseases with specialised commercial preparations

July is a month of dormancy for many perennial plants, shrubs, vines, trees and for some
vegetables eg. Asparagus. Generally speaking plants which have a dormancy period have their origins in cold climates where they need to shut down their systems in order to survive the cold. This therefore, makes it the very best time to do plant subdivisions. If you are wanting to move your shrubs or small trees, now would be the perfect time to do so.

Before new leaves start forming on our dormant plants, the roots are starting to grow about a month before. It is best practice to apply some fertilizer before the new growth appears so that the roots have energy for vigorous growth.

Continue with your citrus feeding—a complete citrus feed should do an excellent job.

If you live in frost prone areas make sure you don’t encourage too much leaf burst early in the season as there might be the odd frost still to come.

Spray citrus trees with a weak solution of Pestoil or White Oil with Confidor or Malathion added to control bronze orange bug, a nasty summer pest. At this time of year, the insect is present on trees in the soft tissue or nymphal stage. As they are difficult to see, spray liberally, including the trunk and all the branches.

Spray deciduous shrubs, grapes, roses, apple, fig, persimmon and stone fruit trees with Lime Sulphur or Kocide to prevent leaf curl and fungal diseases. Spray the soil under and around the bushes, too. In the case of roses, remove all leaves prior to spraying.

Do not cut back or prune frost damaged plants until frosts have concluded for the winter (a bit difficult to know….) but you can apply anti-transpirant products such as Stressguard or Envy to minimize frost damage if you are at all concerned about a very special plant.

In the vegetable garden, now is an ideal time to manure heavily the beds which are to grow the summer crops like beans and curcubits. Give the beds a good working over to keep the soil light and fluffy which will assist the roots to wander and penetrate easily.

Remember that the asparagus, rhubarb and bulb-forming shallots can be planted now.

Plant beetroot, carrot, chives, dill, endive, garlic, kohirabi, lettuce, parsnip, peas, radish, rocket shallots, silverbeet, snow peas, spring onions & thyme.

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