Gardening Articles for week ending 22nd
Written by Wally Richards. Gardening
CHRISTMAS AND GARDENING
Firstly I would like to wish all of you a very Marry Christmas
and a safe, healthy Gardening New Year.
It has been an interesting gardening year and this spring/summer
has been one of the best for sometime.
The weather has settled earlier and garden plants are certainly
growing well as long as adequate water is supplied.
I have had several readers that have commented on their potato
plants growing very tall, taller than usual. In the past I
would have suggested that they may have been a bit heavy handed
with the use of nitrogen, making for tall foliage and often
resulting in a poorer crop.
On asking this question most have said that they have done
nothing different to usual.
Thus the increased growth must come from another factor which
is associated with Global Warming.
Increased carbon dioxide levels in the air increases growth
because that gas is what the plants take in and convert with
sunlight to oxygen.
I remember years back when I owned a nursery glasshouse complex,
if we wanted to give the plants a growth spurt we would throw
dry ice (carbon dioxide) down the pathways with the house
The increased carbon dioxide in the air would give the plants
a nice boost of growth.
Simple and effective but now days with increased levels of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere our plants and gardens are
Many gardeners like to show off their gardens over the holidays
to family and friends while visiting, which is a boost to
ones moral but also a mill-stone to make sure all is looking
at its best.
Roses are the highlight of many gardens and so here is a little
secret to make your roses look their very best; Spray the
roses foliage with Vaporgard which will make the leaves
turn into a much richer dark green and shine them at the same
time. The Vaporgard acts as a sunscreen against UV and the
chlorophyll can work at maximum, creating more energy from
the sun and greening up the foliage also.
Another aspect is the Vaporgard film, which will last up to
3 months on the foliage sprayed, makes it very difficult for
diseases such as blackspot and rust to establish, especially
if sprayed under and over the leaf surface. Any pest insects
on the foliage at the time of spraying will be zapped in the
film and any other pests attacking the rose will have a hard
time while the film is present.
A further advantage is the roses daily water needs will
reduce by about 30% as the film reduces transpiration loss.
Within 2-3 days of spraying, the roses are looking great and
protected from a number of summer problems.
Any Problems ring me at 0800 466464 (Palmerston
Web site www.gardenews.co.nz
Vaporgard can be a boon for gardeners going away for a few
days or more and not being around to water their gardens.
Spraying all your preferred plants and gardens with the product
will help reduce their water needs.
Mulching the bare soil around plants after giving the gardens
a good soak will also help conserve water levels in the soil,
extending the period between waterings.
To mulch use compost, lawn clippings, untreated sawdust, bark
fines and newspaper.
If using newspaper place that down on the wet soil first and
wet it further with the hose then cover with a mulch product.
Not only will you reduce the watering needs of the gardens
but you will also reduce weed seed development plus feed the
soil life including the worms.
If using sawdust or bark fines sprinkle blood and bone over
the newspaper before applying to offset any nitrogen loss
caused by the breaking down of these two carbon products.
Container plants are another matter as they dry out much quicker
and will need more water than the mulch protected gardens.
Once again you can reduce their water needs by spraying the
foliage under and over with Vaporgard, moving the containers
to a spot were they are shaded all day such as under trees.
Water well by plunging the pots into a tub of water and place
sphagnum moss or compost on top of the mix. You may need to
obtain the service of a friend to come and water the containers
every 2 to 3 days while away.
Hopefully by doing these things you can come back to your
gardens and containers without a lot of problems. Indoor plants
will suffer also and for them a spray of Vaporgard over the
foliage and then into the bath or laundry tubs place soaking
wet towels and sit the plants on the towels after having plunged
each one into a tub of water. (don't leave the plug in the
The best solution for those that are going away for a holiday
is to have a friend house-sit for you.
This solves a number of problems, giving security against
burglary, pets do not have to relocated, (which they hate)
fruit and vegetables can be harvested and used without waste
and gardens can be watered, lawns mowed, mail cleared just
as if you were still at home.
To make this work you need to take notes of how you water
the gardens, container and pot plants.
The amount of water given or the time sprinklers are left
on. The best intentioned house-sitter can easily overwater
and cause problems which they will feel bad about and you
will have to suffer.
Some good clear instructions are all that is needed and then
everyone including your plants will be happy.
All the best for Christmas and the New Year, Regards Wally
Problems ring me at 0800 466 464 (Palmerston
Garden Pages and News at www.gardenews.co.nz
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know. Thank you.
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