Eplants.co.nz............ New Zealands Plant Portal........ Over 6,500 Kiwi Plant People and Services
The only site in the World with Live Images from Chelsea, Melbourne and Ellerslie Flower Shows.
WebCams | The Search | Plantfinder | This Weeks Tips | Featured | Eplants Home |

New Herb News Here


Welcome to New Zealands Plant Portal. Wally Richards Weekly Garden Tips & Advice.

Seasons greetings..

Gardening Articles for week ending 12th JANUARY 2008
Written by Wally Richards.

Back again with a new calender year (halfway though the gardening year) and wishing you all a great season in the garden.
This season has certainly been the best one (so far) for some years. Gardening here in Palmerston North has been great and I would presume the same applies to a number of other regions.
We have had some decent summer days, could do with a bit more rain, but at the same time, occasional chilling winds have helped take the heat off the plants without being depremental to their well being.
The past seasons been more even milder temperatures both summer and winter with only a brief period of real summer or winter. These conditions are not great for gardening and a problem for our heat loving plants.
The best gardening conditions comes about with really frosty winters followed by a warm moist spring, a balmy summer with adequate showers, followed by an Indian Summer well into autumn.
This year we are getting some of these aspects and along with global warming and the higher instance of carbon dioxide in the air plants are thriving.
So are the insect pests and it only takes a few days for a small colony of pests to explode into hundreds of plant suckers or munches.
Plants suffer as you would do if you were covered in lice, the insect pests sap the energy from the plant and damage the foliage which reduces the amount of energy they are able to gain from the sun. A double whammy.
Result is; that the plants cannot produce or flower as well and are more prone to attacks from diseases.
At this time of the year you need to be on top of the pest problem and soon as any outbreak is noticed go into control mode.
Using Neem Tree Oil with Key Pyrethrum added and sprayed late in the day just before dusk will solve the problem with repeat sprays about every sevens as required.
If you wish you can do a 14 day spray program to ensure no population build up.
A problem can arise from a neighbouring property (or even on your own) where you maybe spraying to control a pest such as whitefly or leaf hoppers and they have large populations nearby which keep on re-infesting your target plants.
This state of affairs will continue until all problem areas are dealt to. (You might need to ask the neighbours if you can spray on their property to save you time and money with multiple repeat sprays.)
The cooling winds can also bring a new problem to plants such as zucchini, stocks, pumpkins, silverbeet and pansy in the form of powdery mildew.
The easy solution for this is take a heaped tablespoon of baking soda and dissolve in one litre of warm water, add 1 mil of Raingard and spray the effected plants or use as a prevention.
It is magic and the same recipe for killing the foliage of oxalis weeds. (use on a sunny day when the soil is on the dry side.)
Baking Soda spray used as above is also good for controlling black spot on apples which likely means it could be good for black spot on other plants. Being alkaline is the reason for this and that effects the spore’s ability to colonise the fruit or leaf. Repeat sprays are likely to be needed.
The break over the last couple of weeks has allowed me time to get onto writing another book which is to be titled, ‘Wally’s Green Tips’.

>>>>>> CONTINUED >>>

Any Problems ring me at 0800 466464 (Palmerston North 3570606)
Email wallyjr@gardenews.co.nz
Web site www.gardenews.co.nz

Garden Pages and News at www.gardenews.co.nz
Shar Pei pages at  www.sharpei.co.nz

While researching for the book I came across some interesting information about the goodness of
spinach and silverbeet. These are favourite vegetables of mine as they are so easy to grow and give a very long harvest period when you keep using the outer leaves.
I would like to share this with you (source is the Internet) as many people are very concerned about their health and doing all they can to avoid cancers.
“Researchers have identified at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents. (Many of these substances fall into a technical category of flavonoids known as methylenedioxyflavonol glucuronides.) The anticancer properties of these spinach flavonoids have been sufficiently impressive to prompt researchers to create specialized spinach extracts that could be used in controlled studies. These spinach extracts have been shown to slow down cell division in stomach cancer cells (gastric adenocarcinomas), and in studies on laboratory animals, to reduce skin cancers (skin papillomas). A study on adult women living in New England in the late 1980s also showed intake of spinach to be inversely related to incidence of breast cancer.

Spinach Carotenoid Combats Prostate Cancer, A carotenoid found in spinach and other green leafy vegetables fights human prostate cancer two different ways, according to research published in the Journal of Nutrition. The carotenoid, called neoxanthin, not only induces prostate cancer cells to self-destruct, but is converted in the intestines into additional compounds, called neochromes, which put prostate cancer cells into a state of stasis, thus preventing their replication.
Spinach has also been shown to be effective in stopping the development of ovarian cancer in women (also eating plenty of citrus will also assist)
Helping You Bone Up: The vitamin K provided by spinach-almost 200% of the Daily Value in one cup of fresh spinach leaves and over 1000% of the Daily Value in one cup of boiled spinach (which contains about 6 times as much spinach)-is important for maintaining bone health. Vitamin K1 activates osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone. Osteocalcin anchors calcium molecules inside of the bone. Therefore, without enough vitamin K1, osteocalcin levels are inadequate, and bone mineralization is impaired. Spinach is also an excellent source of other bone-building nutrients including calcium and magnesium.
Cardiovascular Protection from Spinach: For atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, few foods compare to spinach in their number of helpful nutrients. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, the latter notably through its concentration of beta-carotene. These two nutrients are important antioxidants that work to reduce the amounts of free radicals in the body; vitamin C works as a water-soluble antioxidant and beta-carotene as a fat-soluble one. This water-and-fat-soluble antioxidant team helps to prevent cholesterol from becoming oxidized. Oxidized cholesterol is able to stick to and build up in blood vessel walls, where it can cause blocked arteries, heart attack or stroke. Getting plenty of vitamin C and beta-carotene can help prevent these complications, and a cup of boiled spinach can provide you with 294.8% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin A along with 29.4% of the DV for vitamin C.
Spinach is also an excellent source of folate. Folate is needed by the body to help convert a potentially dangerous chemical called homocysteine that can lead to heart attack or stroke if levels get too high, into other benign molecules. In addition, spinach is an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that can help to lower high blood pressure and protect against heart disease as well. A cup of boiled spinach contains 65.6% of the daily value for folate and 39.1% of the daily value for magnesium.
Is that enough to make you want to go out and plant a couple of rows of spinach and silverbeet?

Problems ring me at 0800 466 464 (Palmerston North 3570606)
Web site www.gardenews.co.nz

Garden Pages and News at www.gardenews.co.nz
Shar Pei pages
at www.sharpei.co.nz

Please check out the Event Calendar. If you want your activity included, just let us know. Thank you.


Chelsea Flower Show

Taking us to show you
the Worlds Greatest Garden Shows. Live.

Thank you. Eplants Email