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News & tips for Feb 2019


News & tips for Feb 2019 name

As the beautiful summer rolls on it appears my prediction of a dry summer is bearing out. In these sort of conditions - unless you have very good irrigation, most plants will struggle. But even with irrigation the intense hot sun of mid to late summer can damage and knock your plants around. One way to protect them and extend your growing season is to use some shadecloth. This year I have used a cropsafe mesh on my tomato plants - not only does it keep the psyllid out, but it has a shading factor of 15%. Mulching is a must and please do not feed your plants if they are stressed.

The lawns are also doing it tough - remember each blade of grass is a plant too and high temperatures and no rain makes it a testing exercise to keep your lawn going over the summer months. Harder still if you only have minimal topsoil over the clay and compacted stuff.

So what do the smarty-pants at Newton Seed recommend for your lawn? Well, let’s start with the cutting height - try and leave it up around 70mm if you can, this protects the root system. Secondly, you’ll have to water every second day in the morning for 5 minutes - sorry you will. Thirdly, thatch - scarify that dead matter out so the water gets down quickly into the root zone where the plants can lap it up instead of sitting above the ground in the thatch. Lastly, elixirs (pick me ups) - try Maxicrop which is just like a vitamin to the lawn I reckon and a preventative fungicide spray every 6 weeks if your lawn has been susceptible to fungus disease in the past. Plus keep an eye out for grass grub and crickets and deal to them if they appear. The autumn season is coming so hang in there.

I want to share some photos of the Newtons vege garden. We are in the middle of a very good harvest - like everybody else we have had a surfeit of zucchini but equally successful have been the scallopini, radishes, beetroot and eggplants. Apart from watering and mulch, I have found the side addition of Yates organic dynamic lifter to be a good little pick me up for the plants. On the other side of the ledger - the beans didn’t like the wind, I didn’t thin the carrots regularly enough and I planted too many cos lettuces at one time. Over the next few months we will be replanting and trialling a variety of different seaweed fertilisers so we can tell you what has worked and what hasn’t.

Don’t forget that the birds need to drink in this hot dry weather - check out our range of bird waterers available online, more instore or call us!

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