Pests start to slip and slide in autumn weather

The good rains have been most welcome but not the snails and slugs that are slip-sliding their way around our gardens.

From the hardware stores and garden nurseries there are many products that may be bought to address the problem of these pests but always read the labels carefully as some are harmful to our pets if ingested. Two simple remedies that are safe for our pets are the beer and sawdust methods.

For the first fill a used margarine tub with beer and bury in the garden up to the rim and leave overnight,

In the morning dispose of the beer and the slugs and snails, and refill.

Repeat the procedure until the population has been lessened.

For the second method, place a barrier of sawdust around the garden beds and the snails will find it too hard to slide across the sawdust barrier.

Just make sure that the sawdust comes from untreated wood

This is the time of the year when we like to grow the brassica crops such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. It is also the time for the white cabbage moth to make an appearance.

Place imitation white cabbage moths in the garden, as the moths are territorial, and they will think the area has already been claimed.

Also, try planting a sage plant close by as the smell deters the moths.

If using chemical products always carefully read the instructions and follow them faithfully.

It has been reported in the media the last couple of weeks the distressing news of many outbreaks of fruit fly in several suburbs of Adelaide.

We are fortunate to have had the status of being free of fruit fly, enabling us to grow fruit and vegetables in our own backyards that can be enjoyed and shared. 

The growers of fruit and vegetables, which we all buy, and which are exported, need our vigilance.

We all have a duty to make sure we keep this fruit fly free status.

So remove any fallen fruit and green bin it.

Let’s make sure we follow all the correct protocols about not bringing fruit in from interstate, or a declared  quarantined suburb in Adelaide, until we again have the status of being a fruit fly free state.

We are not permitted to bring fruit and vegetables from interstate at any time.

The summer and autumn flowering plants such as the Salvias and Plectranthus are now ready for their annual hair cut.

Give them a good pruning to reshape the plants and take the opportunity to take some cuttings to strike.

Now that the winter bulbs are starting to appear, as soon as the flower heads start to show, give them a feed with some fertiliser.

With your potted plants such as Primulas, Pansies and annual flowering winter plants, give them a boost with a liquid fertiliser every couple of weeks to promote earlier and continual flowering.

Gently deadhead the annuals throughout the flowering season.

Again, always read the instructions on the amount of fertiliser. More in this case is not the best!

This winter season may be a cold and frosty one; who knows what Jack Frost will bring.

To help prevent the frost from killing susceptible plants gently push the mulch or compost away from the base of the plant allowing the winter sun to heat up soil during the day thus giving the plant a fighting chance.

Never water late in the afternoon as this will cool down the soil.

Keep well and enjoy your garden this winter month of June.

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