All over New Zealand, Citrus trees can be commonly found in the backyards of many homes. However, these trees are not without challenges as they often suffer from pest attacks and diseases. For a healthy citrus tree and great fruit crops, it is important to know how to treat them, what signs to look for and how best to feed them.
A citrus tree is said to be deficient in iron if it has yellow leaves with darker, green veins. This disease is commonly known as chlorosis. It is a common disease that is particular to trees where the nature of the soil is alkaline.
The best time to check a citrus tree for magnesium deficiency is in Autumn. Citrus plants require magnesium in large quantity. This is because magnesium is an essential nutrient for the formation of green leaves (chlorophyll) in leaves. Citrus plants will not be able to produce sugars and starches without possessing enough magnesium which can lead to poor growth.
Magnesium deficiency is usually more prominent during the autumn season because it is highly required for the development of fruits while many citrus species are known to produce fruit over the cooler months. Due to the high mobility of magnesium in citrus plants, magnesium can be easily withdrawn from older leaves to tender ones that are just springing up when there is a shortage of this essential element.
Chlorosis is majorly treated with iron chelates. Ensure to follow the packet instructions to mix it. After the solution has been properly mixed, pour it into a sprayer and spray the foliage. Changes should be observed within 3 – 4 days in a warmer climate. Preferably a watering can should be used to apply treatment for a large tree by watering around the tree’s root zone. Before applying the iron chelates, ensure to remove any ground cover that can be found around the roots of the tree.
Sometimes lack of fertilizer or overwatering can cause yellowing foliage. If the problem is not corrected, total defoliation can occur. Since citrus plants are heavy feeders, they require a continuous steady source of nitrogen so they can be productive and healthy. Perform regular fertilizing of the plant according to the stipulated directions. A higher amount of fertilizer is essential in any fertilizer ratio that should be applied.
Alternaria Brown Spot
Another cause of leaf yellowing in a citrus plant is Alternaria brown spot. It’s a fungal disease that affects shoots and young leaves of various citrus trees. Leaves tend to develop yellowish halos around brown spots. For treatment, apply copper fungicides when the leaves are expanded by half in spring while a second treatment would be required when the foliage is fully expanded. This treatment process may be regularly required from September through to December for effective results.
Call Jim’s Mowing on 0800 454654 or book online for a free, no-obligation quote!
Paying careful attention to maintaining curb appeal is part of strategic property management nowadays. This effort not only creates a good image for the property owners, but it’s also one of the reliable ways of increasing property market value. It’s worth mentioning as well that a nice exterior space can have a variety of functions to improve home life. Therefore, many New Zealanders today are truly inspired to explore a variety of ways of improving their property’s street appeal.
If you’re among those willing to dedicate time, money and effort to adding charm to your curb, provided below are some of the ways you can easily do so.
- Add hedging to your exterior space. This can be an improvement to your property’s dimensions; likewise, it can create a clear distinction of where the public property ends and where your private property starts. On top of these, you also score the nice benefit of creating additional shade and privacy for your outdoor space. Jim’s Mowing services include hedging and trimming, so those hedges you introduce to your yard will fully achieve the look and function you have in mind.
- For a beautifully manicured lawn, nothing beats professional mowing services because expert mowers can really target those edges for the most polished appearance. It’s worth mentioning as well that they know the best grass height that can promote healthy growth throughout the changing seasons.
- Rubbish removal is also an important effort to make in enhancing the look of your curb. Nothing can ruin the beauty of outdoor space more than piles of rubbish such as trimmings, fallen leaves, dead branches, and obviously wilted plants. Professional lawn services will take care of clean-up for you, not only to restore the nice appearance of your yard, but also to prevent pests like mice and other rodents from becoming attracted to your property’s outdoor space.
- Introducing new plants, particularly flowering ones, is another smart thing to do for improved curb appeal. There’s nothing like the look of health that blossoming flowers create. If you will plant species endemic to your location, you won’t have to worry much about maintenance because they will naturally thrive in your local climate. If you wish to ensure the healthy look of your curb with a voluminous growth of plants, flowers and trees, the gardening pros at Jim’s Mowing can definitely lend their expertise so you can grow and maintain an abundant garden easily.
Today, even a small backyard can look and feel spacious if it is designed the right way. With the right landscaping ideas and steps, you can have an aesthetically appealing lawn and still have enough functional space for the family to enjoy.
To get on the right track to having a beautiful landscaped small backyard, here are five ideas and tips that can help you out:
- Create a feasible plan.
Organisation is the operative word when making a plan for a small landscaped yard. Start by thinking about the primary use of the backyard. You can then select a theme and also come up with a budget. It would also work to your advantage if you define the spaces in your small yard and make sure you know their specific purposes.
For example, you can delineate a dining or lounging area with a stone patio and separate the play area from this spot with some plantings.
- Select the right plants.
When planning your landscape, it’s best to cultivate native or indigenous plants since you can be sure that there is always something growing in the yard year-round. In case you want to have some trees on your yard, select ones that grow up instead of out. Tall and thin trees will give you lush landscaping without eating up all your space.
- Be creative.
To maximise a small space for a landscape, you have to think outside the box. Consider having terraced landscaping since this helps designate spaces and make a small yard look bigger. Terracing can also enable you have to more space for plantings and the lower walls can double as bench seatings.
Another good idea would be to have a trellis built above which you can cover with native vines. This trellis will define your patio space and provide shade.
- Put multifunctional features.
When you’re deciding on features to place in your yard, opt for items that have multiple uses and are not too bulky. An example of this is a bench that can double as a storage box to contain garden tools. You will also do well to choose pieces of furniture that can be easily stored such as collapsible tables and folding chairs.
- Enhance your fence.
Lastly, if your yard is surrounded by fences, make them more appealing by painting them or adorning them with decorative items. Plain white fences can you give the sense of enclosure, but decorating them will provide anyone looking at them a sense of depth. An adorning tip you can consider is to attach planters to the fence to add more greenery in the yard.
Space is your biggest concern when landscaping a small back yard. But with the right ideas, techniques, and tips, you can have a well-designed, attractive and functional yard.
Whenever you look at your huge, empty backyard, in your mind, you can probably hear it begging to be landscaped. Although a huge outdoor space can be great as a personal recreational area for kids and teens, you will still get more out of it and get your property looking better if you have it landscaped.
Landscaping a huge backyard however, doesn’t simply entail planting some seeds in certain areas and waiting for them to grow, and putting in some pieces of outdoor furniture. Here are some of the best landscaping ideas and strategies that will
work well for you and your property if you’re designing a large backyard.
- When coming up with a design, use zones.
The final landscape design of an expansive yard can lack focus if you don’t divide it into specific sectors. When coming up with the plan, consider each area as an outdoor room and use its function to define its design. If you want to have an outdoor kitchen or dining area, make sure the designated spot has a grill, patio table, and chairs. Its layout should make it easily noticeable that it is an outdoor kitchen and dining area.
If you want to have a quiet place to relax outdoors, consider allocating an area for installing a water feature, a shade, and some comfy chairs where you can read a book or even meditate. When planning these rooms, don’t forget to leave a portion of the yard open for your kids to play. Make sure it will be spacious enough to hold a trampoline and some outdoor play equipment.
- Opt for a curvilinear design.
Different landscape styles can work for large backyards. However, a curvilinear design can be truly appealing since it effortlessly simulates a natural look thanks to its use of the curved boundary lines that follow the contours of your yard. Properties standing on rolling terrains can also benefit greatly from this landscape style since the curved lines can highlight changes in grade and successfully incorporate them into the design.
A curvilinear design will enable you to take advantage of your yard’s views on all sides since it is supposed to blend with your outdoor space’s natural curves instead of trying to create a new yet conventional rectilinear shape.
- Layer the plants.
Lastly, by layering your plants, you will be able to give your huge backyard and landscape additional texture and an appealing look. To achieve this look, place or cultivate tall plants along the edges of your yard. It would work to your advantage to plant native, hardy trees.
In the middle and front, plant bold, colourful shrubs such as native species of grevilleas, honey myrtles, and bottlebrushes. Just make sure you layer them so that the smaller varieties of bushes are in front.
A huge backyard can be the complete, perfect outdoor space for everyone, and for different purposes. This can be achieved effortlessly if it has the right landscape design.
Cooking with fresh herbs is the best and healthiest way to increase the taste of your meals, whether you toss some in a salad, roast them on meat and veggies or add them to sauces. While fresh herbs are often accessible at grocery stores all year round, growing your own herbs is a great way to achieve satisfaction and you know you are cooking with the utmost freshest herbs. It doesn’t matter where you live, in a house in the suburbs or an apartment in the city, growing herbs is EASY!
For those who are feeling baffled about where to start with herb gardening, here are a few practical guides to growing herbs for beginners;
- Growing from seed.
As a beginner it might pay to start with a seedling rather than planting your own seeds. There are little starter plants available from the majority of nurseries and plant/garden shops for roughly the same price as a packet of herbs from the grocery store. Many things can go wrong in the seed to seedling transition, so it is advised to skip that complex task to prevent ending your herb garden dreams before you even begin.
- Starting with the wrong varieties.
Basil is the recommended herb to start with, as it is a perfect trainer herb. It grows rapidly, allowing you to witness the effects of your care more easily. Also, when not watered enough, basil leaves wilt noticeably and recover well when you water the wilted plant. This all helps you figure out how much water is enough.
- Watering herbs like pot plants.
While majority of pot plants flourish with one solid water per week, most delicate herbs need moderate and regular watering. This is predominantly true during the hotter summer months. Ensuring you have good drainage and rocks beneath the soil will help keep your herbs from drowning if you have watered them too much.
- When to start pruning.
Although it may seem like the tiny herb isn’t ready for pruning to a novice gardener, it is essential to prune while the herbs are young to ensure full thick growth. Yet again, basil is a great herb to rehearse pruning. As with pruning all herbs, it is best to cut the herb directly above a set of growing leaves. The originally pruned stem will no longer grow, instead, two new stems will grow around the original cutting, creating a “V” shape. If basil is not regularly pruned, it will become too tall and top-heavy therefore it is advised that your first trim is approximately 3-4 inches above the soil to ensure a nice, sturdy plant. Of course always leave a few good durable leaves on the plant. As it continues to grow, continue to prune it approximately every 3-4 inches for a nice solid plant
- Picking leaves from your herbs.
Most beginners pick the large leaves from the bottom and think that it is best to leave the tender little leaves to grow, this is INCORRECT! Those large tough leaves at the bottom are the solar panels that power your herb’s growth, once your plant has grown adequately to ensure a decent harvest, continue picking from the top, as you have been when pruning. This ensures that you get all those tender new herbs that are so flavoursome, and your plant gets to keep its well-built solar power system in place. If you do pluck from the base and leave the top whole, as mentioned before, your plant will become top heavy and topple over. Don’t forget to clip off just above the leaves to ensure good, strong regrowth.
- Letting your plants get out of control.
Pruning regularly is a must unless you are growing something for its edible flower, otherwise, be sure to cut back herbs before they start growing flowers. If you allow it, herbs will focus more energy on procreation and neglect growth. If you want healthy, thick leaves, be sure to cut off the little flower buds whenever you find them, and it will encourage your plant to focus on developing more leaves.
- Old soil with zero nutrients.
Don’t ever use tired soil that has been sitting in your garden or lawn forever, you literally reap what you sow, therefore spoil your herbs with a dose of the good stuff. A combination of potting soil and organic compost is best if you have some on hand, also crushed egg shells is good. Those without access to compost may want to invest in some fertilizer for herbs to help them flourish.
- Branching out.
Don’t stick too long with just one or two herbs, branch out to a few other basic herbs that you will use regularly in your kitchen. Once you are comfortable with basil, the following herbs that are recommended are oregano, mint, rosemary and thyme. All are regularly useful herbs in the kitchen, and all are relatively simple to grow. You will notice that rosemary cleaves after cutting in a rather similar way to basil, but grows considerably slower, so the effect is more challenging to notice.
- Different varieties.
There are many different varieties of each herb so when choosing herbs, be sure to read the label carefully. For instance, there are two main assortments of oregano: Mediterranean and Mexican. Mediterranean oregano is the more common variety, and what you most likely store in your cupboard. Mexican oregano is best for spicy dishes and often used in tomato dishes to reduce the marinara flavour. In the same way, there are many different types of mint. The spearmint plant is more pungent whereas the apple mint is much more subtle, so be sure to do your research and get the required flavours for your individual tastes.
- Protect the rest of your garden.
Planting in soil instead of pots can enable your seedling to dominate the rest of your garden. If you are considering planting herbs directly in the garden, rather than in pots, you may need to contemplate potting these herbs and then burying the pots in the ground. This will add a measure of control to the root systems of these herbs, which could ultimately take over a garden and strangle nearby plants. Be aware that oregano and mint are both insatiable growers. If in doubt, do the relevant research on individual herbs to eliminate the threat of devastating your garden.
Call Jim’s Mowing on 0800 454654 for your free no-obligation quote or book online!
We’ve seen it too many times, beautiful flowers trying to grow and pesky weeds coming along and destroying the beauty with their uncontrollable hunger for destruction. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on weed control. These are 7 household products you can use to kill or control weeds in your garden.
- Shower curtains. Next time you splurge for a new shower curtain, don’t just throw your old one out, use it to control weeds in your backyard! Simply place the shower curtain under mulch to prevent weeds from growing through.
- After you throw your next party and have an extra half of bottle of vodka laying around, try using it to kill weeds. Mix 1 oz Vodka with a couple of drops of dish soap and 2 cups water in a small spray bottle and spray the mixture directly on to the weed leaves until it runs off. Do this when it’s sunny, because the purpose of the mix is to dehydrate the weeds in sunlight and it may not be as effective in the shade.
- Bleach is too harsh for your garden, but if you have weeds growing up through cracks in footpaths or walkways, you can try pouring just a bit of bleach directly on to them to kill the weeds.
- Salt is another household item that is great for ridding your footpath of the pesky weeds that pop up in between cracks, it always works great to kill unwanted grass that springs up. Boil 2 cups water mixed with 1 cup of salt and pour the boiling mix directly on the weeds.
- Carpet pieces.If you’ve just redone your carpet and have some scraps laying around, use them under straw or mulch in your garden for a weed-less path. Place the scraps upside down under mulch. You can also use the smallest pieces for actual mulch in a veggie garden.
- Baking soda.As if this miracle product didn’t already have enough uses, now we know we can use it for a safe, effective way of controlling weeds. Sprinkle baking soda by the handful onto concrete and sweep into cracks where weeds are growing. The powder will make it much drier and harder for the weeds to grow, basically snuffing them out.
- 2-litre bottles.If you do choose to use herbicides, try using bottles to make a more controlled application. Single out the weed you want to kill and cut a 2-liter bottle in half, place the upper half of the bottle over the weed. Aim the wand in to the opening of the bottle and spray. Doing this protects all of the plants you DON’T want to harm while you’re spraying.
Call Jim’s Mowing on 0800 454654 for all of your gardening needs or simply book online for a free, no-obligation quote!
Growing herbs in your property offers plenty of benefits. If they are portable, you can easily find their preferred shade and sun locations. Also, you can conveniently keep them in the kitchen for cooking. Most importantly, herbs are excellent edible works of art. Herb gardening in unique ways allows homeowners to easily grow their own herbs.
4 Creative Ways to Grow Herbs
- Pallet Herb Garden
Prior to planting herbs in a pallet, you must make sure that the wood is food-safe. Pallets have stamps on them which indicate how they were treated. Know that the stamps vary by county; thus, you must examine your pallet carefully and look up the code.
- Potted Herb Garden
You can use plastic flower pots, baskets, barrels, wooden boxes, and any container that is at least 15cm big. It is crucial for you to create holes in the container’s bottom for easy and proper drainage.
Clean the containers before filling them with nutrient-rich, organic, and fresh potting soil. If you are to use nursery plants that are root bound, loosen the roots at the bottom of the soil and set them slightly deeper than when they were in the nursery pots. Lastly, water them thoroughly.
- Mason Jar Herb Garden
Recycle your jars and place them on a pallet. You can also use a piece of wood and hang them in your favourite space at home. This is one of the best ideas to try if you want to watch your herbs grow before your eyes.
Fill the jars ¾ full with high quality organic potting soil. Add seeds to every jar. Be sure to always follow the planting instructions. Cover the seeds with more potting soil. Lastly, water them properly. Don’t forget to place identification tags on every Mason jar.
4 .Self-Watering Herb Planters
If you are wondering what you can do with all those empty wine bottles, consider creating self-watering herb planters. But before that, you need to learn how to correctly cut wine glasses. And among the easiest ways of cutting the bottles is with the use of a bottle cutter.
When the bottles have been cut, it is time to plant. Layer the herbs up as you would do with other plants. You can add some stones at the base of the bottle’s neck for drainage. To hold the soil, add some dirt. Make sure to pop the herbs in a sunny position.
Growing your own herbs is the best way to avoid having the leftover herbs slowly wilt and end up in compost bins. The good news is that growing herbs in a small space is easier than you think. In Australia, some of the herbs you can easily grow at home will include mint, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and basil.
For all of your gardening requirements, call Jim’s Mowing on 0800 454 654 or Book Online for your free, no-obligation quote today!
Caring for your pot plants can seem like guesswork if you don’t understand your plants.
You would be surprised by how many pot plants have perished due to guesswork, lack of water, drowning, excess sunlight, too little sunlight and the wrong type of plant food and whether you over or under feed them. There is no such thing as brown thumb, just a lack of know-how, once you have the correct knowledge there really is no mystery to maintaining healthy pot plants.
Many pot plants have been growing and thriving in their ideal natural climates in greenhouses, not just plucked from the wilderness and put in a pot. Many are also hybrids that have been domesticated and pruned long before they reach the shelves.
Creating the same ideal climate or native habitat that they would flourish in naturally is the secret to success with caring for your house plants. Your pot plants are completely dependent on you for food, water and sunlight unlike those in the wild.
Below are several basic house plant caring tips…
Each individual pot plants, much like humans, have different nutrient requirements so it’s always best to research your house plants needs and take note of the warning signs of fertilizer overkill.
It is important to read the fertilizer labels carefully because they all differ for each individual plant. Most fertilisers will list three numbers, for example: 10-20-10. These are the ratios or percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which combined are the major nutrients in fertilizer.
- Phosphorus – encourages flowering and ensure strong and healthy roots.
- Potassium – helps eradicate diseases and produces strong stems.
- Nitrogen – Enhances growth and lush green foliage.
You will find other small amounts of supplements in fertilisers called micronutrients which can include; calcium, magnesium, sulphur, copper, iron and zinc. While majority of house plants require a balanced fertiliser such as a 10-10-10 formula, you can find formulas which contain more phosphorus and potassium and less nitrogen which are specifically made for flowering plants like Orchids.
The most common fertilisers are water soluble, which are easy to use and found in the form of powder, crystal or liquid. Another easy fertiliser to use is a slow-releasing granule; all you need to do is sprinkle them on the top soil and when you water your plant they will dissolve. Fertiliser spikes are also good; ensure that you insert the spikes reasonably deep near the rim of the pot to steer clear of harming the roots of the plant. Generally, the roots are responsible for absorbing the nutrients but foliar feeding is a fast way to revitalize a plant that has a lack of nutrients by spraying directly on to the leaves without scorching them, which many fertilisers can do if not applied correctly.
Listed here are some obvious clues as to when your plant might be in need of fertilising;
- Pale leaves
- Weak stems
- Small or no flowers
- Dropped leaves
- Weak new growth
Beginner gardeners often believe that more is better when it comes to fertilising house plants, this is NOT the case. Excessive fertilizing can burn leaves and roots! The symptoms for over-fertilization include; misshaped or wilting leaves, brown spots or scorched edges on the leaves and white crust on the exterior of the potting mixture.
Watering Your Pot Plants
Most people don’t realise it, but it is extremely easy to drown your house plants, so it is vital for you to acknowledge if a particular plant is actually thirsty. You can easily test this by poking your finger into the soil roughly an inch deep and if it feels damp its fine, but if it’s dry you obviously need to water it. Another way to measure the moisture in the soil is via a moisture meter.
Over-watering your plant is more often the cause of your house plants issues rather than under-watering. Since roots only soak up a sufficient amount of water to sustain the plant, the surplus of water is left in place of the oxygen in the soil which asphyxiates the roots and causes rotting.
If you have mistakenly water-logged your house plant and wish to rectify the situation there are three things you can try;
- By covering the top soil with paper towel you can absorb any excess moisture ensure that you repeat until the paper towels are no longer saturated.
- Re-pot it straight away into a pot with good drainage and fresh soil.
- Allow the extra water to drain out by tipping the plant on its side for a few moments.
Sunlight for Your Pot Plant
It can be difficult to know if your house plants are receiving the correct amount of sunlight so here is some insight to guide you through the process.
When your pot plants are NOT getting enough sunlight;
- Slow growth or none at all
- Fresh shoots grow toward the light
- Large gaps between the leaves and a spindly growth
- Poor bloom or failure to bloom at all
- Leaves turn yellow and drop off
- Fresh leaves grow much smaller than the current ones
When your pot plants are getting TOO much sunlight;
- Leaves appear faded and dull
- Leaves become parched and fall off
- Leaves have brown scorched patches
- The entire plant starts to wilt
There are four categories of sunlight exposure for pot plants, direct sun, and indirect sun, partially shaded and shaded.
Direct sunlight is quite self-explanatory, keep your pot plants directly in the sun so it is flooded with sunlight.
Indirect sunlight is a little trickier, you can place your pot plant on a veranda or under a thin shade cloth, just as long as your pot plant only receives several hours of indirect sunshine per day.
To obtain partial shade or low sunlight it is best to place your pot plant somewhere where the morning sun reaches, as it is cooler than the afternoon sun and avoids over heating your plant. Otherwise you can put your plant up against a tree or fence etc., which provides the plant with low to medium sunlight intensity.
A shaded location, again, speaks for itself. The plant can be anywhere in the yard as long as it’s shaded throughout the day.
Compacted Mass of Roots
Re-potting Your Pot Plants
Re-potting is always guaranteed to become necessary sooner or later. If you fail to move your plant to a larger pot your plants will become pot-bound where the roots grow to be cramped and form a compacted mass that hinders further growth. The most obvious signs that your plants need to be re-potted are when the roots start emerging through the top soil and the drainage holes. If you turn your plant carefully on its side and ease it out of the pot you will be able to see whether the roots have coiled at the bottom, if so, it’s certainly time to re-pot. At least once a year, your smaller, more vigorously growing plants ought to be re-potted into somewhat bigger pots along with a fresh potting mixture. Larger pot plants like the Ficus (Fig) need only to be re-potted every two years.
When choosing a new pot or container always ensure that it has drainage holes and is no more than 2 inches wider or deeper than the previous pot. When the roots are given too much room to grow the top of the plant will cease to grow until the roots start to fill the pot, also a larger pot can hold more water and as mentioned before, excess water will cause root rot. Always scrub pots between plantings to prevent the transfer of plant diseases, soaking the pots in a one part chlorine bleach to nine parts water is a great way to disinfect the pot. Be sure to thoroughly rinse with clean water. Terra cotta pots are known to steal moisture from the potting mixture and leave the plant thirsty, to remedy this it is best to soak it in water for a few hours.
Step by Step Instructions on Re-potting Your Plant
- Turn your plant on its side, gently ease the plant out of the pot, if it seems stuck, tap the pot on a hard surface to loosen the soil or use a trowel around the inside of the pot being wary not to maim the roots.
- Use your fingers to gently pull any coiled roots straight and prune them to promote fresh root growth.
- Partially fill up the new pot with your desired potting mixture, center the plant in the pot, then continue to fill the remainder of the pot. Once it is full gently pack it down with your fingers.
- Thoroughly water the pot to settle the potting mixture and moisten the roots, if needed add more soil.
Re-potting plants can be stressful for them and they need time to recover therefore it is recommended that they are not exposed to direct sunlight for a short time and the soil is to be kept moist but not soggy.
Here at Jim’s Mowing we understand that life gets busy which can lead to plants being neglected, if this is the case for you, why not give us a call to spruce up your gardens. Our number is 0800 454 654 or you can Book Online for a free, no obligation quote. We are here to help!
Simple and Practical Crop Rotation
Crop rotation is extremely beneficial for not only your crops, but also to aid in building and maintaining healthy soil, to minimise pests and diseases, reduce chemical use, and manage nutrient requirements – all which will maximise your harvest. The ideologies of crop rotation have been successfully used for thousands of years in farming and are still used today. The simplicity of crop rotation allows the practice to be used in your own vegetable gardens with great success.
Crop rotation is self-explanatory – simply rotating your crops, so that no garden bed or plot grows the same crop in consecutive seasons. Doing so;
- Decreases the build-up of pests and diseases in the soil by confiscating their preferred habitat and therefore breaking the pest or disease’s life cycle, reducing and even eliminating your necessity for chemical spraying.
- Achieves the necessary soil pH and nutrient levels, to help your vegetables get the maximum supplements out of your soil. The use of composts, manures, lime and fertilisers at the correct times will also assist in producing successful crops.
To Begin with;
Just contemplate vegetables in terms of their family names. For example, in succeeding years or seasons, you do not want to plant Broccoli, which is a member of the Brassicaceae family in the same garden bed. The Brassicaceae family has many other members such as Cauliflower, Kohlrabi, Cabbage and are all affected by the same pests and diseases. So we group them together (Brassicaceae) and rotate them to another bed that hasn’t seen Brassica for a couple of years. We group certain plants together and they are rotated as a group. For instance, beans and peas are both in the Legume group, and garlic and onions are in the Allium group. With a just little preparation you will have your crop rotation structure organised in no time.
The Next Level;
Advanced gardeners should be thinking about the way plants feed or draw nutrients from the soil, for example; The Brassicaceae family (Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage, etc.) require plenty of nitrogen for good leaf growth and are commonly considered substantial feeders. A crop to follow nitrogen ravenous Brassicas may be legumes such as peas, beans, and lentils. Legumes feed lightly and have the ability to ‘fix’ nitrogen into soils, improving the nitrogen content for impending plantings. Tomatoes and capsicums (acid lovers) like a lower pH, and the pH generally drops (becomes more acidic) as more compost and manure is added to soil, therefor lime should be applied after they are finished, ready for a crop that enjoys a higher pH level.
Example of a Simple Rotation Plan
Crop assemblies in a four-year rotation would be as follows;
|Legumes & Pod Crops||Brassicas & Leaf Vegetables||Alliums||Other (Root and Fruiting Crops)|
|Okra||Broad Beans||Onions (All types)||Tomatoes|
|Swedes & other Turnips||Potatoes|
A yearly rotation schedule would look something like this.
|Plot 1||Plot 2||Plot 3||Plot 4|
These examples may be used in your garden although everyone’s soil, climate and tastes vary so a little alteration will most probably be required. There are many approaches to crop rotation, some are simple like the one above but others can get relatively complex, some even include a ‘fallow year’, which is a year where nothing is grown in that specific plot.
Even if you decide to integrate other vegetables or methods, just remember the most basic rule for the best possible harvest is Annual Crop Rotation!
Jim’s mowing offers a huge range of gardening services and maintenance beyond just mowing, so if we can help at all give us a call on 0800 454 654 or Book Online and we might just surprise you!
New gardening techniques, tips, products, tools, and equipment are introduced on a regular basis. Although many of these have been proven to be effective, you can be sure that you will have a healthy, lush lawn by knowing and applying the basic yet most helpful gardening tips and tricks.
Here are five simple and effective tricks and tips every good gardener needs to know about:
- Make sure your soil is conducive for growing plants.For your plants to grow and thrive, your soil must have the right pH level and the right amount
- and quality of micro-nutrients. You can use a soil testing kit which you can buy at gardening stores to do this, or send it to a company that offers this service. If you are already certain that you have the ideal soil, you can help make it even more nutrient-rich and “friendlier” by adding compost, manure or dried peat moss. Keep in mind that amended soil is lighter, drains well, allows roots to establish themselves quicker, and makes for easy weeding.
- Water deeply and in the morning.By watering deeply, you ensure that the plants’ deep roots get enough water which they need for healthy growth. Also, always water your plants in the morning to avoid quick water loss from evaporation. In addition, when you water early in the morning, you ensure that the plant’s leaves dry up before evening, which helps restrict the development of fungus and mealybugs.
- Control the weeds.Cudweed, dandelion, clover, and creeping oxalis are some of the most common invasive weeds you can find in New Zealand. To prevent any of these weeds from invading your garden, whenever you see one, pull it out from the moist soil so that you can be sure you remove the whole plant, including its roots. If you already have a weed invasion, cover the weeds with black plastic, tarpaulin, or newspapers for at least 15 days so that they don’t get any sun light and eventually die.
- Prune regularly.Trimming a plant makes it healthier and controllable. In addition, you can give it the shape you want. You don’t have to use a motor-powered tool every time you trim; removing a few centimetres off the plant, which is called pinch pruning, can do wonders for your plants.
- Keep your garden pest-free.Lastly, although small, caterpillar worms, beetles, slugs, and aphids can easily and quickly destroy your precious plants. Some simple DIY pest control tips include placing saucers of beer around as bait for slugs and snails and applying crushed tomato leaf or garlic spray on stems and leaves to control aphids.
Whether you’re a beginner or already a pro at gardening, sticking to tried-and-tested techniques and tips and trying new proven effective hacks and tricks can help you get the healthy, lush garden you’ve always wanted.
For all of your gardening requirements, call Jim’s Mowing on 0800 454 654 or Book Online for your free, no-obligation quote today!