11 months ago

Selwyn Times: September 12, 2017

34 Tuesday

34 Tuesday September 12 2017 Latest Christchurch news at Gardening SELWYN TIMES How to control leaf curl in peach trees • By Sarah Frater LEAF CURL (Taphrina deformans) is a common fungal disease that effects peach, nectarine, peachcott, and peacherine trees. It causes the leaves (and some times the fruit) of the infected tree to become puckered, curled and much thicker than normal. If left untreated the problem will get worse year-after-year and reduce the tree’s ability to produce lots of fruit. Over winter the fungal spores take up residence in different parts of the tree, but mainly in the buds. When the cool wet weather of spring and summer arrives many leaf curl spores are produced and are then splashed or blown from tree to tree. Because this is also the time the trees are breaking bud and forming new leaves, the new growth is easily reinfected with leaf curl. Controlling leaf curl isn’t easy but good orchard hygiene habits, which should be repeated each year, will give you the best chance. First of all, plant your trees where they will get adequate air movement – this will help minimise fungal problems. In spring apply a light dressing of a quick acting fertiliser such as sulphate of ammonia to encourage new leaf growth. At the same time, I also recommend applying a seaweed fertiliser to help the plants’ immunity to leaf curl. If you do get leaf curl, during spring is when you will notice it in your trees. Once you notice the symptoms of leaf curl in your NATURE’S BOUNTY: If left untreated leaf curl will get worse year-after-year and reduce a tree’s ability to produce fruit. leaves it is too late to control the disease in those leaves but there is lots you can to do try and stop the fungus from spreading. The first step is to remove and destroy as many infected leaves as practical. But don’t compost these as it will spread the infection. In autumn and early winter clean up around the base of any peach and nectarine trees and removing as many leaves as possible. Because these types of trees are susceptible to leaf curl, I suggest doing this regardless of whether they’ve shown any signs of disease. And, again remember – don’t compost the leaves. Next, you should spray your deciduous trees (the trees that lose their leaves every year) with lime sulphur. The lime sulphur acts by burning off the over wintering fungi and pests, including mites. It’s very important you do this for gooseberry bushes because they are prone to catching mites which can eat out the flower buds, meaning your bush ends up with no fruit. Luckily, the lime sulphur will get rid of those mites. But I don’t recommend applying it to your apricot trees because they can be sensitive to lime, so it’s best just to avoid it. Around now, in late winter/ spring (and don’t worry if you haven’t done any of the other steps yet – just start now), apply a copper-based fungicide to all your deciduous fruit trees – not just peach trees. A copper-based fungicide will help stop leaf curl on peach and nectarine trees but it will also treat fungal problems on other fruit trees – like black spot on apple trees. I also recommend mixing in the copper fungicide with a spreader/sticker, which you can get from your local garden centre. It works a bit like soap. Combined with the fungicide, it will make the whole area you spray wet and then when it dries it sticks to the area so you get good coverage that sticks or stays on the tree for a long time. The copper fungicide (and spreader/sticker) should be applied while the leaf and flower buds are still closed – right before the buds burst. Spray thoroughly as you need to create a surface barrier. Then follow this up with another spray 10-14 days later – particularly if you’ve had lots of wet weather. This will ensure the trees get the coverage they need. Once you have flower buds showing it’s really important not to spray copper, as it’s very toxic to bees when it’s wet – though fine once it’s dried. And it’s also past the point of the copper being effective as the idea of the copper is to add a protectant layer over the buds, before they burst. And that’s it for the year. Now, you just have to go back to the beginning of the process and repeat all of the steps – except for applying copper fungicide. Because copper is a heavy metal it can build up in the soil. It’s also very toxic to bees when wet so should only be used when necessary. If in the past year your trees showed no signs of disease just skip the copper step the following year. But, if they are newly-planted trees; or were effected by fungus or disease; or you had a wet winter; or you didn’t spray with lime sulphur, then you should still apply copper fungicide. gardening without guesswork Question: Answer: What should I be doing to my lawn at this time of the year? (So that it’s stays healthy and green throughout Spring and Summer) After the wet winter that we have had, lawns are looking rather sad. Yellow foliage, lots of moss, and the ground has compacted with the wet. Once the grass has started to grow and the first cut has been made, you can start the renovation of the lawn. First, it is important that the grass is not cut too low and that the clippings are removed. To improve the aeration of the ground it can be cored using a coring tool and the resulting holes filled with lawn mix, sand or potting mix. If extra seed is required to cover bare patches, you can add that in as well. A garden fork worked back and forward will do the job for areas not too compacted. Moss may be treated with iron sulphate or any of the liquid moss control products but it is important to follow the instructions on the label accurately. After the 2nd or 3rd cut, you can now apply lawn fertiliser. Intelligro have a great lawn fertiliser that will help to promote dense leaf growth – reducing space for weeds, it helps to develop the grass at the roots, and also has iron sulphate added to help control moss. Separate weed control may be done once the temperatures warm up later in September. for more information, check out our website: or visit our facebook page: Thanks to anthony for her question. WIN! a $50 INTEllIgrO gIfT VOuchEr! don’t forget to water Send us your question and BE IN TO WIN! Email to: or post your question on our Facebook page: New questions to be received by Tuesday 19th September. As we draw closer and closer to the warmer, drier weather we need to remember to establish a regular watering pattern. This extends to all areas of the garden, not just the lawn. Make a plan to give your lawn and plants a good soak of water every few days. This is far more effective than a light sprinkle each day. QualITy prOducTs frOm ThE WEB TO ThE shEd!

SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at Tuesday September 12 2017 35 Take time to plant popular lettuce • By Henri Ham SPRING IS officially here. It’s the busiest time of the year in the garden and one plant to get in now is lettuce. It’s not surprising lettuce is a popular plant to grow at this time of year. They grow well in these conditions and, in my opinion, there’s just something about the warmer weather that makes you want to enjoy salad. It’s funny now to think that back in the day we used to harvest the whole lettuce when it was ready. Those were the days when iceberg was all the rage. But now, as most of us know, with many of the types of lettuce you can just pick off the leaves you need at the time and leave the plant growing. Probably the hardest part about growing lettuce is deciding which type to plant. That’s why I’m a big fan of growing a couple of several varieties. Once you’ve got your lettuce seedlings look for somewhere well-drained and sheltered to plant them. If you don’t have much space, try growing them in pots or even hanging baskets. The great thing about growing them in containers is you can make them easily accessible to your kitchen. When you’ve found the right spot to plant, dig a little hole and plant each seedling around 20cm apart. Try not to overcrowd your seedlings to prevent fungal diseases. Watch out for slugs. DELICATE: Plant your seedlings in a well-drained and sheltered part of the garden. SALAD: Pick off a leaf or two and your lettuce plant will keep growing. Use your outdoor living areas all year round • Warm & dry in winter • 99% UV protection for summer • Stylish & permanent • Optional side curtains • Engineered for NZ conditions Use your outdoor living areas all year round! 15 months INTEREST FREE Normal lending criteria apply EVEN BETTER ACCESS TO INTELLIGRO! The contractors have opened up access to Intelligro from both ends of Manion Road now, meaning the Main South Road entrance is officially closed. Access to Intelligro from Manion Road is now available from both the Weedons Ross Road, and Curraghs Road entrances. This will make it much easier, and safer to get to and from Intelligro! If you are accessing Intelligro from Main South Road heading north, turn left at Weedons Ross Road and Manion Road is on your right hand side just before the railway. Chris Warm Thorndycroft & dry in winter Stylish & permanent Engineered for NZ conditions Phone 0508 272 446 Optional | side curtains 99% UV protection in summer Canterbury C Decking T H Retaining Decking Timber Wall Timber & Hardware Landscaping Retaining Wall Timber Timber Trellis Landscaping Timber Residential Trellis Fencing Poles Residential and Piles Fencing H3 Poles and and We are H4 Piles here Timber Dressed H3 and H4 Timber Timber Dressed Timber Chris Thorndycroft | M 027 421 1079 | E Visit us via our new entrance on Manion Rd HOURS Mon-Fri: 7am - 5pm Saturday: 8am -12pm Your Local Timber Merchant Your Local Timber Merchant Jason Pester 1304 Main South Road, Christchurch Jason Pester 1304 Main 03 3477465 South Road, Christchurch 03 3477032 P 03 3477465 F 03 3477032 Your Local Timber Merchant Jason Pester 1304 Main South Road, Christchurch P 03 3477465 F 03 3477032 Urban Section Urban Section HOURS Mon Fri: HOURS 7am 5pm Saturday: Mon - Fri: 8am- 7am - 12pm 5pm Saturday: 8am- 12pm Weedons Ross Rd Weedons Weedons Ross Ross Rd Rd to Rolleston to Rolleston We are here We are here Berketts Rd Berketts Berketts Rd Rd Trents Rd Trents Trents Rd Rd OpTIONS If TRAVELLING ON JONES ROAd: • If travelling from the north: turn left onto Curraghs Road, right onto Manion Road • If travelling from the south: turn right onto Weedons Ross Road, left onto Manion Road Main South Rd / SH1 Main South Rd // SH1 As we head into the best time of year for gardening we know you will have plenty of tasks to get through. Our team are here to help you, so if you have any questions, please contact us by phone, email or post on our Facebook page. Come and grab a free bag of jellybeans! Our thanks to you for your patience and support through the access changes. If you are travelling from Christchurch, the best way to Intelligro is to turn right from Main South Road onto Curraghs Roaad, then left onto Manion Road just before the driveway. | Phone 03 347 9415