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The Star: February 15, 2018

20 Thursday

20 Thursday February 15 2018 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi The Star

The Star Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Thursday February 15 2018 21 Gardening GARDENING ADVICE with Regular watering and garden management is critical for plant health during the hot summer months. Adding a thick layer of mulch around plants will help prevent soil moisture evaporating. Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day when plants are heat stressed; instead water in the early morning or evening. z QUESTION My tomato plants were looking very healthy until the four days of rain we had in January. Then they started wilting and have not improved. I had six Early Girl, one San Marzano and one cocktail type. The only one that is still healthy is the cocktail. Just before the rain, I had given them a dressing of Daltons Tomato Fertiliser and they had a large amount of tomatoes set on them. Can you tell me what went wrong and if I can correct it in the future? Today’s winning question came from Elaine Wilson. Congratulations! From your description, it would ANSWER appear that your tomato plants have unfortunately developed blight which can strike very quickly, particularly in moist conditions. For some reason, cocktail and Sweet 100 tomatoes appear immune to blight and continue to grow and crop vigorously even when surrounded with dead and dying tomato plants. Next season, try growing only smaller tomatoes in this part of your vegetable garden, and plant the other larger fruiting varieties in a different section. Also, apply Daltons Organic Bio-Fungicide Granules and mix with soil in the root zone at time of planting. They are designed to interact with a plant’s growing roots to provide a living barrier that protects against plant pathogens and boosts the plant’s own immune system. Remember to remove laterals on your growing plants and cut off lower or surplus leaves as required. This allows for better air circulation through your tomato plants and lessens the chances of blight developing. For more information and expert advice, check out How to Guides at www.daltons.co.nz/how-to-guides We have a Daltons Garden Mulch Pack to giveaway. Each pack is valued at over $85 and contains: • 3 x Daltons Mulch & Grow • 3 x Daltons Nugget Bark • 4 x Besgrow Coir Briquette • PLUS a pair of comfortable, versatile Red Back gardening gloves from Omni Products (www.omniproducts.co.nz) BE IN TO WIN! Send us your gardening question to be in to win! $85 PRIZE PACK! Email your question and glove size to: chchstar@daltons.co.nz Entries must be received by 21 st Feb 2018 Mulch is the new compost – but don’t use too much MULCH, IT seems, is the new compost. There’s nothing wrong with mulch when it’s used judiciously, but creating ‘‘mulch volcanoes’’ around your trees is a very bad idea, especially when it’s done mainly for aesthetics. The root zone of an established tree extends beyond its drip line, so mounding the mulch against the trunk does little for the roots, except cause roots near the trunk to grow into the mulch volcano. The piled-up mulch can soften the bark of some young trees and invites insects and diseases. The lower trunk, unlike the roots, cannot easily survive long-term with the constant moisture the volcano traps — it’s the equivalent of planting a tree too deeply. Bear in mind that the main reasons for mulching are to retain soil moisture, suppress weeds and moderate soil temperatures — not to cover the garden so it looks tidier. RETAIN MOISTURE: Avoid making mounds of mulch, use judiciously around plants. •THe Christchurch Beautifying Association’s summer garden competition results for 2018, p22 naTiVe planT nursery Trees for CanTerbury Use your outdoor living areas all year round speCialisTs in • Groundcovers • Ferns • Grasses • Small to big sized shrubs • Shelterbelts • ALL grades • Expert advice • Planting now Ask us about Super Gold Card discounts Helping our community grow 42 Charlesworth Street Ph/Fax (03) 982-1028 OPEN 7 DAYS www.treesforcanterbury.org.nz • Warm & dry in winter • UV protection for summer • Stylish & permanent • 5 year warranty “AS SEEN ON TV” Chris Stewart Grant Thorndycroft Phone 0508 272 446 | www.archgola.co.nz 15 months INTEREST FREE Normal lending criteria apply