Green Living

Your gardening questions answered

From the experts at Kings Plant Barn

My lemon tree has small white flies on it. What do I do control this pest?
At this time of year white fly can be prolific and need regular spraying to keep the infestations under control. As soon as you see signs of white fly, start spraying with Aquaticus Bugtrol at seven-day intervals. Continue spraying until all the pests have gone. This product will also help with other pests that feed on citrus trees.

Someone told me not to plant the same crops in the same place year after year in my vegetable garden. Why is this?
This is called crop rotation. It is best not to plant the same crops in the same place each season so that the soil does not get a build-up of pests and diseases that affect that crop.

Crops can be grouped into the following categories: root vegetables (carrots, beetroot, swede etc); legumes (peas, beans etc); solanum (potato, tomato, capsicums, eggplant); cucurbits (cucumber, courgettes, pumpkin); and brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts). If possible, rotate your crops so that they are planted in the same place every third year.

How do I know when to fertilise my garden?
Plants need fertiliser when they are growing the most, which is usually through spring, summer and autumn while they are flowering and setting fruit. Remember each fertiliser is different, so make sure to follow the instructions on the packet.

I want to keep my water bill down over summer, but still want my garden to look good. Any tips?
There are plenty of things you can do to keep your soil moist without using too much water. When planting, adding SaturAid to the soil helps disperse water deep down to the roots where it is needed the most. Adding water storage crystals to the soil will also help with water retention. Mulching the surface of the soil with pea straw will help the soil retain moisture and keep weeds down. To conserve water, try watering directly into the root zone of the plant rather than the whole area. Reusing water from the washing machine or the bath where possible is also a great way of saving water.

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