Boost your autumn sales in the garden department

March

Tips and products

  • Control caterpillars by spraying Dipel, a natural bio-insecticide that is non-toxic to humans, or Yates naturally-derived Success.
  • Prepare bulb beds by digging in old compost and Yates Bulb Food.
  • Thicken up tired lawns with Yates Lush Repair packs or another fast-germinating grass blend.
  • Stop weeds from seeding by pulling them out, smothering them with mulch or spraying with low-toxic Zero Glyphosate.
  • Take leaf cuttings of African violets and begonias. Pot into Yates Seed Raising Mix.
  • Spray lawn grubs which can eat entire lawns at this time of year. Baythroid will control these pests without harming earthworms.

What to plant

  • Plant perennials such as alpine phlox, campanulas, bergenias and hostas.
  • Sow or plant English spinach. It’s at its best in a cooler climate.
  • Plant torenias, coleus, iresine or crotons under trees in warm climates.
  • Sow beans, cucumbers and tomatoes in tropical areas now that summer rains are over.

April

Tips and products

  • Sow Yates Flanders poppies to commemorate Anzac Day.
  • Feed established shrubs and trees with organic Dynamic Lifter pellets.
  • Mix some compost or old manure into the soil to get it ready for new roses. If soil is acid, mix in some Yates Garden Lime.
  • Feed lawns with a good quality lawn food such as Dynamic Lifter for Lawns. Water well to carry the fertiliser down to the roots.
  • Cut back geraniums with spotty, diseased leaves. Spray with Baycor fungicide.
  • Spread Yates Garden Lime over gardens or lawns, where soils are heavy or mix in organic matter.

Job of the month

  • Prune and tidy daylilies, Easter daisies, lavender, phlox and other perennials that have finished flowering.

What to plant

  • Select trees for autumn colour while you can see them at their best – April is one of the best months for planting trees and shrubs
  • Take pre-chilled bulbs out of fridge e.g. daffodil, tulip and hyacinth. Plant into pots or garden beds.
  • Plant the rest of your spring-flowering bulbs – bulbs that have the best chance of success in warm climates are freesias, jonquils, ixias and babianas.

May

Tips and products

  • A pot filled with garden goodies makes a great Mother’s Day gift. Start with a Yates Tuscan pot and fill it with your favourite Yates products.
  • In cool climates move cold-sensitive container plants into a more sheltered position. Spray with Yates Waterwise Droughtshield to protect them from frost.
  • Purchase new season’s roses early from shops for the best selection. Prepare soil with Yates Dolomite, Dynamic Lifter pellets and gypsum if necessary.
  • Protect emerging orchid flower spikes with a sprinkling of Blitzem or Baysol snail pellets.

Job of the month

  • Give deciduous fruit trees a clean-up spray with lime sulphur after their leaves fall,
  • Collect fallen autumn leaves for composting.
  • Last-chance month for planting spring bulbs.
  • Transplant runners (sideways-growing pieces with some roots) from couch, kikuyu or Durban grass lawns to fill bare patches.

What to plant

  • Plant citrus in all but frosty areas. The leaves of the unusual kaffir lime add a special flavour to Asian dishes.
  • Plant sweet peas in warm climates, as there’s still plenty of time

Try peas that don’t come out of the freezer
More home gardeners should try growing peas says Chris Smith from Sunland Seeds, one of Australia’s largest supplier of pea seeds to Australian farmers. The sweet flavour of a just-picked pea is something everyone should experience – and, says Chris, “kids will be amazed to discover that peas don’t always have to come out of plastic bags in the freezer.”  

Pass Chris’ advice on to your customers:

Sow seeds in an open, sunny spot with well-dug soil that’s  been used for an unrelated crop such as sweet corn or tomatoes. One packet of seed will produce enough peas for a family, especially if the sowing is staggered over the next couple of months. Unless the soil already has a high pH, add some Yates Garden Lime or Dolomite before sowing.

Mix complete fertiliser – Yates Blood & Bone, Dynamic Lifter or Thrive Granular into the soil before sowing, but don’t let the plant food come into direct contact with the seeds.

Sow seeds into damp soil (approx. 25mm deep) and don’t water again for a couple of days. Be careful not to overwater.  Both seeds and plants will rot if they’re too wet. Climbing peas like Yates Telephone, Snow Peas and Climbing Sugarsnap will need a supporting trellis to climb on. 

Even the taller ‘dwarf’ peas, such as Greenfeast, will perform better if given some support.  If there’s no room for a trellis, low growing Yates Earlicrop Massey is the best choice. 

Peas grow well during the cooler months. The flowers can be damaged by frost so, in very cold areas, wait until spring for crops.  Mildew is a common problem, first appearing as powdery patches on the leaves and plants, may eventually cause the plant to collapse.  Try to keep leaves as dry as possible (water at the base and in the morning) and spray with a milk solution (1 part full cream milk to 9 parts water).

Harvest pods regularly to keep more crops coming and, at the end of the season, dig the plants into the soil so that they can add valuable nitrogen.

The Yates Elements of Gardening course covers off these products and much more.  Click here to view the course calendar.