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Spring in the veggie patch

It’s all go in the veggie patch during mid spring, so it’s important to keep up regular watering and liquid feeding to ensure plentiful late spring and summer crops. In cooler areas the soil has warmed up, so it’s time to plant out summer salad vegetable seedlings and sow pumpkins and melons.

Plenty of summer veggies can go in now from seed, including beetroot, capsicum, tomatoes, cucumber, eggplant, salad greens, zucchini and quick crops like Asian Greens, radish and beans. Go to www.yates.com.au for a full list of what to plant now in your area. To get summer veggies off to a great start, incorporate a few handfuls of Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food into the soil or potting mix before sowing or planting out seedlings. Protect young seedlings with Yates Blitzem Snail and Slug Pellets.

Yates-liquid-Thrive-tomato-foodKeep liquid feeding leafy veggie crops for strong healthy growth and improved yields, using Yates Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food, a fast acting liquid fertiliser that is taken up through both the leaves and the roots. Stronger, healthy plants are more likely to resist attack from pests and diseases.

Protect your tomatoes and veggies from major pests and diseases using Yates Tomato & Vegetable Dust, which controls the common caterpillar pests heliothis and cabbage white butterfly and diseases such as early blight, powdery mildew, leaf spot and rusts. This easy to use dust is best applied in the early mornings or evenings when the air is still, and needs to be reapplied every seven days, or after rain.

 

Sweet As

Sweet corn is an easy crop to grow at home and fresh picked corn is sweet and delicious. Corn needs a sunny spot in the garden and the tall plants are best grown in blocks of short rows which ensure better pollination. Prepare the soil by digging over and adding handfuls of Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food.

Sow the corn seeds 25 mm deep, directly into moist soil, and then don’t water again until seedlings emerge. Protect young seedlings from snails and slugs using Yates Blitzem Snail & Slug Pellets. Honeysweet is an early maturing variety with large even cobs and sweet golden kernels. Early Chief has large cobs and sweet golden yellow kernels in even rows.

 

Pumpkin success

October is the optimum time to time to sow pumpkins from seed. All pumpkins are fascinating for kids to grow, and even better if they get to eat the veggies at the end of the growing season. Pumpkins need a position in full sun and lots of space (over 1m square) for the vigorous vines to spread. Prepare the soil with a few handfuls of Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food. Form a slightly raised mound in the prepared soil to encourage good drainage and sow three or four pumpkin seeds on top of the mound. Water in well and keep the soil moist.

As seedlings germinate, thin to the two strongest seedlings. Water well as vines grow and liquid feed every two weeks using Thrive Soluble All Purpose Plant Food. Protect young vines from snails and slugs using Yates Blitzem. Pinching the tips out of the vines helps control the spread and promotes more flowers and hence more fruit.

 

Which Yates pumpkin is for you? 

Butternut – thin skin, sweet nutty flesh and fruits reach 1-2kg in size.
Golden Nugget – ideal in limited spaces, small orange fruit with excellent flavour.
Hybrid Grey Crown – medium sized pumpkins with thin skin and small seed count so there’s plenty of flesh.
Queensland Blue – reliable, firm skin and flesh, harvested fruit stores well – up to 5-6 months

 

fresh-basil-leaves

 

Perfect partner for Tomatoes 

Basil is a perfect flavour partner for vine ripe tomatoes, but it can also be beneficial grown together with tomatoes in the garden. This tasty herb is an effective companion plant for tomatoes, repelling whitefly and other insect pests.

Sow some basil seedlings at the base of your tomato crops or combine them together in pots on the balcony. Yates Basil Gourmet Mix is a collection of basil varieties including Thai, Lemon, Cinnamon, and Purple Basil for great colour, and Yates Minette Basil is a neat compact grower with fine foliage, good spicy flavour and is ideal in pots.

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Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas is a horticulturalist from Yates. She writes a monthly column on the company’s website about what what you should be doing in the garden during every month of the year. Visit their website, www.yates.com.au, to know more about Angie.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.