Bare branches of apple, pear and stone fruit trees are smothered in bee attracting blossoms, azaleas and magnolias are dazzling and swathes of spring flowering bulbs are delighting us with their gorgeous blooms. It’s vital that plants can access enough nutrients to promote healthy leaf and stem growth, as well as support the spring flower extravaganza.
The three main nutrients required by plants are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Plant foods containing these three nutrients are known as ‘complete’ fertilisers. Nitrogen is key in encouraging healthy green leaf and stem growth, phosphorus plays an important role in root development and potassium promotes flowering, fruiting and overall plant health.
During spring, it’s important to feed plants regularly with a complete fertiliser and using fertilisers that are specially formulated for different plant types are ideal, as they contain the right balance of nutrients for those plants, for example, citrus and fruit, vegies and herbs or roses and flowers.To maximise spring flowering, feed plants with a potassium-rich fertiliser such as Yates® Thrive® Flower & Fruit Soluble Fertiliser. It’s as simple as mixing 1-2 spoonfuls into a 9L watering can and applying around the plant’s root zone every week.
Green Thumb Tip: Yates Thrive Flower & Fruit also contains trace elements such as iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc for extra plant vitality.
Codling moth is a serious pest of apples and pears, their caterpillars tunnelling into and ruining fruit. Pear & cherry slugs are slug-like larvae of a sawfly that rapidly skeletonise leaves of fruit trees like pears, cherries, apples and plums. To prevent codling moth infestation, start spraying apple and pear trees with Yates® Success® Ultra during early flower bloom and fruit set. For pear & cherry slug, start spraying Yates Success Ultra over foliage as soon as the slugs or their damage are first seen.
In fruit fly prone areas, fruit trees and fruiting vegetables, such as stone fruit and tomatoes, can be vulnerable to attack by fruit flies, even from when the fruit are still small and green. It’s important to control the adult fruit flies before they get a chance to lay eggs, which turn into destructive maggots.
Apply Yates Nature’s Way® Fruit Fly Control as a band or spot spray onto the trunk or lower foliage of trees or plants while the fruit are still small and before they have changed colour. There is no need to spray the actual fruit. To maintain effective protection, it’s important to re-spray the plants each week, or sooner if there has been rain, right up until harvest.
As the weather warms up and we start to use more water in the garden, it’s important to make the most of every drop. Greywater, from the laundry or shower, can be collected and used to water the lawn and garden. Yates Greywater Fertiliser can be added to greywater to help neutralise the alkaline effect of soaps and detergents on soil pH, kill unwanted microbes in the greywater and reduce the potential negative effects of greywater on soil quality. Yates Greywater Fertiliser also contains the nutrients nitrogen and potassium to feed plants and lawns, plus chelated iron to promote deep green plant foliage and lawns. Add 20–40mL to every 10L of greywater and apply around non-edible plants every 2 to 4 weeks.