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Blistering temperatures, parched soil, intense humidity or monsoonal rains are some of the challenges facing gardeners throughout Australia during summer. However, by taking a few simple steps, summer can also be a celebration of lush green lawns, productive home harvests and vibrant flowers. Here are some of our top tips for summer gardening.

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Summer Soil Health

Soil is the engine room of the garden, so nurturing the soil during the hot and harsh months of summer is important. Adding rich sources of organic matter to the soil, like Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser, helps increase soil moisture and nutrient holding capacity, promoting better soil health. Apply Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser over garden beds and then top with a layer of organic mulch, like bark chips or straw, to help keep the soil surface moist and protected.

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A Mighty-Mite Problem

Mites, often called Red Spider or Two-Spotted Mites, thrive in summer's hot dry weather. Mites are very tiny pests (about 0.2 - 0.5 mm long) that are difficult to spot with the naked eye. However, if you were to look at them under a microscope, Two-Spotted Mites are yellowish-green with a large dark spot on each side of their abdomen, and change colour to reddish-orange with the onset of cooler conditions.

Mites damage plants with their piercing and sucking mouthparts and attack a wide variety of plants, including Tomatoes, Roses, Strawberries, Beans, Azaleas and Indoor Plants. The first symptoms of a mite infestation include yellow or mottled leaves. Mites breed very rapidly and as colonies increase, they also form masses of spidery webbing. Left untreated, mites can quickly decimate plants and in severe cases, plants can die.

Yates Nature's Way Vegie & Herb Spray is an insecticidal soap, made from natural vegetable oils, that is very effective against mites. It works by contact action so good coverage of the mites is important, including underneath the foliage where mites often hide. Spray plants every 5-7 days to keep Mites under control. Yates Nature's Way Vegie & Herb Spray will also control other common summer pests like Aphids, Mealybug and Whitefly and is approved for use in organic gardening.

Fun Mite Facts

Mites aren't insects! They are arachnids, related to scorpions, spiders and ticks. There are around 3000 species of mites in Australia.

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Ant Patrol

When ants take up residence in the lawn, their mounds make the lawn look untidy and leave areas of the lawn unusable. Ants can also create nests in garden beds, affecting plant health and biting you when you're working close by. Yates Home Pest Ant & Cockroach Destroyer Granule Bait can be sprinkled near ant mounds in lawns and around ornamental (non-edible) gardens where ants are active. The professional bait technology kills the ants you can see and also helps to eradicate the ant nest.

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Citrus TLC

Citrus trees - such as Lemons, Limes, Oranges and Mandarins - are busy year round and in summer they're developing their fruit in preparation for delicious cool season harvests. It's important that we provide citrus trees with enough nutrients to support summer fruit growth, as well as keeping the foliage healthy and green. Feeding citrus in summer is as easy as spreading a few handfuls of Yates Thrive Natural Citrus & Fruit Organic Based Pelletised Plant Food around the root zone of in-ground or potted citrus trees and watering in well.

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Grasshopper Control

Grasshoppers can be common during the warmest months, damaging both lawns and garden plants by chewing into leaves and stems. You may be familiar with the snapping and buzzing sound they produce as they jump. Grasshoppers in lawns can be controlled with Yates Baythroid Advanced Insect Killer for Lawns and on ornamental (non-edible) plants, use Yates Baythroid Advanced Insect Killer for Gardens. Start spraying as soon as you notice any grasshoppers or their damage.

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