Delicious winter vegies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broad beans, spinach and peas are thriving in the cool weather. Here are our top tips to keep your winter vegies healthy and productive.

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Brassica Vegies

» Keep feeding leafy brassica vegies like broccoli and cabbage with a nitrogen rich fertiliser like Yates® Thrive® Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food to promote healthy growth.

» Pick broccoli while the head is still tight and before the flowers open. Cut off the main head and smaller florets will develop around the cut stem over several weeks. For sprouting broccoli, pick the florets regularly to promote a longer harvest.

» The two main insect pests of brassica vegies are aphids and caterpillars. Aphids are small sap feeding insects that can be green, black or grey and are often present in their hundreds along stems, leaves and within the heads of broccoli and cauliflower. They remove important sugars and nutrients from plants, causing poor growth and a reduced harvest. Caterpillars are chewing pests that can rapidly destroy leaves and no one wants to find a caterpillar in their steamed broccoli! Control both aphids and caterpillars effectively with regular sprays of Yates Nature’s Way® Citrus & Ornamental Spray. It’s a handy ready to use spray based on a combination of pyrethrin, a natural extract from the pyrethrum daisy, and vegetable oil and is approved for use in organic gardening.

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Spinach

» Whether you’re growing delicious baby leaf or larger spinach varieties, individual leaves can be picked as you need them. Avoid picking any more than about 50% of leaves from any one spinach plant. The double benefits of regularly picking the leaves are that you can enjoy them at their most tender and it will also promote further leaves to grow.

» It takes of lot of energy to grow lots of lush green leaves, so it’s important to feed your spinach plants every week with a fast acting plant food like Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food.

» Keep watch for caterpillars, which can rapidly devour spinach leaves. Sometimes you might not see the caterpillars themselves, as they’re experts in camouflage, just the damage they cause or their brown droppings. Spray spinach plants every 5–7 days with Yates Nature’s Way Caterpillar Killer (Dipel) to control caterpillars. It’s based on a naturally occurring soil bacterium and is approved for use in organic gardening.

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Broad Beans

» To encourage a great harvest, as soon as the broad bean seedlings are established start feeding each week with Yates Thrive® Flower & Fruit Soluble Plant Food, which is boosted with extra potassium that promotes flowering and pod development.

» If temperatures are low in early spring broad beans can drop their flower buds however new flowers will quickly follow, so don’t be alarmed.

» Broad beans can be susceptible to attack by aphids, which feed on the sugary plant sap. Aphids can cause leaves to curl and distort and plant health to suffer. It’s easy to control aphids on broad beans by spraying the plants every 5–7 days with Yates Nature’s Way Vegie & Herb Spray Natrasoap®. It’s a soap based spray made from natural vegetable oils and is approved for use in organic gardening.

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Peas

» Snow, sugarsnap and telephone peas can be productive for many weeks if given the right care. Feed pea plants each week with a high potassium plant food like Yates Thrive® Flower & Fruit Soluble Plant Food to encourage lots of pretty flowers and delicious pea pods.

» Regularly picking the pods will promote more to develop, so visit your pea patch or pot every day and harvest.

» Pea plants can be prone to diseases like powdery mildew. You can help reduce the incidence of disease by gently watering the soil around the base of the plants, rather than over the foliage. Disease spores can splash up from the soil to infect leaves and damp foliage can encourage diseases as well, so keep the leaves as dry as possible. And control powdery mildew that does develop by applying Yates Tomato & Vegetable Dust over the foliage every 7–10 days.

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Tomatoes

» Tropical and sub-tropical gardeners can be enjoying tasty home grown tomatoes during winter. Keep feeding the plants with a specialised tomato fertiliser like Yates Thrive Tomato Liquid Plant Food, which contains the right balance of nutrients to promote healthy green leaf growth and lots of delicious tomatoes.

» Keep the soil or potting mix consistently moist, as lack of water can impact a plant’s ability to access calcium. Calcium deficiency can lead to a condition called blossom end rot developing, which appears as a black sunken spot on the end of tomato fruit. Regularly water tomato plants and applying a source of calcium like Yates Hydrangea Pinking Liquid Lime & Dolomite can also help prevent blossom end rot.

Zucchinis & Pumpkins

» Zucchinis and pumpkins in tropical and sub-tropical gardens can be wonderfully productive during winter, helping to keep kitchens stocked with fresh home grown ingredients. Continue feeding fruiting vegies like zucchinis and pumpkins with Yates Thrive® Flower & Fruit Soluble Plant Food to encourage healthy leaves and stems, lots of yellow flowers and delicious zucchinis and pumpkins.

» Diseases like powdery and downy mildew can infect zucchini and pumpkin foliage, creating white or grey spots on the upper or lower leaf surfaces. Left untreated, leaves can die prematurely and plant health and harvests will decline. Mildews can be controlled with regular sprays of Yates Mancozeb Plus Fungicide & Miticide, which contains a combination of two effective fungicides.

» Pick dark green ‘Blackjack’ zucchinis regularly while they’re still small and tender.


Related products

Yates Thrive Tomato Liquid Plant Food

Yates Thrive Tomato Concentrate provides tomatoes with the balanced nutrition they need to produce large crops of delicious fruit and strong, healthy growth.


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Spinach

This healthy green is full of vitamins and minerals and better still, it is extremely versatile.

Tomatoes

Harvesting your very own tasty tomatoes is one of life’s joys. They can be picked at their sun-ripened and sweetest best and go from garden to plate in a matter of minutes.

Broccoli

Nutritious and delicious, broccoli is a must grow in your vegie patch!

Peas

Since the advent of frozen, pre-shelled peas, very few of us ever seem to have the opportunity to taste fresh green peas!