Will's Handy Hints

I have always been amazed how clever plants are, and what lengths they will go to survive.

When your plants and fruit tree especially are lacking in water and under stress, your plants will go into survival mode. When it is fruiting, it will drop some, if not all of the fruit, some of the fruit may be small, misshaped and end up being very dry inside. Your plant is saving energy, as fruit takes up a lot of energy, that the plant has to produce. Sometimes the leaves will curl over on themselves to stop transpiration.

If the root system starts to dry out some more, than it will stop sending food and water to some of the leaves and they will dry out and the eventually fall off. If it gets really dry, your plant will stop taking food and water along the branches.  You will notice that is where the green stem meets the dead brown stem. It is all a matter of survival.

To fix this problem give your plants a low nitrogen feed like Searles Seaweed nutrients, then give the roots of your plants a good long deep watering, so that the water will go down to the bottom of the root system, standing out there with a hose for a couple of minutes won't do it.  A couple of dollars in water can save you hundreds of dollars in plants, if you have to replace them. Prune the dead stems back to the green stems and then your lovely plant should re-shoot for you.

When we are talking about gardening we often talk fertilizers. That is if you want something to grow fertilize it.

Sometimes we give our new plants so much Nitrogen (N) that all it does is make the leaves grow and having no root system to keep it going . The plant will get up and grow for a month or so and then collapse. The fertilizer is nourishing the leaves and forgetting the root system.

Sometimes we don't give our plants enough Nitrogen (N). We say that we are fertilizing with Seasol or Seaweed where the nitrogen is .06 % and so the plant can look healthy but it does not grow. These "fertilizers" are not fertilizers at all, they contain plant nutrients, but not enough Nitrogen (N) to call it a fertilizer.

So how do we know what to do.

When you first start your garden area, incorporate low Nitrogen (N) fertilizers such as Katek Super Growth Chook Manure pellets, Garden Mate Rock Minerals, and some bags of compost. Then water in with some seaweed fertilizer. This is important as it will get the root system growing first.

After your plant is established you then add some higher Nitrogen (N) fertilizers such as Searles Rose and Flower, the Fruit and Citrus or one of the many other varieties.

Enjoy your gardening.

Will Waterford.


Nev Douglas talked about the Dendrobium Beetle found in the orchids at our last meeting & his remedy to help control this pest is a mix of 5 grams of Permethrin 25:75 with one litre of water then add about 8 drops of Eucalyptus oil.

Make only what you need, and spray the entire plant about once a month. Shake the mix before spraying.

Permethrin sold as Coopex and it is not to be confused with Pyrethrum which is also an insecticide.

Will Waterford


E: ask@caloundragardenandpetsupplies.com.au



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