November 23, 2007 Weekly Garden Guide

  • Prune back the laterals (leafy growths) on grape vines to encourage fruit set. Trim to two leaves beyond the forming bunch. If you are troubled by mealie bugs, now is the time to spray them just as they are getting started. Ask advice at your garden centre for on suitable sprays options. We use Orthene but you can’t, unless you have a licence. In principle any spraying oil should work, perhaps with another insecticide added, provided you get good coverage. One timely spray now can virtually eliminate mealie bugs for the season.
  • With most apple trees having finished flowering, you can do battle with codling moth. Again consult your garden centre as to the current options, or good old Carbaryl has a good hit rate if you still have it. Tipping new growths by hand will largely deal to the leaf curling midge which attacks the very ends. Unroll the leaves and you may find a small pink creature inside. You either nip them off or spray them. You can use pheromone traps for codling moth if you don’t wish to spray with pesticide.
  • Keep the water up to container plants. If you are not very consistent, then at least move the containers into semi shaded spots or relocate them near taps. Container plants are by definition feature plants and if they get stressed and sad, it is a really bad look.
  • Wasps are getting started. Mark deals to wasp nests with a spoon tied to the end of a long bamboo stick (he is nervous about getting too close). Carbaryl not only deals to codling moth but will do wasp nests too if you drop it just inside the entrance. Wasp nests can be recognised by the sight of several wasps entering and departing from a hole. Wasps are yellow. Bees are brown. It is better to deal to wasp nests as they are just getting started.
  • Spring and early summer are the optimum times for feeding just about everything because plants are in full growth. Leave expensive, plastic coated synthetic fertiliser bubbles for container plants (which is what they were designed for) and use cheaper options such as Bioboost, good ol’ blood and bone, nitrophoska blue or high quality compost.
  • The leafy tips of broad beans should be on the menu, if they have not been eaten already.
  • Keep successional plantings of fennel, corn, peas, beans and most other vegetables though you are getting late for planting seeds of heat loving vegetables (capsicums, aubergine etc). You are better to use small plants of these.