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The colour of summer

Bring a tropical holiday feel home to your garden by planting a mandevilla. They have brilliant colours, large trumpet-shaped flowers and glossy leaves that put on a fabulous show from spring right through to autumn. And don't forget your veggie garden.
Mandevilla

Mandevilla thrive in sunny positions, sheltered from strong winds and frost, and are very suitable for growing in pots. There's a range of mandevilla from vigorous to light climbers and compact growers available. They are ideal around swimming pools and to train over a small pergola.

Mandevilla form tuber-like growths on their roots, which store water so these plants dislike over watering and need good drainage. Choose a good-sized container 40cm in diameter or larger with adequate drainage holes and fill with Yates Premium Potting Mix.

Regularly apply Yates Thrive Roses Flowers Liquid Plant Food during the warmer months to encourage healthy foliage growth and prolific flowering.

Tibouchina

Long-flowering tibouchina is a stand-out performer in the garden, adding high voltage colour to a mixed border or compact varieties that are fantastic for tubs on the patio. The evergreen foliage is matched with eye catching white, mauve, pink or deep purple flowers over the warmer months.

Fast-growing in most soils which are well draining in either a full sun to part shade location, tibouchinas generally don't need more than a light prune after flowering and an application of controlled release fertiliser in early spring such as Yates Acticote Pots, Planters and Garden Beds, which will supply the nutrients tibouchinas need for best results.

Hanging Basket Tips

Colourful foliage plants like coleus are terrific to use in hanging baskets and they cope well with heat and humidity. Coleus is quick to establish from seed, or from soft tipped cuttings. The cuttings will form roots in just a few weeks and to encourage even better rooting dip cuttings into Yates Clonex Root Gel - Softwood and Semi-Hard Wood Purple.

Pinch out the tips regularly to encourage bushy growth and a more compact habit. Liquid feed fortnightly using Yates Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food, which is rich in nitrogen to encourage healthy leaf growth.

Hanging baskets dry out quickly during summer, as often the water you apply runs off the sides of the potting mix. So take baskets down and soak the whole basket in a large container (garden trugs are ideal for this) filled with water for 10 minutes to allow the water to penetrate into the potting mix.

Fuchsias are excellent choices for hanging baskets and they produce an abundance of flowers over an extended period from spring to summer. Apply Yates Thrive Roses Flowers Liquid Plant Food fortnightly to supply the nutrients needed for lush foliage and gorgeous flowers.

Their brilliant colours, large trumpet- shaped flowers and glossy leaves put on a fabulous show from spring right through to autumn and there's a range of plant sizes from vigorous to light climbers and compact growers available.

Tomatoes

Yates Success Ultra Insect Control Concentrate will protect your tomatoes from tomato potato psyllid, which is a sap-sucking insect that causes damage to leaves and can transmit serious diseases. Spray when psyllids are first seen and repeat each week while pests are still active. Add Yates Spray Fix Wetting Agent to ensure thorough leaf coverage.

Did you know that spinetoram, the active ingredient in Yates Success Ultra Insect Control Concentrate, has a ‘trans-laminar' action, which enables it to move from the upper to the lower leaf surface, helping to make it rainfast and also protect it from UV light.

It takes a significant amount of energy for tomatoes to grow trusses of delicious fruit. Keeping tomatoes well fed throughout the fruiting season is the key to maximising your summer harvest. Mixing 2 capfuls of Yates Thrive Natural Tomato Vegie Plant Food Concentrate in a 9L watering can and applying around your tomato plants each week will help keep plants healthy. It contains nitrogen for green leaf growth and is enriched with potassium for better flowering and fruiting.

Tomatoes taste best when vine-ripened, but hot weather can scorch or even cook the tomatoes on the vine. So during very hot weather harvest tomatoes just as you see a blush of colour and ripen the tomatoes indoors on a bright windowsill or in a paper bag along with a ripe banana to encourage fruit to ripen.

Easy Pickings

Carrots, radishes and baby beetroot can all go in now from seed. Yates Radish Salad Crunch is a quick, reliable and easy crop for kids to grow and learn how to look after plants. The mild flavour means kids will enjoy eating their harvests too.

Try combining freshly harvested Radish Salad Crunch with some chilled watermelon chunks for a taste sensation. Yates Radish Salad Crunch was voted number one out of 24 varieties of radish in a summer trial conducted by New Zealand Gardener magazine.

Keep root vegies like carrots, radishes and beetroot productive by regularly applying a fast acting liquid fertiliser like Yates Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food, which contains nutrients for both healthy leaf growth and good root development.

One of the key ingredients for summer salads is lettuce and it's so easy to grow your own

Yates Lettuce Baby Combo is an interesting blend of baby leaf lettuces that come in a range of attractive greens and reds. They can be grown in a vegie patch and are also ideal for containers. They are fast growing, and you can start cutting from just 6 weeks.

Here are the easy steps to growing your own gourmet lettuce:

• Sprinkle seeds in rows in a garden bed or good-sized pot.

• Cover lightly with Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix, so the seeds are about 3mm below the surface.

• Keep the soil moist until tiny seedlings appear. You might need to remove some seedlings if they're too close (the ideal spacing is 20cm between plants).

• As the plants grow, water them regularly and apply some Yates Thrive All Purpose Soluble Plant Food, which is rich in nitrogen to encourage lots of delicious leaves.

Harvest individual lettuce leaves regularly so they'll grow lots more leaves.

Lettuce tip: watch out for snails and slugs, which just love chomping through lettuces! Control snails and slugs by scattering a few Yates Blitzem Pellets over the soil around the lettuces.

— Courtesy of Yates

Mandevilla are ideal around swimming pools and to train over a small pergola.