Tips for a thriving summer garden
Spring planted veges and herbs are literally jumping out of the ground during summer’s warm weather. Here are some summer vege care hints to keep your patch or pot wonderfully productive.
Beetroot is a versatile and delicious vege that's rich in folate, fibre and antioxidants. The roots can be roasted or pickled and used in relish or hummus and the colourful young leaves mixed into salads.
There are large round varieties like Yates Beetroot Super King or petite and space-saving Yates Baby Beets that are perfect for pots.
To promote tender sweet beetroots, feed each week with Yates Thrive Vege & Herb Liquid Plant Food.
Watch out for snails and slugs, which like to devour the leaves. Control them by lightly sprinkling Yates Blitzem Snail & Slug Pellets around the base of the plants.
You can continue to sow beetroot seed during summer. Soak seed for two hours before sowing to ensure water penetrates through the corky outer coating and into the seeds.
Whether it's zoodles, zucchini slice, stuffed zucchini flowers or hiding zucchini in anything from bolognese to brownies, zucchinis are a summer essential.
Promote healthy leaf growth and lots of zucchinis by feeding each week with a complete plant food that's rich in flower-promoting potassium, like Yates Thrive Flower & Fruit Soluble Fertiliser. Zucchini fruit grow very quickly. They are best picked when they're small and tender.
Zucchinis can be susceptible to the disease powdery mildew, which looks like a dusting of talcum powder over the leaves. Help reduce the incidence of powdery mildew by watering plants gently at the base (rather than wetting the leaves) and spray the plants with Yates Lime Sulfur.
Yates Zucchini Blackjack and Yates Zucchini Solar Flare seed can still be sown in early summer in cool areas, and throughout summer in temperate and subtropical climates.
Beans love warm weather and will be growing rapidly during summer. Whether you're growing dwarf (bush) beans or climbing beans, to promote a long and productive harvest season, pick beans regularly, keep the soil (or potting mix) moist and feed each week with high potassium Yates Thrive Flower & Fruit Soluble Fertiliser.
In temperate and subtropical zones you can keep sowing bean seeds throughout summer, in cool areas sow up until mid summer.
Beans can be prone to infestations of mites. Also called red spider or two spotted mites, you may start to notice leaves yellowing or mottling and spidery webbing developing between leaves and stems.
Control mites by spraying the plants every 5 – 7 days with Yates Nature's Way Vege Insect Spray Natrasoap. It's a soap based spray made from natural vegetable oils and is BioGro approved for use in organic gardening
• Sweet Basil
Picking handfuls of your own richly fragrant sweet basil is a summer delight. There's no need to buy bunches from the supermarket when you can so easily grow your own. During summer you can continue to sow basil seed, direct where the plants are to grow, in sunny or partly shaded vege patches or pots.
Keep basil plants well-watered and feed each week with Yates Thrive Natural Vege & Herb Liquid Plant Food. It's rich in nitrogen to encourage lots of lush leafy growth and contains more than 50 percent natural ingredients, like seaweed, blood and bone and humates.
Trim off any flowers that develop, or let a basil plant or two mature and flower, as the flowers are magnets for bees and other beneficial insects. Keep sowing more seed to give you an ongoing supply of this delicious herb.
Sweetcorn devoured raw, fresh and amazingly juicy from the garden is divine. It's well worth devoting a square metre or two in your backyard to growing sweet corn. It's best planted in blocks of short rows (rather than one long row) to aid pollination.
Corn is a hungry plant and should be fed each week with Yates Thrive All Purpose Soluble Fertiliser to encourage healthy leaf and stem growth and cob development.
Sweet corn can be susceptible to attack by caterpillars, which can chew into the developing corn cob. Regularly monitor for caterpillars themselves or signs of their damage or droppings. Spray plants every 5 – 7 days with Yates Success Ultra Insect Control to prevent caterpillar damage. It contains spinetoram, the latest generation insect control derived from beneficial soil bacteria.
Pick when the fine ‘silk' at the top of the cob has just browned.
In temperate and cool climates, sweet corn seed can continue to be sown until the end of December and in warm climates sowing can start at the end of summer.
— Courtesy of Yates