Your Garden This Month: April
We’re nearly into the middle of autumn, so ease off with the lawn fertilisers that are high in nitrogen. Why? They promote leaf tip growth at the expense of emptying your plants root energy reserves. Instead, feed your lawns with fertilisers that will store root energy, particularly on grasses that are dormant or semi-dormant in winter.
As the temperatures decrease, and the soil cools down, it is an ideal time to treat your couch and buffalo lawns with pre-emergent weed killer. This will control the winter grass seed in the soil before it has a chance to germinate.
Try to avoid scalping your couch lawn from now until spring, as this will cause it to lose its colour and look brown through winter.
Keep an eye on your fruit trees post-harvest, and make sure the leaves are not being eaten or sucked dry from insects. Leaves are the energy factory for the tree so it is important to make sure they are kept healthy until leaf fall. An autumn feed before leaf fall is not a bad idea. Again, stick with root storing fertilisers and organic products like Blood & Bone or animal manures—these types of organic fertilisers will also nourish your soil organisms.
Feeding your soil is another good practice through autumn and winter. There are a number of soil biostimulants on the market. These products will greatly improve the health of your soil. They feed the microbial life in the soil, make nutrients readily available to your plants and trees, and improve the health in the life of your soil’s ecosystem.
Continue feeding your citrus trees through autumn, and keep an eye out for white fly and citrus leaf miner. Spray them with eco oil. If you have that black sooty mould on your citrus tree, mix some copper oxychloride, add your eco oil and spray your tree. If it persists, repeat the application six weeks later. Remember, read and understand all labels prior to using the products or get someone who is experienced to do it for you.
When leaf fall starts to occur, it is a good practice to remove the leaves from the site, particularly if you are having problems with pests or disease. This will help to break the cycle of curly leaf or brown rot in stone fruit, and will support further action you take to remediate the problems.
Speaking of curly leaf, a good time to start spraying your copper products for the prevention of curly leaf and other fungal problems is at about 10% leaf fall. Keep an eye on your trees, as this early intervention can make all the difference.
If you intend planting a few bulbs in the garden, you should think about chilling them in your fridge now, so they will be ready to plant later in autumn.