Before Covid19 life was pretty normal for most of us planning ahead in the garden – Covid19 has changed all that. One benefit of Covid has been in the garden especially The Vegetable Patch. So here are a few tips that may help the new gardener and maybe the seasoned gardener will pick up a thing or two.
FEEDING YOUR GARDEN
MANURE TEA: Manure tea can be made from any composted manure. Leave to soak for around 30 days. Collect about 1-2 cups per 9 litre bucket of water. Sieve and dilute so the liquid looks like a weak tea and water directly to your plants and seed.
COMFREY TEA: Gather a nice bundle of comfrey leaves and immerse in a bucket half filled with water. Weigh it down with a brick or similar weight. Fill the bucket with water and cover for three weeks. Sieve and dilute to one part tea to 10 parts water and use to water your plants weekly.
PYRETHRUM SPRAY: Collect flower heads when they are in full bloom. Coarsely grind dried flower heads and to every firmly packed half cup of flowers, add 1L of warm water. Cover and leave to stand for three hours, strain and add a teaspoon of pure soap and one of cooking oil. Shake well before use. Don’t spray in temperatures over 32 C. The spray will kill bees so use it when they are not active – in early morning or evening. The spray will only remain potent for 12-24 hours, discard unused spray.
Companion planting is essentially a method of growing plants together that will assist each other in some way, like deterring pests, improving growth, enhancing flavour, attracting beneficial insects, fixing nitrogen. For example to deter flies from tomatoes it is said Basil is the answer, however the amount you would require would make your eyes water. A better option is to plant a Rue near your patch, which will attract flies.
COMPANION PLANTS TO DETER PESTS
Aphids: Chives, coriander, nasturtium
Asparagus beetle: Pot marigold
Cabbage moth: Hyssop, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, tansy and thyme.
Dill: will attract white butterfly moth
Flies: Basil, rue
Tomatoes; companion plants are Basil, oregano, carrots, onions, radishes, garlic, amaranth, chives, stinging nettle, lavender, thyme and lemon balm.
Lavender makes an excellent companion plant for other Mediterranean herbs with similar growing needs such as rosemary, sage and thyme
Borage in or near your patch will attract beneficial bees.
Chamomile: Deters flies and mosquitoes and strengthens neighbouring plant.
The above hints are only a small portion of things to aid your garden, you can always Google for more. Consider “Sustainable Gardening Australia”
Rebecca Sprosen – Allendale Nursery – More