Neutrog’s Microbiologist and R&D Manager, Dr. Uwe Stroeher talks about balanced nutrition for your plants.
We know that a balanced diet is required for us to be healthy and to perform at our peak, and for plants it is no different. Plants need balanced nutrition.
Often people look at a packet of fertiliser but only look for levels of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, but plants need so much more. Other critical nutrients which are required in relatively high levels are things like sulphur, magnesium and calcium as well as a whole range of trace or micronutrients such as iron, zinc, manganese – the list goes on. There are a plethora of plant issues related to the incorrect feeding of plants, but these can be overcome by using a nutritionally-balanced fertiliser and feeding your plants on a regular basis.
This is Helen Lovel here from Neutrog, with a sad tale and even sadder photos of my potted citrus. At garden clubs and training sessions, my colleagues and I are always talking about the importance of feeding on a regular – at least seasonal – basis. One of the group of plants which we particularly emphasise the importance of feeding, are citrus. They are very heavy feeders, and an application of Gyganic for Veggies Fruit and Citrus every 8 weeks, along with GOGO Juice fortnightly will make a huge difference to the growth of your citrus. You will see an improvement in flowering, as will fruit size, quality and flavour.
The not so humble tomato is at the top of the “must grow” list for many gardeners. In most years, the challenge is to see who is the most successful in harvesting a crop before Christmas. There are so many varieties to choose from and there is such a great range of colour too.
The Neutrog team told us what they’re growing in their home gardens this year. We have Green Zebra for its wonderful green colour and yellow stripes which indicate when it’s ripe. Several varieties of cherry tomatoes in different colours. The fabulous and ever reliable Grosse Lisse. Plus, a couple of unknowns. One of the team had their property under flood in June 2016. In the summer of 2016-17 a tomato seedling popped up on their river flats. It was a delicious little truss tomato which was never watered, had cows trampling over it and it survived right through until the worst of the frosts the following winter. Seed was saved and it has been affectionately named Flood Red. Another is growing a tomato known as Mr. Curry. Known as Mr Curry, because that’s the old bloke who provided the original seed. This is a huge fleshy and extremely tasty tomato which fruits right through until late May.
As we’re getting closer to spring, it’s time to consider the next jobs which need to be completed in your rose garden. Our thanks go to Kelvin Trimper AM, RSSA Past President and Life Member for this most valuable information
1. Finish rose pruning – ensure you remove any leaves from the plant and as many old loose leaves from around the base of the plant as possible, as these contain damaging fungal spores and insect eggs which will create problems in spring if not dealt with now.
Highcroft Garden is a 2 acre garden at Harrogate in South Australia. Maureen & Chris Highet’s beautiful property, which also farms Red Angus cattle, captures the wonderful views across the ranges. After retiring 12 years ago, Maureen was disappointed when she realised she had absolutely nothing to do. At the time, Maureen had no interest whatsoever in gardening other than maintaining the lawns and shrubs. “I found myself wandering out into the front garden and doing a bit of pottering around, and you know what, I enjoyed it!” enthused Maureen. “It didn’t take long before I fell completely in love with gardening.
We were thrilled to receive these beautiful photos from Toni Briscoe, one of our regulars at Bunnings Garden Club talks. “I’m missing my contact and friendship with the Bunnings Team Members and garden club members very much” said Toni.
“What I am enjoying though, is the opportunity to read the beautiful posts that Neutrog are putting on their Facebook page. I thought I’d send through some photos of one of my favourite plants in the garden. This plant has many names – Gardenia globosa, tree gardenia and Rothmannia globosa.
This week, Neutrog’s Microbiologist and R&D Manager, Dr. Uwe Stroeher delves into the science of plant hormones.
Just like animals, plants are dependent on a set of hormones to regulate how they grow. How does a plant know where to grow roots? Why do plants grow at the tips and where along a shoot do leaves come out? All of these processes are regulated by hormones.
Plants growth is essentially regulated by five major hormones that the plants themselves produce, but surprisingly, three are also produced by microbes. Even the way fruit ripens is controlled by a hormone known as ethylene, which is the only know gaseous hormone.
The coldest month is also the busiest in our gardens as the old is swept away and we prepare for the coming bounty that our roses will soon offer. With frosts as heavy as I have seen in our area, temperatures dropped to minus 2.7 and as a consequence the roses have largely defoliated.
Naked plants makes visualising the location of each pruning cut easier, it makes disposal of the prunings easier; it however adds to the burden of cleaning the beds of fallen leaves much more onerous.
Bel and David Quinn live in Karratha, Western Australia. Karratha is situated high on the WA coast and has a semi-arid climate – not quite reaching the classification of desert. Temperatures are warm to hot year-round, with winter minimums being in the high 20’s and summer maximums reaching the high 40’s. Rainfall is also low, which means a tough climate for growing, but not tough enough to beat Bel and David.
Spring and autumn have been the traditional times when gardeners feed their gardens. At Neutrog, we believe that it’s because we can see a reaction in the garden – plants are actively growing, flowering and fruiting. As they say, ‘spring is in the air’. We recognise that they need nutrition to bring out the best that our plants have to offer.
If that is an accurate assessment, then the opposite is true for winter and to a lesser extent summer, as many gardeners don’t apply fertilisers during these periods. We tend to think of these times more in the way of maintenance, but in actual fact, applying nutrition to your soil and garden is as important – if not more so – during winter and summer.