Garden Notes with Judy Horton 
Product and Seed of the Month

Week 1: August gardening


August sees the first stirrings of spring in the 
garden - but watch for those dreaded August 
winds and frosts!
Vegies to sow in August - Tomatoes
In warmer areas you can get tomatoes off to an 
early start by planting seeds into pots on a 
sunny indoor windowsill.  Fill the pots with 
Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix, press the 
seeds into the top, cover with a light scattering 
of mix and water well.  Thin out the crowded 
seedlings after they've germinated and feed 
every week with Black Magic Seedling Fertiliser 
or half strength Nitrosol.  Plant outdoors in 
spring once frost danger has passed.  Big Beef 
is far and away the most popular tomato in the 
Yates range but, if space is tight, try mini Tiny 
Tim in a pot.  

Flowers to sow in August - Nasturtiums
Nasturtiums are very useful plants  all parts 
are edible and they're also said to have natural 
insect-repelling qualities. They're one of the 
easiest flowers to grow from seed and, because 
they don't germinate readily in hot weather, it's 
a good idea to sow the seeds into garden beds 
while it's still cool.  Conversely, though, 
nasturtiums don't like frost so, in colder parts, 
it's safer to wait until well into spring before 
sowing.  One advantage of gardening in colder 
parts is that you can make fresh sowings of 
cold-hardy plants like violas, Shirley poppies 
and cornflowers at this time of year.  These will 
continue flowering well into spring - and even 
early summer - where it doesn't get too hot.  

Feed in August
Strawberries are about to take off so this is a 
good time to tidy the plants, removing any dead 
material, and feed with Yates Blood & Bone.  
Get rid of any plants that are showing signs of 
disease and renew a layer of mulch like straw 
around the plants (remember, they aren't called 
'strawberries' for nothing).  

Prune in August
In most areas it's time to finish pruning roses 
although next month will be safer in really chilly 
parts.  Sterilise secateurs between cuts by 
dipping into a disinfectant solution and treat 
large cuts with Bacseal pruning paint.  This 
helps prevent disease entry. An all-over spray 
with Yates Lime Sulphur will also help control 
pest and diseases.     

August pest watch - Aphids

Succulent new shoots are much loved by 
aphids and other sap-sucking insect pests.  
Yates Insect Gun is a low toxic solution that 
comes in a ready-to-use trigger pack.  For 
severe infestations, use Confidor  it's 
systemic, so it gets right inside the plant.  

Plant of the month  Deciduous magnolias
Deciduous magnolias (Magnolia 'Vulcan', 
pictured) continue making a magnificent show 
in August.  After flowering, sprinkle Blitzem or 
Baysol pellets around the base to control snails 
and slugs (they love young magnolia leaves), 
feed with Dynamic Lifter pellets and renew a 
layer of organic mulch over the shallow roots.






Week 2: Solving weed problems



What exactly is a weed? Definitions abound, 
but a weed is generally considered to be a plant 
that's growing where it isn't wanted.  And, as 
winter comes to an end, it often seems that the 
weeds are about to take over the entire garden.  

Onehunga weed, which usually causes 
problems in lawns, is one of the weeds you'll 
find starting to develop at this time of year. 
Onehunga weed is a soft, ferny-leafed plant 
that only reveals the nasty side of its nature 
when it produces its sharply-barbed seeds.  
These can make walking on the lawn in bare 
feet an utter misery.

You can remove Onehunga weed with what's 
called a 'selective' weedkiller but, remember, if 
the weed has already formed its spiky seeds, 
it's sure to re-appear next year.  Make a note to 
begin control earlier next season. 

Yates Prickle Weedkiller is a widely used 
selective herbicide that cleverly removes the 
non-grass weeds (like Onehunga weed) from 
the lawn, without damaging the grass.  
However, it's vitally important to read the label 
and carefully follow the instructions.  Too-heavy 
applications will burn the grass.  Yates Turfix 
and Turfix Gun are other selective weedkillers 
in the Yates range that will control Onehunga 
weed. 
   
Many other lawn weeds  such as clover, 
dandelions, thistles and capeweed (pictured) - 
can also be removed with a selective 
weedkiller. Convenient, Hose-on Weed 'n' Feed 
combines a selective weedkiller with a lawn 
fertiliser  hence its descriptive name!

Weeds in garden beds can be removed using a 
glyphosate herbicide such as Roundup.  
Roundup is available as a concentrate that's 
diluted in water before use.  Glyphosate is non-
selective, which means it will kill any plant 
material it contacts.  This, obviously, means it 
must be applied with great care.   Fortunately, 
though, it doesn't leave residues in the soil.

Roundup Fast Action works even faster and 
begins to control weeds within 48 hours.  It's 
available in two sizes in ready-to-use trigger 
packs.

One easy way to apply glyhosate is with the 
clever invention, the Zero Weeding Brush. This 
is a hollow tube that's fitted with a sturdy brush 
at the end.  After the tube is filled with a Zero 
mixture, the herbicide flows down the tube and 
onto the bristles where it can be 'brushed' onto 
weeds from arm's length.  The flow of herbicide 
is controlled by a specially-designed valve.  
There's no bending!

For longer-term weed control there is Yates 
Path Weed Spray, which also comes in a 
convenient trigger pack.  This leaves a residual 
barrier that kills weeds and stops their seeds 
germinating in paths, driveways, tennis courts 
and on paved patios for up to twelve months.  

Yates Surrender removes moss, lichen, 
liverworts and algae from lawns, roofs, 
cobblestones, tiles and other hard surfaces.   



Week 3: Tackle garden problems in late winter


There's always something trying to spoil 
your plants.  If it isn't insect pests, it's 
diseases like black spot.  But late winter is a 
good time to get rid of plant problems and 
set up the garden with the best possible 
start for spring.

Roses, for example, can be given a clean-
up Lime Sulphur spray immediately after 
pruning.  But if your rose has already 
started to shoot, it's probably too late to use 
Lime Sulphur (which could burn the young 
leaves).  Instead you should begin applying 
a good fungicide/insecticide/miticide such 
as Yates Rose Gun or Super Shield.     

Regular monitoring is the best way to 
prevent pests from spoiling your plants. 
Walk through the garden as often as you 
can and try to remove problems in their 
early stages.  Insect pests can be easily 
picked off or squashed by hand while their 
numbers are still controllable.

Most pest insects fall into two groups  
either sap suckers or leaf eaters.
  
Sap suckers are usually small  often 
minute - but they can be present in huge 
numbers.  

Aphids are good examples.  
Aphids (pictured) suck sugary sap directly 
out of the youngest leaves.  This weakens 
the plant and also causes twisting and 
curling of the new growth.  In their early 
stages it's easy to remove sap suckers like 
aphids but, once numbers build up, you'll 
probably need to spray with an insecticide.  

Yates has a wide selection of controls to 
choose from.  They include soap-based 
Yates Nature's Way Insect Spray, plant-
extract pyrethrum or systemic Confidor.  
Confidor is most effective when used as a 
preventative to protect new season's foliage 
on pest-susceptible plants like azaleas.
 
Scales are harder to control than aphids 
because these sap-sucking pests hide 
beneath protective coatings.  Sometimes 
their sticky waste encourages growth of an 
ugly black fungus called sooty mould.  To 
get rid of the mould, you need to remove 
the scale.  You can do this in many cases 
with a systemic spray (Confidor) or an oil 
(like Yates Conqueror Spraying Oil). An old 
toothbrush, too, can be helpful in giving 
scales the 'brush-off'.

Damage caused by leaf eaters is much 
easier to identify because leaf-eating pests 
literally chew holes in the leaves.  
Caterpillars are the most common  use 
naturally-derived Success  - but also be on 
the lookout for other chewers like snails and 
slugs.  

When your plants are under attack, it's 
important to identify the pest or disease 
that's causing the damage before you 
attempt to do anything about it.   One of 
your best friends in this task is the problem 
solver section of the Yates website 
www.yates.co.nz where there are pictures 
of garden problems, and commonsense 
suggestions for controlling them.  Another 
option is to use a good identification book 
such as Yates Garden Problem Solver 





Week 4: Winter gold in the garden



In what seems to be the garden's antidote to 
the lingering cold of winter, there are many 
warming displays of golden/yellow on show in 
August.  Look out for examples such as:

Acacias
With many hundreds of species, there's an 
acacia in bloom at just about any time of year, 
especially in August.  There's also a great 
choice of plant sizes, so you're sure to find one 
to fit your garden. Most wattles are notoriously 
short-lived, so don't expect your plant to be with 
you forever, but a light trim after flowering can 
encourage the plant to continue producing 
active, healthy growth.  This is also a good time 
to give your wattle a feed with a gentle fertiliser 
such as Yates Blood & Bone.   

Yellow jasmine
Yellow jasmine (Jasminum mesnyi ) is an old-
fashioned shrub that is closely related to the 
climbing jasmines.  Its arching stems are 
studded with semi-double, primrose-yellow 
blooms in August.  While yellow jasmine is very 
hardy, it won't take heavy frosts.  Cut back hard 
after flowering, completely removing the oldest 
canes, and feed the plants occasionally with 
some Dynamic Lifter pellets.  Apart from that, 
they need very little extra care.   

Carolina jasmine
Another jasmine name but, in this case, it isn't a 
true jasmine.  But carolina jasmine is a climber, 
and it does have a perfume, so you can 
understand the automatic association.  This 
twiner's small, bell-like blooms appear in late 
winter and spring.  Their scent is reminiscent of 
a well-known baby powder.
  
Daffodils and jonquils
Every bulb grower dreams of having a 'host of 
golden daffodils' dotting the lawn.  Of course, 
these days daffodils aren't always yellow - they 
can be white, cream or a faint pink - but the 
traditionalist still prefers the rich yellow of 
varieties such as King Alfred.  In warmer areas 
jonquils and their relatives are more reliable 
performers than daffodils, with jonquil 'Soleil 
d'Or' providing a good display of yellow.    

In suitable climates and well-drained conditions, 
bulbs can be left in the ground from one year to 
the next.  Once flowering has finished, the bulb 
begins building up reserves for next year.  The 
most helpful thing to do at this stage is to water 
the leaves regularly with a soluble plant food 
such as Thrive or Nitrosol.  Don't remove the 
leaves, no matter how untidy they look, until 
they have completely yellowed.
 

Citrus (orange, pictured)
Although not always appreciated for the colour 
they bring to the garden, lemons, oranges, 
mandarins and their relatives add wonderful 
touches of yellow and gold in late winter.  
Ongoing care of citrus is simple: feed after 
harvest with Yates Thrive Citrus Food and 
watch out for pests like scales and aphids. 



For more information contact www.yates.co.nz