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10 Waiheke Weekender
The weather this season has been
playing havoc with fungal diseas-
es. Now that we are getting very
hot humid days, it is only going so
continue and now we can add into
the mix all those unlovely insect
problems as well.
Tomatoes are still the big prob-
lem and viruses are now show-
ing up; the worst being where the
leaves curl right up inside the plant.
Unfortunately there is not much you
can do with this apart from pull the
plant out and throw it away.
Do not put in your compost bins
as you are putting the problem back into your soil at some point.
Drench the soil where the infected plant was and the surrounding
area with Condy’s crystals on a solution of
3⁄4 teaspoon to 10 litres of water and repeat
in about 7 to 10 days.
Do not apply this in the heat of the sun,
do early morning or evening. I have had
one customer come in with Mosaic virus
on their tomatoes which are in a green-
house. This is happening because the
plants are drying out and the plants will
need to be discarded.
Please keep an eye on your passionfruit
vines, as brown rot will be attacking and
can devastate the plant in a couple of days.
Spray with liquid sulphur as a preventative and keep plants well
fed. Mycorrcin will do the trick.
So let’s look at those little creatures that will also be driving
The first one is the passion vine hopper or commonly known
It is mainly the juvenile insect that causes the damage though
the adult is annoying by its sheer volume.
You can spray with Confidor on a weekly cycle. This is a
systemic insecticide and stays in the plant for up to 14 days. If
you want a healthier option then use either Glow or Bugtrol which
are both organic. I have been trying Bugtrol on my onions, garlic
and leeks for black aphids
and have found it excep-
tionally good and it works
for about 14 days before I
need to spray again.
It has been done to good
effect on aphids, scale,
thrip, whitefly, mealy bug,
spider mites, caterpillar and passion
vine hopper. Make sure you spray
right inside the plant, getting those
insects that will be hiding.
As this is organic, a one-day with-
holding period before picking fruit or
vegetables is advisable. Of course,
it goes without question you always
wash your harvested produce.
I planted the Shoo Fly plant near my tomatoes and aubergines
to see if they will keep whitefly away and so far they are working;
I just did not realise how big the plant gets.
The other problem insect is bronze beetle. They
will be chewing holes in the leaves of plants and doing
so at night. They can be also very visible during the
day. This is a tricky one to get rid of and an insecticide
called Spectrum is needed to get rid of them.
With all these fungal diseases and insects you need
to be spraying regularly as a preventative, rather than waiting for
the problem to hit.
With this weather the gardens are drying up really quickly.
Saturaid – which holds water in the soil – will help. Sprinkle it
over garden areas and veggie beds or pots and containers.
It works for six months and is like blotting paper so it draws
the water evenly over the soil surface, soaking the whole lot so
you do not waste your water.
I am happy to do a demo for anyone who comes into the
garden centre and asks. It takes all of five minutes.
Happy New Year.– Geoff
Passion vine hopper adult, left, and
juveniles, above and below.
Far left – The dreaded bronze beetle.
In the garden with Geoff
The subtle and not so subtle hazards of summer
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Waiheke’s weekly briefing on local news, current affairs, opinion and the arts
Peter Williams QC is on the
island this weekend to
sign copies of his new book
of politically relevant radio
essays, Nemesis to Prejudice
Waitangi celebrations will be held at the Piritahi Marae in Blackpool this weekend.
Page42.Above – GreenMP Denise Roche duringtheceremony to celebrate her entry
intoparliament at themaraelastweekend.Page 17.
Former ARC chairman Mike
Lee looks at trouble at the port
and its wider implications for
Aucklanders and the country
Onetangi’s iconic summer
beach races return on
Sunday 19 February
Waiheke is losing its
Young families are moving off the island in greater
numbers than ever before as the cost of living here
becomes too much for already-stretched budgets.
Waiheke’s community newspaper – 100% locally owned for 37 years
Online subscription now available. Visit www.waihekegulfnews.co.nz or phone Diane on 372 5055.
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