Eugenia ventenatii, better known as lily pily is an often used hedging plant, chosen for its vigorous growth and ability to grow tall quickly to screen out unpleasant views.
It has a lovely reddish tinge on the new growth and really bushy with a fine leaf to give a really dense hedge. A perfect solution - but over the past few years in the North Shore area it has fallen foul of psyllids and thrips - small sap sucking insects which leave lumps on leaves and distort the plant's growth.
After mating, the female insects insert yellow oval shaped egg into the edge of the new leaves. Small nymphs hatch from the eggs and move to the newly expanding leaves, where they feed and develop in the cup shaped pits which are formed by the plant’s response to the insects feeding. Excessive pit formation creates severely distorted or blistered leaves, leaving shoots to appear stunted. Nymphs produce excrement in the form of tiny white pellets, some of which collects on foliage and becomes blackened from sooty mould growth.
So what can be done to stop this damage to your hedge?
Firstly, the health of the plant plays a major role. Plants that are stressed and in poor condition due to lack of water or nutrients are far more susceptible to attack. Make sure that you are watering the plants regularly in summer and during dry times. We've had good feedback from our client Jackie who also uses Kiwicare's Insect Hit Granules applied to the soil every 2 - 3 months. We would also recommend feeding with sheep pellets or a liquid feed of Seasol.
Secondly, spraying with a systemic insectide spray such as Confidor, will kill the nymphs. Systemic sprays are chemicals that travel through the plant and remain in the plant tissue for a period of time. Do read the instructions carefully and remember to apply the second spray, 7 - 10 days after the first. Also, wait for a dry day. Studies have shown that focusing on spraying the underside of the leaves is more effective.
Good luck with your hedge care and if you need our help with treating a bad case of thrip & psyllid infestation, just give us a call on 021 549 161.
We spend a lot of time dealing with your weeds so we know what works and what doesn't.
We know you don't want weeds in your garden, but we also know that you worry about your pets, children, your health and that of the environment. You are asking us more and more for an alternative to "Round Up' and other weed killing products which contain glyphosate which is the active ingredient in Round Up and other systemic (travels to the root system) weedkillers.
You might have heard last week that many European countries are moving towards banning glyphosate by mid 2022. Studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organisation have concluded that glyphosate is 'probably' carcinogenic to humans'.
The scientific community is divided with other studies concluding that the active ingredient in the most popular and some argue most effective weedkiller is 'unlikely' to pose any health risk to humans.
Glyphosate levels in our urine have increased by about 500% over the past 23 years, as the chemical makes its way into our food chain, being so extensively used in modern day agriculture. Even though the levels in humans have increased, they are still considerably below levels that are known to have any impact on animals. So, the next step is to study how levels of glyphosate relate to our overall health.
So back to your garden. Our gardening team have recently done some testing of the effectiveness of non glyphosate weedkillers and organic alternatives, as we thought that if there is another product that is as effective as Round Up, but is a 'safer' alternative, we should use it in your garden - just to be on the safe side.
We have been really impressed with Wet & Forget's 'Hitman' product and we are are now using it as standard in your garden.
Hitman doesn't work if you are killing grassed areas in preparation for planting garden beds, but it is effective on broad leafed weeds (rather than fine grass) and great for weeds coming through cobblestones or paving. You need a good coverage all over the foliage to get the best results. It is also best to apply it at the hottest time of day to accelerate the dehydration of the weeds and it needs to be a dry day too ( 4 - 5 hours without rain).
Taken from Wet & Forgets website - www.wetandforget.co.nz
So, if you don't have time to tackle those weeds in your paving and pathways, get our help before Christmas comes. Contact us HERE to receive a FREE weed spray with every 3 hour garden tidy.
It really feels like we are nearly there. It is warmer and I wore a t-shirt all day yesterday!
Here are my picks of the essential jobs that need doing in my and possibly your garden this week.
1. If you have children who run around bare feet and complain of the prickles, then you have Onehunga weed growing in the lawn. Buy some Prickle weedkiller and give the lawn a spray. It is killed really easily.
2. If you have a tropical garden or love that look, now is the time for planting Hibiscus. Lots of different varieties available. I have the larger Sinesis variety at the back of my beds, as hedging along with Griselinia Lucida, and the smaller varieties can be towards the front of the beds.
3. Plant your summer veges now and remember to stagger plant over the next month, so you have a regular supply. Plant your basil next to your tomatoes as companions - apparently it improves the flavour of the tomatoes.
4. Pots and containers will need more regular watering now it has warmed up. If you know you forget to water, maybe think of mixing in some water storage crystals with the potting mix.
5. If you haven't already, mulch your beds to conserve all the moisture that fell over the wet winter.
6. Liquid feed your plants to give them a boost. I love Seasol that you can connect onto your hose and spray direct from the bottle. Lots of fun!
And remember that if you can't quite get into your garden as life is busy, get our help before time runs out. Call me on 021 549 161 to get our sparkly team of gardeners on your side now.