This month in your garden

Now that the weather has really warmed up, you may find small deposits of soil around the garden or any cracks in paths.

These are made by ants looking for new homes that could be in any plant pot nearby. We treat these with Permex 38, 10cc in a litre bottle of water, poured down the hole. Please label the bottle as such!  Indoors, it is best not to give them a chance to get into anything at all.  Keep sugar, flour, pasta, and rice in firmly closed plastic bags.  However, sometimes they just seem to appear from nowhere and this is how we deal with them. Mix 1 tablespoon Peanut Butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon BORAX (from a Pharmacy) with 1 teaspoon of water, spreading spoonfuls on pieces of card where the ants are appearing. You may be alarmed by the number of ants attracted to this mix, but their greed means their demise, as they go scampering off with pieces back to the nest!

Daily dead heading of hibiscus flowers means that you will be able to keep your eye on any mealy bugs that appear. Treat them with NeemAzal-T/S, a slow acting naturally based anti-feeding insecticide, which is safe to use and does not affect the user or beneficial insects. The dose is 50ml in 10 litres of water. If a high number of pests are seen, spray at 7-10 day intervals several times, and spray underneath the leaves and stems as well. Do not apply if rainfall is due within three hours, or when bees are foraging amongst the flowers. This same dosage can be used for leaf miners.

Now we rely on the stalwart shrubs of the summer garden like Plumbago auriculata, Duranta repens Leucophyllum frutescens, Carissa macrocarpa and the pretty summer Jasmines to see us through the coming hot months. Watering is especially important from now on, so check your irrigation system and outlets to see that they are able to deliver the water where you need it.