Q &A







regularly and apply some Yates Thrive All Purpose Soluble Plant Food, which is rich in nitrogen, to encourage lots of delicious leaves. Harvest individual lettuce leaves regularly so they’ll grow lots more leaves. Lettuce tip: Watch out for snails and slugs, which just love chomping through lettuces! Control snails and slugs by scattering a few Yates Blitzem Pellets over the soil around the lettuces. Delicious herbs BASIL: Basil can bolt to seed during hot weather so trim back flowered stems and repeat sowings every two to three weeks for a constant supply. Basil won’t mind a bit of shade during really hot weather, so plant it among other veges and even in the garden where shrubs offer some shade. Liquid feed using Yates Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food, which is taken up through both the roots and foliage as you water. Basil tip: Bees love basil flowers, so leave a few flowering stems on basil to encourage these important pollinators into the garden. CHIVES: Chives are a wonderful herb to have on hand to add a mild onion flavour to salads, soups, sandwiches and pasta dishes. They grow in a clump (20-30cm tall) with fine, dark green leaves and pretty edible purple flowers. You can sow these from seed now in all areas, directly where you want them to grow in the garden. Use in rows or in clumps and they are also terrific in pots and useful as a pretty border plant. Chives grow well in full sun or part shade, and are a great companion for tomatoes, carrots and roses. Feed regularly with Yates Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food and chive plants will go on producing season after season. ■ For more information and inspiration visit yates.co.nz Do I need to spray rhubarb leaves with holes in them? No, I would just clear away any tired stalks, rotting leaves and weeds where pests could be lurking. It might pay to put down some slug pellets though; despite being poisonous to people, rhubarb leaves appeal to slugs, snails and also earwigs. Good drainage, generous feeding and adequate water are the secret of good rhubarb, attend to these and the leaves will soon be looking good. Pick stalks before they get too long and limp, gently twisting and pulling them from the base. Does honey work as a rooting hormone? Sometimes, probably because of its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It’s cheap enough to give it a go: just dissolve a tablespoon of honey (preferably raw honey) in 1 cup of boiling water, let the liquid cool then store in a lidded jar _ it should be good for up to a couple of weeks. To use, prepare your cuttings in the usual way then simply dip in the solution before planting. And be aware that many cuttings will root themselves without additional treatments.