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June 2016

Epsom Salts benefits your garden

Magnesium sulphate is beneficial in many ways. 1. Prevent transplant shock by sprinkling 1 teaspoon around your newly transplanted plant and water well. Also helps with the germination of seeds. 2. Yellow leaves indicate a magnesium deficiency in the soil so add 1 Tablespoon for every 30 cm of plant height and do this once a month. 3. Remove a tree stump by drilling holes in the stump and filling them with Epsom Salts and it will slowly start breaking down the stump. 4. Leaf Curl is another sign of deficiency in the soil.
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Planting bare rooted Aloes successfully

If you have been given an Aloe that has been dug out of the ground, do leave it on top of the soil so that the roots can dry out for at least a week.When planting some of the old roots should be visible above the ground so don't plant it too deep. Water well after planting and then wait 3 weeks in summer and 2 months in winter before watering again. If your Aloe is not making progress dig it up carefully and leave it in the shade of a tree, lying on its side for a month before replanting. Don't plant it too deep and don't over water. Follow the watering guidelines.
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Aloe pests and diseases

1. White Scale is the most common pest but is very easily treated. They are neat, white rows of sucking insects, usually under the leaves.They spread rapidly so treat as soon as you see them. You could use an aerosol insecticide, Oleum or cooking oil, but I prefer to use 'Spray and cook'. Once they have suffocated, scrape them off with a soft cloth, a toothbrush or a hard jet of water. 2. Cancer or Gall is caused by mites and is difficult to control. Cut off the leaves, but don't put them in the compost heap! It spreads rapidly so it may be better to destroy the plant.
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Create an indigenous wildlife friendly garden

To create a garden that will attract wildlife and birds one needs to choose a wide variety of trees and plants that fruit and flower throughout the year, so as to provide a constant supply of food and nectar. Then create these habitats within your garden. 1. Water is essential so provide a wetland with a pond or a birdbath. I often see dragonflies above our pond! 2. Sand bathing is enjoyed by birds and guineafowl so just leave a patch of soil unplanted. 3. The open area is a lawn or a meadow with wild grasses and low growing groundcovers.
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Why plant indigenous?

Why Plant Indigenous? Indigenous is trendy as there is a worldwide swing towards organics and planting local species. • Indigenous plants (sometime also called native plants) are plants that have evolved over thousands of years in a particular region. They have adapted to the geography, hydrology, and climate of that region. These plants occur in communities, that is, they have evolved together with other plants. As a result, a community of indigenous plants provides habitat for a variety of native wildlife species such as birds and butterflies.
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