Why plants need potassium Most fertilizers consist out of three major macronutrients, N-P-K. On the fertilizer packaging it is usually displayed as three numbers indicating the percentage of each macronutrient, for example 13:3:8, potassium (also known as potash) is the last number (K). Potassium Sulfate (SOP) contains sulfur, which plays a variety of key roles in optimal growth and development, and when delivered in the sulfate form, as it is with Makhro’s Potassium Sulfate, it is readily available for plant uptake.Potassium is responsible for improving a plant’s water use from roots to shoots, through the regulation of photosynthesis and transporation. Potassium also fosters nutrient uptake, enhances nitrogen use and increases protein production, boosting overall plant health and the plant’s ability to withstand disease, pests and drought stress. Potassium regulates the plant’s waterflow or turbo pressure. Turbo pressure is the amount of water (or pressure) inside of each cell. The more pressure you have the more rigid or upright your plant is, and you need potassium to help manage that function of the plant. As the plant moves into the flowering phase, it will need proportionally more potassium. A shortage of potassium results in a plant that is soft and weak. How to identify potassium deficiency Potassium deficiency will affect sandy or light soil more, as water flushes the soil, and therefor might need more potassium. If you notice curled leaf tips, not a curled leaf where the whole leaf is curled up, just the tips of leaves are curled over, that might be a sign of potassium deficiency. Usually on that same leaf, you will notice yellow edges. The yellowing will later consume the whole leaf and eventually start to turn brown. Another sign of potassium deficiency is Chlorosis, yellowing between the veins of the leaf or purple spotting on the underside of the leaf. Because potassium helps regulate movement up and down the plant. The plant will take the available potassium and send it to the good leaves, so the upper leaves of your plant will look fine and the lower bottom leaves will start getting the above-mentioned signs. So, look for these problems starting in the bottom of the plant and then slowly working its way up. Without a doubt, proper potassium management is critical in ensuring healthy plants and optimizing yield.
Understand the working of SK Eco Oil Spray SK Eco Oil Spray is a food grade, emulsified mineral oil, manufactured thru patented refining technology making it the safest mineral oil for growers, consumers, and the environment. Due to its high paraffin content, it greatly improves insecticidal and fungicidal efficiency as well as its safety to plants. A highly effective multipurpose product, with insecticidal, acaricidal and fungicidal activity, SK Eco Oil Spray controls a variety of insects and mite pests, along with plant diseases. It gives exceptionally good control of powdery mildew on crops susceptible to this disease. It is safe to use on wide range of crops and ornamentals. It controls various developmental stages of spider mites, rust mites, scale insects, whiteflies, and aphids; on numerous fruits, vegetables, field crops and ornamental plants, grown outdoors or in greenhouses. SK Eco Oil Spray’s mode of action is completely different to all other pesticide groups, making it an ideal solution in pesticide resistance management as well as an essential part of any Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. SK Eco Oil Spray’s unique insecticidal and fungicidal activity is attributed mainly to suffocation or asphyxiation. In the case of insects and mites, the suffocation occurs when the oil moves by capillary action into aeropyles of eggs, and into spiracles and tracheae of immature and adult stages of the target pests. With fungi the oil prevents growth of the mycelia and formation of reproductive bodies (sporulation). SK Eco Oil Spray can also be used as an adjuvant. When mixed with other products is has a synergistic effect due to the following: Increases coverage due to reduced surface tensionIt protects the other products from breakdownIncreases adherence and spreadingIncreases cuticular penetrationIncreases residual activity of other productsPrevents evaporation and driftIncreases retention An excellent cost-effective product, with no post-harvest restrictions and low impact on natural enemies, SK Eco Oil Spray is recommended for organic farming and gardening. 1. SK Eco Oil Spray - Quick-break oil in water emulsion2. Spray droplets hit leaves3. SK Eco Oil Spray remains on leaf surface or moves into leaf4. Healthy leaf after treatment
Copstar, a copper fungicide approved for organic gardening, can be the ideal product for gardeners who prefer to avoid chemical fungicides. Using copper fungicides can be confusing but knowing exactly when and how to use copper fungicide is the key to success. First you need to know what a copper fungicide is and how it works: Copper is a metal that, in dissolved form, penetrates plant tissues and helps control fungal diseases. If you spray the leaves, it interacts with the fungus on the leaves, usually kills it and doesn’t allow it to reproduce. It controls and prevents fungal diseases such as: ScabFruit spotBlightBlack spotRustDowny mildewLeaf curlBacterial spot The product works by protecting plants against development of new infections. Ideally, apply Copstar before fungus is visible. Otherwise, apply the product immediately when you first notice signs of fungal disease. Few things to know before starting with your application: There are three big mistakes you can make when trying to manage fungal diseases in your garden is: First, starting to late. Usually people start spraying when you see a problem and it can be effective to get it under control if you start dealing with the fungus when the problem appears. But you really want to start 2 – 3 weeks before the fungus arrives in your garden. If it arrives one year, most liking it’s going to keep arriving year after year. Take note of when to start spraying preventively for the next year. Secondly not to continue with a spraying routine. Your routine can be every 7, 10 or 14 days, but you want to pick a routine and stick to it. Mark it on a calendar or put it in your smart phone and keep the sprays going regularly. The third, very critical thing is to spray during the right time of the day and not to apply Copstar on very hot days. Spray early mornings or in the evenings. If it’s too hot the leaves will be damaged. How to apply Copstar: Note: Remember to mark your sprayers with a sticker or a permanent marker: insecticides / fungicides sprayer and herbicides sprayer. Fill up the cleaned sprayer with half of the water needed for the mixture.Shake the product before measuring out the recommend dosage of product and pour into the sprayer.Fill up the sprayer with the rest of the water.Close sprayer and shake to mix.Solution is now ready to be sprayed. The key to controlling fungal diseases is to get good coverage. Very important to spray the underside of the leaves first, especially when spraying for blight. Spray just before the point of run-off, because if it runs off, you’re contaminating the soil and the fungicide doesn’t do any good on the ground. If you get rain on plants, you will need to re-apply. A few pointers to keep in mind: Very important to follow the label on mixing and to observe the restrictions on harvest.Remember that the ratio that you mixed for one type of plant, is not necessary the correct ratio for the next. Once you have test spayed what ratio of mixture works the best for your garden, we advise to write the mixture on the bottle with a permanent marker for future use.Never mix copper fungicides with other chemicals and don’t over-apply fungicides.In case it’s time to prune your fruit trees, only spray after pruning. You don’t want to spray anything you are going to cut off. We hope that you now have a better understanding of how and when to use copper fungicides. Copstar, a copper fungicide distributed by Makhro Home and Garden is available nationwide. Visit our website www.makhro.co.za to view more product information or view our retailers. Please feel free contact us should you require any further assistance.
THE BUG WARS We can be proactive in fighting certain pests that occur year after year in the garden. Makhro Home and Garden (Pty) Ltd would like to introduce you to one of the stars in our product range: KOINOR 350 SC KOINOR is more than just an insecticide as it not only controls the insect pest that it is targeted against, but also provides lengthy protection by controlling the insect vectors of various plant that plants are susceptible to and which can completely halt their development and devastate the crop. Due to the versatility of KOINOR and the numerous application methods via which the active ingredient - imidacloprid can be applied, the harm that it can cause to the beneficial insect and mite population can be minimized or eliminated significantly. KOINOR is a systemic insecticide, controlling Aphids and other sucking insects on Roses, Conifers and Citrus. Koinor can also be used as a nest treatment for Ants and Mole crickets on lawns. Quick and Easy application Koinor is applied to the soil around the plant using a watering can or jug; the plants take the Koinor up through the roots and transport it through the plant sap to the leaves. The Koinor is present in the plant sap and protects the plant from insects that suck the plant sap such as Aphids. Timing is important Koinor must be applied early spring when the plant is growing actively. The plants are protected from the start, focus on species that are attacked every year like: Roses Conifers Citrus Mandevillea Fuchsia Durantha Wild Olives Cycads Aloes Indoor pot plants Koinor offers protection for six months at a time and needs to be repeated Early Summer Koinor will give protection to Citrus varieties against: Aphids, Red Scale, Psylla and Leafminer. The important thing to remember is to apply the Koinor in August, if you apply it later you will not be able to use the fruit that have formed on the tree, they will have to be picked and discarded, and the first fruit set thereafter would be safe for harvesting. Koinor has more applications: Little black ants make nests in paving and driveways, mix Koinor in a watering can and apply a half a liter per nest entrance. Handy Tip: If the ants are coming into the house apply the Koinor around the house close to the wall, treat visible nests. The ants avoid the barrier of Koinor and do not go in the house; protection can last up to six months. Mole Crickets are a problem that may come back year after year. Many insecticides don’t work because they do not reach the insects that burrow deep into the soil. Preventative treatment can be achieved by applying the Koinor to the lawn in November and watering well. The nymphs hatch in November and it is easier to control them when they are young. Always when buying Garden Care products Read the label before buying the product to make sure it is the correct product for the job you have in mind. Follow the instructions carefully. Never mix more than you need and never dispose of leftover chemicals by throwing them down the drain. Koinor is a clever choice for busy gardeners who want to protect their plants and have more time for other things in life. Written by: Ute Jacobs and Wilmar Burger
New Plant Nutrition Range from Makhro Home and Garden Biosoil A Concentrate solution of Humic and Fulvic acids that can be applied as a source of carbon and biological supplement for improved soil quality. Biosoil is very carbon-rich substrate extracted from composed plant fibre. Its also a combination of both humic and fulvic acids and a source of potassium. Biosoil is a very versatile product, i.e. adjuvant in foliar nutrient sprays. Organic supplement in fertiliser material. Biosoil is also a food source for soil microbes and fulvic acid contributes to water holding capacity of soil. Fulvic acids also constitutes additional cation exchange capacity in soil. Regular addition to irrigation water in sandy soils proves beneficial for crop growth and improves uptake of nutrients in soil. Fosfifol CaA Concentrate solution of Calcium Phosphate can be applied by fertigation or foliar spray.Critical component in formation and integrity of cell membranes and walls. Big factor in root growth and in pollen tube growth. BiorootConcentrated solution of micro-nutrients and seaweed extract formulated to stimulate root, vegetative and reproductive growth and development in crops. This product contains Auxin and Cytokinin, essential plant growth regulators and a combination of trace elements which are utilised in the chemical and metabolic reactions in the plant. Versatile use, as seed dressing, to root zone by fertigation or foliar application. Auxins stimulate cell division in meristem zones of roots and shoots and leaves where Cytokinin’s stimulate initiation of reproductive organ cells (e.g. flower buds) When used as a seed dressing, seedling emergence and strong early growth is obtained. Boron translocation of sugars, essential at flowering stage, germination of pollen (prevents oxidation of auxins), synthesis of pyrimidine and flavonoids. Iron is essential in photosynthesis and respiration processes, component in enzymes which breakdown toxic substances from oxidative stress, and reduction process of Nitrogen metabolism. Manganese activates enzymes involved in metabolite synthesis and electron transfer reactions. Molybdenum Nitrate reduction during metabolic processes Zinc Synthesis of amino acid and auxin involved in activity of enzymes. Seedling recovery after induced stress or shock has been achieved. VitaminoConcentrated solution of amino acids, trace elements and biostimulants to promote vegetative and reproductive crop growth and development and assist plant recovery after induced stress events. Significant content of essential L-Amino Acids. L-Amino Acids have metabolic activity in plant tissue. Trace elements complexed by amino and fulvic acids. Vitamino is a soft product when used as an addition to foliar sprays on tender and new growth of leaves and flowers in crops. Foliar applied Amino Acids at critical stages of plant development provide additional metabolic activity during cell division and growth stages. Amino acids assist in plant recovery from environmental or induced stress events, e.g. heat shock, salinity. Auxins stimulate cell vision in meristem zones of roots and shoots and leaves. Cytokinins stimulate initiation of reproductive organ cells (e.g. flower buds)
Lawn Care at its Best We all strive for a perfect lawn - weed, insect and disease free. Lawn Protector is a unique product with multiple active ingredients (bifenthrin, bupirimate and propiconazole) that allows you to treat your lawn for both insects and fungi simultaneously. In lawn maintenance, differentiating between insect and fungi damage is tricky, but with Lawn Protector trial and error is eliminated. It is now so much simpler with Lawn Protector, the all in one solution - 40 ml to 10 liters water per 10m2. For those unwanted pesky broadleaf weeds that can quickly take over a beautiful lawn, use Makhro’s Super Lawnweeder. This is a multiple active, broad spectrum, selective broadleaf weed killer that will take care of this. Super Lawnweeder contains three active ingredients (dicamba, 2,4D and MCPA) that will help you control the majority, if not all the broadleaf weeds on your lawn. Dollar spot (Sclerotina homoecarpa) Lawn caterpillar (Spodoptera cilium) Just when you think that you have won the battle, remember to get rid of those weed seeds waiting patiently to germinate. There is a unique product called Lawntyl that will control these seeds and winter grass simultaneously. Lawntyl, with its duel actives will control broadleaf weeds, winter grass and serve as a pre-emergant to your lawn seed bank. It is a pre- and post emergent herbicide with ingredients (terbuthylazine and simazine). Control those unwanted weeds before they even emerge from the soil and this can only be used on Kikuyu, buffalo and quick grass. It must be washed into the soil the following day to manage the seed control. If not washed into the soil within 24 hours, you would only get to control the weeds that are already growing. It is also very important to use the right feeding to promote growth. A good feeding to use would be 1 for All 13.3.8 with makro and micro trace elements with negligible chlorine levels and also water soluble for quick results with very little water. By following our recommendations, you can make you neighbours jealous by finally having that perfectly green lawn! African mole cricket (Gryllotalpa Africana) Brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani) STILL NOT SURE? Feel free to contact our Cape Town head office for more product or contact information or post on our Facebook page (Makhro Home & Garden).
Psylla on citrus Citrus psylla (Diaphorina citri) is a common problem for gardeners with citrus trees. After reading this article, you will better understand why, when, and how to protect your citrus trees against psylla. An adult citrus psyllid is only approximately 4 mm long and feeds on new shoots of the citrus tree. Their eggs are laid on the tips of growing shoots. The visible eggs are one way to identify if your citrus tree is infected. Psylla can also be identified by malformed new growth or swollen bubbles and dents on your citrus tree leaves. As the psyllid nymphs feed, they produce a toxin that causes the bubble and dent damage to leaves, preventing normal expansion growth of the leave. Sometimes it is hard to believe that something so small can cause so much damage. Even though the damage cause by feeding is not the main concern. Even more damage can be done by the role the psyllid plays in Citrus greening disease (also known as African greening). During feeding, it opens a path for bacteria, causing the Greening disease. When a citrus tree is affected with this disease, is results in yellowing of the leaves and small, lopsided, or asymmetrical fruit. When you have identified that your citrus tree is infected with psylla, you should apply Koinor. Koinor is a systemic insecticide that is applied at the base of the tree’s stem for season long control against most aphids and sucking insects. Make sure that you pick off all visible fruit before you apply Koinor. New formed fruit will be ready for consumption. The best time to apply Koinor is usually mid to end of September, the soil temperature must be adequate for Koinor to be properly absorbed by the tree. Use product only as directed, follow instructions as per label.
Propagating with Makhro Roots It is always exciting to try something new. Why not develop a new gardening skill, like learning how to propagate plants from cuttings? Did you know that every cell of a plant has this amazing ability to duplicate all parts and functions? Intrigued yet? Makhro Home and Garden offers great products that can assist you with this exciting new task. By creating the right conditions, you can easily create new plants from your own existing plants or even from a friend’s. Just make sure that your chosen plant is healthy with plenty of stems, so it won’t be harmed when cuttings are removed. Before we continue to the cutting and planting part, lets just first answer the million-dollar question… What is the difference between soft, semi-hard, and hardwood cuttings? It is not necessarily determined by the hardness of the plants’ stem, but rather determined by the wood’s maturity from the cutting. These illustrations below can be used to easily determine the maturity of the cuttings: SoftwoodSemi-hardwoodHardwood Note: Do not use the newer (greener) growth that lies to close to the end of the stem. Test it by bending the stem, if it is still too flexible that it does not snap, it is still too green to be used as a softwood cutting and will not be able to produce roots. Now that you have identified your cutting, you are ready to cut. Look for a healthy stem that is insect and disease free. A cutting should measure anything from 8 to 13 cm including the tip with at least two to three leaves attached, but absent of flower buds. Using a sharp knife, cut at a 45° angle about 2 to 3 cm below the second leaf node. By cutting at a 45° angle it allows for maximum rooting area. To allow space for the development of new roots, remove the bottom leaves and dip the lower 10 to 20 mm of the cutting into Makhro Root hormone rooting powder. Make sure to make a hole in your chosen plant medium before inserting the cutting, this will prevent any rooting powder from rubbing off the stem. (Some gardeners prefer to dip the cutting into water before dipping it into the hormone powder to ensure coverage.) Place your new plant in warm and bright light, but not in direct sunlight. Adding humidity might also be beneficial to some plants. After a few days, weeks or in some cases months (depending on the type of plant) the roots will have developed and are ready to be replanted into moist potting soil. Slightly pull on the plants to determine if roots have developed yet. If you feel some resistance, they are ready to be repotted, but if they pop right out without any resistance, they need more developing time. Tip: If you are taking cuttings at a friend’s house, place wet paper towels in the container with your cuttings to keep them moist until you get home. Be sure to always take more cuttings than what you will need, as it is likely that not all of them will root.
Kitchen scraps to compost Most people don’t make their own garden compost, because they think it is going to be a lot of work or they simply don’t know how. This is where we come in… we’re hoping to inspire you to start repurposing your food scraps, turning those scraps into rich humus for your lawn and garden. Compost, not only provide nutrients to your plants, but will help retain soil moisture. Composting is very easy, rewarding and a great way to teach kids the value of repurposing. Composting will not only make a huge difference in your garden; it can also divert as much as 20% of your household waste away from the garbage bin. If more South Africans start to collect their kitchen scraps for composting, it can make a big difference to our landfills. You see, when organic matter is included in your garbage, instead of being used for composting, and it hits the landfill, it creates harmful methane gasses as it breaks down because it is lacking the air it needs to decompose quickly. Now that we have you convinced to start composting, the first thing you need to do is chose your composting site. If you plan on adding a lot of kitchen scraps, chose a site conveniently close to your house and hose, because your compost should always remain slightly moist. You can build your own compost enclosure, but do not stress if you are not feeling up to building your own, there are various of durable composters (made from recycled materials) available to buy. Secondly, place a bucket (with a lid) or a small compost bin in your kitchen, to save yourself the trouble of running outside to the compost heap every time you chop some vegetables or fry an egg, and only empty out when full, which depending on your cooking methods, could be about once a week. Lastly, we recommend that you add Makhro Compost Activator to your compost. Makhro Compost Activator is formulated from 100% natural, live microbes that will convert garden waste into compost in as little as six weeks. This product contains 29 strains of beneficial bacteria that degrade waste, with some strains, able to reduce harsh smells. 500 ml Compost Activator is enough for up to two tons of compost. Enjoy making your compost and thank you for doing your part by reducing the large amount of food waste in our landfills! Tip: What household scraps to include in your compost? All vegetable and fruit waste, even moldy pieces – cores, peels, pits, rinds, and skinsCoffee grounds and filtersLoose-leaf tea and tea bagsCorn husksEgg shells, rinsed and crushedExpired spicesFlowers from bouquetsJuicer pulpShredded, ink-free paper and cardboardHealthy household plant clippings and leaves
What is Magnesium Sulfate? How does it work and why does it work? Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4) consist of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. A water-soluble product to dose your plants with additional magnesium and sulfur. Why is magnesium important? Magnesium and chlorophyll are related. A chlorophyll molecule (the green in your plants), the molecule that changes sunlight into energy for the plant, has a magnesium ion in it. It is essential to have magnesium in your ground available for plant uptake, resulting in healthier and greener plants with excellent chlorophyll production. Magnesium is also involved in the capture of CO² (Carbon Dioxide). When Carbon Dioxide is broken down by the plant, it provides energy to the plant. If your plants have a magnesium deficiency, you may see your plants starting to turn yellow. It is not a full yellow, the yellowing starts between the veins. The yellowing of leaves between the veins is also called chlorosis. What is sulfur for? Sulfur is a nutrient your plant needs. It aids in root growth, helps manage the cold, aids in the production of chlorophyll and activates proteins and enzymes for general plant growth. Not only does Magnesium Sulfate helps with seed germination, it makes plants grow bushier, produces more flowers and, as previously mentioned increases chlorophyll production, it also provides vital nutrients to supplement your regular fertilizer. Apply Magnesium Sulfate as directed to rapidly improve the growth of your plants.