Ag. Deputy Chief Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
Gardeners across the Territory participating in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture’s Backyard Garden Competition are being provided with more tips to assist with the production of successful crops.
Week 3 Tip focuses on Okra, a vegetable commonly grown in backyard gardens. Okra has several health benefits. It can boost immunity; helps to relax blood vessels and arteries; protects eyes against cataracts and macular degeneration; aids in digestion; protects the heart against clotting; and reduces the appearance of scars, acne and wrinkles.
Week 4 Tip: The Whitefly and many other sucking insects (e.g. aphids) are major pests in the garden. To determine if there is a whitefly infestation, gently brush hand over the plant to determine if there is any sign of whiteflies. Also, take a look under the leaves for any signs of sucking insects.
Heavily infested plants become yellow, wilted, deformed or stunted, and may eventually die. Make your own Effective Pesticide – Garlic and Neem oil Spray
- Crush/roughly chop 1 bulb of garlic – a food processor makes short work of this task.
- Add 2 cups of water and leave overnight.
- The next day add 1 tsp of neem oil and 1 tsp of liquid soap (hand soap or dish detergent) and 2 more cups of warm water.
- Pass through a fine sieve into a bottle. Use Neem and Garlic Spray on affected plants 1-2 times per week until the infestation has gone.
Week 5 Tip: It is best to water plants late in the evening or very early in the morning. Watering cools soil in the evening or at night results in less evaporation than would occur on hot soil during the day. Plants can then sufficiently supply themselves with water before the next day’s heat.
Week 6 Tip: Did you know that soil is one of nature’s most complex ecosystems? There are more soil microorganisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on the earth. Clearing land for cultivation affects the soil environment and drastically reduces the number of species and soil organisms. Agricultural practices that promote healthy soil include organic farming, zero-tillage and crop rotations. Healthy soil equals healthy food.
To view more tips, participants photos and competition information, visit the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Facebook page @GOVIDOAF.
NOTE TO EDITOR(S):
4 Photos of Did You Know’s