August 2018 Newsletter

December 2017

With spring here, it’s time to prepare the summer garden.

July 2018 Newsletter

December 2017

Crop yields have generally been good this past season, but prices have been poor, which has put strain on the producer’s cash flow.

June 2018 Newsletter

February 2018
The hypocentre of an atomic bomb is the point on the ground above which it is detonated. At Hiroshima that was 680 metres above ground level. Two atom bombs were dropped on Japan at the close of the 2nd World War.

May 2018 Newsletter

January 2017
The hypocentre of an atomic bomb is the point on the ground above which the atomic bomb is detonated. At Hiroshima that point was 680 metres above ground i.e. unlike conventional bombs, the atom bomb does not hit the ground before it explodes.

April 2018 Newsletter

December 2017
The scourge of plastic pollution has caused supermarkets to put pressure on their suppliers to reduce their use of plastic in crop production. This is not easy under intensive growing systems where plastic mulches have played a major role in uplifting production through, amongst others,

March 2018 Newsletter

November 2017
Gardening and agriculture take second place to politics for now. Two days before Zuma was still insistant on delivering the state of the nation address, he announced that he’d been asked by the ANC top six to resign as RSA President.

February 2018 Newsletter

February 2018
I have just finished reading “The President Keepers” – not an easy read, with the many names involved, leaving one very confused. But that state capture and corruption were taking place under Zuma’s watch, of that there is no doubt.

January 2018 Newsletter

January 2017
I recently read a transcript of an interview with Lawrence Dallaglio, the former England Rugby Captain and only team member to play every single minute of England’s 2003 winning Rugby World Cup campaign. A giant of a man, both physically and mentally, he was quoted as saying.

December 2017 Newsletter

December 2017
Most of KZN soils, except those in the Northern drier parts, are acid. Failing to lime acid soils in order to raise the pH, can waste considerable money, as nutrient uptake will not reach it’s maximum. In view of this, it has been good to see the number of farmers who applied lime and gypsum after harvesting this year.

November 2017 Newsletter

November 2017
We’re now established at our new premises about a kilometre off the N3 towards Richmond. Whilst a little further for Durban clients who came to the Harrison factory to pick up GROMOR, it has advantaged our Pietermaritzburg clients.

October 2017 Newsletter

October 2017
A fit sportsman has a resting pulse rate (heart beat) of ±60 beats per minute, which rises during a game whilst under tension. Top sportsmen reach their optimal potential between 115 and 145 beats per minute.

September 2017 Newsletter

September 2017
In August, at the time of writing this newsletter, it was incredably dry and gardens were suffering, especially those established on “fill”, as is the case in most complexes. Lawns have not escaped and irrispective of whether it has rained or not before reading this newsletter, applying the following programme is recommended.

July 2017 Newsletter

July 2017
There was a delightful Ode written by Keith Parkinson in the Tailpiece of The Mercury of the 5th June 2017, about his rugby playing days. “Parkie” as he was known, played hooker for Natal in the 1960’s. In those days the replacement of injured players was not allowed.

June 2017 Newsletter

June 2017
Beautiful green forage that looks highly palatable and yet livestock nibble reluctantly!
Why? Provided you’ve checked with your seed supplier, it is highly unlikely to be due to the forage crop variety. The cause is invariably soil condition.

May 2017 Newsletter

May 2017
In our current political mess, we often forget about some of the really great South Africans that have been produced in this country of ours. One of these was Group Captain Sailor Malan.

April 2017 Newsletter

April 2017
In last month’s newsletter I indicated that without a goodly level of money, growing experience and enthusiasm, hydroponics was likely to fail. With this in mind it was interesting to read Prof.

March 2017 Newsletter

March 2017
Many people believe that growing hydroponically or following “organic” principles will solve their problems. I doubt whether more than 10% of growers who have ventured into these alternatives have been successful in the home garden, let alone on a commercial scale.

February 2017 Newsletter

February 2017
The subject of Land Restitution comes up regularly in farming circles. Recently I was asked what my opinion was regarding the wiseness of purchasing land earmarked for Restitution under Land Claims.

December 2016 Newsletter

April 2016
What a month November was with the release of the “State Capture” report in South Africa and Donald Trump being elected President of the USA. With all the problems faced by SA, I just hope Gordham can avoid SA Bonds being downgraded to “junk status”.

November 2016 Newsletter

November 2016
In my newsletters I have generally concentrated on the use of “organics” in improving the health of soils to get the best plant growth. Whilst vitally important, if we are going to feed the world’s growing population, it cannot be at the expense of “inorganics” i.e. incorporating the use of chemical fertilizers.

October 2016 Newsletter

October 2016
Taking into account economics and growing needs, it’s not possible for one growing medium formulation to meet all requirements.

September 2016 Newsletter

September 2016
I’m starting the Gromor September newsletter after having returned from my twice weekly early morning cycle, swim and breakfast on the Durban beachfront.

August 2016 Newsletter

August 2016
In my August 2013 newsletter I touched on Land Redistribution to correct the “wrongs” of the 1913 Land Act. To date ±92% of the land redistributed has fallen into disuse, but the programme grinds on – too slowly for Malema and his EFF party, who have made land redistribution without compensation part of their election manifesto.

July 2016 Newsletter

July 2016
It was the controversial Darwin who found that in an average English soil, earthworms brought to the surface about 10 tons of castings per acre per annum. The difference between our soils and English soils, is that on average our soils contain less than 1½% soil organic matter (SOM), whilst the average English soil has over 5%.

June 2016 Newsletter

June 2016
With the increase in intensive growing, Fusarium and other plant diseases have come to the fore.

Whilst the instinctive reaction is to reach for the fungicide, maybe it’s time to ask; “why the outbreak?”  There is evidence that a lot more care should be taken with fertilization, in order to make plant cells stronger and better able to withstand disease attacks.

May 2016 Newsletter

May 2016
It was Charles Darwin who coined the phrase: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.”

April 2016 Newsletter

April 2016
Last month I told you about south African born IT wizard Elon Musk, who following his passion to contribute towards making earth a “cleaner” planet, developed the high performance Tesla car, powered by clean renewable electric energy.

March 2016 Newsletter

March 2016
I recently had the privilege of speaking to the Kearsney headmaster, Alwyn van den Aardweg and discovered that his first teaching post had been at Pretoria Boys High, where he had in fact also matriculated.  I naturally pricked up my ears as Elon Musk, who I wrote about in the February Newsletter, had matriculated there.  Well, it turns out that the Kearsney headmaster had taught Elon, recalling him as a quietly spoken, immaculately turned out youngster with perfect manners, a contradiction to the man grew up to become!

February 2016 Newsletter

February 2016
I’ve just finished reading the biography of a most remarkable man, Elon Musk.  Born and raised in South Africa into an unstable family environment, he was bullied at school and lived with a father who enforced strict discipline at home, but on the other hand went out of his way to broaden his children’s horizons, taking them with him to inspect engineering jobs around the country.

December 2015 Newsletter

December 2015
I’m often asked why, when we have specifically formulated products (e.g. GROMOR LAWN DRESSING and 4.1.1 (21) lawn fertilizer) do we give the general recommendation of applying 1 x 30dm³ GROMOR COMPOST/5m²-10m² and 150g GROMOR ACCELERATOR organic fertilizer pellets per 1m²...

Quite honestly, without knowing the soil type and having a soil analysis, it’s impossible to give an exact recommendation...

November 2015 Newsletter

November 2015
In the November 2012 Gromor Newsletter I wrote “In view of the exceptional rains that we’ve experienced on the East Coast this spring------” Now, just three years later it’s dangerously dry not only on the East Coast, but over the whole country!

There is as much water on earth today, as when it began...

October 2015 Newsletter

October 2016
At this time of the year I regularly get asked for advice on what fertilizer to use on different plants. Whilst 2.3.2 and 2.3.4 remain the most popular general fertilizers, the question is valid, as different plants do use MORE of some and LESS of other PLANT FOOD ELEMENTS, hence there are different fertilizers catering for different plants e.g.GRASS requires high NITROGEN for that lush, dark green growth...

September 2015 Newsletter

September 2016
One of GROMOR’s longstanding customers Robin Joseph Cook, is about to undertake a commemorative ride in remembrance of his grandfather’s ride, whilst serving as a trooper with Marshall’s Horse, during the Boer War.  Robin’s grandfather was 17 years of age when he signed up with the 1st City Volunteers, Grahamstown, before being transferred in February 1901 to Marshall’s Horse, where he was deployed to a detachment of 13 officers with 150 men under them.  Freshly mounted and newly armed they were loaded on to a train and....

August 2015 Newsletter

August 2015
Fifty years ago no one could have foreseen a water shortage in KZN.  Now Shongweni dam is virtually silted up and Hazelmere dam has lost ±20% of its capacity in just 12 years. Like all droughts, this one has been frightening!  Let’s not forget it when the spring rains come.  Firstly, in designing a garden utilise plants that require a minimum or preferably no watering, once they’re established.  Secondly, apply cultivation practices that will conserve moisture....

July 2015 Newsletter

July 2015
When I get told that something is either good or bad, I like to be given the evidence.  Nowdays I’m regularly told that all GMO’s are bad.  But when I see the positive effect of “Round Up Ready Maize”, which makes “No Till” practically possible, which in turn increases soil organic matter levels and healthy soil life, I cannot help questioning motives....

June 2015 Newsletter

June 2015
Whilst it’s great to see the number of black people that are moving up into the middle class, 85% of them still remain poor, as opposed to just 13% of whites. In a democracy where the majority rules this cannot last, but predicting the future, I leave to you! I am well into my 70’s now and can never remember times being secure in South Africa.
Symbol of Growth
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