Real World Gardener 28th January Citrus Gall Wasp in Plant Doctor

March 24th, 2017

PLANT DOCTOR

Pests of Citrus-Citrus Gall Wasp

If you though that all you had to contend with on Citrus, was the curling, silvery leaves, the Bronze-Orange stink bugs, the citrus scale on the trunk, then think again, because there's at least one more.

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Citrus Gall Wasp-image Dept. of Ag. W.A.

This is a native pest of all citrus, which does include native citrus trees like finger limes, and now is the time when you can notice the damage that this pest has done to your tree. As in a other citrus pests, the damage is done by a tiny moth, about 2-3mm that usually comes out late in the evening and then promptly dies after a very short time.

The damage starts of green and then over time, turns to a grey-brown coloured lump.

The lifecyle of the wasp larvae is quite long, from when the wasp stings the branch and lays its eggs to when the wasp emerges, is about one year.

Initially, you may not notice the bumps, but from Autumn onwards, they are becoming much more noticeable on the citrus trees.

 

Let’s find out what can be done about this problem

I'm talking with Steve Falcioni, General Manager ofwww.ecoorganicgarden.com.au

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Citrus Gall Wasp damage-image Dept. of Ag. W.A.

 

 

We certainly imported a few citrus pasts in the short time that white Australians have been here, but this pest is a native that mainly only attacked finger limes.

Originally only being found in Queensland and northern NSW, but with all the movement of plants from state to state, this pest can now be found as far south as Melbourne.

If you have any questions about Citrus Gall wasps, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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Real World Gardener Autumn Gardening Part 1 in Design Elements

March 24th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Autumn Gardening Series Part 1

 

Autumn gardening –is a favourite time for many gardeners around Australia because it’s a much milder time of year compared with the heat of Summer.

In some districts the leaves on deciduous trees are starting to change colours to Autumn buttery yellow tones, or flame red, other plants are putting on a new flush of growth and budding up for the last hurrah before the cold sets in.

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Bodnant Garden, England photo M Cannon

 

During Summer, many of us stayed indoors under the fan or in the air-conditioning while the plants in the garden sweltered.

So, if you haven’t already gone out to assess your plants, you need to act soon

Let’s find out why. I'm talking with Glenice Buck consulting arborist and landscape designer from www.glenicebuckdesigns.com.au

Even though some of your plants were being attacked by various pests and diseases, the heat of Summer has meant it’s been too hot to spray with anything because of the risk of burning the leaves.

Also,Summer rains in some districts would’ve meant that the sprays would’ve been washed off anyway.

So over the next few months, seize the opportunity to follow Glenice’s autumn gardening plan.

Glenice says 

" I firstly weed out all beds then I look at what shrubs and perennials need cutting back or deadheading.  Sometime shrubs have grown out of shape or spread out too far across or over other plants prune these plants back into their own shape.  Give everything their own space.  If there are plants not looking healthy try and investigate reason why – it may have a pest or disease it may have dried out through summer."

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Real World Gardener Australian Native Holly is Plant of the Week

March 24th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Native Holly

Alcornea ilicifolia

 

The holiday season is over but in case you thought you can improve on next year’s celebrations, what about planting something that is reminiscent of this time of year and it’s a native.

Not only that it good for little native birds because of it’s dense foliage.

Let’s find out about this plant. The plant panel were Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

I'm talkingwith the Plant Panel : Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au  and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

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This plant would discourage intruders if you planted it under your bedroom window or along the front fence line.

Remembering of course that there are 17 plants called native holly in Australia so do ask for Alcornea ilicifolia.

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Real World Gardener NEW Everlasting Daisies

March 16th, 2017

PLANT OF THE WEEK

NEW Everlasting Daisies.

Bracteantha bracteata

Have you ever been to see the wildflowers in Western Australia?
It’s on my bucket list.
In the wild, these fast-growing annuals perform brilliantly under extreme conditions. They germinate with the first rains in winter and by late August are in full flower, adding bright colour to the otherwise harsh landscape of outback Australia.
But it’s one particular wildflower that we’re focussing on toda

Let’s find out about this plant.
I'm talking with the plant panel: Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

 

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Everlasting Daisies at Wittunga Botanic Garden, Adelaide. photo M Cannon

Everlasting Daisies at Wittunga Botanic Garden, Adelaide. photo M Cannon

Here’s a tip to keep those everlastings for longer in the vase.

The trick is to pick the flowers when they are young and just opening.  

Then hang upside down in a cool, dark room.

Once dried, the stems can be trimmed and they can be placed in vases or you can replace the stems with florists wire.

If you pick the flowers when they are fully open the petals will fold back towards the stem and the flowers will fall apart.

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Real World Gardener Preserving Summer Fruits

March 16th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

THE GOOD EARTH

Preserving Summer Fruits

Do you have fruit trees in your garden?

Citrus are fruits so you probably answered yes to that.

So what do you do when the fruits all come ripe at once?

Jams and preserves and possibly pickles are the first things that come to mind for most people, but there are a lot more methods of preserving fruit to use later on in the year. Let’s find out about this preserving business.

I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska from www.mosshouse.com.au 

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I hope that’s inspired you to try several different methods of preserving your fruit.

We didn’t even cover making pasta sauce with all those tomatoes that you’re growing right now.

If you have any questions about preserving summer produce or have some information you’d like to share, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com

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Real World Gardener Red Backed Fairy Wren is Wildlife in Focus

March 16th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Red Backed Fairy Wren and Superb Fairy Wren

 

This little bird is the smallest of the wren species in Australia.

In fact it’s smaller than a sparrow and because it’s so small, that it’s called the Elfin wren.

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Red Backed Fairy Wren

The males of course have all the colour being a glossy black with a scarlet patch, whilst the females are brown.

They can't be mistaken for a sparrow because they're smaller and have that characteristic pointing up tail, bouncing around like little ping pong balls.

 Let’s find out what’s great about this bird.

 

Smaller and shyer than the Superb Fairy Wren , the Red Backed Fairy Wren has a similar call.

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Female Red Backed Fairy Wren, not red at all.

But most of us won’t see this Fairy Wren because Red-backed Fairy-wrens are essentially birds of Australia's north where they are mainly restricted to the more humid zones closer to the coast.

In eastern Australia they do extend south down the NSW north coast to near Newcastle and in W.A. south to Cape Keraudren, again along the coast.

Apparently they’re common around the outskirts of Brisbane and Darwin.

If you have any questions about Red Back Fairy Wrens, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 VEGETABLE HEROES

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Real World Gardener What Is Wrong with My Worm Farm?

March 9th, 2017

LIVING PLANET

What Went Wrong with My Worm Farm?

 

So you’ve now got a worm farm but you open the lid one morning and there’s a mass of short fat white wriggling things?

Too awful to contemplate so I'm not posting a picture of the maggots.

Instead, here's a photo of the nice worms that you should have in your worm farm.]

 

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You’re of course horrified and think “How did they get there and why? "

So now let’s find out. '

I'm talking with Sophie Goulding, environment project officer with a local council.

 

You need to get rid of those wriggling things because they’re maggots and they're there because probably you put that dairy or meat product into the worm farm.

Perhaps you did it on purpose knowing that your chooks will really appreciate a feast of protein that those white maggoty things have plenty of.

But if you didn’t, you’re best bet is to remove the maggots and put them into a small bucket.

Leave them to fry in the sun before adding them back to the compost.

If you don't get rid of them they'll get rid of your worms and there goes your worm farm.

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Real World Gardener The Mystery of Summer Branch Drop in Design Elements

March 9th, 2017

ESIGN ELEMENTS

Summer Limb Drop

 

Most people would be wary of various species of Eucalypt trees, which can drop limbs without any warning.

But what about other trees that drop limbs?

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Muogumarra Nature Reserve photo M Cannon

When the Summer’s are long and hot without much rainfall, trees are stressed.

How can you tell then if a tree is so stressed that a big branch is about to fall off?

I'm talking with Glenice Buck, Consulting Arborist and Landscape Designer of www.glenicebuckdesigns.com.au

 

Glenice noticed plenty of fallen branches in paddocks near where she lives in Young.

Unfortunately the answer to the question how can you tell when a tree is going to drop a healthy limb, and that is, you can’t tell at all if a tree limb is going to fall.

Perfectly good branches just seem to break off.

The trees are perfectly fine [on the outside] and the inside, they seem to be structurally sound - a lot of the trees that have dropped limbs, you could not pick that they were going to fall.

You would expect that trees that are structurally unsound, are more likely to drop limbs, but as a rule, the normal eucalypts that drop limbs like the red gums and a lot of our box trees, have been dropping limbs with no sign of structural damage at all.

 

If you have any questions about trees for Glenice, why not write in or ask for a fact sheet.

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Real World Gardener Vanilla Bean in Spice It Up

March 9th, 2017

SPICE IT UP

Vanilla Bean Orchid Vanilla planifolia

The plant that this next spice comes from originates in the highland forests of Mexico, so that gives you some idea of where it grows best.

Somewhere warm and humid.

But hey, don’t let that stop you from trying to grow it, after all it’s an orchid.

Let’s find out what’s great about this spice. Im talking with owner of www.herbies.com.au Ian Hemphill

 

If you buy imitation vanilla essence then you’re buying a mixture made from synthetic substances which imitate the vanilla smell and flavour.

This often contains propylene glycol which is also found in automotive antifreeze!

It’s mass produced and relatively cheap but, of course, not in the same class as true vanilla extract.

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Growing Vanilla planifolia

If you want to try to grow this orchid, you must be sure to get Vanilla planifolia-used to be called Vanilla fragrans.

The flowers are like a skinny Cattleya (that’s an orchid) flower and they’re yellow.

The plant usually doesn’t flower until it’s at least 3 metres tall and it can reach a size of 20 metres and more.

A friend of mine has the variegated one growing in his laundry that faces north.

Seems to be doing pretty well.

If you're in an area where you can grow this orchid and have it flower, then you'll have to pollinate it yourself to get the vanilla bean.

The only natural pollinator is the Melipone Bee which is native to Mexico and thought to be extinct.

Should your vanilla bean orchid produce a green bean, luck you, but this will have no vanilla flavour.

It takes many weeks of drying and sweating before the pod is ready to be used in cooking.

If you have any questions about growing Vanilla orchids, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 
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Real World Gardener Begonia Dragon Wings is Plant of the Week

March 2nd, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Begonia Dragon Wings.

Red is the main colour of the flowers this week and boy does this plant stay in flower.

If you want constant colour but something different from Petunias , then go for this flowering plant that can flower almost all year round.

Let’s find out about this plant.1-Begonia%2Bdragon%2Bwings.jpg

I'm talking with the plant panel were Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

 

For Begonias, the more light, the more brilliant the colour of the leaves.

Angel Wing Begonias will grow well under shade cloth, lattice, or in early morning/late afternoon sun.

They’ll burn if grown in direct mid-day sun.

Did you know that the flowers are edible, with a sweet tart taste?Jeremy also mentioned to NEW Begonia cultivars: Begonia "Big." and a variety of Begonia semperflorens called Doublet. 

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Begonia Big  is said to take full sun, but we think it applies for northern hemisphere sun rather than the bleaching sun in Australia.

B. Doublet seems to be a cross between a bedding begonia and B. Dragon Wings and the flower colours comes in red, white, pink and rose. This one is cutting grown and quite tough, being able to withstand full sun, but will need time to adjust when you first bring it home from the nursery or garden centre.

 
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