Real World Gardener Design Elements is Gardening on Rocky Soil Part 1

May 25th, 2014

 

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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 new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

 DESIGN ELEMENTS

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Rocky outcrop in garden

with Landscape Designer Louise McDaid

Do you have a rocky outcrop in your garden?

Or do you have a patch where the soil’s quite shallow or you don’t have any soil at all.

Maybe you’ve got lots of rocks that need to be sifted out before you plant anything.

So what do you do? Over the next four weeks, this new series on design elements, is dealing with gardening on rocky, shallow, or now soil.

We’ll be covering plants that can cope with very little soil, and there’ll be advice on raised garden beds and even no dig gardening.

Remember the top tips: work out your soil depth in different areas of the garden. Remove as many rocks as you can and stockpile them for use later on. Add compost and manure to what soil you do have. Use any exposed rock as as a feature with plantings in pockets of soil and around in and build up your soil level.

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Real World Gardener Red Browed Finch is Wildlife In Focus

May 25th, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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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 new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

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Red Browed Finch

with ecologist Sue Stevens
RED BROWED FINCH

The Red-browed Finch Neochmia temporalis - a little bird that’s  found along the entire east coast of Australia from Buchans Point, north of Cairns continuing south as far as Adelaide and Kangaroo Island.
They’re also the most commonly seen finch around Canberra.
During the winter months, you’re more likely to see them feeding on lawns where the grass is seeding, probably because they’ve moved in to forested areas for breeding during summer.

Such a shame that some people keep this little finch in captivity but only by dedicated finch breeders who tend to put the effort into breeding them.
Unfortunately, these birds are easily acquired by illegal trapping so they remain a relatively cheap species.
I don’t advocate feeding wildlife but did you know that the Red-browed Finch is one of only a very few small Australian birds that can be attracted to bird feeders?

If you have any questions about the red browed finch or have a photo, send it, or 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 Soils Ain’t Soils in Design Elements

May 18th, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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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 new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

DESIGN ELEMENTS

with landscape designer Jason Cornish

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 Soils are the least glamorous of topics in gardening.

We’ve all heard about soil types a few weeks ago when Louise mentioned them, but why exactly do we have different soil types and can we really change the profile in our lifetime?

Why do we need to bother so much about soils?

Plants obtain most of their oxygen and carbon from the air by photosynthesis; and hydrogen is obtained, directly or indirectly, from the water in the soil.
These three elements together make up over 90 percent of fresh plant tissue.
However, plants cannot survive without the much smaller quantity of essential nutrients that they obtain from the soil, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur.

How do different soils come about? why do you have clay soil or sandy soil?
Soil composition is made of the parent material, air and water.
What happens if you have a type of soil that is luxurious loam with the right mix of water air and parent material?

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The characteristics of soil play a big part in the plant's ability to extract water and nutrients.
If plants are to grow to their full potential, the soil must provide a everything needed for plant growth.

The things that your soil is made from—your soil's composition—affect all of these aspects of plant growth. Knowing what soils are composed of will help you understand how soil affects plant growth.

Listen to the podcast to find out all the details.




 

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Real World Gardener Preserving Fruits on The Good Earth

May 18th, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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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 new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

THE GOOD EARTH
with Permaculture North's Margaret Mossakowska
Do you or someone in your family preserve fruit using the bottling method?
Somewhere in the garage or shed there’s a row of preserved plums, peaches and nectarines?
Preserving is creating an environment to prevent bacteria growing, so usually preserving is with vinegar, or sugar and water.

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But bottling isn’t the only method of preserving fruit.
So what else is there? For a start there's sauces, jams and relishes.
Ever heard of Plum Povidil?

Something for you to think about-
Preserving doesn’t improve the taste of fruit. So it’s best to preserve only sun ripened fruit with flavour.
Preserving green tasteless fruit is a waste of your time.
To preserve things whole you can use salt, eg salting lemons.
preserving+apples+2.pngDid you know that you can use the flesh from preserved lemons to scrub your sinks?
Sure it's sticky, but then you wipe it off with a damp cloth. But the lemon juice cuts through grease and the salt acts like an abrasive.
Fruits that are higher in acid are better for preserving as they are far less likely to harbour clostridium botulinum, which is the bacteria that produces the botulinum toxin.Low acid fruit and most vegetables are at risk of contamination by this bacteria and therefore require different preserving systems than for high acid fruit.
Plums have lots of pectin which sets the jam.
A litmus test should be able to confirm the acidity if you’re at all concerned;
If you have any questions about the scale, or  even have a photo a problem on your plant, why not 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 Maintaining Your Potted Garden in Design Elements

May 11th, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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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 new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

Design Elements

Maintaining Your Potted Garden

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Glasshouse -ideal location for your overwinter pot plants.

How many pot plants do you have in your garden?

Too many? Do you think, I need to cut down, but there’s no room in the garden to plant them out and you’ve got those special plants that someone gave you or you just have to have.

Or, maybe you live in a villa, and potted gardening is all you really have room for. Yes, pot plants do need a reasonable amount of maintenance –but what do they really need?

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When watering your pot plants does the water seem to run straight out the bottom?

Hmmm, that might be a sign of root crowding-in other words, the plant is pot bound and all the soil is used up.


Time to heave it over and give it a big root prune and refresh the potting mix.

If it’s too big, scrape off the top 10cm of soil and freshen it that way.

Better still, drill some large holes around the stem and throw in some water crystals and fresh potting mix.

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Real World Gardener Spice it Up with Lemon Scented Myrtle

May 11th, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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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 new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

SPICE IT UP

with Ian Hemphill from www.herbies.com.au
399px-Backhousia_citriodora_(1).jpgBackhousia citriodora, also known as Lemon Scented Myrlte, Lemon Ironwood and Sweet Verbena Tree.

For gardeners wanting fragrance in their gardens, you can’t beat planting a tree whose leaves exude a lemony scent all year round.

It might be too subtle for some because you really need to crush the leaves for the leaves to get the delicious aroma.

This tree has already featured in plant of the week as a bush tucker plant, but why is it so good that it’s popping up again in the Spice it Up segment?

Because the potential use in our kitchens has yet to be realised and who better to ask than herb and spice guru from Herbies Spices to find out all those extra uses in cooking.




What did you think of all those extra uses for lemon scented myrtle?
This tree grows well in all areas of in the eastern states of Australia.
Would you try chicken stuffing with a handful of the fresh leaves, then rub the outside of the chicken with some powdered lemon scented myrtle, plus salt and pepper?
Also use it in Asian cuisine-laksa, curries, spice blends, just substitute lemon grass with lemon scented myrtle leaves.
TIP: cut out the mid rib of the fresh leaves before using in cooking.
Lemon scented myrtle can be substituted for Lemon Verbena leaves in cooking.
What about lemon myrtle cream or yoghurt?
Sounds delicious doesn’t it?If that doesn’t suit, then there’s the dried crushed leaves in shortbread biscuits and cakes.
REMEMBER THE TIP: ½ teaspoon of dried powder to 1 cup of flour.

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Real World Gardener Zelkova serrata is Plant of the Week

May 4th, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation

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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 new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com



PLANT OF THE WEEK

Zelkova serrata-Japanese Zelkova
Do you live in an area where deciduous trees give you great autumn colour?

Those turning leaves do give those brilliant, reds, yellows and oranges that make for a standout landscape that artists and photographers can’t resist.

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Why not have a bit of this in your own backyard.








Zelkova serrata is native to Japan, Korea, eastern China and Taiwan.

Zelkova grows naturally in lowland forests with maple, beech and oak.

Japanese Zelkova is deciduous growing to 18 metres high with a 15 metre spread.
For showy autumn colour - the green leaves turn yellow, copper, orange, or deep red to purplish-red. 
Young trees have smooth grey bark and as the tree ages, the bark peels to reveal orange or pink patches.
Insignificant green flowers in Spring, followed by nut-like fruit or wingless drupes that ripen in Autumn.
Has some possibility as a substitute for the American (Ulmus americana) and English elm (Ulmus procera) because of its resistance to Dutch elm disease which has devastated the trees of the northern hemisphere.

Zelkova can grow quite a large trunk of up to one metre or more in diameter. It has a moderate growth rate and likes a sunny exposure. Tolerates heat and strong winds. Moderately drought tolerant, though intolerant of waterlogged soils.

Wood from Zelkova serrata is very fine grained and highly valued in Japan. Wood from all species of Zelkova is used in cabinet making and inlay work.

Several distinctive cultivars have been developed including Z. serrata ‘Green Vase.’ A good tree for Australian gardens because of its fire retardant properties.

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TIP:Transplants easily.

Zelkova is a funny name, but it’s in the list of Australia’s top ten trees according to the sponsor of last year’s winner of the Chelsea Flower Show.

The won the overall best garden with their Australian Garden entry.

If you have the room, this tree is hardy and moderately fast growing. Why not give it a try?

Real World Gardener Plant Doctor Looks at Scale Insects

May 4th, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation

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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 new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com



PLANT DOCTOR

with Steve Falcioni from www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au
SCALE:This pest that attacks all manner of plants is tiny, really tiny, only 2-3mm long.
So, yes you’d need a good magnifying class to look at them.
The thing is, when they’re doing damage to your plant’s leaves and branches, they stay very still under a covering which is mostly impervious to anything that you spray on it.



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Scale on Port Wine Magnolia

If you notice block stuff sticking to the leaves of your plants and ants going about their business as well, then you definitely have got some sort of scale happening.
Some scale insects (like soft scales) hatch from eggs, while others are born live.
scale+insects.pngThey disperse to favourable sites on the leaf, settle down and start feeding. This dispersal stage is known as a ‘crawler’.
The juveniles then become sedentary, and start building their protective scale covers.
As we mentioned, targeting scale when they’re most vulnerable is the best method.
If you have any questions about the scale, or  even have a photo a problem on your plant, why not drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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