Real World Gardener Black Spot on Apples in Plant Doctor

June 1st, 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

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PLANT DOCTOR

Black Spot on Apples; Apple Scab

We all love to eat perfect apples but if you grow apple trees, then watch out for this.

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If you’ve ever grown roses you would’ve heard about the fungal disease called black spot that starts of as black blotches on the leaves.

The spots become bigger, in some cases joining up, the leaves turn yellow, and then drop off.

Sound familiar?

Well you’ll be surprised to learn that there is another type of black spot, don’t worry, it’s not on roses, but it appears on apple trees.

In fact this disease is a serious problem for apple orchardists.

Let’s find out more.. 

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

 

PLAY: PLAY :Apple Scab_24th May 2017

Black spot on apples looks different than black spot on roses because there isn’t the typical yellowing of the leaves.

The spots are also more irregular than blackspot on roses.

The problem with this fungal disease is that it also spreads to the apples, especially in humid weather.

Spotting on fruit develops a corky layer which resembles a scab. If this happens on young fruit it can also cause cracking. On mature fruit it's still a problem with the appearance of corky scabs on the surface, affecting the re-sale value.

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Apple Scab

One thing to note, if your tree has had it in the past, be a good neighbour and spray your plants to prevent further spread because it’s a major problem for orchadists.

 

If you have any questions apple scab or apple black spot. or have some information to share, drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675 and I’ll send you a packet of seeds.

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Real World Gardener Which Fertiliser to Use in Plant Doctor

May 10th, 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

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PLANT DOCTOR

Fertilisers explained-granular or liquid, seaweed or organic, which is it to be?
How well do you know your fertilisers
?

There are two basic groups of fertilisers, solids or granular which are generally more slow acting, and liquids which are fast acting.

Whether you add organic matter or fertiliser to your soil, you provide your plants with three basic building blocks.

 

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Controlled release fertiliser and Blood 'n Bone 

 

These are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, often referred to by their chemical symbols of N (nitrogen), P (phosphorus) and K (potassium or potash).

Packaged fertilisers list the amounts of NPK each product contains, often showing it in a ratio format, called the NPK ratio.

But which ones should you use?

 

Let’s find out.. I'm talking with Steve Falcioni General Manager from www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au

 

What to Watch Out For?

For gardeners in cooler climates, the winter period will see plant growth and microbial activity in the soil slow down.

What are the implications?

Nutrient uptake by plants is minimal if you're still using granular or solid type of fertilisers at this time.

The reason?

1-HOM_5247.JPGBulky fertilisers need to be converted into a useable form before plant roots can take them up. So, if microbial activity, which does this conversion has slowed down to a crawl, so will this conversion and that leads to slow nutrient uptake.

Rock dust is the slowest of all to break down taking up to 6 months or more, depending on when you apply it.

The way plants use nutrients is quite complex and varies from plant to plant. 

Some need lots of one nutrient but little of another, while others need a balanced amount of each. Understanding which nutrient does what gives you a rough guide to selecting the right fertiliser for your plants and garden.

That's why some fertilisers are labeled Citrus and Fruit, or Flower and Fruit, or Azaleas and Camellias. They are specific to those plants.

Seaweed extracts don't have enough nutrients in them to be classed as fertilisers, but they are plant tonics because they increase root growth and stimulate plant cell walls to strengthen.

If you have any questions about fertilisers or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675 and I’ll send you a packet of seeds.

 
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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 Organic Herbicides on Plant Doctor

February 7th, 2017

LANT DOCTOR

Organic Herbicides vs Inorganic Herbicides

 

Weed control can be the bane of gardeners’ lives if you have weeds that continually pop up year after year.

Wouldn’t you love to dispatch them quickly without harming the environment, good bugs and wildlife in your garden?

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Synthetic herbicides have a greater potential to contaminate surface water so if in the past you’ve succumbed to using systemic herbicides, here’s a good reason why you should put that down and pick up something better.

Let’s find out about what’s new. I'm talking with  Steve Falcioni, General Manager of www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au

 

Slasher%2Bimage.jpgThe sprays mentioned were those with (a) Acetic acid (vinergar) and salts. (b) Pine Oil based. (c)NEW, "Slasher" based on Nonanoic which is also called Pelargonic acid and occurs naturally as asters in the oil of Pelargoniums.

The advantage of "Slasher" is that it can be used on cloudy days and during winter. Acetic acid sprays rely on sunlight to burn or dessicate the plant you spray it on.

One thing to remember, these are knock down herbicides which doesn’t remain in the soil, so if new weeds come up, you’ll have to spray them again.

Systemic sprays are absorbed into the tissue of the plants like the roots, leaves and stems.

No systemic spray is organic and Glyphosate sprays have been proven to not bye "locked " by the soil and become naturalised. 

Glyphosate should not be sprayed near wanted plants whose root systems might be touching the root system of weed.

If you have any questions Nonanoic acid in weed control, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

 
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Real World Gardener Fixing winter rose Care part 2 in Plant Doctor

July 28th, 2016

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
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PLANT DOCTOR

For hundreds of years the rose has been widely recognized as a symbol of love, sympathy or sorrow, but did you know that the rose is not only England’s national flower but from 1986, America’s as well.

Few people dislike rose

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Roses for your garden photo M. Cannon

s, especially receiving or giving bunches of them.

Not everyone likes or can grow them successfully, but us gardeners still like to try.

Here’s some timely tips.

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

Roses need to be pruned if you want plenty of flowers because they flower on new growth.

Prune your roses mid winter or in August for those districts that receive late frosts.

Quick Pruning Guide

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Hybrid Teas:

For example:Papa Meilland, Peace, Sir Donald Bradman.

Prune to half of the bush and leave 3-4 canes cutting older greying canes back to the base.

If you only have 3-4 canes then leave them and hopefully you'll have new vigorous growth.

Modern Bush Roses:

For example: David Austen.

Prune by one-third but don't cut out any old canes. They need to be left like a bush.

Climbing Roses.

You should have a framework of 3-4 main canes, from which come shorter canes.

Only prune these to about 3-4 buds, about 10 cm.

Note: All pruning cuts should be sloping and about 1 cm above an outward facing bud.

Bare Rooted Roses:

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Old world roses photo M. Cannon

When you receive your bare rooted roses the two most important things that get your roses off to a great start are to make sure they're in the right growing conditions and to plant them properly.

Here’s something you mightn’t know.

We usually call the sharp spikes on the stem of a rose bush "thorns", but these are in fact technically prickles.

If you have any questions about rose care or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

 

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Real World Gardener Fixing Camellia Disease Problems in Plant Doctor

July 8th, 2016

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
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PLANT DOCTOR

If you’ve ever been travelling through Europe, or even England, Camellias aren’t one of those plants that you’re likely to come across all that much.

According the English Broadcaster and gardener Monty Don, over there, the main problem with the Camellia japonica and Camellia reticulata varieties is that, when their flowers start to fade, they cling to the shrub, looking for weeks like used tissue. The only way to deal with this is to dead-head each bloom by hand – otherwise it is like having a wonderful party then failing to tidy up afterwards.

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Add caption

The combination of this extra work and the belief that most camellias were tender and therefore needed special protection meant that interest in camellias went into decline at the beginning of the 20th century.

But for us here in Australia, Camellias are one of the most popular winter- and spring-flowering shrubs, providing a vivid splash of colour when little else is in bloom.

So today we’re talking how to look after them when disease strikes these wonderful shrubs.

So let’s find out how to fix this.I'm talking with Steve Falcioni, General Manager of www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au

In this country the greatest problems are from wet winters and spring frosts, so to get away from this you need to add grit and compost to the planting hole so that the roots do not sit in wet soil.

Freezing conditions dehydrate the leaves, which lose more water as they thaw, especially if exposed to wind.

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Camellia japonica Lovelight

The frozen roots mean that no water is taken up to replace this, and the result is often that the top or exposed part of the shrub dies back.

The extent of the damage will not become fully apparent until spring, when new growth appears and, if the roots are damaged, will drop and die back.

Draping fleece over the plant is a short-term remedy, but the most importantfactor is to provide permanent shelter from the wind.

If you have a camellia in a pot, wrap the pot in bubble wrap or bring it indoors in cold weather.

If you have any questions about problems with your Camellias or any other shrub, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Hygiene and Disease in the Garden on Soil Savvy

May 26th, 2016

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.comREALWORLD 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.

SOIL SAVVY

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Tree rot photo M Cannon

Have you noticed some plants in your garden that look like they’re wilting even though you’re watering them?

Then the whole thing dies and you plant another one in the same spot.

Guess what the same thing happens.

Something’s going on with your soil surely?

Let’s find out what it is now.

I'm talking with Penny Smith, a horticultural scientist who specializes in soil science.

Your soil needs lots of animals or mini beasts and micro-organisms to be healthy.

Commercial compost although sterilised, does have some of these things because it's compost after all and does break down.

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Tree health reflects what is below ground. photo M Cannon

Root disease can occur when you've disturbed the roots.

Dieback here are there on the plant is one of the symptoms as is wilting and not recovering after watering.

The plant above the soil reflects what happens below the soil, so that if there's damage to certain roots from either disease or cultivation, then that will show up above the soil.

This might mean death of some branches.

Fungal diseases that grow in your soil are only growing bigger every time you water that wilting plant.

Before you replace it with another, take out soil from that failed location and put in a heap of compost.

Hopefully the micro organisms will overtake that fungus and so killing off that fungal infection and let your plant survive.

If you have any questions about disease in your soil or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener What’s Soil pH? in Design Elements

May 19th, 2016

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.comREALWORLD 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.

DESIGN ELEMENTS

SOIL pH series introduction



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Chlorosis, or iron deficiency



This next topic isn’t all that glamourous but can mean that your garden plants won’t grow as well if you do nothing about it.

Plants will be stunted, or have deformed leaves, even yellowing leaves with green veins can be one of the outcomes.

You’ll often read or hear the recommendation to check soil pH, but what does that really mean?

Pity about the topic name but let’s find out in this introduction to soil pH.

I'm talking with Glenice Buck, Consulting Arborist and Landscape Designer.

Soil pH measures the alkalinity or acidity levels in the soil.

This ranges from '0' to ;14' on a pH scale, where pH 7 is considered neutral.

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pH chart

Levels falling below 7 are acidic and those above 7 are considered alkaline.

Soil pH is important because it influences how easily plants can take up nutrients from the soil.

Did you know that plant roots absorb mineral nutrients such as nitrogen and iron when they are dissolved in water?

If the soil solution (the mixture of water and nutrients in the soil) is too acid or alkaline, some nutrients won’t dissolve easily, so they won’t be available for uptake by roots.

If you have any questions about measuring soil pH drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com

 

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Real World Gardener Dealing with Dieback in Soil Savvy

March 18th, 2016

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.comREALWORLD 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

SOIL SAVVY

Phytophthera cinnamomi  or commonly called Dieback

If you’ve ever noticed some browning off of branches or limbs on your trees and shrubs, chances are you don’t have a pest but a fungal disease in your soil.

Phytophthera can be isolated if you notice it in one or more plants in your garden because it will affect plants individually.

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Phytophthera in the landscape. photo M. Cannon

Although Phytophthera doesn't discriminate as to which plant it affects.

Let’s find out about you can do about it. I'm talking with Penny Smith, Horticultural Scientist, specialising in soils.

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Dieback in Arbutus unedo photo M Cannon

The scientific name of this fungal dieback is phytophthora cinnamomi  and this fungus was probably introduced into Australia through European settlement.

It has now spread to affect hundreds of thousands of hectares of native vegetation, in just about every state in Australia.

Phytophthera also affects parklands and even Botanic Gardens.

So the big tip was if you think you have it in your garden when you’re watering your plants that have compost around it, the phytophthora fungus is less likely to spread through your garden because the organic matter is an inhibitor to that fungus.

If you have any questions about phytophthora or any other fungal disease, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Controlling Tomato Diseases in Plant Doctor

March 18th, 2016

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
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PLANT DOCTOR

Tomatoes are almost the number one plant to grow in the vegetable garden.

Shall we say, botanically a fruit, but we call it a vegetable?

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Home grown tomatoes. photo M. Cannon

Last week Plant Doctor looked at the pests that are attracted to your tomatoes, but today we’re looking at the diseases that your tomatoes can succumb to.

Not that you can’t grow healthy plants but in case you’ve had problems and are on the point of giving up, here’s how to deal with some of these diseases.

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

Some of the disease problems we talked about are the wilts:-Verticillium wilt which prefers cooler conditions and has a dark brown centre if you cut the stem; Fusarium wilt which occurs more in warmer conditions and has a pinky brown centre when you cut through the stem.

Basically you have to pull out and destroy the plants and not put them into the compost because they will the disease will spread.

Then there's the spotty problems like Septoria or Target Spot which are a combination of fungal and bacterial disease. This can cause spotting on both the leaves and the fruit.

You might be starting to think that there’s too many pests and diseases that go for your tomatoes, but don’t let that stop you from growing them, because they are enjoyable to grow.

Prevention where possible is always best and fortnightly sprays of seaweed solution strengthens the cell walls of the plant. 

Blossom end rot is not a disease but a calcium deficiency. Sometimes caused by lack of sufficient water or irregular watering during dry times.

Adding a sprinkle of Dolomite around the plant when first putting them in will help solve this problem.

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Blossom end rot. photo M Cannon

Another tip is to not have the plants flopping around but staked up and remove the lower leaves.

The biggest tip is to rotate where you grow your tomato plants rather than planting them in the same spot year after year.

If you’ve only got one dedicated spot for your veggie bed, then you may have to rethink where you put these tomatoes, say in the front garden amongst your perennial flowers.

If you have any questions about pests of tomatoes or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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