Real World Gardener Delicious Dragon Fruit is Plant of the Week

April 24th, 2017

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Dragon Fruit 

Hylocereus undadatus

 

Not every plant that gets featured in this segment is your typical perennial, whether it’s a shrub, bush or ground-cover.

 

From time to time, we like to delve into the unusual but ornamental and sometimes just downright functional and even edible.

 

Some fruits come from trees, think peaches, apples pears: 

 

Some from climbers, -passionfruit, raspberries, 

 

A a few others grow on cacti.

 

You might think of a prickly pear for cactus fruit, but today’s plant fits into the last category. 

 

Highly ornamental, edible, yet growing on a cactus.

Let’s find out about this plant.

 

I'm talking with he 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

 

Dragon fruit are considered super fruit, and their flowers are spectacular,so that’s reason enough to get planting one.

Sometimes the flower of this cactus if referred to as "Queen of the Night."

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Dragon fruit flower

This title makes it seems that you have to out there with a torch to observe the brilliance and inhale the perfume. 

But as Karen points out, the flower often last well into daylight hours, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Certainly it last long enough for moths or bats to come by and pollinate it so every gardener can enjoy the unusual fruit.

 
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Real World Gardener GREAT Watering Nozzles in Tool Time

October 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
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.

TOOL TIME

Hand watering is often necessary to top up natural rainfall or irrigation.

Except you’re sick of continually buying watering nozzles for your garden because they keep breaking down and just not working.

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So you go down to the garden centre or big box store to see what is on offer because those cheap supermarket ones don’t seem to last.

There are three main types:(1)-hand held jet nozzle and (2) pattern or dial nozzle that can have up to 8 patterns  that include jet, mist, shower and soaker.(3)watering wand or elongated nozzle.

So which one should you get and is it money well spent?

This next segment answers all those questions.

Let’s find out .I'm talking with Tony Mattson general manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

PLAY: Watering Nozzles_19th October 2016

It would seem the plastic watering nozzles are not an investment unless you want to buy one every few months.

Then you have to decide if you’re the sort of gardener that likes that dial with lots of different patterns or is quite happy with that sturdy jet nozzle that fans out to do the garden bed.

The blokes seems to go for the jet nozzle so they can hose down the path, wash the car and maybe fan out the water so it does a bit of the garden.

The ladies on the other hand prefer the dial type of nozzle with a variety of patterns.

Tony mentioned that often these nozzles clog up and either don't turn off or stop working properly because of either calcium build up or dirt.

Look for ones that you can clean out, such as pictured below from the Cut Above Tools Range.

Made of sturdy metal, the back can be removed and cleaned out.

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You can catch up that segment by listening to the podcast www.realworldgardener.com

If you have any questions about watering nozzles or have some advice 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 NEW garden secateurs in Tool Time

September 21st, 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

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.

TOOL TIME

How many secateurs do you have?

Just the one?

If that’s you, then you’re in for a surprise because secateurs are like dressmaking scissors, or side cutters in the blokes shed, and that is you probably need more than one for the different jobs you might have in the garden.

So just in case you’re in the market for a new pair here’s some timely advice.

Let’s find out. I'm talking with Tony Mattson,  General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

Orange-Anniversary-Secateurs-Straight-SnThe real interest gardener might have anywhere between 2 to 4 pairs of secateurs while the casual gardener may make do with one.

There were plenty of tips for updating your secateurs or adding one to your garden tool kit.

We only briefly mentioned left handed secateurs and cut and hold secateurs which are helpful for pruning roses so that cut branch can be put directly into your garden trug or whatever you’re using to put the prunings in.

There are also a new type of spring that looks like a coil rather than the traditional veloute spring for secateurs.

Florists use them day in and day out so look out for secateurs with those types of springs.

You can catch that up by listening to the podcast www.realworldgardener.com

If you have any questions about secateurs 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 Hedge and Grass Shears in Tool Time

April 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.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.

TOOL TIME

Do you use a whipper snipper for just about every edging job in your garden?

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Hedge Shears

Are you happy with the results?

Whipper snippers aren’t so good for areas where you’ve got lots of low growing plants that have crept over your lawn.

If these plants get whippered-snippered back, not only does it look ugly, but sometimes these plants do recover that well.

The same with electric trimmers. They tend to tear.

So what’s the alternative?

Hedge shears, Grass shears, Topiary shears.

Straight blades or wavy blades.

Which is best to use for you?

I'm talking with Tony Mattson, General Manager of Cut Above Tools. www.cutabovetools.com.au

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Edging Shears

 

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Grass Shears

There's no difference in weight between straight and wavy blades.

However, if you try and cut branches that are too big or hard for the shears, then you risk bending the blades or putting them out of alignment.

 

Try and work out what your purpose is and what you're trying to cut. You might need those long handled loppers for the tougher parts of the job.

 

Blades' length vary from 20 - 25 cm (8 - 10 inches,) any longer than that is not efficient.

By investing in quality tools, you’re likely to have less fatigue, fewer breakdowns and longer tool life.

 

When choosing the type of hedge shears you want, think about how much you'll use them, where you'll use them, who will be using them, and, of course, how much you can spend on them.

There’s no need to use your hedge shears to cut your lawn edges; for that your need grass shears or edging shears because these are perfect for lawn edges.

 

 

If you have any questions about hedge or grass shears, 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 The Right Tool for the Right Job in Tool Time

February 27th, 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.

TOOL TIME

Do you have all the tools you need to do those cutting jobs in the garden?

Secateurs are good for small pruning jobs where you can cut stems and branches about the size of your first finger.

Generally if it's green it cuts more easily than hardened branches sometimes found lower down on shrubs and hedges.

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Cut and Hold pruners. Photo. Cut Above Tools

For the harder stems you might need to reach for something bigger.
Or are you struggling with some old secateurs and a rusty pair of garden loppers?
Don’t know what loppers are?
Let’s find out about what tools you should be using for those pruning jobs in the garden. I'm talking with Tony Mattson, General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

Some long handled pruners use the "cut and hold," method. They're about 3 metres long when extended and have a trigger. The beauty of "cut and hold" loppers is that once you've pruned it, you can bring the pruned branch down.

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Well used garden tool selection.

Good for tops of Camellias or getting the fruit of mango and avocado trees.
The best tip is to hold the pruning tool that you’re thinking of buying for at least a minute to see if you can stand the weight.
This is a good idea because when you’re pruning your garden shrubs, hedges roses or whatever, you’ll be out there for a lot longer than a minute or two.
So if you think that long handled lopper is too heavy for you, don’t get the tool.
If you have any questions about the right tool for the right job, 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 Garden Gloves in Tool Time

December 18th, 2015

TOOL TIME

Do you wear garden gloves when you’re doing jobs in the garden?

Garden gloves come in all shapes, colours, materials.

Some last really well, others don’t and you probably won’t buy them again.

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Garden glove selection; leather gauntlets are good for rose pruning.

But why wear garden gloves?

Let’s find out if wearing gardening gloves is really that important. I'm talking with Tony Mattson, General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

From spider bites, to ingrained dirt, gardening gloves protect your hands but not all gloves will work for all the situations in your garden.

That means you might have to have several different types on hand in the gardening cupboard, or under the sink in the laundry.

Leather gloves for rose pruning or pruning prickly plants, waterproof gloves when digging around in wet soil or potting mix, and all round gloves for general jobs.

 

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Rubber gloves are good for wet work and thermal gloves are great for cold days.

 

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If even you’re just picking up leaves, gardening gloves protect from unexpected nasties lurking amongst them.

 

Important: Try the gloves before you buy them. 

They need to fit like a ahem, glove. That means there is no space at the top of your fingers and no gap in between the fingers of the gloves. 

All gloves are made to a price point. You can buy them for as little as $5 or as much as $50 dollars.

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Real World Gardener Clean Gardening Practises on Soil Savvy

October 16th, 2015

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

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

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

Wouldn't you like a garden this this one; thriving, lush and disease free?

So nice you could hold a tea party.

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Sometimes our garden plants go along for years then all of a sudden, they drop dead and we’re left wondering why?
The answer can lie in a number of different factors and a slip in hygiene practises in the garden sometimes has a role to play in the demise of your plant.
So what does that mean for us gardeners?
Let’s find out by listening to the podcast with Soil Scientist Penny Smith

You soil is a living eco-system so don't go pouring anti-fungal drenches on your soil or you will end up with no micro-organisms.

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Spray tools with methylated spirits and water solution

Hygiene practises in the garden is more than just keeping your garden tidy.
Pathogens can lie dormant for many years, just waiting for the right conditions.
Good garden hygiene, is sometimes referred to as “clean gardening practices”, will help to prevent the build up of pathogens and pests.
Make their life short in your garden by following best hygiene practises.

Secateurs can spread fungal problems, so clean tools between plants.

In fact after the jobs done, spray all the tools that you have used with a 70% methylated spirits and 30% water solution. Keep the solution in a labelled spray bottle where you keep your garden tools.

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Disease-spreading organisms can, and will, be carried from plant to plant by using contaminated pots, trays, soil, tools and even our hands if proper precautions are not taken. 
Pots, seed trays and propagating tools should be kept scrupulously clean on an ongoing basis. 
Growing containers should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before each replanting. They can be scrubbed and cleaned using water and a natural detergent and then disinfected by soaking in a 10% bleach solution before being rinsed with clear water and allowed to dry. 
Better yet, a quality garden disinfectant may be used for this purpose. Cutting and digging tools, including hands, should also be washed and disinfected after each use

If you have any questions about hygiene practises in the garden or have some information you’d like to share, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville

NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Cleaning Your Tools in Tool Time

September 25th, 2015

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

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

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

TOOL TIME

Talking with Tony Mattson, General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

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What do you do at the end of a few hours’ worth or even a day’s worth of gardening?
Do you remember to put the tools away?
More importantly do you give your tools a wipe down to remove all the gum and gunk after pruning?
We gardeners sometimes overstretch ourselves when we’re out in the garden and some of those finishing tasks get neglected. Let’s see how we can fix all that on tool time.

Tool time covered sharpening secateurs in a previous segment and you can hear the podcast of that segment by putting in sharpening secateurs in the search bar on www.realworldgardener.com
Are you surprised about steel wool not being so good to use on the blades of your pruning tools?
Encouraging rust to grow is not what we want at all so those soft brass brushes are the ticket for giving your secateurs a good clean.
Now that they’re nice and sharp let’s resolve to keep them nice and clean each time we use those pruning tools.
Then we coat the blades with some sort of machine oil based, such as sewing machine oil or even some olive oil.
The silicone based oils dry without leaving a coating so are not that protective of your gardening tools.
Apologies to all those conscientious gardeners, who have the energy to religiously clean first and then put their pruning tools away at the end of the day. 

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Real World Gardener Sharpening Secateurs in Tool Time

August 21st, 2015

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

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

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

TOOL TIME

talking with Tony Mattson, General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

 

Are you in the middle of winter pruning right now?

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What’s the state of your gardening secateurs?

Do they open easily, are the blades sharp? You know they’re sharp if they make a clean cut through a plant’s stem without leaving a little tear behind.

Almost as if you only cut through part of the stem and then pulled off the remaining part.

If they’re not sharp, those cuts that you make on your plants will end up with bruising and tearing on the stems leading to dieback and fungal disease problems.

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You don't have to sharpen your secateurs and other gardening tools every day or every time you use them.

Sharpening takes off a bit of metal and reduces the blade.

Only sharpen your much loved secateurs when they don't cut cleanly anymore.

That can be best described when a piece of stem cuts only part way and the rest is torn.

It's worth remembering that these kind of cuts on plants are entry points for disease such as fungal dieback.

Oilstones are things of the past.

The better method is to use either a diamond stone or a tungsten-carbide stick.

TONY'S TIP:

For bypass secateurs, sharpen the outside of the blade. 

Start on the inside of the blade and go outwards when sharpening.

For anvil secateurs, sharpen both sides.

To quote a long time gardening presenter on Gippsland FM, the jobs not done until the tools are put away.

 

 

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Real World Gardener Secateur Types in Tool Time

April 5th, 2015

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" />

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

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

TOOL TIME

with general manager, Tony Mattson from www.cutabovetools.com.au

Do you know what type of secateurs you have?

What about the blades? What are they made of?

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Bypass secateurs and snips

If you’re hands get tired easily when you use your secatuers, maybe they’re not right for you and you need to change either the size or type.

 

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Choosing different handles for perfect grip

Just to remind you bypass secateurs have two blades and work like a pair of scissors with the blades passing each other to make the cut.

They are suitable for cutting delicate stems as the action is less likely to cause bruising to the stem.

Anvil secateurs have one blade which closes on to a flat surface. They are better for cutting hard woody stems as the blade is less likely to stick to the stem as it cuts.

Choosing the right blade.

Blades aren't made from 100% stainless steel for general gardening use.

Some nurseries to have all steel blades if they're being used to cut acidic plants like eggplants.

These quality blades need to be sharpened more regularly.

 

Good blades have 10% carbon in them so that they're not overly brittle but still hard and can be sharpened regularly.

Some blades are made from recycled metal.

Always ask what the blades are made of but cost is reflected in the quality of the blades and in fact the whole secateurs.

One other thing; don’t try to cut stems that are thicker than your thumb, that’s what loppers are for.

If you try and cut stems that are too thick you’ll damage the blade and your secateurs won’t last as long as they should.

If you have any questions about secateurs or any other garden tools or a photo of some tools that you want help with, write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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