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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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 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 ZZ Plant is Plant of the Week

August 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.com

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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.

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Zamioculcus%2Bzamifolia.pngZanziber Gem: Zamioculcus zamifolia

 A popular houseplant which has been around for over a hundred years, but most wouldn’t have heard of it until 10 or 15 years ago.

Why it’s so popular is it’s perfectly suited to the black or brown thumb gardeners because it’s unbelievably tolerant of a wide range of conditions.

It’ll allow you to forget to water for months at a time;  put up with dark conditions that would make a Mother –in-laws Tongue plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) turn up its toes, they're okay with no humidity and are more or less pest-free.

Let’s find out more.

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

Zanzibar Gem is a herbaceous clumping plant growing to 45–60 cm tall, from a stout underground, succulent rhizome.

 

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Zanzibar Gem

Pinnate leaves (arranged like a feather),  40 -6- cm long with 6-8 pairs of leaflets.

Leaves are smooth, leathery, shiny and dark green.

Overwatering is likely to kill the plant. Best to keep it on the dry side to prevent tuber rot.

So this is the  plant has been marketed as the plant to show to people who don't know what they're doing, who have never had plants before, who aren't home much, etc

Mind you some green thumbs have been known to kill it.

 

 

 


 

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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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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 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 Treat Those Camellia Pests in Plant Doctor

June 17th, 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.

PLANT DOCTOR

1-camelia%2Bpink.jpgCamellias have a reputation for being hardy and thriving in neglected gardens.

For the most part this reputation is unsullied, but sometimes climatic factors or an insect event can lead to a pest or disease problem with your camellia plants.

What then?

Let’s find out what can go wrong in this 2 part series on pests and diseases of Camellias.

 

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

Scale insects that most commonly attack Camellia plants are brown scale, cotton cushiony scale and white wax scale.

Control is with eco Oil or Neem and depends on the temperature and the species.

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Camellia japonica photo M. Cannon

In warmer climates the home gardener could have several generations of scale pests so control could be at any time.

However, for those in warm temperate and colder climates, control of scale is best done in the warmer months, from Spring onwards.

Other common pests are Camellia T-mite which is best known for the symptoms that look like a grey dusting or bronzing of the leaf. In other words loss of greenness.

Control is with the organic oil, eco Oil or Neem oil.

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Mite damage on Camellias

Before your reach for a toxic chemical to fix the problem, be sure that you know what the problem really is.

Most non-organic insecticides cause a blanket kill effect (non selective) on all the insects, spiders and mites wiping out both good and target bugs.

After which there’s a bit of a hiatus when there’s no bugs and then the bad bugs come back first.

Using organic sprays is the best way to control large infestations and live with minor ones, because it’ll save you money in the long run.

If you have any questions about growing fruit trees 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 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 Green Leaf Beetle of Lilly Pilly in Plant Doctor

April 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

Green Leaf Beetle Paropsides calypso

One of the most planted hedges these days is the Lilly Pilly hedge.

So what happens when you have heaps of the same plants?

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Green Leaf Beetle photo Martin Lagerway

Not surprisingly, pests that like that particular plant will also multiply without the help of any production nursery.

We’ve already seen an explosion in the pimple psyillid that causes those little bumps in the leaves of Lilly Pillies, but now, enter another destructor.

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

The Green Leaf Beetle itself is 5mm long, bright green and shiny.

Not just a pest, but a native pest found originally in the north-east of New South Wales and that now has found an abundance of food in our gardens and has been known to defoliate a row of plants almost overnight.

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Lilly Pilly Hedge

It firsts starts off as only the edges of the leaves being chewed out and in some cases progresses to the central mid-rib of the leaf.

Then when plants are inspected there’s no sign of what did the eating because the beetle has gone underground or perhaps even flown to another tasty Lilly Pilly hedge.

You can try inspecting your hedges for the juvenile or larvae of the Green Leaf Beetle that are pale green and glossy, 2 cm long and look similar to a stretched out curl grub.

If you have any questions about the Green Leaf Beetle 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 Controlling Tomato Pestsin Plant Doctor

March 12th, 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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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 DOCTOR

Most gardeners will know that tomatoes are botanically a fruit, but as we also know, we think of tomatoes as vegetables.

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Tomatoes looking great. photo M Cannon

Why is it that we love to grow tomatoes so much?

Probably because store bought tomatoes are somewhat lacking in flavour and they’re relatively easy to germinate and get growing.

But then, unless you have ideal climatic conditions, often you’re tomato plants are besieged with problems.

Let’s find out about how to deal with pests on tomatoes in part 1 of what’s going on with my tomatoes?

Sap suckers can be grouped together: aphids, whitefly and mites. The last 2 tend to live on the underside of the leaf and causes a silvery appearance.

The problem won't go away and unless you treat it, your tomato plants will suffer more.

eco%2Bfruit%2Bfly%2Btrap.jpgaphids tend to cluster on the tips of the new shoots and leaves causing leaf distortion.

Spray with eco Oil which is a botanical oil and less harmful to beneficial insects.

Some of the solutions are pretty easy, like when dealing with pests that suck the sap of your plants.

On the other hand fruit fly needs to be tackled early in the growing season; that's back in Spring.

Hang out a fruit fly lure to check when they first start to appear, then begin using Spinosad based spray such as Eco Naturalure.

Garden loopers are easy to pick off if you can spot them. Check amongst your Basil plants, especially if you've planted them near your tomatoes.

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Garden loopers could first start on your Basil plants then progress to your tomatoes. photo M Cannon

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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Real World Gardener Controlling Mealybugs in Plant Doctor

February 5th, 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

PLANT DOCTOR

Mealybugs

mealybug2.jpgHave you ever noticed the leaves of your plants looking a bit more twisted than they should be and down near the base of the leaves there’s this white powder stuff that looks ominous.
This problem is very common on indoor plants and chances are, when you bought the plant home, the pest was already there but in very small numbers.Mealybugs hide in the crevices of the leaves of your plants so that by the time you notice something’s wrong, they’ve done a lot of damage.
Let’s find out more about what it is and what to do…

Listen to the podcast with Steve Falcioni, general manager of eco-organic garden.

Sometimes you can take that indoor plant outside so natural predators can take care of the pest problem.
Mealybugs love nothing more than sucking sap from leaves and stems! 

MealyBugs-on-Orchid-255x300.pngThey are only 0.5 cm in size, oval in shape, pinkish in colour but what you see is the white waxy filament covering. This will always be the female mealybug.

The male mealybug is very tiny at around 1mm.
Exuding honeydew is a special talent of mealybugs, which encourages sooty mould. 
They also release toxic saliva that can seriously damage plants.
Mealybugs really love Citrus plants, orchids, ferns, loads of ornamental plants such as Agapanthus and shade houses. 
They like warm and humid weather… it just makes then breed! 
Oh, and they love ants, because the ants farm the mealybugs for their honeydew.
If you have any questions about identifying mealy bug or how to treat it drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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