Real World Gardener NEW Citrus Watch on Plant Doctor

October 18th, 2019

PLANT DOCTOR

NEW Citrus Watch

Citrus trees have their fair share of pests of diseases and control is better if it’s done proactively.

Certain times of the year are crucial in beginning your control program, but don’t worry, it’s not too daunting.

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Let’s find out what needs doing

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

 

There are several types of pests

Sap Sucking Pests: control with botanical oils such as eco Oil

  • mites, 

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    Fruit flies sting the fruit leaving a telltale black spot on the outside.

  • aphids,
  • scale, 
  • bronze orange bug- need to control at green nymph stage when the bugs measure only a few millimetres. Once they start to colour up, oils will not control them. 
  • neem oil is registered for control of bronze-orange bugs on ornamental citrus.

Chewing Pests; caterpillars: control with Dipel

Queensland fruitfly: control with pheremone lures, spinosad based pesticides and/or exclusion netting.

Mediterranean fruitfly (found in W.A.) control with spinosad based pesticide and/or exclusion netting.

Timing is the key for pests and diseases because they have a lifecycle which tells us when the pest is most vulnerable or when the diseases is most likely to strike.

This is a good indicator of when control is most effective.

After all, you don’t want to waste your time, energy and money using a product that won’t work as well as it should because it’s the wrong timing.

If you have any questions for me or for Steve, why not write in to Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Indoor Plant Pests in Design Elements

September 26th, 2019

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Indoor Plant Pests Under Control

Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked about what plants you can grow indoors wherever you live in Australia.

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Quite a few in fact can cope with all weather conditions for the far north of Australia to Tasmania.

Despite all your loving attention though, some plants can be susceptible to pest attack, or just like plain unhealthy, making you think you did something wrong.

Not necessarily true, so let’s find out about looking after indoor plants

That was Julia Levitt Director of www.sticksandstonesld.com.au

PLAY: Indoor plants-pests_2nd August 2017

Even the best plant owner will come across pests.

The trick is to keep an eye on your plants and act quickly as soon as you see something wrong with your indoor plant.

Why are we having plants indoors again?

Apart from plants reducing carbon dioxide levels in your home, did you know that people with plants in their homes have less stress, and plants have been known to contribute to lower blood pressure?

If you have any questions about indoor plant pests why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com

 

Real World Gardener Grow Your Plants part 2 in Design Elements

August 8th, 2019

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Grow Your Plants part 2: series final

Last week it was when and how much to water your plants to keep them alive, and today it’s about plant health problems.

We start off with finding out why the plant isn’t thriving and in fact is dropping leaves.

Sound familiar?

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Gardens like this one need care and maintenance.

Let’s find out what needs doing.

I'm talking with Glenice Buck of Glenice Buck Designs. www.glenicebuckdesigns.com.au

Not so much digging now, other than weeding but looking after your plant because, after all, it’s not plastic.

So why are the leaves dropping off?

Causes: 

  • Check your watering. You might think the water is getting through to the roots but is it really? Add wetting agent if you find the the soil is not being wetted sufficiently.
  • Nutrient deficiency-are the yellow leaves the new growth or the old growth?
    • new leaves yellowing signals possible iron deficiency. Correct with chelated iron.
    • Old leaves yellowing signals possible nitrogen deficiency. Correct with an all purpose liquid or soluble fertiliser.
    • Calcium deficiency results in distorted or irregularly shaped new leaves (top of plant). The leaf margins and tips become necrotic. Correct with an application of Dolomite.
  • Wind can cause physical damage, with leaves have brown/grey tips.

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    Wind and sun scorch have similar symptoms.

Watering, fertilising and looking out for pest and disease issues are all part of gardening.

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Real World Gardener Taking Care of Brassicas on the Good Earth

May 30th, 2019

THE GOOD EARTH

Caring For Brassicas

Brassicas are a large family of plants which include not just white cauliflowers and green broccoli, but all manner of purple caulis, purple sprouting broccoli and purple or green cabbages just to mention a few.

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Lovely cabbages Photo: Margaret Mossakowska

There’s even a veg that’s a cross between brussel sprouts and kale, called Brukale. Whatever next?

So what’s needed to grow the best brassicas? Let’s find out more. 

I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska from Moss House.

LIVE: Growing Brassicas_22nd_ May 2019

TIPS: Don't overdo high nitrogen fertilisers for the heading brassicas such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflowers. That means blood 'n' bone, and chook poo pellets.

Too much nitrogen will result in smaller heads.

  • Be careful what you use to control pests on your brassicas, so that you don’t kill ladybird, hoverfly and lacewing larvae which are all beneficial insects.
  • Margaret's tip is to use upturned wire baskets that you may have seen in offices from days gone by.
  • These may be obtained from recycle stores or from the $2 shop.
  • When the cabbages or other brassicas have outgrown these baskets, you can then cover them with exclusion netting.

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Exclusion netting photo: Margaret Mossakowska www.mosshouse.com.au

If you have any questions either for me or for Margaret, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

VEGETABLE HEROES

Real World Gardener Looking After Indoor Plants in Plant Doctor

April 11th, 2019

PLANT DOCTOR

Indoor Plants: Pests, Diseases and Watering
If we were fashionable and hip young gardeners, we would all be talking about where to go to find the next happening for indoor plants.

Usually a trendy café or other venue where indoor plants are sold to the unsuspecting young folk for enormously inflated prices. 
But, if we’re not in that category, we probably would like to refresh our memory about looking after those indoor plants. 
 

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I'm talking with Steve Falcioni from www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au 
Let’s find out 
 
New to gardening and not sure how much to water?

Leaves yellowing or browning on the tips can be under or over-watering. 
Different plants have different responses to watering so it's important to do some research about the plant.
Find out if your plant likes to be dry between waterings, such as Zee Zee plant ( Zamiocalcus spp) or Anthuriums.
Stick your finger into the potting mix to test for wetness or dryness.
If you’re averse to sticking your finger in the dirt to check how much moisture is being held in the soil, you can buy a moisture meter fairly cheaply. 
If you’re electronically inclined you can even make your own moisture meter. 
If you have any questions either for me or for Steve, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Powdery Mildew on Cucurbits in Plant Doctor

March 22nd, 2019

PLANT DOCTOR

Fungal Problems of Cucurbits: Cucumbers, Zucchini, Squash, Pumpkin, Watermelons and Rockmelons.

You might think that it’s only hot and humid weather that brings out this particular fungus to the fore. 

But no, not only is this fungal problem not host specific, but it can blight your plants, both edible and ornamental during a wide temperature range.

Why is that? You might ask.

Powdery%2Bmildew%2Bon%2Bcucumber%2Bleaf.

Powdery Mildew on Cucumber Leaves

Let’s find out

I'm talking with Steve Falcioni from www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au

 

LIVE:Powdery Mildew on Cucurbits_13th March 2019

Powdery mildew is the main fungal disease affecting cucurbits. It looks like a white coating over the leaves and stems of the plants.

Powdery mildew has an effective temperature range of 10 – 30 C and can attack just about everything in the vegetable garden as well as your annual flowers or perennials such as Dahlias. 

eco-fungicide-group-LR.jpgPreventative spraying is best if you have it year after year especially as spores can germinate in some districts all year round.

There’s plenty of preventative treatments, some homemade, others commercial. 

  • Full cream milk works best in sunny weather. Bi-carbonate of soda works reasonably well.
  • Sulphur can be used but it will burn the plants on hot days and also kill off any beneficial insects.

The best solution is Potassium bi-carbonate which is sold as eco-fungicide.

 Under a microscope, potassium bi-carbonate affectively kills off the fungus in 5 minutes.

  • You may find that rotating your choice of treatment gives you the best results with this fungal problem.

If you have any questions either for me or for Steve, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Beautiful Frangipanis and Their Secrets Part 1

March 7th, 2019

All About Frangipanis Part 1

What’s new in Frangipanis?

Q. I have a leaf here that doesn’t look great? 

The green in the centre has gone white and there’s white fluffy stuff, maybe scale? What do you think?

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Mite Damage on Frangipani leaves

A: this is typical mite damage on the leaves seen an Frangipani and Camellias as well.

The treatment is Natrasoap spray to which you can also add Neem Oil.

Available from www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au

I'm talking with Anthony Grassi from the Frangipani Society of Australia.

Q. It’s been so hot but my Frangi’s aren’t flowering what can be done and is it too late?

 A. When Frangipani are still relatively small, often every second year is a resting year, so they don't flower. Especially if they're in a pot, flowers will be bi-annual. 

It's only when the Frangipani is a mature tree, that you see yearly flowering because they have enough leaves to carry out the photosynthesis needed for lots of flowers.

The exception is when there is a micro-climate and the plants are pampered with high potash fertilisers.

 


Frangipani Society of Australia
 are now  a FB society so you can join their FB page, but if you join as a financial member, you get to access another FB page as well as receive a lovely calendar, CD and tips on how to grow the best Frangipanis ever, plus seeds for you to grow some new varieties of Frangipanis.

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photo M. Cannon

 

Real World Gardener Fixing Beans on Plant Doctor

December 7th, 2018

PLANT DOCTOR

Problems with Beans

Beans are such an easy crop to grow, but if you live in a district where the weather plays havoc with your veggie garden, you could be in for a bit of trouble with your beans.

Perhaps it’s not just disease but a horde of insects have descended.

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Powdery mildew on beans

 

Let’s find out what you can do about this.

I'm talking with Steve Falcioni from OCP’s www.ecogarden.com.au

 

PLAY : Bean Problems_28th November 2018

Whitefly, thrips and aphids control with eco oil or soap based spray to.

 

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Possibly bean fly damage on leaf

Beanfly, is much harder to control, is cultural. If you don't pick off affected leaves, the eggs will hatch and the larvae will tunnel into the stems of the bean plants.

You may as well pull them out at this stage as there is no control.

 

Caterpillars can be picked off or use Dipel.

Powdery mildew can be controlled with potassium bicarbonate spray such as eco Carb.

Other diseases, such as rusts and leaf spots is better prevented with cultural methods because chemical control is difficult and mostly ineffective.

Good sunlight is best for beans so not near overhanging trees.

No pods but plenty of flowers?

The main reason for no pod set is very hot weather.

Steve says, just be patient and wait for the weather to cool.

Of course, encourage pollinators into your garden with plenty of flowers near your veggie bed.

If you have any questions, either for me or for Steve, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Winter Care of Ornamental Plants in Plant Doctor

July 11th, 2018

PLANT DOCTOR

Winter Care of Ornamental Plants

Ornamental plants are those whose leaves, flowers and fruits we don't eat.

Autumn is meant to gently acclimatise most plants to the cold.

What if Autumn is just an extension of Summer and then, whoosh, cold weather arrives all too soon and it's winter?

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Snow damage on Eucalypts

That is one reason that during winter some of our trees and shrubs don’t look so healthy and gardeners start getting concerned that something is wrong with their particular plant.

Unsuspecting gardeners might even think that their plant is dying because the leaves have started dropping of, yet it’s supposed to be evergreen.

Could it be just a response to cold weather or is something untoward happening in the soil that is affecting the plant’s health?

Let’s find out.. 

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

The leaves can change colour due to the cold, and it may be just a normal reaction or because the plant can't access nutrients that it needs.

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Frost Damagon Avocado. photo Dept of  Primary Industries W. A.

If you make a note in your garden diary that a particular plant did this or that in winter, you may discover that it’s quite normal during the cold months of the year. 

Seaweed extracts help plants reduce stress factors and one of them is coping with the cold.

Applying it regularly though is a must for this to be of benefit.

If you have any questions either for me or Steve, you can email us Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

Real World Gardener Winter Care of Citrus in Plant Doctor

June 28th, 2018

PLANT DOCTOR

Citrus Winter Care

Are you wondering “what’s wrong with my citrus tree?” right now.

Perhaps the symptoms that you’re seeing now seem to happen every winter?

If that’s the case, then you’ll need to listen in closely to this next segment which is just about that.

Let’s find out.. I'm talking with Steve Falcioni, general manager of www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au

 

Steve offered quite a range of things to do for your citrus tree.

Firstly though, you need to assess your tree to determine what’s going on with it.

The number 1 problem to look out for is scale.

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Citrus scale ( white louse scale) will cover the stems, twigs and branches of your citrus tree in what looks like fine shredded coconut that has tuck fast.

To treat this problem spray with Eco Oil making sure all surfaces are covered well.

Spray again a week later as a follow up spray.

If it looks like nothing's happened try flicking off the scale with your finger. Live scale easily flicks off, whereas dead scale sticks fast.

If the scale problem is so bad that the oil spray doesn't seem to be working, then go for a lime-sulphur spray. Winter is the only time for this one on citrus.

Some districts that have warmer weather all year round need to hang a pheremone trap to control citrus leaf miner. 

The moth lays its eggs into the leaf where the larvae feed and finally tunnel out created leaf distortion and silvering.

One things for sure, and that is there’s no point in spreading granular citrus tree fertiliser around the tree in winter.

There is next to no if any, uptake of nutrients from the fertiliser because the tree isn’t in active growth, (unless you’re in subtropical areas) and the fertiliser won’t break down to release the nutrients because of the lack of microbial activity in the soil during winter.

 

If you have any questions either for me or Steve, you can email us Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

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