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.

Powdery%2Bmildew%2Bon%2Bbeans.jpg

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.

 

Real World Gardener Plant Viruses on Plant Doctor

May 4th, 2018

PLANT DOCTOR

Plant Viruses Uncovered


If your plants look unhealthy but there’s no sign of pests or disease, then chances are the plant has a virus.
Rose Mosaic Virus
On the other hand if you have some unusual patterns on your rose and camellias leaves, these don’t harm the plant and are fine to leave alone. 
Viruses that effect edible plants are a different problem all together. 
Let’s find out about this problem. 
I'm talking with Steve Falcioni General Manager owww.ecoorganicgarden.com.au 

 

Steve mentioned the "tomato spotted wilt virus" which as the name suggests, affects tomatoes, but it also affects 500 other plants!

The Cucumber mosaic virus affects all members of the Cucurbit family, where the rose mosaic virus only affects members of Rosaceae.

How virus's in plants are spread?

`Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus on Basil Leaves

Sap suckers are the usual vectors of viruses in the garden; these include aphids, leaf hoppers, thrips and whitefly are good examples.

Weeds can also harbor these sap suckers so it’s important to keep on top of the weeding.

The weeds can also have viruses in their tissue.

Also don’t forget to disinfect your garden tools after pruning particular plants and buy plants that are certified virus free.

If you have any questions either for me or Steve you can email us 

Real World Gardener Fixing Indoor Plant Problems in Plant Doctor

March 30th, 2018

PLANT DOCTOR

Looking After Indoor Plants.

You may have heard that having indoor plants make for a healthy home.

The reason is that the plants and in fact mostly the soil that plants sit in, absorb the VOC’s or volatile organic compounds that all your furniture, flooring, household cleaners give off.

But those plants are made of plastic so will need attention. 

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You may not have noticed that your indoor plant/s were in decline even though you've been walking past them everyday for most of the year.

Here are some pointers to get you started.

Let’s find out . 

Indoor%2BPlants.JPGI'm talking with Steve Falcioni, General Manager of www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au

 

PLAY: Indoor Plant Problems_21st March 2018

The first tip: Top up that potting mix.

After 2-3 years, potting mix becomes compacted and shrinks down several cms.

Plus old potting mix needs replacing after a while anyway because of this "slumping" and becoming acidic over the years.

The second tip: Check if the soil has become hydrophobic.

Scratch the surface after you've initially water to see if it has actually penetrated.

If not, apply a soil wetting agent.

The third tip: Now your pest or disease.

If you have any indoor plant problems is important to first diagnose what is exactly happening with the plant.

Is it just the soil, or is it something that needs spraying. 

Because your plants are indoors I would recommend using organic sprays

 

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

 

Real World Gardener Citrus Pest Watch in Plant Doctor

November 24th, 2017

PLANT DOCTOR

Citrus Pest Watch

Hopefully you’ve finished your spring cleaning but now it’s time to check out that citrus tree you’ve got in your backyard.

Our plants put on lots of fast growth in the garden but so do the bugs good and bad.

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Being pro-active is the best way to beat the pests that seem to plague citrus more than any other plant in the garden.  

Some gardeners do this by spraying their citrus over the winter months with horticultural oil.

For a lot of insect pests, sprays are effective if you’ve timed it correctly, because as the pests mature or evolve into the next stage, sprays may become ineffective.

 

Let’s find out what to look out for. I'm talking with was Steve Falcioni from www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au

 

PLAY Citrus Pest Watch_15th November 2017

 

Two types of pests to watch out for and for some states, the extra pest of fruit fly.

Group 1 is the sap suckers which include aphids, mites, mealybugs and the citrus stink bug.

The best time to hit these pests in Spring, particularly the citrus stink bug. The reason being that coming out of winter, the juveniles are small, pale green and susceptible to the oil sprays such as Eco Oil.

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Citrus pests photo M Cannon

Group 2 are the chewing pests. such as citrus leaf miner and caterpillars. The leaf miner pest is actually a very small moth that lays its eggs on new leaf growth.

The hatching larvae then tunnel into the tissue causing the leaf disfigurement or curling and the silver trails.

Leaf miner can be organically controlled with pheremone traps that are hung in the trees.

As for the caterpillars, a lot of the will turn into beautiful butterflies, so decide what you would rather; a few chewed leaves or some orchard swallowtail butterflies?

If you have any questions about citrus pests either for me or

 

Steve, why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

 

Real World Gardener Where Do Insects Go in Winter in Plant Doctor?

August 24th, 2017

 

PLANT DOCTOR

Overwintering Insects-where do they all go?

Have you ever thought what happens to insects in winter?

In particular insect pests, we don’t see as many pests but come Spring, they seem to emerge in their hundreds from somewhere.

How are they managing to hang on, especially in those districts where temperatures fall below zero.

You’ll be surprised to find out the methods that insects use .

So let’s find out.

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

 

PLAY: Overwintering insects_9th August 2017

Insects seem to manage to hang on in one form or and how they do this seems to vary quite a bit because they’re so adaptive

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Codling moth larvae

Lay eggs that stay dormant until warmer weather and longer daylength occurs.Some of the methods we talked about that insects use to get by in the colder months were:

  1. Juvenile stages hide in cracks of branches, twists of leaves, under rocks and find crevices to stay warm.

3.Pupate over winter like the Codling Moth.

  1. Go deeper into the soil to stay warm, like the Curl Grub.

5.Hibernate over winter just as the ladybird does.

 

Did you know ladybirds go off a pheremone to signal other ladybirds to form a huddle when hibernating?

 

TIP: Removing weeds during winter also removes hiding spots for pests like mealybug and aphids.

Did you know that the shorter daylight lengths of Autumn trigger insects to enter something called diapause.

 

What’s that?

Well, diapause (and also the definition of an evening spent watching TV) is "an inactive state of arrested development."

Diapause insects sees their metabolic rate drop to one tenth of what it is normally so it can use stored body fat to survive winter.

 

If you have any questions about insects, why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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