Real World Gardener Creating Edible Gardens part 3 in Design Elements

June 11th, 2020

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Edible Gardens Series Part 3

Part 3 is selecting and buying the seeds and plants.
Probably the most enjoyable part of the edible garden process.
So which seeds or plants and where to buy and what about crop rotation?
Let’s find out…
I'm talking with Glenice Buck, landscape designer and consulting arborist. 

You don't have to go to a store, because every type of vegetable is available online, either as a seed, or seedlings.
You can buy advanced seedlings as an example, from a mail order company in Gippsland, Victoria if it‘s getting a bit late to sow or plant your winter crop. www.diggers.com.au 
They call them speedings, because they’re at least a month ahead of where you would be if you started them from seeds.

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Diggers seeds speeding collection

Seeds are of course much cheaper but they could be 6-8 weeks behind seedlings, especially cabbages and other brassicas which are quite slow growing.

The other issue if you plant out winter crops too late, so that when they're maturing, the season is too warm. Warm weather can bring with it more fungal problems and a horde of insects to infest your crop.

  • Crop Rotation Is Important

Crop rotation is important of course so that you don't have a build of pests of diseases with a particular crop.

If you understand which group the vegetable your growing belongs to, then you can understand what to plant next once a certain crop is finished. Never grow the same crop more than once in the same bed.

Fabacea or Legume family: peas, beans

Asteraceae or Daisy Family: Leafy crops: spinach, lettuces, chicory.

Solanaceae or Potato family:-tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, capsicum

Apiaceae or Carrot family-carrots, parsnip, parsley, dill, celeriac

Brassicaceae or Cabbage family: broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, radish

Amaranthaceae or beetroot family: beetroot, spinach, swiss chard

Cucurbitaceae or Marrow family-cucumber, zucchini, squash, marrow, melon

 

If you have any questions of course, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville 

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.

oranges-healthy%2Btree.jpg

 

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, 

    lemons%2Bwith%2Bfruit%2Bfly%2Bhole.jpg

    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 Where Do Insects Go Over Winter?

June 27th, 2019

PLANT DOCTOR

Where Do Insects Go Over Winter?

 

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

 

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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Is it really winter? Monarch Butterfly

Did you know that the shorted 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

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 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 How To Control Whitefly in Plant Doctor

September 27th, 2018

PLANT DOCTOR

White Fly Control

Are you experiencing a cloud of insects fly up when you disturb some of your plants?

Maybe you’ve had that in the past and haven’t been successful in removing them from a particular plant.

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Whitefly infestation

If that’s the case, there’s things you can do about it before that cloudburst of insects descends onto your garden.

Let’s find out .

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Sweet Potato Whitefly

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

 

PLAY: whitefly_19th September_ 2018

Are you surprised that there’s several species of whiteflies?

Shooing them away every time you go out into the garden isn’t successful. 

The numbers will soon build up into the hundreds even thousands.

Symptoms:What To Look For:

  • Don't confuse them with scale, because the whitefly juvenile stage can look like scale.
  • If your not 100% sure that it's whitefly larvae that you're looking at,there are other symptomes to look for.
  • Whitefly are sap suckers and will ssuck the chorophyll ( green part) out of the leaves.
  • Whitefly also produce mass of honey dew to which, sooty mould will settle.

Control:

  1. You must take action because whiteflies suck the sap out of your plants’ leaves. 
  2. Botanical oils work the best but you need to be able to spray under the leaves. 
  3. Using a pump action sprayer with help with the underneath the leaves. 
  4. Do a follow up spray 3-5 days apart to get the juvenilies. 
  5. Neem is approved overseas for this problem on edibles but only on ornamentals in Australia. 
  6. Encourage lacewings into your garden because the love whitefly as much as they love aphids. 

If you have any questions about controlling whitefly 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 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.

 

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