Monday, 18 April 2011

Foxy, Foxy, Flying Foxy.

Real World Gardener on 2rrr 88.5 fm Wed. 5pm, Sat 12 noon
for 13th April 2011
Feature interview: RWG talks to Tim Pearson, Honours Biology student in Animal Behavioural Science. Tim has been studying the Grey Headed Flying Fox for 6 years. Find out why there might be a problem with removing the the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Hear a condensed version of the interview here.
Vegetable Heroes: Nasturtiums, Tropaeolum majus.Nasturtiums are easy to grow, the whole plant is edible, and they are great companion plants as well! Nasturtiums help deter aphids, whiteflies, squash bugs, cucumber beetles and other pests.   Nasturtiums are annual plants with rounded leaves like a water lily. The flowers are an open funnel shape with a little claw or spur on the underside. Save the seeds for ‘ron.Autumn is still the time to plant Nasturtiums and to get a faster sprout soak your seeds (they are large and pretty hard) in some warm water overnight and then place directly in the garden or pots where you want to grow them.  Nasturtiums resent being transplanted so don’t buy the seedlings. If you want to sow them in coco peat pots you can then plant the seedling, pot and all into the garden. They love part sun or semi-shade, but they don't do well in drought-like conditions. As long as you keep them watered and give them room for the air to circulate they will flower for a long time. The soil shouldn't be too rich because you will get more leaves than flowers.  Decorate cupcakes with Nasturtium flowers on top of the frosting for something really different!
Nasturtium vinegar -add several flowers and some leaves to a jar with a clove of garlic. Fill with vinegar and allow to sit for 4-5 weeks. The leaves and flowers can be added to any salad, used as garnish, or chopped into pasta salads. You can find more recipes and uses for Nasturtiums at
Design Elements: Today the problems are How do I make my small garden seem bigger, and my garden is a very long and thin rectangle, what should I do?.. So pencils on the ready....! Listen here.
Plant of the Week: Sabina and Mariane talk about uses of grass type plants. There are a couple of varieties that do as lawn substitutes and only need mowing 1x or 2x a year. Not for heavy traffic areas of course. Varieties are Amethyst, Isabella, Just Right and Pure Blonde!
a)    I suggest planting liriope 40cm (16") apart if you want to try growing it as a lawn substitute.
b)    Most gardeners wouldn’t buy liriopes for their flowers. Dainty and delightfully pasted to a totem like spike, they are fairly insignificant to some.
c)    Liriopes are foliage plants first. You can get quite a lot of variation and variegation.
d)    If you’re looking for a border plant that won’t be exposed to full-sun all day then liriopes should be considered. They actually prefer part-shade and can even tolerate full-shade locations provided they’re situated in well-draining soil.
g)    Liriopes aren’t even fussy about fertilisers and can often reside in soil that is far from rich in nutrient base. But, if you want to get the most from these plants then apply twice per year foliar spray. Their watering needs are fairly minimal and they have few disease and pest problems.
For more info go to
What's On.

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