Sunday, 31 July 2011

Marching To The Beet

REALWORLD GARDENER 27th July 2011, 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney

Wildlife in Focus" Dusky Moorhen with Kurtis Lindsay. Some say it can't fly, othere say it looks like a chicken, but listen here to find out what this bird can really do.
Vegetable Heroes: Beta vulgaris or Beetroot.This is the time to plant our seeds or seedlings for warm and temperate areas of Australia, but colder areas need to wait until September,Best planted at soil temperatures between 7°C and 25°C.  You can grow beetroot in pots, but they need to be BIG pots, like at least 30cm diameter or those poly styrene jobbies from the green grocer.Position-wise, beetroots aren’t overly fussy. They’ll tolerate full sun to part shade and even do fairly well in dappled light under a deep rooted tree. Soak seeds in water in a shallow saucer for 24 hours before planting so that you can separate the seeds. Keep well-watered and adding liquid fertilisers such as Fish emulsion. Remember Seaweed stuff is not a fertiliser. Dry beetroot develop a woody and inedible core. For  really tasty and tender beetroot, start pulling them out at golfball-size. When they get to 7.5cm they get a but woody tasting.
Citrus Care: Now's the time to spray your citrus with Lime Sulfur to combat Citrus Louse Scale and knock off Bronze Orange Bug eggs while you'r at it. For product info your citrus to allow more air circulation into the centre of the tree if you have the scale problem. Remove and dead and twiggy growth.

Plant of the Week: Daphne odora and Daphne odora "Eternal Fragrance."
Before you couldn’t grow it in tropical gardens, only cool to cold climates.

There was this problem that daphnes’  leaves suddenly hanging down limply, and felt leathery and dry. Most often, this is also caused by over watering. About 20 years ago, there was a daphne virus, but you rarely get the virus in daphne. But the idea still hangs on that your Daphne will suddenly drop dead.
People think that daphne love to be moist all the time, but you should just water the daphne and let it dry out. Use mulch to keep the roots cool.
If daphnes are over or under watered, it causes them great stress and that's when insects like scale attack.   Then there is the location - Daphnes liked morning sun or an easterly-facing spot - anywhere that's got shade from the hot afternoon sun. Don't forget really good drainage is also important. ­So it all seemed a bit tricky.
'Eternal Fragrance' offers an extended flowering period - with the main flush in spring and continuous spot flowering throughout the year, particularly in the warmer months.
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