Thursday, 27 October 2011

Save A Species-Cassowary

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm Sat. 12noon, 2RRR 88.5fm.
Wildlife in Focus: Besides being a keystone species in the Wet Tropics Rainforests, Cassowaries are  are an Icon of tourism in FNQ Being a keystone species means that they play an integral part in the maintenance of the forest ecosystem. Hear the complete interview with Marianne and Kurtis Lindsay.
To find more information on this bird and support their existence, go to

Vegetable Heroes: Pumpkins or Cucurbita moschata, C. pepo, C. maxima
"   Sow Pumpkins all year round in tropical and sub-tropical climates, for temperate zones, now is the ideal time and  for cool regions you will have to wait until December. But you can get the seeds started now in punnets in a mini green house.
"   Temperatures of 20oC to 35oC are ideal for growing Pumpkins.
"   Soil temperatures need to be above 16oC for seeds to germinate and it can take up to 14 days for plants to emerge at this temperature.
"  Pumpkins can be grown on a wide range of soil types. As roots can penetrate up to a metre deep, a well-drained soil  with a slightly acidic pH of about 6 – 6.5
"  Choose a sunny, sheltered spot in your garden.
"  Dig in about 100g or 2 handfuls of fertiliser beforehand.Sow a few seeds about 20mm deep .
"  Pumkpins suffer most from powdery mildew, that white coating on the leaves which eventually makes the leaf brittle followed by sudden death.
"  When your vine grows avoid watering the leaves at all costs. An organic spray for powdery mildew is 1 part full cream milk and 9 parts water. Another method is to spray a solution of seaweed on the leaves every week to prevent the mildew spores from taking hold.
"  If no fruit develops on your vine, a common problem it’s probably because of unsuitable weather conditions at the time of flowering-cloudy windy, rainy, or there were no insect pollinators around.
"  Try some of your own pollination. It may be your last chance to get that pumpkin.
"  The male flowers hare easy to detect, they have no bulge below the petals like the female flowers have.
"  Pumpkins are ready to pick in 3-4 months when the vine has died down leaving a hard dry stalk.
"  Cut the pumpkin off the vine leaving 2-3 cm of stalk so your pumpkin will keep longer." Store whole pumpkins for two or three months in a cool, dark place with good ventilation.
 Find unusual varieties at these online suppliers
Design Elements: part 4 in the "basic garden design" series, -   something to help you decide on what colour scheme for you magnificent garden? There’s no reason to poo poo the idea of a planned use of colour in any style of garden. Using colour deliberately can be fun. You haven’t thought of a colour scheme? Listen here to Lesley Simpson and Marianne discuss colour schemes.
Plant of the Week: Leptospermum scoparium, Tea Tree
a).  A usually compact shrub to 2 m high (often less) by 2 m wide. Leaves are variable in shape and size. They may be elliptical, broadly lanceolate or obovate and from 7 to 20 mm long. White flowers, occasionally tinged with pink and rarely red, 1 cm in diameter, occur in spring and early summer.
b). Distribution: NSW, Vic, Tas; also found in New Zealand.
c).  Leptospermum "Pink Cascade" is a cultivar that's very popular. It forms a small, weeping shrub.
d). L. Pink Pearl grows to 2m and is very drought tolerant.
e). L Scoparium Ruby Glow” is a compact, erect, evergreen shrub with  a refined appearance with neat, small dark red leaves, which by the way are fragrant when crushed. Perfect, double, burgundy-red flowers are produced in January and can be quite showy.
NEW RELEASE: Leptospermum 'Vertical Drop" is a very unusual plant. It's a woody native that grows down, not up. Vertical Drop also grows horizontally, and is very useful when planted over retaining wall. Can be grown on the coast, is drought and frost tolerant and takes fulls sun to part shade.

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