Thursday, 1 December 2011

Cool Designs with a Common Koel

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm Sat. 12noon, 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.
Wildlife in Focus: The young cuckoos, when they finally leave the nest, fly exactly the same migratory routes as their real parents How do they know which way to go? That remains a mystery, but find out some facts about the Common Koel by listening to ecologist Kurtis Lindsay and Marianne (host.)
Vegetable Heroes: Rungia klossi or Mushroom Plant.
Mushroom plant has dark green, glossy succulent leaves with a prominent yellow veins. The leaves are oval shaped and waxy. Grows to about 60cm x 60cm if planted in the ground.
Blue flowers in spring. It sends up new stems from the base.
Mushroom plants grow best in tropical and subtropical regions, and in temperate zones do well in the warmer months.
The potted plants that I have, stayed green throughout this winter, whereas previously they died right down.
Gardeners in cold climates could grow this plant because it always springs back to life after the cold months, when the weather warms up. I would recommend keeping it in a pot for those areas.
I ‘ve had several growing in pots for at least 2 years and they’ve so far never flowered.
These plants are best bought either from a large garden centre or perhaps through suppliers online
Tolerates most other soils, but it must be well-drained and kept fairly moist. RWG recommends a semi-shaded position, with morning sun.
It’s a very tasty herb and there should be more of it around.
The mushroom taste gets stronger with cooking.Go to your local markets and buy one todayTry these sites for sources of the    
Design Elements:    Living in a cool climate, particularly if you’re in a mountainous region, might be your idea of paradise. What about the garden? Do you make it sympathetic to the surroundings or do you create your own oasis?    Listen here for some tips:

Plant of the Week: Bouganvillea spp.Bouganvilleas will grow in all parts of Australia except the coldest parts. Not Tassie then and marginally in Melbourne and Adelaide
FERTILIZATION-These vines are heavy feeders and respond best to almost constant feeding .
With high light and constant feeding, the plants will flower at least 11 months of the year in tropical areas. Everywhere else only in summer. You can use controlled release fertilisers or organic fertilisers as long as they are high phosphorus with micronutrients, as well as additional iron and magnesium.
Plants grow best with small amounts of nutrients constantly available. Do not apply fertilizers to dry soil – Do not overfertilize – in this case less is better than more
WATERING-These plants flower best under stress. Keep the plant slightly on the dry side, and allow the plant to become root bound.
Give the plant a good, thorough soaking just before it reaches the wilt stage. Remember during the summer heat plants will use up water quickly, so inspect often.
If you want to be successful with bougainvillea keep containers moist but also they need to be well drained. No sitting plants in standing water!
DO NOT USE SAUCERS under your bougainvillea pots.
Pruning:after flowering and so it doesn’t become a large sprawling vine, thin out the oldest wood and shorten back the flowering wood leaving 3 or 4 nodes.
Training the branches horizontally will encourage better flowers. Upright branches don’t flower well.

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