Wildlife in Focus"Silvereye"- Zosterops lateralis. Quick. No other word can really describe these birds, They move extremely fast from one plant to the next, Seem to come and go in a flurry. Makes them hard to photograph.Listen here to Kurtis Lindsay, ecologist and Marianne (host) talk about this little bird.
Vegetable Heroes:Summer Button Squash is the yellow or green saucer shaped members of the Cucurbit family that includes pumpkins, melons and zucchinis. Cucurbita pepo. Squash can be grown all year round in hot, subtropical climates, from spring onwards in temperate zones and only in early summer in cold regions.So squash can be grown somewhere in all parts of Australia right now..
Squash like to spread out, but will follow a trellis if the vines are tied to one. Seeds are planted on small mounds, three to five to a mound. Pinch out weak seedlings and leave the strongest.
Squash are, like most vegetables, heavy feeders and need lots of fertilizer and water don’t overfertilize with chook poo pellets or you’ll have big plants and no squash.
There’s a French heirloom variety Squash Jaune Et Verte - the flesh is sweet and buttery and the tender skin cooks to lime green. Takes 7 weeks from seed to harvest.
New Gippsland Seeds-Golden Ruffles Hybrid is a Yellow Button Squash-
Eden seeds_EARLY WHITE BUSH SCALLOPED Known pre 1722.
Try these online suppliers.
Design Elements: Designing with hot colours is this week's topic.Why not try red lilies repeated down the border, they can creat an impact and the orange-red of the flowers could be softened with silver foliage. Listen here for the full segment with Lesley Simpson, garden designer and Marianne.
Plant of the Week: Staghorn Fern-Platycerium bifurcatum-P. superbum
These ferns grow in warm, humid forests. and occurs naturally from far Northern Queensland to southern New South Wales. It's best suited to highland, tropical gardens, and lowland coastal gardens, as long as it's protected from salt spray and hard frosts. These plants grow equally well on tree branches, fallen logs and rocks.
There are two types of leaves on the staghorn fern- flattened sterile shield fronds protect the anchoring root structure and take up water and nutrients. This ‘nest’ frond is designed to collect falling leaves and insects and funnels it to the feeding roots giving the plant potassium and calcium, needed to grow the large fronds. It is from this frond that the fern attaches itself to the host tree.
The second type of leaf are green, pronged fronds coming out from this base-there are the fertile antler fronds coming from low on the nest frond and can grow down to 2m. They are broad and multi branching in habit.
Staghorns do well in tropical and subtropical regions but are surprisingly hardy and tolerate the cold of Melbourne which is considered in the temperate zone.
The best position is in light shade with occasional patches of sunlight (not hot afternoon sun filtering through, in dry climates). Although they'll cope with light frosts, these plants will need more protection in really cold areas.
The best position is in light shade with occasional patches of sunlight (not hot afternoon sun filtering through, in dry climates). Although they'll cope with light frosts, these plants will need more protection in really cold areas. Perhaps throw over some protection like a fleece and protect from wind.
Water regularly throughout growing season behind the sterile fronds. Increase water as temperature rises.