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Wildlife in Focus:The Brush Turkey is making a comeback in leafy suburban gardens. Some people haven’t seen them, and some have only seen their handiwork. Rumours abound about how to get rid of them from your garden. Are they really that bad? Listen toecologist, Kurtis Lindsay talk about this Gondwanan bird.
Vegetable Heroes:Carrots or Daucus carota var. sativus were one of the first vegetables grown by man and are related to parsley.
Carrots are cold tolerant but can grow in all but the hottest climates. They grow year round in subtropical climates, sow them spring and summer in temperate zones and mid-Spring to the end of Summer in cold districts.
They prefer full sun but can grow in partial shade.
Avoid adding fertilisers and manures to the soil just before sowing, or you’ll get carrots that will fork and become hairy. They like beds manured in the previous season.
Make sure the soil has been worked over with no stones or sticks otherwise the carrots will grow into funny shapes or be stunted.
The easiest way to sow carrots is to mix a packet of seed with one cup of river sand, pouring the contents into seed drills .
Cover the seed with finely sieved compost or a drizzle of sugar cane mulch. Not too thick or they won’t germinate.
Too much water and the roots might crack so only give carrots small amounts in the first eight weeks of growth. Here are some varieties to get you interested;
All Seasons mainly for Queensland and NSW, and Royal Chantenay suits heavy soils, both need 10-11 weeks.
C Little Fingers-sweet baby carrots about 10cm long-8weeks.
New Kuroda is heat tolerant and grows to 18cm long and another one for pots Chantenay Red-Cored with the shortest root, orange-red colour through-out, sweet and tender. Suited to heavy soils. 7-10 weeks.
Round and short varieties can be grown in planters or pots, but the long types need about 20cm of soil depth in the open garden.
Design Elements: - Planter or container gardening can be many people in different situations:
whether you have mobility issues, problem soil, not enough space or just a plain plant addict, planter gardening ticks all the boxes. Listen here to garden designer Lesley Simpson and Marianne discuss this topic.
There are two main types of water lillies:
Small growing tropical, day flowering waterlilies:
These waterlilies are suitable for small tubs in balcony/rooftop gardens, small ponds/water features and any shallower water areas. They are smaller in leaf spread, hence, coverage is less when compared with a standard size waterlily. Growth tip of the plant could be submerged between 15cms to 30cms below the water surface.
Hardy waterlilies come in small and miniature. Miniature water lilies tend to grow slower than their bigger brothers, no need to divide - repot as often, typically every 2-3 years may be enough for the smallest types.
These waterlilies are suitable for small tubs in balcony/rooftop gardens, small ponds/water features and any shallower water areas. They are smaller in leaf spread, hence, coverage is less when compared with a standard size water lily. Smaller miniature water lilies need only 5-10cm of water over the crown (the growing tip that produces the leaves), making them ideal for planting in bowls and smaller water features.
Getting waterlilies to flowers is one of the most asked questions by home gardeners.
The main reasons are;
Not enough day length. Full sun means full sun, and not dappled anything or even part sun. Temperature is the second factor-hardy waterlilies start to flower at temps over 16-18C0. Hardy waterlilies need room to grow, so pot them up into a bigger pot size if you’ve met the other criteria and feed them with a controlled release fertiliser tablets.
Water. Well it may seem simple, but they do not need a lot of work. As with any plant, some maintenance is required to get the best results. Miniature water lilies need about 10cm of water above the crown, whereas most other water lilies prefer 30-60cm.