Sunday, 25 March 2012

Magpie Larks and Bed Bugs

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.
The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.
Wildlife in Focus:This bird has a bit of an identity crisis? It’s neither a magpie nor a lark, so what is it? Find out in by listening to Kurtis Lindsay talk about the Magpie Lark, Pee-Wee, Mud Lark or Murray Magpie!
Vegetable Heroes:Coriander flowers belong in the Umbelliferae family. The name coriander is derived from the Greek word koris, meaning bedbug, since the unripe seeds and leaves when crushed supposedly have a smell suggestive of a crushed bedbug.
Always grow coriander from seed, sown in the exact spot you want it to grow as it absolutely HATES being transplanted.
Transplanting coriander stresses it so that it goes straight to seed and then it dies. And you never get any leaves at all!
Coriander gets a has a big taproot as it grows so growing it in a pot won’t work either, it’ll go straight to seed as well.
In Temperate and cool temperate climates, in sub-tropical districts, you got until May, and in arid zones, you’ll probably best to wait until August to sow Coriander.
Sow about 1 cm deep, cover the seeds and keep them moist.
Sow it in rows, scatter it amongst your other veggies, you can use it as a shade plant for your lettuce. It’s a good idea to leave in a few plants that have gone to flower because the Coriander flowers are an important food source for beneficial insects, especially little parasitic wasps and predatory flies.
To attract many beneficial insects you want lots and lots of coriander flowers why not sprinkle some coriander and parsley seeds through your other vegetables under your fruit trees and in any other place you can fit them.
Design Elements:I have a friend who is renovating her house and her garden. We stood in her ruined front yard and when I suggested that she put a focal point in front of the lounge room, say a standard maple so that she would have a nice plant to look at, out of the ornate Federation windows. She was rather nonplussed. It had never occurred to her, yet to plants-people, gardeners, plant addicts, call us what you will, this is essential to the soul . Listen here to Lesley Simpson garden designer set you on the right path in fixing  a garden in ruin.

Plant of the Week:    Fraxinus excelsior 'Aurea'
Yes it’s deciduous, and grafted too. The understock is Fraxinus oxycarpa or Desert Ash-hardy and reliable.
Great autumn colour and distinctive yellow bark on young branches provides year round interest.
The Golden Ash is an old favourite, suitable as a shade or specimen tree., it grows 7 x 7 metres so would suit most gardens around Australia.
The shape of the tree is broadly conical to rounded. Eventually develops into a medium sized, spreading, multi-branched tree.
The leaves are pinnate-think of Grevillea leaves like Grevillea Robyn Gordon.
Leaf colour is a pale lemon  in spring, becoming very pale green in summer, turning to brilliant gold in autumn.
You don’t plant this tree for the tiny and insignificant greenish-yellow flowers in spring. Totally hidden by the leaves.
Bark:Young branches yellow with distinctive black winter buds. Becoming yellow-grey with age.
Tolerances:Best in moist, deep soil in cooler areas but tolerates both wet and relatively dry conditions. Performs well on alkaline soils. Reasonable tolerance to heat and low levels of dought.

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