http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.
NEW SEGMENT:Compost Capers:Real World Gardener is starting another new segment called compost Capers. Cameron Little from Sustainability Systems, will be joining me in the studio to talk about worm farming. Today’s segment is an introduction to worms.
Vegetable Heroes;Cauliflower , Brassica oleracea,
In Arid zones, plant direct into the garden from April until June, in cool temperate and temperate zones, February was the recommended time to sow seeds but you can sow seedlings until the end of May. If your district is sub-tropical, you might be able to squeeze in seed sowing if you do it straight after the show, otherwise, transplant seedlings until the end of June also. There is one exception, a variety called Caulifower All Year Round-Hybrid. This variety is available from your local nursery shows excellent vigour to reach maturity very early at 15 weeks. It has a large size, tight curd, and excellent taste.
Soil and Site for Cauliflower-- All cauliflowers need a neutral or slightly alkaline soil to do well. If the soil is too acidic, the plants won’t be able to access the trace elements they need, and may develop whiptail. On the other hand, soils which are too limey or chalky can lead to stunted and discoloured cauliflower.
If you’re at all unsure, whip out that pH test kit and give it a workout. If you need to add lime to the soil because it’s too acidic, leave at least four weeks between liming and manuring. As with all brassicas, avoid using a plot on which a brassica crop was grown within the past two years. Cauliflowers will definitely suffer if they are grown on the same plot for two or more years in a row. Winter cauliflowers are much more tolerant of soil conditions, and will grow on most types of soil, as long as there is no water-logging. Because they grow slowly over a longer period of time, and have to face winter conditions, the one thing you want to avoid is lush, rapid and therefore vulnerable growth. If plenty of organic ferts have been dug in, there is no need for additional fertilizers, prior to planting out winter cauliflowers. They need a sheltered site, with some protection from winds. They do better in sun rather than in the shade.- A cauliflower is ready for cutting when the upper surface of the curd is fully exposed and the inner leaves no longer cover it. As usual in your veggie garden, cauliflowers are ready at the same time. If the weather is warm and you leave the cauliflowers in the ground once they have matured, the heads expand and they become discoloured and less appealing. To avoid this lift some early, they will be quite edible.
Here’s a tip to not have to eat cauliflower everyday for a month, gather up the leaves and tie them together over the curd so that they cover it, using garden twine, an elastic band or raffia. It will also protect the winter ones from the frost.
Design Elements:what is atmosphere in the garden? Is it the right collection of plants or just putting the garden bench in the right place? Why don't some gardens have atmosphere? It's a bit of a mystery that garden designer Lesley Simpson and I try to solve.
Plant of the week: Heliotropeum arborescens, Cherry Pie:
Did you know that butterfly gardening is a popular hobby today? Your first step should be to find out which butterflies are in your area. You can do this by spending some time outdoors with your field guide to see which species are around. For example if you live around Adelaide go to www.butterflygardening.net.au/
If you want to encourage butterflies to your garden you need to plant shrubbery with flowers that these insects enjoy, like in plant of the week.
The flowers are very attractive to butterflies.
There are many cultivars, Cherry pie has a pale purple, Plum Pie, has a deeper purple with darker leaves, and Lord Roberts, the flowers aren’t as big as Plum Pie, but also has the darker leaves. There’s also a white flowering cherry pie, and one with golden-yellow leaves as well.
Fragrant vanilla scented flowers that send out waves of fragrance.
This is a frost tender shrub which flowers all year round in mild climates and has a spreading habit. Height : 80cm x 85cm.
Heliotropes prefer a position in the sun to partial shade and a well drained fertile soil.
It won’t do much good in sandy impoverished soil, so if that’s what you’ve got, beef it up with homemade compost.
Otherwise, grow it in a tub.
Tip prune the plants often to keep them bush, prune spent flowers as well and cut back foliage to retain bushiness.
I find that an occasional branch dies back for whatever reason, but the rest keeps on going.
Protect from hot and cold winds and keep well mulched and watered in hot weather. Needs protection from frost.