Thursday, 7 June 2012

The theme is garlic and worm farming

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.
Compost Capers with Cameron Little: You’ve got a compost bin so why do I need a worm farm as well I hear you ask? The compost bin actually doesn’t turn your scraps into fertilizer, it becomes compost which has very little nutrients for growing plants. Yes, lots of humus that enriches your soil’s structure, but worms add another component.
Vegetable Heroes:Garlic-Allium sativum comes from the Onion family. Alliaceae.
Sow direct in garden where they are to grow.
Garlic grows best on fertile, well-drained, loamy soils. Any soil suitable for onions is good enough for Garlic. Given a warm sunny position garlic is easy to grow.  Soil pH should be in the range 5.5 to 7.0.
Garlic grows best when the temperature is between 13º to 24ºC. That’s why Garlic is traditionally planted in cold weather and harvested in summer ("plant on the shortest day, harvest on the longest"). You can plant Garlic blubs now in all districts of Australia, including cool temperate. For cool districts, you’re right on the edge of when you can plant, so don’t delay, plant today.
Plant the cloves after separating them from the bulb, point upwards, deep enough to just cover with soil.
When you plant the cloves, don't plant too deeply otherwise they will rot off.
Plant them so the tops of the bulbs are just below the surface. Plant them about 8 cm apart with the point end facing up.
Garlic usually takes about 17-25 weeks. 4-6 months to mature. You can tell because the leaves or stalks have flopped over and turned brown.
Give them plenty of water, (especially in spring).
Also fertilise them, 2 or 3 times throughout the growing season. Some young shoots can be cut off for a garnish. Some people even harvest young garlic and eat the 'green' garlic leaves and all.
Reduce water at end of Spring (4 weeks prior to harvesting).
When they are ready to be dug up, ease bulbs out with a fork, careful not to damage bulbs. As these won't store well. May go a bit mouldy.. If good weather. let them dry in the sun for a few days.

Monaro purple, and Rocambole- are Hardnecks variety and these do have flowerheads like onions, and usually bigger cloves. They don’t have as good a shelf life as the softnecks and prefer cooler winters. Rocamboles are renowned for their excellent flavour, glamorous red-purple skins and easily peeled, single circle of 6-12 plump cloves.
Design Elements: What’s in a style when it comes to gardening? We can have Federation or Cottage garden styles, but is it the same as a theme? Can you have both? Let’s find out.

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Plant of the Week:     Lenten Roses or Hellebores have a role in many types of gardens and are often relegated to the shadier areas of our gardens. But they actually tolerate a lot more sun than we give them credit for. Hellebore “Ivory Prince”Height: 30cm  Spread: 60cm  Growing Conditions:
Full Sun/Part ShadeFull ShadeDry. Frost Hardy (Below 1c) 
Common Name: Hellebore, Winter Rose, Lenten Rose -A vigorous grower with tidy plant habit. A heavy flowering variety with around six spikes carrying up to twelve flowers each is not uncommon. The ivory-white flowers fade to musky pink and then finally aging with an overlay of chartreuse green. Easy to grow with minimal maintenance and frost hardy below 1ºc it can also withstand low water conditions making it ideal for planting under trees where few other plants can compete. Although a great shade solution - hellebores can also tolerate a good deal of sunlight also and so do not need to be restricted to shade gardens alone.

H. Ivory Prince comes to us from the renowned UK breeder David Tristram. Selected not only for the copious flower stems produced but also flowers face forward unlike most varieties where they hang making it difficult to see their full beauty. The foliage is also handsome in a complementary blue-green colour.

1 comment:

  1. I loved all of these posts. A lot of these things we have, but I got some really great ideas.

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