Friday, 6 July 2012

Aussie Trillers in the Garden

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:Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike. Is it a cuckoo or is it a shrike? Why are we talking about this bird today and do you have the sort of tree to attract this bird to your garden? Listen to ecologist Sue Stevens talk about this bird and hear it's call.
Bird call provided by Tony Bayliss from the Australian Wildlife Sound Recording Group.

Vegetable Heroes:Spinach  or Spinacia oleracea.  Oleracea is latin for edible. In Cool temperate zones, you can plant spinach from April until September. In Arid zones, you’ve hit the jackpot because you can plant Spinach all year round. In temperate zones you had from February until the end of May, and in sub-tropical zones, from April until the end of July.  These times are only a guide, and personally, I plant some vegetables and see how they go even though it might be a month or two out of their supposed best planting time. So, I have some Spinach seedlings coming up in my garden right now, even though I’m in a temperate district. Germination of spinach seeds can take anything between a week and 2 weeks. Don't plant too close to avoid getting fungal problems on your Spinach leaves. Spinach is what’s called a heavy feeder when it comes Nitrogen. Spinach being a leafy vegetable will require lots of it to grow well. If you haven’t already applied Blood and Bone or cow manures to the soil a month or two ago, your soil will run out of nutrients. During the cooler months of winter, organic matter doesn’t break down that much and to get the needed Nitrogen, applying liquid fertilisers such as compost tea or fish emulsion often, will be the best way to get Nitrogen into that growing Spinach..Another thing to remember is that Spinach grows on shallow roots, so don't dig vigorously around it, but that makes it suitable for pots and tubs. In about 6-7 weeks, your Spinach plant has put on enough big leaves so you can pick them one by one like you might cut and come again lettuce. The leaves will keep regrowing for quite a while. Otherwise pick the whole plant for Spinach pie etc. Make sure you wash spinach leaves well - soil is not tasty!  When you want to store Spinach in the fridge a tip to remember is that Spinach is highly ethylene sensitive. To stop leaf yellowing don’t refrigerate with apples, or tomatoes.
Grevillea "Pink Ice."
 Design Elements:what makes an Australian garden Australian? Leslie Simpson, garden designer, and I think we've cracked the code. Listen here for this week's Australian themed garden. Plant of the Week: Annuals might not be your cup of tea, although I see potted colour walking out the door every week at the produce markets I go to. What about an annual that has it all and doesn’t take up as much of your time in planting it as all the others? Pansy Spreading Lavender has medium-sized flowers with faint whisker markings. Pansy Spreading plants have a better branching habit that the standard pansy, (according to the growers) and flowers that recover quickly after rain and watering. These spreading pansies will spill beautifully from hanging baskets and window boxes, as well as making an ideal ground cover in full sun or part shade. If planting pansies in pots, always use a good quality potting mix and apply fertiliser of your choice each week to stimulate quick growth and flowering.
Tip: All annuals flower more if you tip prune the flowers that have finished.
Flowering Time: Autumn through to late Spring.Weeks to Flower: 6-8 weeks after planting .They're also extremely cold-hardy, easily surviving sub-zero temps.Plant any annuals, and Pansies are no exception, in fertile, well-drained soil. Full sun is best, but they'll also take part sun. Give them a drink of water soluble fertilizer (the aqua blue stuff or for the organic gardener some seaweed solution and worm tea mixed together.) at planting and keep the soil moist, but not soaked. Plant them farther apart than normal pansies -- remember, they spread.Mulching between the plants before they spread is a good way to prevent weeds until they meet up with each other.
Otherwise you could plant spring bulbs, like daffodils, between these pansies now and enjoy a layer of colour next spring.

1 comment:

  1. REAL WORLD GARDENER Nice blog!!
    Thanks for sharing information about plants.
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