Friday, 9 October 2015

Ring a Ding Dong and Roses


We love our roses don’t we?

What’s not to like?
Just inhale the perfume, and feast your eyes on the shape and form of the flower and the whole gorgeousness of a bunch of roses.

On the other hand, there’s the thorns on most, the pruning and the dreaded diseases that they get if they’re not in the right environment.

So what can we do about the most common problem on roses?

Talking with eco Organic Garden General Manager, Steve Falcioni.
Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Black spots have a soft edge and initially they're just black about the size of a pea.
As the fungus progresses the leaf yellows and then drops off.
symptoms show up 3 to 10 days later of mild temperatures of around 24 degrees Centigrade and high humidity.
Usually black spot starts on the lower leaves and works its way up,
Sometimes it can defoliate the whole bush.
Even though you've sprayed your roses in winter to control fungal problems, fungal spores blow in on the wind from somewhere else.
Some of the cultural controls they you need to do before spraying are:-make sure your rose has 6 hours of direct sunlight and logs of good air movement.
Winter pruning should have opened up the bush as a way of reducing the humidity issue.
Also rose are heavy feeders so make sure your roses are well fed.
I hope this peaks your interest in getting out there and spraying those roses with whatever method of control you choose.
Starting early is a good way to get a jump on those fungal diseases before the weather warms up and the humidity increases.
Organic sprays include whole cream milk, but is only effective if sprayed on sunny days.
Bi-carb soda and horticultural oil.
Potassium bicarbonate sold as eco Carb fro,
Potassium bicarbonate changes the osmotic pressure on the leaf causing any fungal spores to burst.
While you’re out there, why not pick some roses for inside the house.
If you have any questions about your rose bushes or have some information you’d like to share, why not email or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.


Lentils, Lens culinaris

Lentils are a type of bean that first grew in South-West Asia.
They’ve been around for thousands of years and were already a farming crop in 10,000BC.

 Another interesting fact is that as you’d expect, about a quarter of the worldwide production of lentils is from India, mostly for it’s own domestic market but Canada is the largest export producer of lentils in the world?
Why should you grow them?
Not only are they easy to grow, but lentils are also easy to store for later on.
It might be a fun thing to do just to see how they grow, and like all legumes, they’ll add nitrogen to your soil.
But on the upside, lentils have a lot of protein and they’re easy to cook just by boiling them in water to make either soup or Dahl for a fairly short time.
Perhaps serve up some fish or chicken on a bed of lentils as they do in fancy restaurants?
Lentil flour is used to make pappadams or added to cereal flour to make breads, cakes and baby foods.
You can also eat the immature pods and sprouted seeds as a vegetable.
What are Lentils?
Lentils are a hardy annual; they are a member of the pea family.
Lentils grow on low bushes from 25 - 40cm tall.

The lentil has small whitish to light purple pea-like flowers.

The pods are small, broad, flat and contain one or two flat, lens-shaped seed that are green or yellow to orange, red or brown.

You’ll need to plant 4 -8 plants for each member of the family.
Growing Lentils-.
Did you know that dried lentils can also be sprouted by soaking in water for one day and then keeping them moist for several days?

 Sow lentils in spring as early as 2 weeks before the average last frost
Plant lentils in full sun in a loose, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. They will grow in poor soil however which is good news for those gardeners with sandy soil.
You can also sow your lentils into a pot if you don’t have a big garden.
Tip: Lentils hate waterlogging.
Lentils grow best in a fairly neutral soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5.
Add some compost to the soil before sowing also helps.
Lentils can be started indoors before transplanting to the garden; and lentil seeds will germinate in 10 days at 20° C.
Plant lentil seeds 5 – 10 cm deep, spaced 2 cm apart. 

Keep lentils evenly moist, but on the upside, Lentils are more drought tolerant than other beans. 

Don’t water lentils once the pods have begun to dry.
Side dress lentils with compost tea when plants are 10 cm tall and again at flowering.
When Are They Ready?
Lentils need around 11 to 15 weeks or around 3 months to come to harvest.
Lentils are normally used like dry beans or peas.
For dried seeds, pick your lentil pods when they have matured and hardened. You can tell this when the lowest pods on the plant start to turn light brown and when you give the pod a light shake, it gives off a rattle.
Tip: Leave lentils unshelled until you are ready to use them.

You can buy lentils as seed for Microgreens and for sprouting so these could be used for sowing in your vegetable garden or in a pot.

Why Is it Good for You?

In a 100 g serving, raw lentils provide 353 calories and a rich source of many essential nutrients, particularly dietary fibre and protein.
Micronutrients in high content include folate, thiamin, phosphorus and iron

Lentils have the second-highest level of protein of any legume, after soybeans.
Red (or pink) lentils contain a lower concentration of fibre than green lentils


Manettia bicolour
Senecio mikanoides
Talking with Garden Designer Peter Nixon from Paradisus

Last week we started a series on best fit planting for various scenarios in many people’s gardens.
Best fit planting means that your being careful with your selection of plant so that it actually lasts in that spot.

Unless of course you decide you don’t like it, but otherwise, if you choose for the conditions that it’s going to grow in, then your plant should thrive.
The first scenario was how to hide a boundary fence in a narrow passageway at one side of the house.
After all, if you’re looking out the window at that fence, it’s not that attractive.
Much better to have some sort of green plant giving off a sense of peace and tranquillity than a brown either paling or Colourbond fence.
Listen to the podcast to hear more about this topic.

Stephanotis floribunda
Peter mentioned Senecio mikanoides and Manettia bicolour as two possible climbing plants for the narrow passageway.

Other climbing plant suggestions apart from the Meuhlenbeckia, are Star Jasmine, Hoya carnosa, Mandevilla Aloha series and Pandorea Snow Bells and Stephanotis floribunda.

These are all evergreen and should fit that narrow passageway as well.

If you have any questions about hiding the boundary fence or have a suggestion why not write in or email me at


The exotic Fuchsia plant has very attractive delicate flowers and perhaps the native version isn’t quite so showy.

On the plus side, native fuchsias or Correas are much more hardy and won’t die on you after a season or two because you’ve either overwatered or underwatered it.

Correa baeuerlenii

Correa belongs to the family Rutaceae, along with Australian native plants, Boronia and Philotheca.

The name Correa is taken from José Francisco Correa de Serra, a Portuguese botanist.
They are mainly prostrate to small or medium shrubs, growing to a height of plus or minus approximately 2 metres as a general guide with a similar spread.
Karen recommends Correa baeuerlenii, Chef's Hat Correa and Correa glabra for hardy garden situations.
Correa Ring a Ding is one of the latest cultivars to be released.
Talking with Hort journal editor Karen Smith and nursery owner Jeremy Critchley

Coreas can be grown in most soil types in sun or part shade.
Correa Ring a Ding
Good drainage is important however, and raised beds are suggested for heavy soil conditions.
Once established, plants flower from early autumn to late spring.

Most plants could sprawl but giving it a light prune can give you  a more compact shape.
However, correas can be hard pruned but I prefer a little and often.
The more your lightly prune the more flower you will get.

Flowers have four petals usually fused into a pendulous bell.
Eventually this flower can split at its end point and reflex adding to variety and intrigue.
Six to eight stamens can extend a little beyond the calyx tube with pollen-presenters most evident.

If you have any questions about growing Correas, why not write in to

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