Saturday, 25 February 2017

Fantastic Frangipani

Feature Interview

Frangipani Society of Australia
So many gardeners love the sight of flowering Frangipani's with their exotic scent, and colourful blooms.
Frangi's as they're known, can have a bewitching effect on the  collector, admirers and avid gardeners.

Sometimes if you weren't a collector but went to a Frangipani Show, you suddenly became one because there are so many colours and cultivars that you just have to have.
Not everyone can grow them though and there are some helpful tips that need to be followed.
I'm talking with Anthony Grassi, Coordinator of the Frangipani Society of Australia's shows.

Why isn't my Frangipani flowering?
Often a question asked and her'es the answer.
Frangipani's need 6 hours of full sunlight to initiate flowering.
However, if you have a tree that was grown from seed, then expect to wait a minimum of 3 years, and sometimes up to 10 years, before it starts to flowers.
Cutting grown frangipani's will flower in the first year, but not in the second because the tree is putting it's energy into establishing a strong root system.
Flowering will recommence in the 3rd year.
Fertilise when the claws first appear in Spring with a 6 months controlled release fertiliser and add granular sulphate of potash.
Sudden Impact for Roses is also a good alternative.


Which Foods Can You Re-Grow?
Have you ever wondered about re-growing food from the bits you cut off from veggies?

Instead of throwing those ends into the compost, or giving them to your chooks or worm farm, while all these things are good, you could be saving yourself some money by popping them into the veggie bed.
Here a just a few of the many that you can re-grow.

Let's start with the greens like lettuce, Bok Choy and cabbage are relatively easy to grow from scraps.
Place any leftover leaves in a bowl with just a bit of water in the bottom.
Keep the bowl somewhere that gets good sunlight and mist the leaves with water a couple of times each week.
After 3 or 4 days, you will notice roots beginning to appear along with new leaves. When this happens you can transplant your lettuce or cabbage in soil.

: to re-grow celery, cut off the base of your celery and lay it in a bowl with just a bit of warm water in the bottom.
Keep the bowl in direct sunlight as long as possible each day and after about a week, leaves should appear along the base.
When this happens, you can transplant your celery in soil and wait for it to grow to full length.

Lemongrass is a snap to grow.
After trimming the root that put it into a jar with enough water to cover it and leave it in the sunlight. 
After a couple of weeks, new leaves will shoot and you can plant those into your herb garden.

Gardeners the world over have probably tried growing Avocado from the seed just for fun.
All you need to do if you haven't tried this before is to wash the seed and use toothpicks to suspend it over water in a jar.
The water should come up enough to cover the bottom few centimetres of the seed.
Place your jar in a warm place but not in direct sunlight and remember to check the water every day and add more as needed.
It can take up to six weeks for the stem and roots to appear and once the stem reaches about 15 cm you will need to cut it down to 7 cm.
When leaves begin appearing, you can plant the seed in soil, remembering to leave about half of it above ground.
Of course there’s no guarantee that your resulting tree will have the same fruit as that of the seed.
Pot luck I guess.
Who knew that potatoes can be grown from potato peelings?
You need peelings that have eyes on them. 
Cut those peelings with at  least two or three eye, into 5 cm pieces. 
Dry them out overnight,then plant them about 10 cm deep in your veggie bed.
It helps if the eyes are facing up when planting.
In a few weeks your potato plant will begin to grow.

Sweet potatoes can be re-grown as well.

You just have to cut the sweet potato in half and suspend it using toothpicks above a jar or take-away of shallow water.
Roots will begin to appear in just a few days and sprouts will be seen on top of the potato around that same time.
Once those sprouts reach about 10cm or so in length, just twist them off and place them in a container of water.
When the roots from this container reach about 2-3 cm in length, you can plant them in soil.

Ginger or Turmeric root is very easy to grow and once you get started, you can keep your supply of ginger full.
Plant a spare piece of your ginger root in potting soil, making sure that the buds are facing up.
You’ll notice new shoots and new roots in a few weeks.
Let this grow for about a year before harvesting the roots.
Remember to save a piece of the rhizome so that you can replant it and grow more for the next time you need it.

Pineapple is easy.
It’s been mentioned before on Vegetable Heroes but you can grow your own pineapple even if you don’t live in the tropics.
You just cut the top off and insert a few toothpicks to hold it above a jar filled with water or pot it up into Bromeliad mix
If you’re growing it in water, remember to change the water every other day or so and keep the container filled so that it reaches just about the base.
You’ll notice roots in about a week or so and once they are formed you can transplant into potting soil. 
If you live in a cooler area, it is best to grow your pineapple indoors.

Who doesn’t know about re-growing garlic from scraps?

Sometimes the garlic sprouts a green shout while it’s still in the fridge.
Garlic is really easy to grow and can be done from just one clove.
When you buy garlic, you get several cloves so just pull one off and plant it with the roots facing down in potting soil.
Non-organic garlic has been sprayed with chemicals to stop it sprouting, to bleach it and to kill insects and plant matter.
However, if you do manage to see one sprout, Garlic likes plenty of direct sunlight so in warmer weather, in a sunny position during the day.
Once you notice that new shoots have established, cut the shoots back and your plant will produce a bulb.
You can take part of this new bulb and plant again.

Onions and Leeks
:If you want to re-grow onions or leeks, when you've cut the end off  make it at least 1 cm of onion. 
Put this piece in the veggie bed and cover lightly soil and keep in a sunny area. 

Growing from seed is sort of like re-growing scraps because the seeds are coming from the veggies your bought home with you.
If you like your pumpkins, you can save those seeds and plant them.
Just spread the seeds out in a sunny area outdoors and cover with soil. You can also plant an entire pumpkin. 
Of course many gardeners grow a number of hot peppers from the seeds that are leftover. 
Just collect the seeds from your habaneros, jalapenos or any other peppers that you have on hand.
Plant them in potting soil and keep in direct sunlight unless it is warm outside and then you can just plant them in your garden area.
Peppers grow relatively fast and don’t require a lot of care. Once you get a new crop, just save some of the seeds for replanting again.
Just be mindful of the growing season of peppers.
Pepper seeds are best planted in late Spring, or early Summer so they can grow in the warmest months of the year.
If you like tomatoes then become a seed saver and grow your own by saving those seeds of your favourite store bought tomato.
You just have to rinse the seeds and allow them to dry.
Plant in a good, rich potting soil until you notice growth coming in.
Allow the seedlings to get 5 cm high before transplanting them outdoors.
During cold weather you can grow your tomatoes indoors.

Of course many stone fruit and citrus can be grown from their seeds but in Australia, all citrus is grafted onto a hardier root stock so the one you grow yourself from seed won’t be as vigorous and the fruit could suffer as a result.
Mushrooms are good to go!
Unbelievable you can grow mushrooms from cuttings, although they are a bit more difficult than many other vegetables.
You’ll need a warm area with a lot of humidity and soil that is rich in nutrients.
It’s much better to grow your mushrooms in a pot as opposed to in the ground because you have a better shot at controlling the temperature and the humidity.
You just have to cut away the head of the mushroom and plant the stalk or stem in the soil.
Leave the very top exposed and this base will begin to grow a new head.

To regrow bulb fennel requires that you keep the roots intact.

You need about 2 ½ cm of the base of the fennel to get it to regrow.
Just place this base in a jar or bowl with about a cup of water and leave it in direct sunlight.
When the roots grow strong and you notice new green shoots coming up from the centre of the base, you can transplant into soil.

Re-grow, Basil and Coriander from a piece of stem about 5 -10cm high. 

Place this stem in a glass of water with the leaves well above the water line.
Leave the glass sitting in a bright area but not in direct sunlight. Roots should begin to form in a few days and when those roots reach 5cm long, you can transplant them in soil.
Re-grow a turnip for the top that you've just cut off when preparing to cook them.
Put this cut off piece into a jar of water.
You should notice new green tops growing in just a few days after you begin.
Just allow the root to continue growing until it’s ready to be transplanted in the ground. This works with many root vegetables such as beets, turnips and even parsnips.



Burmese Honeysuckle: Lonicera hildebrandiana

If you like the colour golden yellow and you like perfume in the garden, consider planting one of the world’s most spectacular climbers.

The scent is to die for and it’ll knock your eyes out as well.
Yes, it’s a climber but you can let it scramble over the ground.
Let’s find out about this plant.
I'm talking with the plant panel Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner.

Burmese honeysuckle is a non-invasive version of honeysuckle but be warned it’s a climber on steroids.
Often said by Peter Nixon garden designer, " you might need a whip and a chair to keep this one under control."

What may entice you though is that its berries taste just like Gin and Tonic.