Saturday, 8 July 2017

Forget Brown Rot and Plant Swedes and NEW Sacred Bamboo


 Brown Rot of Stone Fruit
This fungal disease can appear on a lot of plants including veggies and a lot of fruits, but today Plant Doctor is concentrating on stone fruit.
Before you tune out, you might discover that some fruit that you purchase might have this problem.
This segment explains why that piece of fruit that’s sitting innocently in your fruit bowl can suddenly go off.
So let’s find out more about this problem and what to do about it. 

That was Steve Falcioni, General Manager of
The first signs can be the blossoms of your peach or nectarine trees turning brown and falling off prematurely.
You may not notice this happening in the first season, but if your trees have been infected. you will notice brown patches on your fruit that eventually cause the whole fruit to rot.
 You may not have any blossoms on your stone fruit trees, but there are still things that you can be doing as preventative measures for Brown Rot.
If this has happened then next season what you need to do is then to observe your blossoms when they appear to see if they’re dying prematurely.
Of course if you’ve had this problem before you need to spray as a precaution. Sprays with copper or sulphur in them work well as do eco Fungicide that contains potassium bi-carbonate.
Brown rot of stone fruit can leave mummified fruit stuck to the branches.
These are all barrier sprays and need to followed up regularly through the growing season.
If you have any questions about Brown rot of stone fruit, or have some information to share, drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675


Swedes are from Sweden

Why is it that when you go to the vegie section in supermarkets where I live anyway, there are only a handful of limp Parsnips and soft swedes? Does that mean people don’t use these vegetables anymore?
Aren’t the putting them in the roasting pan or using them to flavour soups?
Swedes are vegetables
All that aside, did you know that a Swiss botanist Gaspard Bauhin in 1620, found this vegetable growing wild in Swedes?
So yes, Swedes do come from Sweden, Swede the vegetable that is.
Another interesting fact about this vegetable is it doesn’t seem to have a long history, well unless you consider dating back to the1600’s not long, which it isn’t compared to some vegetables.
It may be a surprise to you that it’s been recorded as growing in Royal Garden not much later after it was discovered, in 1669.
Brassica napus variety (var.) napobrassica, sometimes referred to as Rutabaga, but never referred to as turnip.
Rutabaga is a corruption of the Scottish for red bag.
There’s another surprise. 
If any listeners know why the Scots called it a red bag, let me know.
Turnips and swedes are both members of the cabbage family and are closely related to each other - so close that it’s not surprising that their names are often confused. 
Turnip is not a Swede

For instance, swedes are sometimes called Swedish turnips or swede-turnips.

How do you tell the difference between Turnips and Swedes?

For one, turnips are usually smaller than Swedes-about the size of a golf ball, with creamy white, smooth skin.
Some turnips have a smooth, silky skin that’s coloured white, with a purple or reddish top.
The flesh is white and has a peppery taste

Swedes showing leaf scars

Swedes are a lot bigger, - roughly the size of a shoe.
Its rough skin is creamy white and partly purple, with a distinctive 'collar'-that shows the multiple leaf scars.
The Swede also has a hint of yellow-orange inside the actual vegetable.
Here’s a bit of trivia for you from a very recent article in the English
The Most Dangerous Vegetables
Telegraph reporting on a poll on home accidents in the kitchen.
A survey found two-thirds of injuries in the kitchen come from preparing fresh vegetables like squash and turnip that are too difficult to cut.
Almost a quarter said pumpkins were the toughest vegetable to skin and chop while a fifth said swedes were the most dangerous.
Two in five participants said they had injured themselves trying to imitate TV chefs when slicing vegetables, the research found.
So it came as no surprise that root foods had topped a poll of the most dangerous vegetables. Don’t let that deter you!
Another surprise is that Swede vegetable is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. So how it came to be growing in the wild in Sweden is anybody's guess.
If you were a lover if Haggis you might already know that the Scottish call it "neeps" and serve it with haggis.
Swede us a full flavoured veggie with a savoury aftertaste.
Under-rated as a vegetable, its smooth and creamy texture is a welcome surprise in your cooking.
How and when to grow Swedes.
You might’ve guessed that the Swede is a winter vegetable.
You can sow Swedes from February until November it temperate and cool districts.
In arid zones, you have April until August, and in sub-tropical and tropical areas, only May to July
You might find some garden books suggesting not to sow Swedes at these times, but those books are probably written for northern hemisphere gardens.
Seed suppliers also recommend the dates I’ve given.
How to Grow Swedes
Turnips are easy to grow but swedes are easier.
Sow the seeds of Swedes into any prepared soil, they’ll even grow in heavy soil as long as the water drains away fairly quickly.
As with carrots, don’t put in fresh compost or manures when you sow Swede seeds, or you’ll get the usual forking or hairy swedes!
Swedes need good levels of trace elements, add a dusting of these either from a packet, or as a seaweed spray if your soil is poor or sandy.
Without enough trace elements, your Swedes might be tasteless, bitter and brown inside.
TIP: Swedes resent transplanting, just like carrots, parsnips and turnips.
Sow the seeds directly into the veggie bed.
Your Swedes will be ready in three to four months after planting.
But you can pick them at whatever size you like, small is good, as is larger. Doesn’t matter.
In cold areas, Swedes are best left in the ground and pulled out as you need them.
Otherwise, pick them and store them as you would potatoes.
Where do you get it?
Cooking with Swedes
If you’re buying swedes from the fruit and veg grocer or supermarket, pick the smaller ones if you want the sweeter taste.
Cut them into chunks and steam them, but don’t overcook them because they tend to disintegrate.
How about making swede chips, why not?
Steam them and mash them or cut them into tiny pieces and put them in Cornish pasties.
Roast swedes are pretty tasty too.

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Why is it good for you?
1/2 cup cooked swede is a serve, and is a good source of vitamin C and fibre, folate and potassium. 
Swedes are quite filling but are low in kilojoules, with only 85kJ per 100g (2/3 cup).


Sacred Bamboo
Nandina domestica varieties, not for plant snobs.
Nandina Lemlim image supplied by Plants Management Australia
Are you a plant snob or know someone who is a plant snob?
By that I mean refuses to plant anything that’s commonly sold.
Someone who can’t imagine planting out star jasmine or murraya because it’s “oh so yesterday” and why would you want that rather than some rare species of plant that no-one else has.
The trouble is it’s the way those common plants are used that turn us off rather than
Let’s find out more…I'm talking with Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal 

Nandina Blush image supplied

The varieties we mentioned were Nandina were Obsession with new red growth, Nandina Blush staying red in Autumn and Winter.
In the winter months, Blush™ Nandina turns vivid red all over. It is 20% smaller than Nandina domestica ‘Nana’, Size: 60-70cm high x 60-70cm wide, a perfect height for fences, borders or hedging.

Image suppled Plants Management Australia
Nandina Lemon Lime a new evergreen,  with no red at all and looking more like a low bush bamboo plant. So compact that you never need to trim it.

If you have any questions about the new varieties of nandina, why not write in to If you have any questions about the new varieties of nandina, why not write in to If you have any questions about the new varieties of nandina, why not write in to If you have any questions about the new varieties of nandina, why not write in to

Feature interview with Liza Harvey.

Click on the link to hear Plant music

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