Saturday, 25 November 2017

Take A Seat in the Garden For All Things Lemony and Sweet

 What’s On The Show Today?

It’s Citrus Pest watch on Plant Doctor, growing a sour leaf in Vegetable Heroes take a seat in Design Elements and a flower that royalty in Talking Flowers.


Citrus Pest Watch
Hopefully you’ve finished your spring cleaning but now it’s time to check out that citrus tree you’ve got in your backyard.
Our plants put on lots of fast growth in the garden but so do the bugs good and bad.
Being pro-active is the best way to beat the pests that seem to plague citrus more than any other plant in the garden.  
Some gardeners do this by spraying their citrus over the winter months with horticultural oil.
For a lot of insect pests, sprays are effective if you’ve timed it correctly, because as the pests mature or evolve into the next stage, sprays may become ineffective.

Let’s find out what to look out for. I'm talking with was Steve Falcioni from

Two types of pests to watch out for and for some states, the extra pest of fruit fly.
Group 1 is the sap suckers which include aphids, mites, mealybugs and the citrus stink bug.
The best time to hit these pests in Spring, particularly the citrus stink bug. The reason being that coming out of winter, the juveniles are small, pale green and susceptible to the oil sprays such as Eco Oil.
Citrus pests photo M Cannon
Group 2 are the chewing pests. such as citrus leaf miner and caterpillars. The leaf miner pest is actually a very small moth that lays its eggs on new leaf growth.
The hatching larvae then tunnel into the tissue causing the leaf disfigurement or curling and the silver trails.
Leaf miner can be organically controlled with pheremone traps that are hung in the trees.
As for the caterpillars, a lot of the will turn into beautiful butterflies, so decide what you would rather; a few chewed leaves or some orchard swallowtail butterflies?
If you have any questions about citrus pests either for me or

Steve, why not email us or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675


Garden Sorrel
      Garden Sorrel  (Rumex acetosa) and French Sorrel (Rumex scutatus) are members of the                    Rumex family , found mainly in temperate climates all over the world
Some people think Sorrel’s are all alike
Did you know that there’s a Garden Sorrel or Common Sorrel and French Sorrel?
French Sorrel is not quite so sour.
 The word "sorrel" comes from the old French surele, which derives from sur, "sour".
The Cambridge World History of Food and Drink claims that “sorrel” actually comes from a Germanic word also meaning sour.
Yes, we get the picture, it’s sour to taste.
Have you been given a pot of something and planted in out in the garden, only to think a few weeks later, “where did I plant that?”
Common or Garden Sorrel
I was given a pot of what is most likely the French Sorrel over the weekend which I accepted gladly because I couldn’t remember where in the garden my sorrel had got to.
Sorrel Soup
The flavour of sorrel is memorable – astringent and a lemony taking me back in time when I was very young.
I was given some Sorrel soup and although eating it, complained that I had been given soup made of grass.

How things change.
Sorrel originates in Europe, North America, and Asia.
Sorrel is a close relative of the weed dock, with large, arrow-shaped leaves.

If you know the weed Curled Dock, you’ll know what I mean.
  • Sorrel, whether French or the Garden variety, grows best in a rich soil, but will grow in any well-drained soil, and can be planted in sun or partial shade.
  • Sorrel grows anywhere in Australia, and for Tropical and Sub-tropical climates it’s a good substitute for Spinach, which tends to run to seed in those areas.
  • Prepare the bed by digging in generous amounts of aged manure or compost.
  • An occasional side dressing of compost doesn’t hurt during the growing season either.
  • The plants should be kept moist, so water well during dry summer months.

French Sorrel is a perennial (means in will continue growing year after year) grows to about 15-45 cm high, and about 60cm wide if you put it into the garden.
The mid green leaves are shaped like squat shields.
Plants can be bought from a garden centre or started from seed.
Better still, if you know someone with an established sorrel plant, ask for a small cutting.
The plants will grow into fairly sizable clumps, anywhere from ½ metre high, and will produce tangy, edible leaves approximately four months after thinning.
Remove the greenish brown flowers when they appear in summer by cutting the flowering stem, or the plant will put its energy into seed, not leaf, production.
When your sorrel plant is established, it's easy to propagate by using a sharp knife to cut small sections from the main root.
Blood Sorrel, is just like French Sorrel but with red veins.
Autumn is the best time to do this and these sections should be potted up to give away or planted back in the garden and watered in well.
Once the plant has matured, it can be treated as a 'cut and come again' crop.
Sorrel is pretty much a self-care plant.
Just don’t forget where you planted it in the garden.
So what do you do with Sorrel?
If you pick the leaves when they’re young they’ve got a fresh, palate cleansing taste and make a delicious addition to a salad.
Older leaves can be pureed to make green sauce for fish, French Cream of Sorrel soup, or a variety of Russian borscht.
Sorrel leaves go well with avocado in a salad or on a sandwich.
Add some shredded leaves to scrambled eggs, omelets and frittata.
Quinoa salad loves the tangy addition of sorrel as do seafood and tomato dishes.
Why not stir finely shredded sorrel through a basic white sauce to give a real zing to vegetables.
Tough, outer leaves can be fed to rabbits and chooks or tossed into the compost bin.
Picking the leaves is simple, either pinch or cut the leaves off with a knife at any time during the growing season.

Leaves grow upward on a strong stem, so they don't get gritty, like spinach.
When picking the leaves, remember the smallest leaves are the most concentrated in flavour.
To keep your sorrel patch going at full strength, start new plants from section cuttings every few years.
That's all the work there is to growing sorrel.
Sorrel is basically disease and insect free - aphids may show an interest in the young leaves.
These can be removed with a sharp spray of water. Even slugs rarely bother this potherb. It's a great plant for the organic gardener.
Why Is It Good For You?
Sorrel is considered to be good for you in much the same way as Spinach.
Sorrel leaves are rich in potassium and vitamins C and A, and will keep its beneficial qualities and great taste for a long time, but they are especially good when fresh.
To store, put French sorrel into a sealed plastic bag and keep in the fridge. Sorrel doesn’t dry well, but it can be frozen.
Sorrel is high in oxalates and not good for people with kidney stones or arthritis.


Great Garden Seating.
What’s the last word in garden seating for you?
Perhaps you can’t be bothered with garden benches, tables and chairs and an old milk crate or just perching on a step will do.
However big or small your outside space and whatever your taste and budget, there is an alfresco seating option perfect for you. 
But with so much choice, and we've certainly moved on from the good ole’ cast iron table and  two chair setting which is terribly cold on the bottom, not to mention hard. 
Perhaps you’re looking for a spot for an evening drink, a place to lounge or an area that will accommodate the whole family for lunch?
Garden Seating -Anne's Garden:photo M Cannon
Things have moved on considerably in the last thirty of forty years though with new fabrics and materials that look like "rattan."
Let’s find out what’s Peter’s last word in garden seating.
I'm talking with Peter Nixon, principle of Paradisus Garden Design

Anne Johnsons' Garden photo M Cannon
You can make a complete living room if you have the space with a couch, easy chairs, ottomans and attending side tables. 
Make sure all the materials are long lasting and weather proof. 
Peter's favourite on a hot summer day is loll about on a lazy hammock strung between two shady trees. 
A garden with lots of places to sit is a user friendly garden. "Sitting places" don't have to just be just seats.
You can sit on top of a wall, a grassy slope, the edge of a pond, on garden steps, or even a large rock

Seating and lighting go together so rather than the awful floodlight stuck on the side of the garage, why not think about 12V lighting to compliment night time seating with your friends and family?
If you want to know more or if you have any questions about garden seating, why not write in to 


Sweet William

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)  is a species of Dianthus native to southern Europe and parts of Asia which has become a popular ornamental garden plant.
Sweet Williams flowers are in the Caryophyllaceae family.
Sweet Williams are herbaceous biennials or short-lived perennial plants growing to 13–90 cm tall, with flowers in a dense cluster of up to 30 at the top of the stems.
Each flower is 2–3 cm diameter with five petals displaying serrated edges. 

Mercedes recommends that you strip the leaves off the stalk before putting in a vase with water only midway up the stems.
Flowers should last 6 - 10 days in the vase.
I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini of

 Recorded live during radio broadcast of Real World Gardener Show.

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