Saturday, 30 June 2018

Peas, Trees and Camellias

What’s On The Show Today?

Looking after Citrus trees in winter on the Plant Doctor segment, should you be really growing snow peas yet in Vegetable Heroes, and a shrub that’s everyone’s darling in winter in Plant of the Week, plus what does an arborist do in Design Elements with arboriculturalist and garden designer Glenice Buck or is it Glenice Davies now she’s married.


Citrus Winter Care
Are you wondering “what’s wrong with my citrus tree?” right now.
Perhaps the symptoms that you’re seeing now seem to happen every winter?
If that’s the case, then you’ll need to listen in closely to this next segment which is just about that.
Let’s find out.. I'm talking with Steve Falcioni, general manager of

Steve offered quite a range of things to do for your citrus tree.
Firstly though, you need to assess your tree to determine what’s going on with it.
The number 1 problem to look out for is scale.

Citrus scale ( white louse scale) will cover the stems, twigs and branches of your citrus tree in what looks like fine shredded coconut that has tuck fast.
To treat this problem spray with Eco Oil making sure all surfaces are covered well.
Spray again a week later as a follow up spray.
If it looks like nothing's happened try flicking off the scale with your finger. Live scale easily flicks off, whereas dead scale sticks fast.
If the scale problem is so bad that the oil spray doesn't seem to be working, then go for a lime-sulphur spray. Winter is the only time for this one on citrus.
Some districts that have warmer weather all year round need to hang a pheremone trap to control citrus leaf miner. 
The moth lays its eggs into the leaf where the larvae feed and finally tunnel out created leaf distortion and silvering.
One things for sure, and that is there’s no point in spreading granular citrus tree fertiliser around the tree in winter.
There is next to no if any, uptake of nutrients from the fertiliser because the tree isn’t in active growth, (unless you’re in subtropical areas) and the fertiliser won’t break down to release the nutrients because of the lack of microbial activity in the soil during winter.

If you have any questions either for me or Steve, you can email us or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.


Snow Peas: Pisum sativum var sacharatum

Today’s vegetable hero is in the family of veggies that is technically classed a fruit and that is the Pea family.
Snow peas and the similar sugar snap pea are part of a family with a long and exotic history.
  • Would you think that snow peas originate in Asia or even China because they’re used so much in Asian cooking? 
  • If you did you’d be wrong because in fact, snow peas originated in the Mediterranean, and were grown widely in England and Europe in the nineteenth century. 
So why are they called snow peas? 

  • Strangely they were first called English sugar peas.
  • But sometime later they began being called Snow peas-no-one really knows why except that they’re picked very early in the year, sometimes before the last frost, and are in fact very resistant to frost, snow, and cold weather. 
  • The Chinese adopted these peas into their own cuisine from the English, and they have been known as Chinese snow peas ever since. 
Have you ever eaten fresh snow peas raw as a snack?

Some people find them more tasty that way but they also lend themselves nicely to quick blanching, so that they stay crisp and green.
There’s nothing worse than soggy snow peas.
Snow peas may be added to Asian stir-fry dishes, soups, and pasta.
Because they need very little cooking time, add them towards the end of cooking so they remain crunchy and crisp.

Why Can You Eat The Pods Of Snow Peas?   
  • Snow peas are known as edible podded peas because they don’t have the same cross fibre in the wall of the pod as the common garden pea and can be eaten whole. 
  • The snow pea is Pisum sativum var. saccharatum. or (Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon) is a distinct botanical cultivar or subspecies of garden peas 
  • The pod is pretty much flat and is eaten before the string develops and the peas start to swell. 
  • There are dwarf and vine varieties of Snow peas. 
  • The vine varieties produce tendrils, so they’re especially well-adapted for climbing wires or trellises. 
  • Snow peas have light green pods that follow purple or white, sweetly scented flowers which you can also eat. 
When to Plant
  • You plant Snow Peas from April until September in warm Temperate climates, April to July in sub-tropical areas, April to October in cool temperate districts and May to July in Arid zones 
  • Edible podded peas do best under cool, moist growing conditions. 
  • Winter is the best time to grow snow peas because they’re sensitive to heat, and temperatures above 30oC will cause them to grow poorly. 
  • Snow peas like day temperatures from 15o to 18oC average, with a maximum of 24oC and a minimum of 7oC, are ideal. 
Preparing the Soil
  • Before sowing your seed, it is best to incorporate into the soil garden lime/dolomite to sweeten the soil and potash to encourage flowering. 
  • Avoid applying a fertiliser that is high in nitrogen as this will encourage leafy growth at the expense of the flowers and subsequent fruit. 
  • The stems and foliage of Snow Peas mostly aren’t affected by frost, but will get some damage if a cold snap follows a period of warm weather. 
  • Having said that, did you know that the flowers are made sterile by frost and so are the pods -affected pods have a white, mottled skin. 
  • Snow Peas thrive on a wide range of soil types, as long as the soil is well drained with good depth. 
  • Because peas' feeder roots run shallow, mulch is essential to keep the soil around the roots moist and cool. 
  • When the seedlings are 5cm tall, apply a mulch of clean straw, chopped leaves, or compost. 
  • As the pea plants mature, you can add more mulch to keep them happy 
  • The ideal pH range is 5.8 to 6.8 (in water). 
Did you know that Peas and other legumes (even wattles) have symbiotic bacteria in their roots called rhizobia, that 'fix' nitrogen in the soil meaning that peas are capable of manufacturing their own nitrogen..
Peas then don’t need as much fertiliser as other vegies and are good to dig into the soil to concentrate available nitrogen for future crops.
I assume that they're still pretty hungry for other nutrients though - so a bit of fertiliser won't go astray.

Tip:Veggies need 6 hours of full sun every day, especially in winter.

Why are peas of any kind good for you?
1 cup or 10 raw snow peas is a serve, and is an excellent source of vitamin C, and a good source of niacin, folate (another of the B vitamins) and beta carotene. 

The lutein present in green peas helps reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. 

Did you know that all peas with or without our pods, are among the best vegetable sources of dietary fibre. 

For all you vegetarians out there, you probably know that most vegetables are quite low in protein, but peas have good supplies. 

Green peas also provide zinc and all peas are a good source of potassium, especially edible-podded types. 



Camellia japonica 

Camellias originate in China and Japan and if you’ve never grown one, it’s time to start looking at those flowering in people’s gardens and in nursery and garden centres to choose one of your favourites.
Soon you will have a long list of favourites and find it difficult to narrow it down to just one or two.
I asked the plant panel this question, and let’s see what they came up with.
Camellia japonica Lovelight
I'm talking with Jeremy Critchley owner of and Karen Smith editor of

 Favourites mentioned are : Easter Morn; Lovelight, Mrs D. W. Descanso, Betty Cuthbert, Bob Hope.

Camellias prefer acidic soil so if you like to grow Azaleas and they’re successful in your garden, why not add a backdrop of Camellias or two. 
If you’re short on space, Camellias make good subjects for espalier too.
If you have a question either for me or the plant panel why not drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675


ManagingTrees: Role of Arborist. Part 1
Trees have a valuable role to play in our immediate environment and also to our native wildlife.
A lot of gardeners really care for their trees when it comes to fertilizing and maintenance but when it comes to tree maintenance such as pruning, it’s not that straight forward.
So you have a tree that needs lopping or even a tree that you want cut down.
photo M Cannon
Who should you call?
Not Jo the lawnmower man or No Name Garden Maintenance.
You need to call a professional, but there is a distinct difference between these tree professionals and you need to know what they are?
This series is about arboriculture and managing trees.
Let’s find out who to call?

I'm talking with Glenice Davie, landscape designer.

People either love or hate trees, but trees have so many positive benefits.
Tree will clear air-they’re the lungs of the planet.
If you have any questions about tree maintenance or have a suggestion why not write in or email me

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