Saturday, 15 September 2018

Garlic, Sounds in the Garden and Raspberries

What’s on the show today?

Garlic in the kitchen with Herb and Spice Guru Ian Hemphill, growing raspberries in Vegetable Heroes. Five senses-today’s it’s sound in Design Elements and more floral gossip in the Talking Flowers segment with Mercedes; today it's about flower allergies.


Do you remember a time when you refused to eat anything that contained garlic?
How things change as we grow older and as our taste buds develop.
Most of us would probably say now that apart from sweet dishes, we wouldn’t dream of not using garlic all the time.

But which is the best and can you grow your own?
Let’s find out . I'm talking with Ian Hemphill from

Garlic's been around for thousands of years; even found in the Valley of the Kinfs in Egyptian pyramids.
Grow your own garlic, it's better quality. photo M Cannon
Fact or Fiction?
Garlic was known as "clown's treacle" or "poor man's treace."
It is a fact because "treacle" is an ancient word used to describe something that is used as remedy for all manner of things, including snake bites.!
Garlic has strong anti-microbial properties and is used as a food preservative along with food acids in manufactured food. 
Adding a little extra garlic in some products means that the manufacturer can use less food acid.
Sprouted Garlic?
No worries, you can use it but take out the green strip in the middle of the clove because this tastes bitter.
Did you know that the best way to release the health-happy power of garlic is to cut it, smash or crush it which then turns garlic’s thio-sulfinite compounds into allicin.
Allicin is an antibiotic and antifungal that is believed to reduce “bad” cholesterol, as it inhibits enzymes from growing in liver cells. 
Garlic Powder: Is It any good?
Yes it's good to use but only buy granulated garlic powder. If you do buy other garlic powder, check that rice flour hasn't been added to it.
Of course you can grow your own but stick to the cooler months of the year.
If you have any questions about growing or cooking with garlic either for me or for Ian why not email or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675



Do you ever find yourself drooling over the plant catalogues that display summer produce that you can buy, just wishing that you could grow raspberries?
The fruit of raspberries are one of the most expensive to buy but we love their fragile flavour and can’t resist them.
If only we could grow enough to make real raspberry jam?

So who can grow them?
Anyone who can grow apples, then you can grow raspberries so that maxim goes.
Did you know that Raspberries can be found in assorted colours including gold, black and purple, but red raspberries are the most common?

But Aren’t They Cold Climate Plants?
Technically yes, but there are varieties that you can grow in temperate areas.

How To Grow
Before even plant raspberries, you need to put in some sort of support.
I’ve tried teepees but they don’t really work for raspberries.
You can grow a single raspberry cane in a large pot say 40 cm diameter.
Use bamboo canes as supports. 

Raspberry supports:

Drive 2.5m  long and 75mm diameter posts into the ground to a depth of 75cm at 5m intervals.
Stretch 12 gauge (3.5mm) galvanized wire between the posts at 60cm vertical intervals.

If you’ve planned ahead, you may have already received some bare rooted raspberries in the mail.
Before you plant these, cut the canes down to 20 cm.

If you’re picking a site for the first time, Raspberries grow really well in moisture-retentive, fertile, slightly acidic soils, which are well-drained and weed free.

What Do Raspberry Plants Like?

  • They don’t like soggy soils and shallow chalky soils.
  • They do like a sunny position (although they will tolerate part shade).
  • Raspberry flowers are self-fertile and pollinated by insects, so avoid a very windy site.
  • Also, the fruiting side branches of some cultivars are very long and may break in the wind.

Pruning and training

Raspberry varieties fall into two categories: summer and autumn fruiting.

Summer-fruiting (floricane) raspberries - produce flower and fruit on year-old canes (the previous season’s growth)

  • Summer Fruiting:
  • Cut back fruited canes to ground level after harvesting in summer, without leaving a stub
  • Select the strongest young canes, around six to eight per plant, and tie them in 10-15cm apart along the wire supports
  • Remove the remaining young stems at ground level
  • Loop longer canes over the top wire and tie them in.
  • Then, in August, trim the long canes to a bud about 10cm above the top wire.
  • Tying the canes up in bundles can make them easier to manage.
  • The smaller autumn harvest will be produced on the tips of the primocanes and these can be trimmed to just below the fruit after harvest.
  • Autumn Fruiting:
  • Probably the easiest raspberries to grow are the ones that only fruit in Autumn.
  • Autumn-fruiting raspberries (primocane) – flower and fruit on the current season’s growth
  • Cut back all the canes to ground level in August.
  • That’s all you need to do with these raspberries, and for beginner raspberry growers, that is by far the best to start with.
  • So yes, cut all the canes back to ground level and the new spring canes can be tied up as they grow.
  • Reduce the number of canes slightly in summer if they get overcrowded
  • During summer also remove any suckers growing away from the rows.
Which Variety of Raspberry for You?

For those that are in warmer climates these varieties are better suited.

  • Williamette, Chilliwack Heritage and Chilcotin raspberries will tolerate warmer climates, apparently because they’re primo cane varieties that need lower chilling requirements.
Need to be grown in afternoon shade, or a spot that gets some sun on the south side of a house, shed or whatever.

Raspberry – Chilcotin
Heavy cropper, excellent fruit size and quality but can be crumbly at times. Good disease resistance.
Canes need to be thinned during growing season.
Mid Season: summer for 4-5 weeks with a small late autumn crop.

Raspberry – Chilliwack
Excellent fruit size and quality but may be crumbly at times. Used for fresh fruit, jam and cooking. Berries retain gloss and colour when preserved.
Mid season: fruit produced in summer for 4 to 5 weeks followed by a small late autumn crop. Good disease resistance. Canes need thinning during the growing season.

Raspberry – Heritage
Medium red firm berries, good aromatic flavour, excellent quality.
A low chill cultivar. Thorny canes.
Mid season: February for 8 to 12 weeks.
Use for fresh fruit, jam and cooking.

Raspberry – Neika
Delicate soft fruit with a sweet taste.
Early season: harvest November to December.
Large berry easily detached, good flavour,
Hardy with some virus resistance.
Early to mid-season.
Frozen, fresh, cooking or excellent for preserves.

Why are they good for you?
Raspberries are a low calorie, low carbohydrate, high fiber fruit that is good for you.
Raspberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre.
They are a very good source of copper and a good source of vitamin K, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin E, magnesium, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids.


Sound in Five Senses Gardeneing
Ever wondered how to add drama to your garden with plants?
It’s easier than you think and won’t necessarily hurt the pocket.
You don’t need fancy whirling mobiles or wind sculptures at all.
Certain plants make sound when the wind whistles through them
Let’s find out about what, why and how.
Phormium tenax; NZ Flax makes a rustling sound.
I'm talking with Chris Poulton, Sydney Convenor for the Australian Institute of Horticulture and an experienced horticultural lecturer and consultant.

Chris says even the leaves of Gingko tree can make a sound when they fall onto a concrete path if it's been raining.
Gingko leaves photo M. Cannon
Yes, you can just pick out plants that will make a sound.
If you have got room for an oak tree or a swathe of Casuarinas.
Tall grasses are definitely ones to choose like Kangaroo grass, fountain grass, or carex .
Then there’s NZ flax and Nandina.
If you have any questions about five senses gardening or have a suggestion either for me or for Chris why not write in or email me at 


Flowers and Allergies
The reasons behind the allergies reports one of the main reasons certain plants and flowers effect people with allergies stems from the plant's gender.
Monoecious plants are ones that have separate male and female flowers living on the same plant, such as a corn plant.

Because the male and female flowers are separated, the males, which contain the pollen, must send the pollen through the air to fertilize the female flowers.
Pollen grains travel through the air in their thousands and even millions, which is why people who are sensitive to this pollen get hay fever.

Plants that are dioecious ( different house), that have either all male flowers only or all female flowers only also rely on wind travel to pollinate these flowers.

Allergy sufferers may want to instead look for what is referred to as "perfect flowers," or ones that contain both female and male parts, like the rose.
This is the best option as these flowers don't need to use air travel to pollinate.

However, some people are sensitive to the perfume of flowers, in which case, the roses is a no-no unless it has little perfume.

What to Avoid
  • Most plants in Asteraceae family and that includes Daisies, Gerberas, Sunflowers and Dahlias.
  • Hybrid Dahlias classed as “formal doubles” have virtually no pollen.
  • You can also buy Pollenless Sunflowers
  • Baby’s Breath-although double flower varieties have much less pollen
  • Love-Lies_bleeding: _Amaranthus caudatus. 
  • Alternative is Chenille plant ( Acalypha hispidia)
  • Jasmine species, try sweet peas instead although it’s an annual.
  • Wisteria species-try Clematis instead.

I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini

Video recording ( FaceBook live) on 5th September in the studios of 2rrr 88.5 fm Sydney, Wednesday at 5 pm.

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