|NZ Flax plant|
What’s on the show today?What’s the link between NZ and Australian plants we ask in the Garden History segment? Growing a summer type of spinach in Vegetable Heroes; , plus a which is the best flowering gum in Plant of the Week and more floral happenings in Talking Flowers segment with Mercedes.
Does this explain some plants that are similar because they were left when the continents drifted apart ever so slowly?
Or was it the fashion of the day to bring over plants from other countries when the colonials started setting up their ornamental gardens?
Let’s find out why NZ plants have made their mark.
I'm talking with Stuart Read who’s a member of the National Management Committee of the Australian Garden History Society.
New Zealand plants it turns out, mostly came across to Australia in the 1800's.
Cordyline australis or Palm Lily is another example, called Torquay palm in England because they think it's theirs.
If you have any questions, either for me or for Stuart, why not email firstname.lastname@example.org or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.
- Did you realise that the light brown, knobbly thing in the silverbeet packet, has two to six seeds?
- That’s called a cluster seed, which is actually a dried fruit.
- The cluster seed is sown ½ cm deep in the soil or into seed trays for transplanting.
- Here’s another interesting fact about silverbeet.
- Did you know that the leaves are 93% water?
- If you’re growing it in full sun, your plant will probably wilt in the summer heat.
- That’s because it might stand up to summer weather but it’s not drought-resistant.
- Keep it really well watered to prevent wilting.
- Don’t worry if you come home and find it flopped over, it will recover after watering.
- Sprinkler irrigation is the preferred method for silver beet as it encourages leaf growth.
- However, good irrigation timing is needed to prevent leaf diseases from occurring with sprinkler irrigation.
- The one fungal disease I have noticed on my silverbeet crop is called Cercospora leaf spot (Cercospora beticola Sacc.) and is the most common fungal disease.
- It produces light grey spots with brown margins on the older leaves. These spots fall out and create holes in the leaves.
- The disease is favoured by high temperatures (24° to 30°C), high humidity or long periods of leaf wetness.
- Cercospora leaf spot comes from several different ways into your garden.
- It could be from diseased host crops or weeds growing near the silver beet, the environmental factors I mentioned, or a slight possibility that it was from infected seed,.
- If you do get this problem, don’t grow silverbeet in that spot for another 3 years.