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Saturday, 10 August 2019

Anemones, Spring Onions and Let's Go Garden Clubbing

Why join a garden club in the tool time segment? ; One of the easiest onions to grow in Vegetable Heroes. The final in the series, dig, it, plant it, grow it, in design elements;wind flowers for Spring in Talking Flowers

TOOL TIME

Plant Cuttings
Why Join A Garden Club?
Joining a garden club may sound a bit off topic for the tool time segment.
However, General Manager of cut above tools, Tony Mattson has given his fair share of gardening talks and has some insights to share about what the benefits are of joining.
Let’s find out. I'm talking with Tony Mattson, general manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

Great reasons to join a garden club include
  • Share your gardening knowledge or gain knowledge from plant experts that may be in the club.
  • Pruning tips for your area.
  • Swap seedlings
  • Cutting table and plants for sale, usually for a few dollars each.
  • Homemade refreshments at the end of the night.
  • Excursions to gardens or gardening events such as Floriade or MIFGS (Melbourne Internation Flower Show.)
    Sei-Sei Tei Show Garden MIFGS
If you look up garden clubs of Australia website, https://gardenclubs.org.au/
you will find your nearest garden club.
For example I looked up what garden club was near TANK fm in Kempsey. Turns out there’s a garden club very close, South West Rocks and District Garden Club Inc, that meets every 2nd Monday 10am.
Very few of the garden clubs have a website but there’s always a phone number, so go on, give it a go. You’ve got nothing to lose and plenty to gain.
If you have any questions for me or for Tony, email us at rea.worldgardener@gmail.com.
Or you can write in to 2RRR PO Box 644, Gladesville NSW

VEGETABLE HEROES

Spring Onions
Well Firstly are they Spring Onions or are they shallots?
Spring onions are Allium fistulosum. are really like thick chives.
  • Australians are often confused about what a shallot actually is, because we call them spring onions as well.
  • Elsewhere in the world the word ‘shallot’ is only used to describe a small bulb, growing much the same way as a garlic bulb, with mild, delicate flavour.
''True shallots (Allium cepa, aggregatum) are grown for their bulbs only. Unfortunately, spring onions are marketed as Shallots in NSW.
  • To onion lovers and growers here's where there’s a difference.
    Spring Onions in Australia
According to the Onions Australia official website, spring onions are Allium fistulosum and are 40 centimetres of green leaf and a slightly enlarged bulb. 
  • ''True shallots (Allium cepa, aggregatum) are grown for their bulbs only. 
  • Shallots marketed in NSW are similar to true spring onions and are harvested with about 40 centimetres of green leaves and a slightly enlarged bulb. 
    • They are marketed in bunches of about 20 plants with three bunches (per) kilogram. Shallots grown and marketed this way are also known as eschallots (Allium ascalonicum).'

Shallots
  • So now we know that Spring or Green onions have long, - up to 40cms long, hollow green, delicate stalks and small, very slender, white bulbs.
  • The bulb of a spring/green onion is really only slightly defined.
  • Spring or Green onions come out of the ground early in their lives... in fact you can sow them from very early spring until at least the end of march.
  • Usually you can pick them about 7 weeks later.
What’s good about spring onions is that they’re mild tasting because they haven’t been in the ground long enough to gain much pungency.
Spring onions can be used sliced or chopped raw in green salads or creamy salads like potato salad, pasta salads, or on top baked.
  • Where do spring onions grow?
They’re a versatile plant with tube-like hollow leaves; that grows from cold regions right through to hot, tropical areas.
Spring onions prefer a neutral to slightly alkaline soil and are extremely hardy and pest resistant.
All onions need an open sunny site, fertile soil that is free draining.
Raised garden beds are the best if you have clay soil.
You can sow Spring Onions anytime really in Australia, because unlike other onions, day length doesn’t affect their growth.
Plus, spring onions aren’t affected by frost.

  • Raising them in seed punnets or tray seems to work best, then transplant them when they’re several cms high or as half as thick as a pencil.
  • It’s normal to sow the seeds of spring onions closely, and because these onion seeds are planted densely they bunch together so that the bulbs have little chance of fully maturing and rounding completely out
  • When planting into the garden, dig lots of compost through the topsoil first and then use a dibbler to make holes 10cm apart.
  • Place a seedling in each hole and gently push the soil around the rootball. Water the seedlings very lightly but if they fall over, don’t worry as they will soon stand back up.
  • Keep your onions weed free.
  • Water them when dry weather is expected, otherwise ease back a bit.
  • In about 2 months, your spring onions should be ready to eat.
When To Harvest?
You can tell they’re ready because the leaves are standing tall, green and succulent
If you want to harvest an entire bulb, use a fork to dig around the plant to keep from damaging it accidentally.
You can also just use scissors to cut the leaves and use them as a garnish in salads or casseroles for flavour.
Spring Onions belong to the class known as bunching onions and have a mild, sweet flavour; the green shaft plus a few cm of the green leaves are eaten.
Spring Onions must be harvested when the stalks are still green and you eat the whole plant, except the hairy roots
  • TIP:There is never any hint of a bulb in a Spring Onion so you can't leave the plants in the ground for the tops to dry off — they will, but you won't be able to save any bulbs.
  • If you forget to pick your spring onions, and they’ve started to flower. Let them keep flower and save the seeds.The flowers are attractive to bees and other useful insects.
  • The seeds can also be sprouted.
    Onion flowers are attractive to bees
You want to grow your own spring onions for freshness alone, because the ones you buy from the supermarket are only fresh for a handful of days.

  • For a dash of colour why not try Brilliant crimson spring onion red bulbs that are rich in antioxidants. www.diggers.com.au
Ths one will grow into bulbs that can be used like shallots if left in the ground.
TIP:After you your spring onions from the ground, when preparing them in your kitchen, save the rooted bottoms and replant them.
Simply cut off the bottom inch (3 cm) of your green onions and plant them in damp soil, or keep them in a jar of water in a sunny spot.
You’ll a new lot of spring onions in a couple of weeks.
Why are the good for you?
Spring Onion is:
Low in Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Cholesterol
High in Dietary Fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, K, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Manganese, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper. Whew!
If you have never tried growing onions before, why not give them a go this year? 
They are a very versatile, easy to grow vegetable that can be grown from seed most of the year.
Happy Spring Onion growing everyone!
THAT WAS OUR VEGETABLE HERO SEGMENT FOR TODAY!

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Grow Your Plants part 2: series final
Last week it was when and how much to water your plants to keep them alive, and today it’s about plant health problems.
We start off with finding out why the plant isn’t thriving and in fact is dropping leaves.
Sound familiar?
Gardens like this one need care and maintenance.
Let’s find out what needs doing. I'm talking with Glenice Buck of Glenice Buck Designs. www.glenicebuckdesigns.com.au

Not so much digging now, other than weeding but looking after your plant because, after all, it’s not plastic.
So why are the leaves dropping off?
Causes: 
  • Check your watering. You might think the water is getting through to the roots but is it really? Add wetting agent if you find the the soil is not being wetted sufficiently.
  • Nutrient deficiency-are the yellow leaves the new growth or the old growth?
    • new leaves yellowing signals possible iron deficiency. Correct with chelated iron.
    • Old leaves yellowing signals possible nitrogen deficiency. Correct with an all purpose liquid or soluble fertiliser.
    • Calcium deficiency results in distorted or irregularly shaped new leaves (top of plant). The leaf margins and tips become necrotic. Correct with an application of Dolomite.
  • Wind can cause physical damage, with leaves have brown/grey tips.
    Wind and sun scorch have similar symptoms.
Watering, fertilising and looking out for pest and disease issues are all part of gardening.
For all the latest news - Follow Glenice on Facebook or Instagram
Facebook : www.facebook/glenicebuckdesigns
Instagram: Glenice_Buck_Designs
Or check out my website: www.glenicebuckdesigns.com.au
Or Subscribe to my monthly Garden Greetings Newsletter: www.tinyletter.com/glenicebuckdesigns

TALKING FLOWERS

Anemone coronaria: Wind Flower, Anemone.        
This flower is a member of the Ranunculaceae family and is native to the Mediterranean region.
Etymology: 
  • The name Anemone comes from Greek and roughly means wind flower, which signifies that the wind that blows the petal open will also, eventually, blow the dead petals away.
  • Coronaria means used for garlands.
Tubers, corns or bulbs?
  • Bulbs have a tunic, corms have a basal plate, tubers have multiple growing points or eyes.
  • Anemone tubers are usually planted in early autumn, March until May.
  • Before planting, the tubers are recommended to be dipped in lukewarm water for 2-4 hours or overnight.
  • Planting Depth: Plant Anemones with the pointy end facing down at a depth of 3 to 5cm. Soak well each week until shoots appear.
 This windflower is an upright perennial that grows from rhizomatous tubers. 
Leaves are medium green, with basal leaves being biternate and involucral (a whorl or rosette of bracts surrounding an inflorescence (especially a capitulum) or at the base of an umbel..) Leaves are deeply divided.
Flowering time: late winter, spring.
I'm talking with floral therapist, Mercedes Sarmini.
Video recorded live during broadcast of Real World Gardener radio show on 2RRR, 88.5fm Sydney.

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