PLANT OF THE WEEKPodocarpus elatus: Plum Pine
Are you of the opinion that all pine trees have pine cones and needle like leaves?
Most gardeners associate pine trees with Christmas because after all, that’s a conifer. Right?
|Podocarpus elatus:plum pine|
Needle like leaves are for conserving moisture after all.
So what did conifers look like millions of years ago?
So let’s find out.
I'm talking with Adrian O”Malley, horticulturist and native plant expert.
The plum pine has been around for 250 million years back when the world was a big rainforest with plenty of rainfall.
No need for needle leaves to conserve water back then, but instead large leaves, and they do not have cones like the other conifers but instead have a single seed attached by a fleshy stem to the branch.
- Botanical Bite: Trees are dioecious, (different house), meaning the male and female flowers parts are on separate trees.
- Be aware, when the pines do bear fruit, birds and flying foxes will come a calling and spit out the pips, leaving a purple stain on your nice paving. Best to not grow it near your driveway or paving.
If you have any questions either for me or for Adrian, why not write in to firstname.lastname@example.org
VEGETABLE HEROESBrussel Sprouts
- Is there one veggie that you have trouble growing?
- For some reason, that veggie doesn’t work out to how it looks on the seed packet.
- Maybe it’s your environment, think weather or your soil or your regime of fertilising.
- It could also be that whenever you try to grow this veggie, hordes of pests descend onto your veggie plot and turn those plants into a horrible version of what they should be?
- That’s my lot with Brussel sprouts.
- If you’ve ever grown Brussel sprouts, you’ll know that the sprouts grow like buds in a spiral along the side of long thick stalks of around 60 to 120 cm tall.
- They all don’t mature at once but take several weeks, starting from the lower to the upper part of the stalk.
If you want to grow them well, there’s a few tips that you need to know about.
- Firstly, when learning how to grow brussel sprouts they need a firm, fertile soil because the main cause of failure (blown buttons) is the opposite, that is, loose, infertile soil.Those gardeners with a fairly heavy soil have an advantage over those of us with loose sandy soil.
- If your soil is loose, then your sprouts will be tasteless, loose and open, and only you’re to blame and not the seed company.
- That old saying “feed the soil not the plant” applies especially to Brussel Sprouts.
- Tamp the soil down with the back of your garden rake to make it firm when the soil is dry.
- Remember - firm planting helps to grow firm, tight brussels sprouts.
- As the plants get taller make sure you support them so that the strong winds in winter don`t blow them over - tie them to stakes.
- Mulch around the base of the plants with well rotted compost to feed the plants and conserve moisture.