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Sunday, 27 September 2020

New Garden Hoses and Springtime Planting

 TOOL TIME 

Garden Hoses: New Hoses on the Market

Watering your garden by hand in the warmer months is usually a relaxing pleasure unless of course you’re fighting with a cranky hose.

Hoses don’t last forever, and when they start to show signs of wear, you may find yourself getting frustrated every time the hose kinks and stops the flow of water.
So what’s new in hoses if you need an update?
Some are made of vinyl, some are made of rubber, some have reinforcement, some are expanding, and others advertise as being kink free and even made of steel
Which one do you choose?
Let’s find out.

I'm talking with Tony Mattson, general manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

Tony’s tip, is ‘buy what you can afford, and don’t just go for the cheapest.
  • You want it to last a minimum of 5 to 10 years
Hoses have a hard life out in the sun, or frost in some cases so don’t expect too much from your hose after 5-10 years.
  • Check the distance from the hose to the furthest point you want to water. Longer is not better because it's heavy to move around.
  • Consider how long should you have a hose. Tony says most people overestimate how much hose length that they need.
  • The diameter is 1/2 inch or 12.5mm. A nursery would traditionally use a 19mm diameter hose.
Materials of hoses: kink ratings are not connected to any standard. A bit of marketing goes into the rating most likely.
A totally kinking hose may be made totally of  rubber.
Then store it in loops not small circles.
  • When you first get a hose, lay it out in the sun to straighten it out.
It may just be time for a replacement.
If you have questions about hoses or have information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write to 2rrr PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675


VEGETABLE HEROES

Spring Planting

What vegetable plants, herbs and fruits will grow in your garden this Spring?
Have some or no idea?

It may just jog your memory to remind you to get started on one or two veggies that you had forgotten about.
  • In temperate areas the soil is still pretty cold.
For some of us the late frosts can pop up after a run of warm days and rain might be in scarce supply, depending on where you live.
  • There’s no rush to get summer crops in the ground.
If you’re desperate to get warm season crops in like tomatoes, your best bet is to start them indoors where they are protected or use a heated propagating mat/tray.
Be prepared to protect them on cold nights, and plant seedlings out in the open  when the risk of frost has passed.
  • The kind of veg you can grow in September is "shoulder" season stuff like spinach, peas, turnips, kale, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, Asian greens, mustard, silverbeet, carrots, beetroot and radishes.
  • Depending on where you are, you could also grow beans, rosella, eggplant, sweetcorn, sweet potato and zucchini.
  • It’s also a good time to plant herbs such as coriander, dill, mint, rosemary, thyme and parsley, and perennials such as rhubarb and globe artichokes.
  • And of course spring onions.They're the easiest onions to grow and are absolutely made for planting in September!

In arid and semi arid zones it's getting warm enough to plant early summer veggies such as bush and climbing beans, corn, tomatoes, tomatillos, basil, beetroot, silverbeet, lettuce, potatoes, carrots, parsnips and zucchini.
  • Hold off on capsicums, eggplants, and cucurbits like watermelons, cucumbers and pumpkins until next month.
  • The herbs you could sow are pretty much all types of herbs.
  • Watch out for fruit fly and control spray lawn weeds.
In the frost-free subtropics you can get stuck into planting heat lovers such as capsicums, eggplants, tomatillos, pumpkins, and watermelons.
  • You could also get in a fresh sowing of sweetcorn, basil and okra, along with perennials such as sweet potato, yam, taro, cape gooseberry, lemongrass and passionfruit.
  • These all need warm soil to germinate, and tend to grow well in the spring dry season with extra watering if needed.
  • It’s also a great time to plant citrus trees, guavas and other subtropical fruiting evergreens.
For the topics or sub-tropics, it’s a good time to sow some herbs too.
  • The herbs you could sow or  plant are  basil, chives, coriander, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, sage and thyme.
  • In the tropics, it’s a good time to get in a fresh sowing of sweetcorn, basil and okra, along with perennials such as sweet potato, yam, taro, cape gooseberry, lemongrass and passionfruit.
Cool Temperate& Southern Tablelands and Tasmania
  • Sow broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, beetroot, cucumber, leek, endive,  lettuce, silver beet, snow pea, spinach, strawberry, sweet corn, zucchini and tomato.
  • Traditionally, you don't plant your tomatoes in Tasmania until late October, but you can make an early start and hopefully get fruit by Christmas - if you give your plants a bit of protection."
  • "Don't use high-nitrogen fertilisers with tomatoes or you'll get lots of leaves and less fruit. Use compost and lower-nitrogen manures like sheep or cow.
  • HERBS – sow basil, chives, coriander, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, sage and thyme.
For those of you without a veggie garden, perhaps it’s time to start one now in a sunny spot.
If you are limited by space and are planting in pots, make sure you choose the sunniest part of your balcony or courtyard.

Begin your veggie garden by digging over the soil, then adding two kilograms of compost or cow manure per square metre and then mix in well.
  • By also adding two handfuls of dolomite every square metre, you’ll  prevent blossom end rot happening in tomatoes and will also add essential calcium to the soil.
  • Dig compost into the garden beds four weeks before planting any seedlings.
  • But that’s OK, because you can start your veggies off in punnets or trays first and they should be ready to plant out by then.
If you’re a bit forgetful and are handy with the mobile phone or ipad, you can actually download apps if you put in the words “garden planner.”
There’s a few available so just pick one that suits your area.
THAT WAS YOUR VEGETABLE HERO FOR TODAY

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