Sunday, 29 August 2010

Natural Remedies

Sydney Garden Talk 2RRR 88.5fm Wed5pm Sat. 12noon
Feature Interview:
Alan Hayes author of 27 books about natural remedies for the house and home, talks about living the sustainable and carbon lifestyle in his Duralong Valley home. Go to for more information.
Vegetable Hero: Mint or Menthe spp, in the family Lamiaceae. Ideal growing temperatures for mint are warm sunny days (25°C) and cool nights (15°C). This is why, in the hotter climates, mint generally grows better in the more shaded areas of the garden. Mint can be propagated either cuttings or by seed. You can grown new plants by digging up plants in late winter–early spring (like now) and dividing them into runners with roots, then replanting. This will prevent the plants from becoming root-bound and prone to disease, giving you strong, healthy plants for the new season.
Most of the time we are busy trying to just keep it tidy. It can take over your garden if your not care so, be like me, and grow it in a pot that you can sink in the garden bed. Mint, when planted nearby will help beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, chili and bell peppers, Chinese cabbage, eggplant, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, salad burnet and squash. Planting mint near peas, cabbage or tomatoes will improve their health and flavor. Mint will attract hoverflies and predatory wasps to your garden. Mint is also a favorite of earthworms.
Design Elements:Lawns-BUFFALO Sir Walter (Patented Turf)
Australian grass - Soft Leaf Buffalo grass has excellent drought tolerance
due to its strong and deep root system. Because it is Winter Active it maintains its colour
longer than other Buffalo and does not go purple in winter. It can handle full sun and grows well in the shade. The crisp green colour of Sir Walter makes it a most attractive lawn in summer and winter.
"Palmetto is an emerald green Soft Leaf Buffalo that has a long broad soft leaf which is shade and drought tolerant. This turf is extremely hardy once established and does not go purple in winter. Palmetto is a medium grower with a strong root system which recovers very quickly from damage.
Shademaster "This variety of Soft Leaf Buffalo has a broad and long course leaf. It is good in high traffic areas as it is a very fast grower. It loses its colour and turns purple in winter."
Nara Native Turf-or Zoysia macrantha, sacts the same way as any Buffalo lawn, can be bought in rolls. Use the same fertilizers and cut the same way.
CT2 Couch-"This is a blue/green couch with a longer blade than the Winter Green and Green Leaf Park couch. It is very hardy and has very good drought tolerance. CT2 recovers in half the time as most other couches. It will however discolour if the temperature drops below 3° C.
Windsor Green Couch (Patented Turf)-"This dark and very dense lawn has a small leaf with very few seedheads. Windsor Green discolours if the temperature drops below 3° C. It is a hardy grass with good wear and tear tolerance. Grows best with a minimum of 4 - 5 hours of sunlight per day. Considered the best grower in the shade of all the couch lawns."
Greenleaf Park Couch "This is a blue/green couch with small blades. It is not however frost tolerant and will discolour if the temperature drops below 5° C. It is a very hard wearing grass and is used in most bowling greens."
Winter Green-"This is an olive/green coloured grass with small blades (smaller than Green Leaf Park Couch and does slightly better in the shade). Will discolour if the temperature drops below 5° C. This couch produces a lot of seedheads unless it is well fertilised. It has a tendency to get patchy. It will take some shade but needs at least 6 - 7 hours of sunlight per day."
KIKUYU I think this is a weed.
Plant of The Week: Culture:  Strelitzia Reginae: This South African genus is a member of the Musaceae family.An evergreen perennial that will reach 1.5m—2m in most situations. It is grown for its spectacular flowers and are used all over the world for cut flowers.Strelitzia Reginae needs full sun to light shade with warm temperatures, when planted in pots keep them crowded for the best amount of blooms. In very cold climates it is better to grow them in pots that could be moved indoors when freezing temperatures are expected.