Sunday, 28 September 2014

Fruit Flies Need Not Apply

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.
The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


with Steve Falcioni, General Manager of
This next topic in Plant Doctor has some of us squirming when we remember cutting open a fruit or vegetable to find wrigglers inside and the flesh actually quite smelly and rotten.
Sometimes you have a tell tale spot the size of a pin head on the outside of the fruit-usually on oranges, and sometimes when you touch the fruit, some of it’s firm but one half is quite soft and squishy.
At this point you’re dreading to cut it open and it gets to that point when you start dreading even cutting open alright looking fruit.
Let’s find out what can be done about this problem.

Fruit fly looks like a wasp with a pointy tail.
The female mates and lays eggs into any fruits-Lilly Pilly fruits, chillies, citrus anything at all.
The maggots wriggle out then drop to the ground to pupate.
Being a native insect the fruit fly can live in the bush then come into your garden when the season is right.

Pheremone lures are a good way of detecting whether or not you have the problem
However, the female only has to mate once or twice to then lay thousands of eggs, so to you need either exclusion netting or splash baits for the female fruit fly.
Exclusion netting is great if you have small trees that are manageable.

Remember, home made traps will attract a wide range of insects both good and bad and it's not what you really want.
If you have any questions or photos of fruit fly, drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.


This segment won’t be complete without mentioning them at least once every year, because there’s always so much to be said about them.
There’s books written about them, they are prone to all sorts of pests and diseases, but every year, we plant them hoping for that ultimate crop.
What are they ?

They’re tomatoes, or Lycopersicon esculentum.

Being in the Solanaceae family, they’re related to eggplants,capsicums, chillies and potatoes. Tomatoes are botanically a fruit, or to be even more accurate a berry, because they are pulpy and have edible seeds.
Other botanical fruits classified as vegetables include squash, cucumbers, green beans, corn kernels, eggplants, and peppers.
In Australia, tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables, with potatoes being no.1
Why? Because we just lover our summer tomatoes that taste better than the store bought ones, and once you get the conditions right, they’re relatively easy to grow.

The tomato is native to South and Central America, and the first tomato was thought to bear a yellow fruit and grown by the Aztecs.

It’s thought that people were growing crops of tomatoes at least around 500 BC
In the mid 1500’s, tomatoes were only grown amongst flowers in Italy.
They certainly weren’t eaten.
As late as the 18th century, physicians thought tomatoes caused appendicitis, and stomach cancer from tomato skins sticking to the lining of your stomach.
Europeans then refused to eat tomatoes because they were thought to be poisonous, and no-one was volunteering to be the first.

Why do a lot of store bought tomatoes have little taste?

The answer is because it’s a result of breeding tomatoes which ripen uniformly red. This change occurred after discovery of a variety in the mid 20th century which ripened evenly, so was  then cross-bred  with just about every tomato variety, to produce attractive red fruit without the typical green ring surrounding the stem on uncross-bred varieties.
Before the introduction of this trait, tomatoes were able to produce more sugar during the process of ripening and were sweeter and tastier.

There’s a tomato for every type of climatic condition and generally they’re a warm season fruit even though we call them vegetables.
When to Sow
In temperate climates you can plant them until December, hopefully some of you started them in early September to get the jump on fruit flies.  
In sub-tropical and tropical areas, this week it’s your turn to win, and yes, you can plant tomatoes all year round.
In cool temperate districts you have from October until December.
Arid areas from August until March, so nearly all year.
Where to Grow
Tomatoes prefer full sun but if you live in very hot climates, you’ll get sun scald on your tomatoes, so afternoon shade of some sort is essential.
Growing tomatoes has to be in full sun at least 6 hours.
Tomato seeds can be planted into the ground as soon as the soil temperature reaches 200C.

For cool districts I recommend that you start your tomatoes off in punnets of some kind and place this in a plastic bag or mini-greenhouse.
Before your transplant your seedlings from the seed tray, and this applies to all seedlings, you need to harden them off.
That means taking them out of a protected environment and putting them into 50% shade for a few days.

TIP:When you plant your seedling, this is about the only plant I know that you pile the soil higher than it was in the pot-that way, it grows extra roots to support the plant.
At the same time, put in a tomato stake of some kind and sprinkle some Dolomite around the plant.

ANOTHER  good tip is to put some hydrated or fluffed up water crystals in the bottom of the planting hole, especially if in your district it’s very hot during the day, that it’s sometimes hard to keep the water up to them.

They actually need lots of water to prevent a problem called “blossom end” rot, when they get a black bottom. Which also means a lack of Calcium. But you put on the Dolomite didn’t you?.

Don’t crowd your tomato plants because they need good air circulation around them so that fungal diseases don’t take hold.

When your tomato plant has four trusses (or branches of flowers) nip out top of the plant. By this stage you should have plenty of fruits forming that need to grow and ripen.
You need to do this mainly because you want the plant to put all its energy into these potentially succulent fruits. And…you don’t want it growing taller than you tomato stake and flopping all over the place.
Keep the soil moist by regular watering and using a mulch of some kind.
Once the flowers have formed, you need to feed weekly with tomato fertiliser or a general fertiliser but add a side dressing of sulphate of potash.

Irregular watering or drying out of the soil or compost in very hot weather can result in the fruits splitting. The inside grows faster than the skin, splits and unless eaten quickly, disease very quickly enters the damaged area and the tomato disposed of.

Tomato feed is very high in potash. Be careful not to overfeed as this can lock up other elements in the soil / compost that the plants require.
HINT: tomato plants will only set fruit if the temperatures don’t drop below 210C.
Did you know that a tomato picked at first sign of colour and ripened at room temperature will be just as tasty as one left to fully mature on the vine?

VERY IMPORTANT: Prune off the lower leaves to allow more light, improve air-circulation and prevent the build-up of diseases.
For some listeners, fruit fly will be a problem. There are pheromone lures and preventative organic sprays and splash baits that contain Spinosad.
 I intend to trail fruit fly exclusion bags. As soon as the fruits appear, on they go.
First the good news, there have been studies done which show that eating tomatoes lowers the risk of some cancers. Possibly because of the chemical lycopene that is found in tomatoes and makes them red.
Cooked tomatoes are even better because the cell walls get broken down releasing something called carotinoids.
Eating tomatoes with a small amount of fat, like some olive oil in a salad, allows the lycopene part to absorb better.
Tomatoes are highly nutritious and sweet  because of natural sugars – sucrose and fructose.
If you ate only one tomato a day, you would get 40% of you daily requirements of Vitamin C and 20% of Vitamin A.
Now the bad news….there is anecdotal evidence that something called glykoalkaloids contribute to arthritis symptoms.



with landscape designer Jason Cornish
A good looking and beautifully trimmed hedge is a sight to behold, giving structure to the garden and setting off all the other plants.
A bad looking hedge is an eyesore, and draws your attention away from all the good looking plants you have in the garden.

But what can you do about those bad hedges, especially if they have no leaves down the bottom part of the hedge?
Let’s find out what this is all about.

Unlike Europe where you see them growing in a lot of the elegant gardens like Hidcote in the Cotswolds, where they  use Hornbeams and Linden trees, here in Australia, the climate is against us to those kind of hedges on stilts.
Plus we’re probably not that keen to do all that work to get them trained that way, and think of the tall ladders you might need to prune them?
Still, doing it the cheats way might give you a satisfactory look if you are wanting to grow something at the base of the hedge for a different look.


 with Karen Smith editor of Hort Journal
Grevilleas with large showy flowers are full of nectar and attract larger nectar feeding birds like lorikeets and honeyeaters and miner birds.
If you want to attract smaller birds into your garden, you’ll want grevillea flowers the size of this next plant, that cover the bush.
The smaller birds then can come into your garden without being bullied or frightened away by the larger more aggressive nectar feeders.

Let’s find out some more about this plant.

Grevillea rhyolitica is found in moist areas in forest and woodland in a the Deua National Park and surrounding areas in south-eastern New South Wales between 100 and 600 metres elevation.
No surprises then that the two cultivars are named Grevillea Deua Gold and Grevillea Deua Flame.

The leaves on some Grevilleas can be a bit prickly or rough to feel, but unless you’re brushing past them as you walk in the garden, it suits smaller birds as a means of shelter.
The other great thing about this Grevillea is that it might appeal to gardeners that aren’t normally attracted to Grevilleas.

On this plant, the leaves look like a general leaf shape-light green, elliptic and on the smaller side. 
It doesn’t have serrated leaves and its flower are a bit more ornamental, so it’s a little bit different an could even be used in cottage type gardens.
Being a member of the Proteaceae family, grevilleas are phosphorous sensitive.
That means don't use chook poo, or any other manures to fertilise these plants.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Vanilla Scented Gardening

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.
The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


with Ian Hemphill from
The Vanilla bean orchid that this next spice comes from originates in the highland forests of Mexico, so that gives you some idea of where it grows best.
Somewhere warm and humid and where the temperature doesn't fall below 200C

But hey, don’t let that stop you from trying to grow it, after all it’s an orchid.

The plant you need to grow is Vanilla planifolia "Andrews" if you can get it.


The green vanilla bean itself has no odour or flavour.
It's not until heated that the enzyme within the bean comes to life.
Then the process begins of being put out in the sun during the day and wrapped in blankets at night for 28 days.
Let’s find out what’s great about this spice.

 To get the vanilla bean the flower must be pollinated by the Melipone bee which is almost extinct in Mexico.
For that reason, even in Mexico, each vanilla bean flower on every vanilla bean farm, needs to be hand pollinated to get the bean.
Outside of Mexico of course there's no alternative anyway.
If you buy imitation vanilla essence then you’re buying a mixture made from synthetic substances which imitate the vanilla smell and flavour.
This often contains propylene glycol which is also found in automotive antifreeze!
It’s mass produced and relatively cheap but, of course, not in the same class as true vanilla extract.
The plant usually doesn’t flower until it’s at least 3 metres tall and it can reach a size of 20 metres and more.
If you want to try to grow this orchid, you must be sure to get Vanilla planifolia-used to be called Vanilla fragrans.
The flowers are like a skinny Cattleya (that’s an orchid) flower and they’re yellow.
A friend of mine has the variegated one growing in his laundry that faces north.
Seems to be doing pretty well.
If you have any questions about growing Vanilla orchids, drop us a line to


OKRA the way to pronounce is "Oh krah" not "Aukra"
Okra is also known as Lady’s fingers.
Okra is in the Malvaceae or Mallow family and called
Abelmoschus esculentus. (A-bell-mow- shus es-kew-lent-us)
It used to be called Hibiscus esculentus so that may you give you a clue as to what the bush might look like.
Did you know that Okra is related to cotton, cocoa, hibiscus and Rosella plants?
"Okra probably originated somewhere around Ethiopia  and Okra is found growing wild on the banks of the river Nile. According to records, the Egyptians were the first to grow it as a veggie it in the basin of the Nile during 12th century BC .
And as Okra made it’s way to North Africa and the Middle East, more uses were developed.
Not only were the seed pods eaten cooked, the seeds were toasted and ground, and used as a coffee substitute (and still is).
Another amazing fact is that in the 1800's slaves from Africa used ground okra as a part of their diet, and this apparently led to the use of ground okra seeds as a coffee substitute by other southerners during the American Civil War blockades of the 1860's.
You might have also heard of a dish called gumbo. This comes from using Okra or gumbo as a thickener especially in soups.
 So what does the Okra bush look like?
Okra varies in height from 60cm to 2m high depending on the variety of seed you buy.
The leaves are heart shaped with plenty of yellow hibiscus-like flowers with a maroon throat.
In case you don’t know Hibiscus flowers, think of Hawaiian or Tahitian girls with flowers in their hair. Might also be a Hibiscus or a Frangipani.
As you know, after the flowers comes the fruit that looks like a five-ribbed small pod with a cap on it, sort of like a gumnut cap.
Much smaller than beans or cucumbers.
Pick these a week after the flowers emerge because the Okra, gets too tough and stringy after that.
I’m told the leaves can be used as Spinach.
Doubly useful.
When to sow.
So when do you grow it?
In sub-tropical districts, you can plant them in August and September and then again January and February.
In temperate climates, sow seeds in October through to December,
Arid areas have between August and December to sow seeds directly into the soil.
Cool temperate districts, for you, the advice is to grow them in a greenhouse, but I discovered a blog from Adam whose from a cool mountain climate and Adam says “Okra does indeed grow in the cool areas, it just needs a bit of help to establish.
Adam puts an old plastic milk bottle over the plant until it fills the bottle, then away it goes.
Just pick the warmest part of your garden.
You’ll get a small crop if you have a cold Summer, but should have heaps is the summer is warmer. Thanks Adam!.
Finally for Tropical districts, you’ve won the jackpot this week, because you can grow Okra all year round!
Growing Okra
Okra seeds germinate reasonably well, but will be helped along if you soak them in a shallow dish of tepid water for 24hours.
This will soften the hard outer seed coat.
Pick a spot that gets full sun and has plenty of compost dug into the soil.
One thing that Okra detests, and that’s wet, boggy soil or soil with poor drainage.
Okra will also be set back if you get a cold snap in your district.
Either sow the seeds directly or into punnets for later transplanting.
I have heard that they don’t like being transplanted that much so you could try sowing them in pots made of coir, or make them yourself from newspaper or toilet rolls.
A very permaculture thing to do.
Because they grow as a largish bush, space the seeds or seedlings if transplanting, about 50cm to a metre apart.
Water your Okra fairly regularly, and if your soil is too hard or clayey, grow some Okra in a pot no problem.
By the way, Okra are partial to high amounts of Potash.
During the growing period, water in lots of liquid fertiliser, such as worm tea and add handfuls of compost.
Tip pruning will also give you a bushier plant with more flowers and more Okra pods.
In warm areas of Australia, your Okra will be ready to pick in 10 weeks. In cold temperate zones however, it may take as long as 16 weeks.
Pick your Okra when they’re small and certainly before they get bigger than 10cm in length. Around 5 – 10 cm length is best.
Tip: Okra pods are referred to as mucilaginous.
What does that meant? Ughhhh! This can make them a bit slimy in cooking, so if that bothers you, don’t slice them, keep them whole.
Alternatively, add a couple of drops of vinegar or lemon juice.
I’ve also read that you should avoid growing Okra where you’ve had tomatoes, capsicums or potatoes growing previously.
For different varieties of Okra, go to
Two varieties I found online in Australia, are Okra Clemson Spineless, a bush that grows to 1 ½ m and Okra red Burgundy. Red Burgundy has red pods on a vigorous 1.5m tall plant with green leaves and attractive bright cherry red stems.
Why are they good for you?
Okra contains lots of valuable nutrients, almost half of which is in the form of soluble fibre, and a half of a cup of okra contains about 10% of the recommended levels of B6 and folic acid.
By the way, Okra has black seeds inside the pod. Don’t feel you have to remove them because you don’t. The seeds add flavour to the cooking.
The fibre is in that mucilage.
How about trying a mix with peppers and eggplant! Or grill it on the BBQ! :) try it !! grill it on its side for 2 minutes each!its yummy!!!!


with landscape designer Jason Cornish
A few weeks ago, the topic of pool conversions covered a couple of different ways of going about it.

There’s the aesthetic and environmentally appealing pond conversion.
Sounds great, and then there was the more expensive filling in with landfill conversion.
This conversion though is a bit different and focuses on reusing the space in another way.

Let’s find out what this is all about.

As Australia seems to be getting drier, this conversion seems to have the most merit.
One thing that should be mentioned with the pond conversion, yes you have all the beneficial insects and pond life that come to your pond, but the evaporation will be even higher than with a normal pool, because of the plants 

Where there once was a pool is now a rainwater tank below ground.


 with Hort Journal magazine editor, Karen Smith


Many gardeners have  thought that these next plans- dipladenias and mandevillas and are the same plant.Sure they’re pretty much alike  but dipladenia foliage is bit smaller and the plant is more shrub-like.
However, both plants are very similar gorgeous tropical looking plants that have sky rocketed in popularity because they have so many uses. Let’s find out more about them

If you still don’t know the difference between a mandevilla and a dipladenia try this.
The leaves, of each plant will let you know which plant you are growing. Mandevilla leaves are longer and narrower than dipladenia leaves, which are wider and heart-shaped. Dipladenia leaves have a thicker, leathery, smooth feel, while mandevilla leaves feel rough and textured.
Dipladenias can be used pots, hanging baskets, or on their own in the garden.
Mandevillas will need some sort of trellis to support their growth.
They are easy to grow and should flower their heads off all season long.
At the end of winter give Mandevillas a hard prune to give them some shape and encourage more flowers.
Tip prune Dipladenias at this time and feed with an organic fertiliser.
sometimes Dipladenias and Mandevillas have aphids swarming on the new growth.
Often the aphids are a yellow or black colour-quite different to the aphids that you see on roses.
Nothing to really worry about because they don't affect the growth that much.
Aphids can be controlled with eco Oil.


Monday, 15 September 2014

Petals in the Edible Garden

 REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.
The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


Petal Blight on Azalea "Jennifer Susan"

 with general manager of Steve Falcioni
Petal Blight.
Do you ever find it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a fungal disease and insect damage?
Like what causes some leaves to distort and curl  either on roses, citrus and edible crops like capsicums.
But there’s no mistaking what’s behind this next problem because of the tell-tale signs on the flowers.
Let’s find out what can be done about this problem.
Petals turn mushy before becoming papery and clinging to the bush
Don't let the flowers that have dropped from your camellia just lay there or the ones the cling to your azalea bushes in a brown mushy clum stay stuck to the bush. Pick them up or pick them off. Azaleas and Camellias especially are prone to the fungal disease petal blight.
By cleaning up around the plant you can prevent the spread of the disease.
If you have any questions or photos petal blight, drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.


Jerusalem Artichokes.  Are Helianthus tuberosus.
There are other names for this vegetable, such as earth apple and sunchoke but here in Australia, we just call the Jerusalem artichokes as far as I can tell.
From the scientific name, would you’ve guessed that the sunflower Helianthus annuus is in the same family.
It’s not only in the same family but a large part of the fun of growing this veggie is the sunflowers it produces.
 Here’s another surprise, this veggie originates in America and Canada.
That’s right, Jerusalem artichokes are native to North America, having grow in the wild along the eastern seaboard from Georgia to Nova Scotia.
There is a theory that when Jerusalem artichokes arrived in Italy sometime before 1633, the Italian word for sunflower, "girasole" which means "turning to the sun," was somehow later corrupted into the word "Jerusalem."
Did you know that the Jerusalem artichoke was titled 'best soup vegetable' in the 2002 Nice Festival for the Heritage of the French Cuisine?
So what do they look like when they’re growing?
As with potatoes, the top part of the plant bears no resemblance to what you get underneath the ground.
The top part of the plant grows like a bushy sunflower plant.
Jerusalem artichokes
The gnarly tubers would remind you of ginger roots if you saw them.
Why grow them?
Because they’re going to surprise you how delicious they are.
They have a sweetness about them and they’re not starchy. That’s because they don’t contain starch but the carbohydrate inulin which is component of the fructose molecule.
In fact, Tubers stored for any length of time will convert their inulin into its component fructose. That explains why Jerusalem artichokes have an delicious sweet taste. Fructose by the way is about one and a half times sweeter than sucrose.
Definitely one for the sweet of tooth.
When and how do you grow Jerusalem artichokes?
In temperate climates plant the tubers between September to December –because the best time is when the soil temperature is between 8°C and 15°C
For cool temperate districts buy the tubers now and plant them in November and December,
In sub-Tropical climes, they’re best planted in Autumn-winter. You can plant them in tropical climates but they’re likely to rot off during the wet season.
Lastly for arid districts you can grow them from April until October.
Jerusalem Artichokes grow more quickly than the Chinese, unrelated artichokes taking 15-20 weeks to be ready.
 That’s around 4-5 months.
As I mentioned the edible tubers are gnarly and uneven, vaguely resembling ginger root, with a crisp texture when raw.
Tubers, or chunks of tubers can be planted in full sun or in part shade.
 In a row or higgledy piggledy.
The ones in part shade will have flowers that are a lot shorter than the ones in the sun, but they’ll be taller than you and you’ll probably have to stand on tiptoe to reach the flowers in the part sun plants.
The sunflowers will make their first appearance in late spring or early summer and look like little baby sunflowers.
For great tasting Jerusalem artichokes add some organic fertiliser during planting otherwise they’ll taste quite bland.
That being said, the plants themselves are not picky and will grow in just about any soil.
If you are going to grow Jerusalem Artichokes or sunchokes, make sure dig them up every year to prevent them from going taking over the garden. Otherwise confine them somehow with a border stop.
Roots can be dug in the autumn after the plant dies back.
Re-plant the tubers you don’t eat or at least save some to replant.
Once you taste them you’ll be tempted to eat them all.
As mentioned before, these tubers as with other members of the Daisy or Asteraceae (including the artichoke), store the carbohydrate inulin (not to be confused with insulin) instead of starch.
Warning: Some people have no problem digesting them but they are a minority.
Over 50 percent of their carbohydrate is in forms we don’t have enzymes to break down
Some people say that wind will be with you as long as they are eaten. If you have a family they may threaten to leave home if you ever eat them again.
How about buying some and trying them out before you commit to a lifetime of long solitary walks in the countryside after meals?
Store them in a cool place that isn't too dry.
Wrapped in plastic in the fridge will do nicely.
TIP: They’ll get bitter if kept too long in storage so that’s why it’s best to leave them in the ground and dig them up as you need them.
You can continue digging them up from autumn right through to early spring in temperate districts anyway.
If you’re put off with the wind theory, let me tell you it’s a bit overstated. But just in case you’re worried here are some steps that are supposed to alleviate the problem.
Put the tubers in the fridge for a month, then slice and boil in lots of water for 15 minutes, adding one tablespoon of lemon juice per 1 litre after 10 minutes, or right at the start if you want crisp tubers. Drain, slip off peel, and pat dry. Then use them as you would in recipes with pumpkins.
Actually the best way to eat them is to roast them in the oven with some olive oil for 40 minutes. Just yummy.
Why Is It Good For You?
Nutritionally, the sunchoke's has very high potassium. It has six times the potassium of a banana.
They are also high in iron, and contain 10-12% of the recommended daily intake of fibre, niacin, thiamine, phosphorus and copper.
For a half cup serve of Jerusalem artichokes you only get a tiny 57 calories, along with some1.5. gr. protein, 1.2 gram. fibre, 10.5 mg. calcium.
So if you like sunflowers, why not have an edible crop as well?


Spring Pruning with landscape designer Jason Cornish

Buxus hedge
It seems like every time the weather warms up, gardeners and non-gardeners start jumping around the garden and pruning everything in sight willy nilly.
What’s going on with that?
Sure some of the garden needs to be pruned but are you sure you’re pruning the right shrub the right way at the right time of year?
Not all plants do well with a top and tail or short back and sides.
Pruning a buxus hedge is pretty straightforward and yes, this one's definitely one for the short back and sides, or clipping to any shape you like.

On the other hand, have you even got a tree, or shrub that you said’ never seen that ever flower?

Well there may be a good reason for that and it’s got nothing to do with soil, fertilising or watering.
Knowing what plant you've got can be tricky if you've moved into a home with an established garden.
The best thing is to find out what through your local garden centre or nursery.
Second to that, find out when it's flowering season is and commence pruning after that.
Sounds logical but sometimes gets overlooked in the rush to tidy up the garden for Spring.

Let’s find out about spring pruning

Unlike Europe where you see Spiraea or May bushes growing everywhere by the roadside, maybe here in Australia we’re not growing too many May bushes anymore.

I could be wrong, and it would be a pity if it were true, because they have lovely flowers.

But short back and sides for this type of plant isn’t the right way to prune it.

Spiraeas, are a vase shaped plant that needs old canes pruned back to the ground to allow new canes to push through. these can ne headed by a 10% after flowering finishes in Spring.
If you missed the details email or write in and I send you a fact sheet



Hardenbergia violaceae, Native Sarsparilla
First of all, sarsaparilla, the drink featured in Western movies, was made from the roots of plants in the Genus Smilax.  Sarsparilla-the real thing that is, is also considered a medicinal plant with many different uses like flavouring root beer. Smilax spp. Are native to Central and South America and don’t have any real connection with our Australian native,
Hardenbergia violacea is usually a climbing plant whose branches twist around the stems of other plants. It is moderately vigorous but rarely covers other plants so extensively as to cause damage. Shrubby forms are available without any climbing tendency such as Hardenbergia volaceae "Flat White" and "Carpet Royale."
The leaves are dark, glossy green with prominent veins and are 75-100 mm in length.

The flowers, show up in late winter and spring, are usually violet in colour but pink, white and other colours are sometimes found. The flowers are the typical "pea" shape. 
The tough leaves can be narrow-oblong to almost heart shaped.
Did you know that apparently the leaves can be boiled to make a slightly sweet tea