What’s on the show today?Plenty tips about growing and cooking with Basil in the Spice It Up segment with herb and spice guru Ian Hemphill,; get those cucumbers growing in Vegetable Heroes; Festive red flowers but are they in Plant of the Week and which fence for your garden in Design Elements?
SPICE IT UP
Well I hope you don’t have to swear and rant to get your Basil seeds to germinate, just have your pencils at the ready if you want to know how to grow, use and store
I'm talking with Ian Hemphill from www.herbies.com.au
Herbs take on a different flavour when they're dried, because they lose their top notes.
If you live in arid or sub-tropical regions you can sow Basil in late august in a mini greenhouse or indoors, but otherwise you can sow right through to December which is the best time to sow Basil seeds.
The seeds are best planted at soil temperatures between 18°C and 35°C
For something different when not try sowing cinnamon Basil or Lemon Basil or even Holy Basil, that is the true sacred basil that is grown in houses, home gardens and near temples all over India.…
If you have any questions about Basil either for me or Ian, why not email us firstname.lastname@example.org or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675
- Take, Julius Ceasar, he ate them everyday, Cleopatra, thought cucumber pickles helped her skin complexion, and other pickle lovers included George Washington and Queen Elizabeth 1.
- Would you have thought that Cucumbers are one of the world’s favourite vegetables?
- I would’ve said the tomato, but there you go.
- When is the best time to grow some cucumbers?
- Cucumber plants do best in all types of temperate and tropical areas and generally need temperatures between 15-33°C.
- Cucumbers are happiest when the average temperatures are around 210C
- For this reason, they are native to many regions of the world.
- Sow the seeds of
Cucumber in late Spring and early Summer for cool temperate districts, spring
and summer for arid and temperate zones districts, from August until March in
Cucumber seedlings on the right
- Only the cooler months for tropical areas-so April until August unless you’re inland.
- Try Mini White- one of the most popular. The 10 cm long fruit and is best picked when young. Gives you lots of fruit per plant and it’s burpless
- Or you could try Cucumber Mini Muncher as well.
- You’ll need to go to a seed mail order place for those, or if you’re in Adelaide, go to the shop in the Botanic Gardens.
However, do you find your Cucumber seeds sometimes don’t germinate?
- and if you keep it too wet, then the seed rots.
- If this keeps happening, try using another type of seed raising mix, or even some good quality potting mix and try again.
- What cucumbers like is soil that’s well-draining and has a pH of around 6.5.
- Add in plenty of organic compost and fertilisers like chook poo or cow manure.
- When your seeds have germinated, pick out the strongest couple and throw away the others so you don’t get overcrowding.
- When your cucumber has gotten going, water it regularly at the base of the plant, that way the leaves stay dry and you lessen the chances of the leaves getting the white powdery stuff growing on them, powdery mildew disease.
- Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that is spread by spores carried by the wind.
- Look for white to grey fungal deposits on the leaves and stems of your cucumbers. As the mildew spreads, the leaves become brittle then start to die off.
- There are some types of cucumbers that resist this disease for a time anyway.
- You can also try a natural fungicide. 1 part whole milk to 10 parts water, and spray in the cool of the day.
- Better still apply eco Fungicide from www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au
Who out there hasn’t tried a cucumber that’s tasted bitter?
- I’m sure some time in your life, that’s happened hasn’t it?
- There’s seems to be a few theories for bitterness in cucumbers
- One theory is that the bitterness is caused early in the plant’s development by terpenoid compounds that give a bitter flavour to the entire plant.
- Usually the bitterness
accumulates at the stem and below the surface of the skin of the cucumber.
Cucumber Biet Alpha
- According to this theory it’s a genetic problem.
- Newer cucumber hybrids seem to have fewer problems with bitterness.
- I’ve always thought it to be the result of Cucurbitacin.
- Found in most cucumber plants, Cucurbitacin causes fruit to taste bitter.
- Cucurbitacin levels increase when a plant is under stress, and can make the fruit taste really bitter.
- The concentration of these compounds varies from plant to plant, fruit to fruit, and even within the individual fruit itself.
- Did you know that the ability to taste detect bitterness or cucurbitacins also varies from person to person.
- Even insects have varying preferences for cucurbitacins- the compounds attract cucumber beetles but repel other insects, such as aphids and spider mites.
- Anyway, it proves that you shouldn’t stress out your cucumbers!
- By the way, if you do get a bitter cucumber, peel it and cut of the ends by about 2.5cm, that’s where the bitterness concentrated.
PLANT OF THE WEEK
Great for festive decorations and considered a must have at certain times of the year.
The bloke that this plant was named after also founded the Smithsonian Institute in America.
Let’s find out..
I'm talking with the plant panel :Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au
Unless you've purchased a "Princettia" Poinsettia which is a genuine dwarf cultivar, the others will grow much taller if planted out.
Poinsettias can be grown south of Brisbane right down to Coff's Harbour, and north of Brisbane they will grow as far as the land extends, although they can be difficult to grow in frost prone areas west of the coast.
They can also be grown in warm parts of South Australia and in Western Australia's coastal regions, particularly in the north.
If you have any questions about growing Poinsettias, why not write in to email@example.com
Paling fences seem to be de rigour, but there’s no need to settle for that because you’ll be looking at it for a long time.
What are the things you should consider though before deciding on a fence?
Let’s find out.
I'm talking with Lesley Simpson garden designer.
Just goes to show that you don’t have to be limited with the type of fence that you can have for your garden?
If you’re stuck with a grey looking paling fence, you can always zhoosh it up with some bamboo screening.