Sunday, 10 July 2022

Sustainable Floristry Means Sustainable Cut Flowers


Sustainable Floristry

Have you ever thought about what happens to the tons of flowers that are sold around Australia for weddings, funerals, special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries? 
Hydrangea flowers for sale
Perhaps some of the lucky recipients might compost them when they're finished or at least throw in the in the green waste bin, but what of the others?
Did you know that approximately 10% of flowers that are sold in Australia are imported from overseas?

May not sound like much but do you know if the flowers you buy, are they imported or locally grown and does it matter?

A lot of flowers that are past their use by date end up in landfill, which I suppose means that they might decompose there but what of the mountains of wrapping, floral foam and other packing that the flowers come with?

According to the Sustainable Floristry Network "Excess packaging, plastic props, floral foam, and exotic blooms flown halfway around the globe are rationalised away because that’s what clients expect."

The next problem is that imported flowers are often sprayed with a glyphosate based chemical to prevent customers taking cuttings of the plant, before they arrive. then they are sprayed with the carcinogen methyl bromide, after entering Australia.

Imported flowers include Roses, Carnations, Orchids, Tropical Foliages and Chrysanthemums are these sourced from places like Kenya, Thailand, South Africa, China, New Zealand, Holland and Vietnam.

Nadine recommends that cut flowers should be bought when in season. Easily done by asking the florist where the flowers are from.

Marianne (radio host) speaks with 'Sustainable Floristry Network" ambassador and floral educator Nadine Brown of about the meaning of sustainable floristry.
Listen to the podcast

So ask the question when you next buy flowers, are these flowers locally grown?
Check out the sustainable floristry website

If you have any questions you can email us or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Sunday, 3 July 2022

Nematodes on Plants: Friend or Foe?


Nematodes part 1: the backstory

Did you know that there are 1,000,000 species of nematodes that have been identified? 
Galling from root knot nematode on tomato plant

Nematodes live in our environment and although microscopic, unsurprisingly, are related to earthworms 
  • The majority of nematodes aren't plant or crop destructors.
However, the few that attack the cell walls of plants can cause serious damage from which the plant/crop usually doesn't recover.
  • Then there's the problem of identifying what's going on with plants that are affected by nematodes.
  • Have you ever had plants that seem to wilt despite you watering them religiously? 

What they look like

Nematodes are a round worm but because they are unable to be seen by the naked eye, I would describe them as thread like with a large head and mouth.

Arm yourself with a hand held magnifying glass and have a look at the roots of plants that you suspect have been attacked by nematodes. You should be able to see them then.

Coffee tree nematode
If nematodes are on your plants the symptoms range from perhaps they’re just stunted and don’t seem to grow much, r like the coffee tree pictured, continually looks like it's wilting despite the watering it receives. Another symptom is yellowing of foliage.
Once the plant has been dug up, nodules on roots will be evident. However, other factors create nodules on roots as in nitrogen fixing plants such as plants in the Fabaceae family.

What could be the problem? Wilting symptoms can be attributed to a range of other factors.

So let’s find out by listening to the podcast

Your host  of Real World Gardener, Marianne is talking with Steve McGrane, agriculturist and horticulturist.

Part 2 is when  we tackle the many, many ways you have to control the bad nematode, namely root knot nematodes.

If you have any questions you can email us or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Nematodes pt 2

Root Knot Nematodes:Control

So if you have correctly identified that your plants are affected by root knot nematodes, what can be done about it? Remember, they look different to nitrogen fixing nodules on roots of plants.
tomato nematode

Controlling nematodes

1.Cultural Control by
  • rotating your plants-nematodes only survive 1 year in the soil.
2.Growing plants that help reduce nematode numbers
  • Asparagus, peanut plants, Corn, Garlic, marigolds.
3.Biofumigants such as green manure crops, especially
  •     Mustard plants release isothyocyanates.
4. Neem Oil drench

5. BeneficialNematodes
  • EcoGrow supply beneficial nematodes.  
6. Chytosan found in the shells of insects or animals like prawns.
  •  Steve recommends crushing some prawn shells into your compost: will also control other fungal problems.
Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Your host  of Real World Gardener, Marianne is talking with Steve McGrane, agriculturist and horticulturist.

If you have any questions you can email us or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.