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Bug Watch: Bindii and other annoying lawn weeds

Bug Watch: Bindii and other annoying lawn weeds

Regretting not spraying against bindii in winter? Bindii (Soliva pterosperma) is a low-growing annual herb with leaves like a carrot top. It produces a single flower at its centre that matures into a prickly seedpod that sticks in bare feet.

 

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​Bug Watch: Helpful wasps

​Bug Watch: Helpful wasps

Early spring is the time to hang parasitic wasp (Encarsia formosa) cards up in new plantings of tomatoes and eggplant to protect these vegetables from white fly. 

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​Bug Watch: Woolly aphids

​Bug Watch: Woolly aphids

These insects are 2-4 mm in length, pear-shaped and often covered with white waxy filaments that give a fluffy appearance, as though they are covered with wool.

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​Mail Order Vegetable Seed Supplies

​Mail Order Vegetable Seed Supplies

We like to buy our vegetable seeds from trusted mail order seed companies, this way we get a considerable range of varieties for a lifetime of experimentation and flavour. Here are our favourites.

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A lesson in clipped hedges

A lesson in clipped hedges

A hedge is many things. It can define areas of the garden; shield you from the curiosity of passersby; block ugly intrusions into your view; protect your privacy; offer favourite plants a green backdrop against which to dazzle; or simply give your garden a nestling sense of enclosure and cosy comfort. Here Graham Ross answers the most-asked questions on hedge cultivation and care.

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Bug Watch: Aphids

Bug Watch: Aphids

Check roses, citrus, cherry and peach carefully when you water, looking for clusters of small insects hiding under leaves or on new growth: aphids.

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Bug Watch: Aphids and Other Li'l Suckers

Bug Watch: Aphids and Other Li'l Suckers

Given the chance those annoying little suckers bothering your flower buds now can become an infestation later. But if you get in early enough you can manage the problem without using any chamicals, just a few little backyard-buddies. Its time to get out there and evict your unwanted tennants! 

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Bug Watch: Blue banded bee

Bug Watch: Blue banded bee

This native bee is found in every part of Australia except Tasmania. It gets its name from the iridescent blue or white bands around its abdomen.

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Bug Watch: Botrytis

Bug Watch: Botrytis

Humid, still conditions are the perfect breeding ground for botrytis, a fungus that affects plant tissue.

 

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Bug Watch: Bronze orange bugs

Bug Watch: Bronze orange bugs

Bronze orange bugs are nasty pests that suck sap from young shoots, fruit and flowers of citrus trees.

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Bug Watch: Cabbage Moth

Bug Watch: Cabbage Moth

Female moths, which can be recognised by their mottled brown colour, lay their eggs under leaves. When the larvae hatch, the brown-striped caterpillars tunnel into stems.

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Bug Watch: Citrus gall wasp

Bug Watch: Citrus gall wasp

Bulging citrus stems indicate the presence of citrus gall moth, which lays its eggs in the bark at the ends of citrus branches.

 

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Bug Watch: Citrus leaf miner

Bug Watch: Citrus leaf miner

A silvery trail on foliage is the telltale sign of this pest. Eggs were laid in the leaf by the moth last year and the trail is the hatched insect eating its way out. Further in their lifecycle leaf miners curl the leaves completely in on themselves, and pupate into small moths. These are active at night, so are rarely seen.

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Bug Watch: Cup moth

Bug Watch: Cup moth

Cup moths are so-called due to the cup-shaped cocoon they attach to the tree branches, or surrounding leaf litter, of eucalypts, brush box and pittosporum. They are also known to attack apples, apricots and cherries.

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Bug Watch: Frangipani rust

Bug Watch: Frangipani rust

This is a fairly new disease (Coleosporium domingense syn C. plumeriae) in Australia. It is believed to have arrived from Florida in an infected frangipani cutting 15 years ago.

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Bug watch: Hawk moth caterpillar

Bug watch: Hawk moth caterpillar

This is the king of the autumn caterpillars, a voracious eater that grows into a sizeable creature up to 7cm longwith large spots along its body and a white-tipped spine at the end. It feeds on tender foliage, and can decimate a patch of impatiens or sweet potato in a couple of days. 

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Bug Watch: Lacebugs

Bug Watch: Lacebugs

Despite their name, Azalea lace bugs are also enemies of rhododendrons. Their attack is evidenced by widespread silvery mottling and sticky, brown patches on the underside of leaves. It’s best to spray now, at the beginning of the growing season.

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Bug watch: Lily caterpillar

Bug watch: Lily caterpillar

These voracious caterpillars can destroy a clump of clivias or other lilies in record time.

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Bug watch: Magnesium deficiency

Bug watch: Magnesium deficiency

When plants are low in magnesium, they move what they have from the old leaves to feed the new. Consequently older leaves begin to yellow from the sides to the centre.

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Bug watch: Peach leaf curl

Bug watch: Peach leaf curl

Peach leaf curl is a parasitic fungus that causes new leaves on peaches and nectarines to become disfigured. 

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Bug Watch: Powdery mildew

Bug Watch: Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is a widespread fungus that is carried by the wind. It multiplies rapidly in high humidity so thrives in overcrowded garden beds where the air circulation is poor.

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Bug Watch: Thrips

Bug Watch: Thrips

Thrips suck and rasp at flower petals causing discolouration. 

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Bug Watch: Two spotted mite and azalea lace bug

Bug Watch: Two spotted mite and azalea lace bug

These two insects feed under the azalea leaves, causing a mottled discolouration on the topside of the leaves.

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Bugwatch: Scale

Bugwatch: Scale

Scale insects are some of the most common garden pests around. They attract other pests and suck the vigour from your plants, but they are easy to control and even easier to prevent.

 


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Frost Watch

Frost Watch

Frost-sensitive plants such as hibiscus, frangipani, passionfruit, citrus, deciduous fruit trees, and some vegetables can be adversely affected by frost. 

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How to: fix your roses

How to: fix your roses

Many questions from radio callers to Garden Clinic on 2GB on the weekends involve roses. We feel your pain! These are our go-to fixes for six common rose problems.


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How to: grow amazing geraniums

How to: grow amazing geraniums

The plants I'm talking about here are botanically speaking Pelargonium though commonly called geranium. True Geranium species are delicate-looking perennials, usually with blue flowers.

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How to: Make Potting Mix

How to: Make Potting Mix

Plants in pots need the right nutrients, water, air and a quality potting mix to live happily ever after.

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How to: Strike a Queen of the Night cutting

How to: Strike a Queen of the Night cutting

For stunning contrast of texture and form, huge repeat flowering and fragrance to die for there is nothing quite like the Queen of the Night orchid cactus, a plant that is as easy to propagate from cuttings as it is to grow.


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It's time to: August

It's time to: August

Get ready, spring will be here before we know it. It's time to get the last of those last-minute winter jobs done

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Magic Magnolia Mulch

Magic Magnolia Mulch

Sandra's special recipe does magical things to sulking magnolias!

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