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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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​How to: sow seed indoors

​How to: sow seed indoors

If you’d like to be enjoying fresh tomatoes from your garden before Christmas, start in winter, sowing and growing indoors so that you have advanced seedlings ready to plant out once the cold weather, and chance of frosts, has passed. 

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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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Black Spot on Roses

Black Spot on Roses

Out, damn’d spot! The dark side to growing roses is fungal disease. Knowing your enemy is the first step in ridding yourself of this problem for good. 

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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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Bugwatch: Bronze Orange Bugs

Bugwatch: Bronze Orange Bugs

Just when your poor citrus tree thought it would be safe to put on some new growth, this dreaded pest arrives with its stinky, squirty spray, sucking all the vigour from the new spring shoots. Yes, its stink bug time again. But this year we we mean business!

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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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Companion Planting 1

Companion Planting 1

Companion planting is about wisely using plants to reduce the work of the gardener. These are our favourite garden workers.

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Companion Planting 2

Companion Planting 2

We love any strategy that reduces human intervention in the vegetable garden. Here are a few of our favourite tips for creating a productive garden with less personal effort.

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Composting

Composting

All too often gardeners start composting with great excitement and enthusiasm, only for interest to wane as the results disappoint. Here is a quick guide to help you produce the best compost in whatever composting bin you choose.

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How to: attract bees into your garden

How to: attract bees into your garden

Bees are at the heart of the grow-your-own game. No bees, no pollination, no fruit. To ensure that summer sees us picking buckets of passionfruit and barrow-loads of pumpkins we integrate bee-attracting flowers into and around the orchard and vegetable garden.



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How to: care for deciduous fruit trees

How to: care for deciduous fruit trees

Get ahead of the game by using a variety of strategies to prevent pests and diseases attacking fruit trees, such as apples, peaches, nectarines, apricots and figs. Some work now will mean bounteous harvests later!

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How to: care for lawns

How to: care for lawns

With the weather cooling we can back off the mowing but the lawn work is not done. Autumn is a good time to address any problems to ensure that the grass is even greener on the other side of winter.

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How to: divide upside down orchids

How to: divide upside down orchids

Graham’s upside-down orchid (Stanhopea tigrina) has grown old and unproductive, and this year treated us all with only five flower spikes, instead of the usual 30! We checked it out and found the basket lining had disintegrated and the pine bark mix had completely decomposed. It was time to divide and conquer!

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How to: entice a cyclamen to flower again

How to: entice a cyclamen to flower again

A pot of cyclamen is a favourite winter present, but by now you might be wondering what to do with it. Don't throw it away. A cyclamen will repeat its beautiful dispaly year after year if you treat it right.

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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 hydrangeas

How to: grow hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are old favourites, yet myths about growing them persist. Sandra clears the air.

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How to: grow tulips

How to: grow tulips

Find some time this summer holiday to create a wonderful picture of tulips. 

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How to: grow your vegies on the verge

How to: grow your vegies on the verge

We are fortunate to have a reasonably big space in our garden that we can allocate simply to growing food. Other gardeners make the most of space on a sunny balcony or terrace. If that’s not an option for you either, consider what might done on the verge! 

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How to: lay a lawn

How to: lay a lawn

Did you know? The average turf backyard captures carbon and produces enough oxygen for a family of four?

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How to: lift your courtyard

How to: lift your courtyard

In just one weekend the Garden Clinic team transformed a chilly corner into a welcoming sanctuary, that is simple to pack up and move to a new location when necessary.

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How to: lush the lawn

How to: lush the lawn

Come the warmer weather and the lawn needs a makeover! Follow these simple steps to grow the lush green carpet of grass you’ve always wanted.

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How to: make a spiral topiary

How to: make a spiral topiary

A spiral topiary makes just as good a focal point in a small domestic garden as it does in grand gardens like the one shown here. 

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How to: make a summer vegetable tepee

How to: make a summer vegetable tepee

For space saving nothing beats a tepee! A single structure will provide 36kg of cherry tomatoes, cucumber and green beans over a 3 month stretch.

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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: make up a Magic Mix

How to: make up a Magic Mix

At a Garden Clinic class held at Honeysuckle Nursery in Mosman we wondered aloud at all the plants bursting with health and vitality, with shiny, glossy leaves and so much energy they seemed about to leap off the shelves. The answer? This Magic Mix!

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How to: overhaul your irrigation system

How to: overhaul your irrigation system

Here's how to give your irrigation system a once over.

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How to: plant bare-rooted plants

How to: plant bare-rooted plants

In winter trees and roses are often sold ‘bare-rooted’. They are simply a skeleton of stems, with the bare roots often wrapped in hessian or plastic for protection.

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How to: plant propagation

How to: plant propagation

Want plants for free? Winter is the right time of year to take cuttings from established plants to create new ones. 

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How to: propagate begonias

How to: propagate begonias

You don’t often see these plants for sale in commercial nurseries, so the best way to introduce them into your garden is to find a friend who is willing to share, and practice your propagation skills.

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How to: propagate hibiscus

How to: propagate hibiscus

Many of the most exciting hibiscus are found in gardens rather than in garden centres, so it’s handy to know how to propagate your own plants.

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How to: prune a cloud topiary

How to: prune a cloud topiary

After decades of admiring beautiful specimens of cloud-pruned trees in China and Japan, I finally decided to create my own cloud topiary. When our editors discovered what I’d done they asked me to write about it. 

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How to: prune angels trumpet

How to: prune angels trumpet

Angels trumpets (brugmansia) are native to the subtropical forests of Brazil and Chile. There they grow beneath other trees in an unruly and tangled mess of branches, illuminated by those sensational flowers. 

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How to: rejuvenate the lawn

How to: rejuvenate the lawn

It’s time to refresh tired, stressed turf and transform it into lush, green lawn. 

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How to: remove rose suckers

How to: remove rose suckers

Rose suckers can overtake a precious rose if you don’t act early. Sandra Ross explains how to identify and remove them.

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How to: repair a patchy lawn

How to: repair a patchy lawn

Autumn is a great time to oversow a balding lawn, grown patchy from the extremes of summer weather - and holiday entertaining!

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How to: save your garden when off on holidays

How to: save your garden when off on holidays

We’re all going on a summer holiday - and the garden is staying behind! But with a little forward planning your garden can be just as lovely when you return as it was before you left.

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How to: scare birds

How to: scare birds

This autumn don’t lose your precious fruit harvest to the birds. These are our favourite – proven! – techniques.

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How to: set up a hen house

How to: set up a hen house

Thinking about keeping chooks? Good plan. But before you put in an order for fluffy little chickens, get the henhouse right. Whether you are choosing a ready-made option, or building your own from new or recycled materials, here’s what you need to know to create a happy home for your hens.


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How to: sharpen the pruners

How to: sharpen the pruners

A good crisp cut is one of the joys of pruning. Blunt tools not only deprive you of this simple pleasure but do a poor job and damage your plants. 

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How to: sow seeds

How to: sow seeds

Start planning in winter to sow seed for summer. There are two ways to raise vegetables from seed: sow them directly into the soil in which they are to grow; or raise them under cover in your house or greenhouse.

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How to: stop snails invading precious pot plants

How to: stop snails invading precious pot plants

Keep both pets and snail-sensitive plants safe with these solutions.

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How to: take cuttings

How to: take cuttings

When you have an hour, take cuttings of favourite plants.

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How to: use plants to deter pests

How to: use plants to deter pests

Strongly scented herbs planted throughout the garden help put flying insects off their food – whether that’s your treasured plant, food crop, or body!


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How to: use seaweed

How to: use seaweed

Seaweed is a versatile natural resource that does great work in the garden. We use it on a fortnightly basis to keep plants healthy. 

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Magic Magnolia Mulch

Magic Magnolia Mulch

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

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Meet: Graeme Parr: wisteria expert

Meet: Graeme Parr: wisteria expert

Oh hello big dose of flower envy. We'd do any thing for wisteria! Graeme has been growing wisteria for the nursery trade for 20 years. Here he shares his top tips for growing great flowering wisteria.

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Moon Planting

Could a better understanding of the night sky be your key to a more productive vegetable garden?

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Rose Clinic

Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for all your rose problems

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Toolshed

Some gardeners are tool-lovers and their garden sheds are so densely populated they have to be thin as a rake just to get in the door. Others are tool-poor, making do with a pair of kitchen scissors and whatever they can scrounge from the brother-in-law. There is a middle way and here it is: our choice of the most useful tools in the shed, and how to use them.

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