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Radio Round Up April 16 - 17

With a reasonable chance of rain this afternoon for Sydney and Brisbane It’s a great time to get the last of that Autumn planting in.

I’ve been away in Japan for two weeks and it’s good to be back in the garden. But there’s lots to do, and Winter is coming! So let’s get things started.


  Japan was simply stunning this year. If you have always wanted to see Japan in spring why not come with me next year?


Its Time To: April

Pull out 

Pull out summer vegetables to make way for cool season crops.


Empty the compost bin over bare vegetable beds. A new batch of compost will be ready for warm season vegetables in spring.


Podding peas, snow peas and sugar snap peas. Before planting water the soil and sprinkle the ground with dolomite. Press individual seeds 1.5cm deep and 5cm apart. Water when you see shoots in 7-10 days. Peas need a 1.4m high trellis, chicken wire or sticks to grow up.

Broad beans in a cage of bamboo stakes to help keep them upright.


seedlings of spring onions and onions in a shallow trench, 5cm apart.

a succession of fennel seedlings every 2-4 weeks for a continual harvest. Plant 15cm apart. Allow a few fennel to go to flower in spring/summer to attract beneficial bugs such as hoverflies, honey bees, native bees and lady beetles. 


Allowing a few plants to go to flower will help attract beneficial bugs. Photo – Matteo Sani / Shutterstock



Protect newly planted seedlings of cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, kale and kohlrabi from caterpillar attack with Yates Success or with a cover of white cabbage moth material, available from Greenpatch Seeds.


The Bush Garden:

Australian native plants are now global.

Back in the 1800’s the first Australian native plants were brought to Europe to be displayed as exotic specimens never before seen, other than in illustrations. These days Australian native cultivars are produced for market by growers in Spain, Portugal, Israel, and many other countries besides . Even in Japan Australian natives are for sale almost everywhere.


Australian native plants, like this Banksia are now globally available. Photo – Getty Images



Cabbage Moth

As Linda said two weeks ago, the cabbage moth are building in numbers, as they do each autumn . The larvae of this grub will eat all seedlings in the cabbage family (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale and kohlrabi) so be prepared for an early-autumn influx!


The dreaded Cabbage Moth.


The best control are, eco neem from OCP, Yates Natures Way Vegetable Derris dust, which is based on a natural plant root extract, has a one day withholding period for edibles and is virtually non-toxic to humans, bees and wildlife (but not fish). Another effective Cabbage moth control from Yates is Dipel or Success, both of which are biological insecticides and virtually harmless to humans. Success Ultra has a one day withholding period.

The cabbage moth is very territorial and she won't lay her eggs where other moths are, we have found installing a solar powered 'fake' butterflies to hover around the Brasscia plants does the trick. Other strategies include netting the whole bed with fine insect control netting, placing a few laminated white moth cut-outs on sticks around the garden or egg shells with eyes drawn on.


In the Veggie Patch:

It’s go-time for planting

Get in your crops of spinach, radishes, lettuce, turnip, onion, cabbage, broccies and broad beans.

Attract good bugs, including pollinators, to the garden with flowers. If they’re thin on the ground through autumn and winter, find a corner for perennial basil, sweet Alice and violas now.

Sow the pea seeds that you saved from last season. Forgot? Make a note to let your best performing pea go to seed this year.


Don't forget to plant broad beans. It's a great crop and will help improve the soil as it grows. Photo - Azure /


Come away with us:

Interested in a spring tour? Join Sandra for morning tea & a talk on our Spring Garden Tours NSW Spring Festivals, South Australia & Kangaroo Island, Garden Marlborough New Zealand, Inside Victoria, Australia’s Top End, & The Emirates Melbourne Cup tour.

Come to the Ross Garden Tours office, 83 Beecroft Rd, Beecroft NSW 2119 (a 5 minute walk from Beecroft Railway Station) from 11am, Wed 20th April 2016. But note that bookings are essential. To book your place contact Royce or Roslyn on 1300 233 200.

The Top End tour is leaving later on this year and there are only a few seats left. It promises to be on of the best tours on the 2016 program. We travel in style across the unforgettable landscapes of the Kimberley, Kununurra, Katherine and Kakadu. Come with us and see gorgeous gorges, waterfalls and ancient rock art. We get to know the wildflowers along the way with expert guide Angus Stewart. It will be an unforgettable journey through the spiritual heartland of Australia.


It's not too late to join Angus Stewart on the Top End tour, but don't miss out. there are only a few seats left.


Go to the Ross Tours website, or call Royce or Roslyn at Ross Tours to reserve your place on 1300 233 200 for more details on the tour.


Garden News:

A chat with Elizabeth Parkinson about the QLD Council of Garden Clubs event at Mt Cootha

At the Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens in Brisbane this weekend there is something special happening. It's called 'A Garden Affair', and its happening this weekend.

It’s an inter-club competition between all clubs and societies who are members of Queensland Council of Garden Clubs. There are over 50 classes including floral art, cut flowers, potted plants, ferns and fruit & vegetables. There will also be Guest speakers on both days, including Noel Burdett.


Michael McCoy talks about Nelmac Garden Marlborough

Nelmac Garden Marlborough has been described as New Zealand's premier garden festival. A spring time celebration of Marlborough's stunning landscape, it showcases the very best the region has to offer with a series of garden tours, garden themed workshops and social events.

The full-day and half-day garden tours encompass everything from compact designer gardens in the heart of Blenheim to breath-taking country estates.

The festival culminates with the Garden Fête held in the picturesque Seymour Square, with over 200 stall holders offering the very best New Zealand produce.

Michael will be heading to New Zealand this October/November and you can join him! You will explore the best of New Zealand’s gardens, which are amongst the best anywhere on earth. Throw in a warm kiwi welcome and a visit to Nelmac Garden Marlborough. It’s the perfect excuse to visit this beautiful region of the south island, and in early spring the peony and wisteria are just heavenly.

Go to the Ross Tours website, or call Royce or Roslyn at Ross Tours to reserve your place on 1300 233 200 for more details on the tour.


Michael McCoy enjoys the peonies in Marlborough, New Zealand