The rain may have eased but the clean up has just begun
I'll be talking about how we can all help those affected by the floods later in the show. But for now, the sun is shining and its time to get stuck into those winter jobs. So lets get started.
It's time to....
Plant spring annuals in coastal areas. Look for bargains at the local nursery.
Plant rhubarb, leek and spinach. But watch out for the cabbage white butterfly
Last chance for tulips! Bargains may be bagged but make sure bulbs are not inferior quality. Refuse any with black spots or mould.
Prune hydrangeas back by one third to a double shoot bud.
Cut back autumn-flowering perennials such as Easter daisies (asters), chrysanthemum, canna lilies and ginger lilies.
Prune camellia sasanqua after flowering. Hedge trimmers are perfect for this task.
Sharpen and clean secateurs and loppers ready for pruning roses and tidying trees and shrubs next month.
Photo - Hannah MacCowatt
Fix water retention problems in the soil. Add gypsum and well-rotted animal manures then cover with compost.
Dahlias in well-drained soil can be left in the ground. Otherwise tubers should be lifted once the foliage has yellowed and died down so they don’t rot.
Store tubers in a box of dry sand until late spring
Order catalogues from Diggers, Lambley, Green Harvest and Green Patch Organic Seeds for great winter reading and planning.
Refresh the shed – clean and sharpen tools, pump up the wheelbarrow tyres.
Want more winter jobs to do in your garden? check the website, It's Time To: June
Alyogyne, Native Hibiscus
The native Blue Hibiscus will become straggly unless pruned regularly. This is best done after the main flowering flush in late spring. Don't hesitate
to prune the shrub back quite hard to ensure stronger, bushier growth and increase its longevity and flowering life.
Alyogyne wrayae 'Blue Heeler'
As with most native plants it is sensitive to phosphorous soils and fertilisers. The Bush Tucker fertiliser has been especially blended for native plants.
Graham with Alyogyne huegelii 'West Coast Gem'
Tomato Wilt Virus
Tomato wilt virus is common and widespread throughout Australia and affects plant species of the solanaceae family.
Detected in Australia in the early 1900s and rapidly spread to other areas. It is now common in temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions around the
world. The disease affects around 800 different plant species, and has become a major issue for tomato growers.
There is no treatment for spotted wilt once a plant is infected, but there are steps you can take to control and reduce the incidence of the virus.
It is not easy to control in tomato plants because of the virus’s wide host range, which includes perennials and weeds. If the disease appears, infected
plants should be removed and destroyed immediately. This is not always effective, however, as oftentimes the virus has spread before symptoms ever
Tomato Wilt Virus. Photo - Graham Ross
In the Veggie Patch
When planting veggies and herbs don’t be afraid to mix up the planting. It distracts pests looking for a large planting of a host and makes for efficient
use of a limited space.
Here planted with curly leafed parsley, thyme and lacy Asian leafy greens are Wong Bok Chinese cabbage a regular cabbage seedling and some annuals.
Wong Bok Chinese cabbage a regular cabbage seedling and some annuals. Photo - Graham Ross
They’ve added flowering marigolds, nasturtiums and Sweet Alice (Alyssum). Colour, produce and no pests.
The curry tree or Murraya koenigii is a sub-tropical tree in the citrus family and is native to India and Sri Lanka.
Its leaves are used in many dishes in there and neighbouring countries. Often used in curries, hence the common name.
The leaves are highly prized as seasoning in Indian and Sri Lankan cooking especially in curries, usually fried initially with chopped onion.
In Sri Lanka curry tree is used fresh as they have a short shelf life and do not keep well in the refrigerator. They are also available dried, though the
aroma is poor. They do keep quite well frozen if well wrapped.
While most sub continent countries use the curry tree leaves for flavouring food in Cambodia they roast the leaves then to soups and dishes.
Other countries use the leaves in soaps and body lotions, bath and air fresheners and even in aromatherapy.
This multi purpose small tree should be kept to around 2m tall to encourage fresh new aromatic growth.
Grow your own curry tree and enjoy 100% flavour. Photo - Graham Ross;
Help on the way for Picton after the flooding disaster
Large areas of Picton have been destroyed by flood waters. Photo -4BC
Homes, gardens and businesses in Picton have been completely destroyed by the floods.
NSW MP for Wollondilly Jai Rowell has set up a relief fund to help those in need.
To help call Wollondilly Council on (02) 46771100
Council will be open over the weekend so volunteers can register and have insurance cover through the lions club.
Bring cleaning equipment, gloves, buckets etc.
To donate goods:
Contact Kelly on 0414 375 645, or Ria on 0408 687 097.
Check Facebook for the “Community Spirit Disaster Appeal Picton 2016”.
To donate money:
Lions Club of Tahmoor Incorporated Jai Rowell Storm Relief Fund
BSB: 633 000
ACC No: 157 665 639
Contact Jai Rowell, the federal member for Wollondilly on the number below.
Office: (02) 46832622
Private: 0450 410 104
To donate other money:
Mayoral Relief Fund
BSB: 082 883
ACC No: 359 330 786
Or go to Wollondilly Council
62 – 64 Menagle St Picton
(02) 4677 1100
Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney bicentennial celebrations
The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney master-plan has been shelved, the $14 million 'Calyx' glasshouse opens this weekend and the exhibition, Sweet Addiction:
the Botanical Story of Chocolate, will run from now until April 17 next year.
The Calyx opens this weekend at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.
On Monday afternoon, a canon will be fired twice to represent the moment in 1816 when tools were finally downed on Mrs Macquaries Road. Artist Jonathan
Jones' major installation, Barrangal dyara, will run for two weeks in September.
I catch up with Charlie Albone
Australia’s own Charlie Albone has beaten the world’s best green thumbed hopefuls to claim a silver gilt medal at the 2016 Royal Horticultural Society
(RHS) Chelsea Flower Show.
Silver gilt winner, Charlie Albone in his Chelsea Flower Show display garden. Photo - Heathcliffe O'Malley
Albone has earned his second silver gilt medal in as many years. It’s a superb achievement for the popular landscaper and television personality, who is
the first Australian ever to compete in back to back shows.
Want to see more of this award winning garden? check out the latest blog, Australian garden wins silver at chelsea.
Come away with us:
Tour Southern India with Libby Cameron
The opulent palaces, towering forts, beautiful gardens, vibrant colours and incredible bazaars of India have cast their spell on Libby Cameron. She invites
you to join them on a wonderfully luxurious adventure to Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Udaipur and Jaipur.
You too can join Libby and enjoy the sights, smells and colours of India next February and March.
For more information on this incredible tour 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.