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Radio Round Up November 28 - 29

Back from another magnificent Autumn tour of Japan, Graham Ross has some catching up to do. 

First item, hosting the inaugural meeting of the Australian Garden Council in Canberra; then announcing the ‘Graham Ross Landscape Excellence Gold Award’ winner; And after that, reading up on the Art Gallery of NSW plans to acquire part of the Royal Botanic Gardens to build the Sydney Modern. And then there’s the garden….

Last Chance to:

All areas

Review your fruit fly control measures

Check the irrigation system before the hot dry weather begins.

If banksia or grevilleas leaf tips are yellowing, boost iron levels with 10g of iron sulphate in a 10L watering can.


Look out for coddling moth grubs on apples. Remove any damaged fruit.

Fertilise berries and make sure they are well mulched.


Clear out gutters and drains in preparation for summer rains.

Fill gaps in the garden so that new pants are established before the heat sets in.


Mulch pots with pea-straw to retain moisture.

Prune hibiscus and propagate from the cuttings.

Plant costus, palms and gingers in humus-enriched soil, and watch them grow – fast!


Wet season vegetables, such as okra, snake beans, chilli, capsicum and eggplant can be sown now.

Apply thick mulch to prevent weed infestation.

Plant yellow cherry tomatoes in pots for disease-free fruit during the wet.

When you have 10 minutes

Lift bulbs. Let bulb foliage die back as the bulb needs the energy stored for its next growing phase. Then dig them up, first carefully loosening the soil with a fork, then pulling them out by their stems. Clear excess soil off the bulbs and store them in a breathable bag in a cool place away from direct light.


Shell Ginger will grow a mile a minute in summer gardens all up and down the coast.

Bush Garden:

Kangaroo Paw are at there absolute best right now in the bush garden. These furry, iconic Australian flowers are a great addition to a garden, especially the smaller varieties. As long as you have a space that sees full sun and they’re planted into a native potting mix, you can’t go wrong. From now until early summer keep up the water to maintain colour and extend longevity in the blooms. To stimulate new growth, cut back old flower stems and foliage to the base.



The most feared pest of the fruit and vegetable grower is the Queensland fruit fly ( Bactrocera tryoni). Hard work turns to horror when fruit is full of fruit fly grubs. But you can follow a few tips and ensure that cutting open your home-grown treasure is thrilling rather than chilling.

After hatching, the female fruit fly must feed on a protein source to become fertile. Eco-Naturlure and Yates Fruit Fly Control contain an appetising protein and a hidden surprise, ‘Spinosad’, which knocks them dead. The female fruit fly needs to eat the solution so a fine spray is ineffective as it’s likely to dry before the fruit fly can feed. We like to use half a paint roller, soaked in the solution, and then hung in a PET bottle with the bottom cut out. The females can drink directly from the roller. When it dries it needs to be soaked again. One half-roller will be enough unless you have quite a few fruit trees.


Here's how we keep eco-natralure spray liquid for the female fly to feed on. Photo - Linda Ross 

Look out. Citrus bugs about

My citrus developed a little stink bug issue whilst I was in Japan. But there are only a few Bronze Orange Bugs left on my citrus trees now that I’ve hit them with Yates Natures Way Citrus & Ornamental Spray. It’s the only Bronze Orange Bug Control certified with Australian Certified Organic as being suitable for use in organic gardens, and that means it's OK for edibles!

Keep an eye on your citrus trees at the moment. Feed them up for summer, if you haven’t done so already. Look out for evidence of Citrus Leaf Miner. These bugs eat their way through the inside of leaves, making a squiggle-trail visible on the surface. This is the Citrus Leaf Miner larvae causing the damage. The females lay eggs in the leaves. Use the OCP CLF Trap to catch the male citrus leaf miner adults and prevent them mating with the females. Then use eco-neem to control the larvae, as eco-neem can penetrate the leaves making it more effective in controlling these bugs. 

Your citrus should be putting on lots of new growth at this time of year. We ahd a caller this weekend with a cumquat tree that hasn’t any leaves at all. If your citrus looks more like our caller’s tree you need to encourage the new growth before feeding it up. Water in some eco-hydrate and a liquid feed like Harvest. When the new growth comes feed up with a citrus fertiliser like Giganic and feed again every three months.

In The Vaggie Patch

There is still 4 or 5 months of good planting in the veggie patch. Try some unusual varieties of tomato in different colours and flavours. But remember to get the foliage up off the ground and keep them disease free.

Come travelling with us:

Come with us to an England up to its knees in spring blossom, carpets of tulips and meadows of wildflowers. Our England is a happy mix of horticulture and history: the Chelsea Flower Show, Sissinghurst, Great Dixter and a touch of Tudor glamour. 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:

There is so much garden news to share with you this weekend. We’ve seen the birth of the Australian Garden Council, Excellence Awards for landscapers and garden centres, and potential threats to the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens. So much has happened over the past week or two.

The Australian Garden Council Launch 

The inaugural meeting of the Australian Garden Council has taken place in the Courtyard at Parliament House in Canberra. The Prime Minister was in attendance, as well as senior cabinet ministers and many of the MP’s for Gardening group.

12 months ago I gave a speech at the opening of a lookout in Blackheath. I voiced my concern that there is no overarching body supporting specifically gardening, as there are in other countries, like Canada. Member for Macquarie, Louise Markus was in the crowd at that event and she encouraged me to take action.

Louise had the honour of announcing the Australian Garden Council in Parliament last week. She told the house that there are over 150 tourism gardens in Australia, and over 3 million garden tourists in the world. There is a tremendous opportunity in Australia to attract more of these tourists here through the creation of landmark gardens.

The Australian Garden Council aims to promote the education of young horticulturists to ensure there are rewarding career paths in Horticulture and Ornamental Gardening, supporting the growth of garden tourism in Australia.

Louise has been instrumental in getting the AGC off the ground and promoting it in Canberra with her parliamentary colleagues. We thank her for her support and look forward to the future of Australian gardening.

Senator Anne Ruston, assistant minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, has lived her entire life surrounded by ornamental horticulture, the Ruston family being famous for growing roses. Senator Ruston was at the Australian Garden Council meeting, and she joined me on the show to talk about it.

The Australian Garden Council, according to Senator Ruston, is a great opportunity for Australia. It’s a national body giving a voice to ornamental horticulture, which has always brought such great benefit to society and the national economy.

Award winners 

We are delighted to hear that one of our Nursery Partners, Total Gardens in Coffs Harbour has just been awarded ‘Best Small Garden Centre in NSW/ACT’, ‘Best Regional Business Mid North Coast’ and ‘Best Retail Business 2016’. What an outstanding effort. The store manager, Julie said they are 'all doing the happy dance here in Coffs Harbour at the announcement. 

The 2015 LNA Landscape Excellence Awards night was staged last Friday and Linda had the pleasure of awarding the Graham Ross Landscape Excellence Gold Award to Adam Eurell of Natures Vision Landscapes for the Mann Project. I look forward to chatting with Adam during next week’s show.


Art v's the Gardens: What's the world coming to?  

Incredible revelations from former Prime Minister, Paul Keeting this week regarding The NSW Art Gallery plan to acquire a swathe of the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens to build, what Keating calls, “a large entertainment and special events complex masquerading as an art gallery.” It disappoints me so much that this idea is even being considered. I thought we we’re past all this.


Site as it looks now with playing fields and a large stand of trees along side Art Gallery Road. Photo - Art Gallery NSW

Artist impression of the proposed Sydney Modern. Photo -