Here’s a short video that was taken on the weekend. We were in the Yuragir National Park near Grafton, with our daughter and her husband. The north NSW coast has had some beautiful weather recently and we have been fortunate to enjoy some warmth and out-of-doors.
Penny Woodward on pest-repellent plants and pest control in gardens. Penny is the horticultural director of the ABC’s ‘Your Garden’ magazine, the author of seven books on gardening and the co-author of a book on tomatoes.
• Healthy gardens are less likely to have pest problems. The start of a healthy garden is healthy soil, containing abundant microbial life, worms and fungi. Compost – preferably home-made – is very important.
• To maintain a healthy balance:
o Avoid using chemical pesticides, which may kill the beneficial micro-organisms in the soil.
o Avoid over-watering and over-feeding plants, which can encourage rapid, sappy growth. Sappy growth produces pheromones, which attract pests.
o Avoid monoculture: grow many different plants together, both flowers and vegetables.
o Practice 3-year crop rotation.
o Encourage predators, especially spiders. Don’t destroy their webs. Ants can also be beneficial, although they do farm aphids, which can be controlled by banding the trunks of susceptible trees. Plant native plants and strongly-scented flowers to encourage birds; have water to encourage frogs and microbats.
o Don’t be in a hurry to destroy bugs. Wait and see, tolerate a little damage, and nature will often work it out for you!
• Chemical-free pest control:
o Snails and slugs: use short lengths of poly pipe banded with copper tape around newly-emerging seedlings
o Birds: use exclusion net bags or waxed paper bags or flywire sleeves to protect fruit. (Not perfect, as our native birds are very smart!)
o White cabbage butterflies: Buy or make imitation white butterflies to place amongst brassicas. The real butterflies will not lay eggs on plants that appear to be already occupied.
o Scented plants can be grown near vulnerable plants so that pests are less likely to find them: sages (especially purple salvia officinalis and pineapple sage, salvia elegans), artemisia, rosemary, scented pelargoniums, dogbane (plectranthus ornatus), bronze fennel, lavenders, tree marigold, thymes, alliums, lemon grass, lemon verbena, bayleaves, winter savory. Many of these can also be made into sprays and have other uses such as in pot pourri, as teas, embrocations, etc.
o Beware! Not all pest sprays on sale as ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ are suitable. Pyrethroid sprays are not. Even some sprays derived from plant-based pyrethrins may have toxic additives. Penny recommended ‘ Yates Nature’s Way Citrus and Ornamental Spray’.
o Further assistance: Renaissance Herbs is a wholesale nursery which can give information about retail plant supply. Eco-Organic is a useful supplier of organic pest control
The Autumn Flower Show is to take place this coming Monday. Attached is a copy of the Flower Show Categories just in case you have not received a copy. The show will be judged by the popular vote of members. Don’t forget to collect you 17 red dots and 1 gold dot as you enter the Club House.
Entries will only be received between 6:30Pm and 7:15PM, the only exceptions will be for Stewards assisting in the staging of the show. There will be an area set aside on the veranda outside the pro shop which is on the opposite side of the building to the usual main entrance. Access can be obtained either up the rear steps or along the front veranda leading to the rear. It is highly recommended that you carry out as much preparation prior to your arrival as space is limited.
There will be a trading table and the last lot of books will be available for sale.
1. One exhibition bloom, truss or spike
2. One container of cut Flowers any number of stems, all of one type.
3. One container of flowers from tree, shrub or creeper all of one type – any number of stem, colour variation allowed
4. One container of mixed flowers, any number of stems
5. One container of dahlias, any number of stems, variety and colour variation allowed
6. One container of roses, any number of stems, variety and colour variation allowed
7. One rose
8. One container of autumn foliage any number of stems maximum size 75cm in any direction.
9. One container of fuchsia, any number of stems
10. One Fern, maximum bench space allowed 50cm x 50cm
11. One pot plant (no ferns)
12. One floral arrangement using fresh Flowers (Can be wired and use accessories – Floral Art).
13. Collection of succulents and/or cacti – at least three varieties or types. Maximum container size 50cm x 50cm
14. Floral design in a saucer
15. Bits & pieces in a coffee mug
16. Exhibit of Produce, one type, single or multiple pieces. Maximum bench space allowed 50cm x 50cm.
17. Collection of produce using fruit, vegetables and/or nuts –at least three different types of produce. Maximum bench space allowed 75cm x 75cm.
Our speakers for the meeting next Monday at the Warburton Golf Club, will be speaking on weed identification and control of weeds in this area. You are invited to bring along any weed samples that you may want help in identifying. Especially if you can combine this with a photo of the weed in situ. This identification process could be the most valuable part of the presentation.
So get out in the garden and dig up you most vexing weeds (if they are surviving the drought) and bring them along.
PS Bring a neighbour that has made positive comments about your garden. They just may like to be a part of our club.
I have finally caught up with the people involved in the Martyr Road and Waterloo Avenue house fires and presented to them their cheques.
The first photo relates to Janine and John Thompson-Stokell, (Waterloo Ave), and the other is of Nina Hellicare, (Martyr Road).
Each family received $1200 towards their endeavour to get their lives back on track. We wish them all the best and let them know that the club is proud to have helped in their time of need.
With the payment of these cheques the Club has donated just on $14,500 to worthy recipients since 2010.
I’m sorry everybody. I had this post done the day after the party but for some reason it never actually arrived at the website. My apologies. Enjoy reliving the moments of frivolity.