Extracts from Real World Gardener radio program on 2RRR 88.5fm in Sydney, Australia. This program has feature interviews, regular segments like Design Elements, Plant of the Week and Vegetable Heroes.
Real World Gardener Dendrobium Cultivation and Care in Plant of the Week
DENDROBIUMS Part 3
Cultivation and care
If you been listening to the series on dendrobium orchids you might now be wondering how best to look after them? You might even be asking do I need a greenhouse or shadehouse like Adrian has for his 200 or so orchids, or can you grow just one or two without too much fuss somewhere in the garden?
Let’s find out.. I'm talking with Adrian O’Malley, native plant and orchid expert. The three most important things for care of your dendrobiums are location, watering and fertilising. Adrian’s tips is let them completely dry out in winter, but if temperatures are in the high 40’s, you may need to mist them several times a day.
If they look pinched they need watering.
Adrian has an inline fertilising system which is attached to a hose but before the tap. He then places a rock mineral fertiliser in that inline system which leaches a very small amount into the water each time he waters the orchids.
Adrian also recommends using two types of additional fertilisers depending on the time of year.
Fertilisers high in potash to promote spring flowering, and fertilisers high in nitrogen to promote growth.
Tip: Add a handful of dolomite lime over the bark mix every couple of years to counteract the acidity of the media as it breaks down.
If you have any questions about Australian orchids, drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to 2rrr PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675
Real World Gardener Hybrid Dendrobium Orchids of the Week
Dendrobium sp. episode 2
Australia has 50 native species of dendrobiums and dockrillias and most of these grow mainly somewhere along the east coast of Australia. The ones that grow in Qld, in quite warm temperature to tropical areas, don’t grow so well further south and one might need a greenhouse to grow some of these.
But those that originate in Victoria or NSW don’t do so well in the tropics. This is where hybrid dendrobiums of these native orchids come in Let’s find out.. I'm talking to native plant expert and orchidophile, Adrian O’Malley Hybrid dendrobiums are numerous and as an example can be crosses of Dendrobium speciosum and Dendrobium kingianum. This particular cross gives you Dendrobium x delicatum which can have either with or pink flowers and even perfume. A famous one that Adrian mentioned is Dendrobium Hilda Poxon (pictured above).This is a cross between Dendrobium speciosum x Dendrobium tetragonum
Real World Gardener Dendrobium orchid in Plant of the Week
PLANT OF THE WEEK
Dendrobiums sp. Episode 1
Scientific Name:Dendrobium speciosumCommon Name: Rock Orchid, Sydney Rock OrchidNative Habitat: growing on granite cliff faces or boulders.
Plant type: Lithophyte
Description: consisting of pseudobulbs or canes that can be up to 45cm long. Large leathery leaves than can last up to 12 years on the plant. Flowering August to September.
Flowering:Arching racemes that can have up to 100 fragrant flowers per stem.
Climate zone: Outdoors in tropical to temperate climates, but shadehouses in colder areas.
Some gardeners think that growing orchids can be a bit tricky or only for the orchid afficionado.
They may have experienced one or two failures that has tainted their perception of orchids for life. But I think, give orchids another go, because there’s ones out there that are hard to kill. This one’s no exception. Let’s find out what it is. I'm talking with Adrian O’Malley, native plant expert and native orchid afficionado.
One of the most spectacular Australian orchids and one of the easiest to grow.
When establishing your new orchid, you can attach it with coated wire or plastic rope to a tree, or boulder in your garden.
Adrian has his own orchid house in his backyard where he grows about 200 different types of orchids and yes, they are all types of Australian native orchids. Be like Adrian, and grow some yourself. If you have any questions about Australian orchids, drop us a line to email@example.com or write to 2rrr PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675
Real World Gardener New Garden Hoses in Tool Time
Garden Hoses: New Hoses on the Market
Watering your garden by hand in the warmer months is usually a relaxing pleasure unless of course you’re fighting with a cranky hose.
Hoses don’t last forever, and when they start to show signs of wear, you may find yourself getting frustrated every time the hose kinks and stops the flow of water.So what’s new in hoses if you need an update?Some are made of vinyl, some are made of rubber, some have reinforcement, some are expanding, and others advertise as being kink free and even made of steelWhich one do you choose?Let’s find out.
That was Tony Mattson, general manager of www.cutabovetools.com.auTony’s tip, is ‘buy what you can afford, and don’t just go for the cheapest.
You want it to last a minimum of 5 to 10 years
Hoses have a hard life out in the sun, or frost in some cases so don’t expect too much from your hose after 5-10 years.
Check the distance from the hose to the furthest point you want to water. Longer is not better because it's heavy to move around.
Consider how long should you have a hose. Tony says most people overestimate how much hose length that they need.
The diameter is 1/2 inch or 12.5mm. A nursery would traditionally use a 19mm diameter hose.
Materials of hoses: kink ratings are not connected to any standard. A bit of marketing goes into the rating most likely.
A totally kinking hose may be made totally of rubber.
Then store it in loops not small circles.
When you first get a hose, lay it out in the sun to straighten it out.
It may just be time for a replacement.If you have questions about hoses or have information to share, drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to 2rrr PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675
Real World Gardener Peppercorns of All Sorts in Spice It Up
SPICE IT UP
Black pepper, White Pepper: Peppers of All Sorts
Until recently, this next spice, black pepper, was one of the most traded in the world. We’re talking thousands of tonnes of black pepper, can you imagine? But why was that and how does this it grow?
On a tree, a shrub or is it an orchid?
Did you know that to get black peppercorns, the berries are harvested when they are green?
Let’s find out more.
I’ve being talking with Ian Hemphill from www.herbies.com.auThe peppercorn that we know isPiper nigrum vine native to south India.
All peppercorns are harvested by hand.
Gardeners in the tropics and possibly sub tropics can grow this vine up a trellis or a tree outside in the garden.
Pepper is a jungle plant so that the roots need to remain cool,The vine will fill a trellis in about three years. Berries that are picked when they're fat and green can be dried to make black pepper.
In the wild, or in plantations where they are allowed to grow up palm trees, the hermaphrodite pepper flowers are pollinated by rain running down the catkin. This occurs during the monsoon
So if you want to grow one in your home garden, watering the flowers should mimic this.
Berries allowed to mature and turn red, can be peeled and inside is a seed.This is actually white pepper.
Real World Gardener Midgen Berry in Plant of the Week
PLANT OF THE WEEK 2
Scientific name:Austromyrtus dulcis
Common name: Midgen berry
Flowers: white with 5 petals, in spring and summer. Later in cooler districts.
Leaves: variable 9-30mm with noticeable oil glands. New growth is covered with silky hairs.
Site: part shade to full sun
Uses: bush tucker food
Cultivars: Austromyrtus 'Copper Tops." ( A hybrid between A. dulcis and A. tenuifolia.)
Here’s a shrub that has not only green leaves but berries that you can actually eat.
Let’s find out more…I'm talking with Adrian O’Mally, qualified horticulturist and native plant expert.
The white berries have pale purple spots and a reputedly crunchy with a similar taste to blackberries.
I never found that thinking they were more pasty albeit sweet tasting.
The preferred soil is will drained.
Midgen berry hedges is a great alternative to murraya hedges. Plant that closer together than the recommendation on the plant tag. Usually half the distance is best.
In it's native environment it may grow as a spreading shrub up to 2 m tall. Usually found in sandy soils in heath, scrub or open forests and occasionally on the margins of rainforests.
In the home garden 40cm x 1.4m wide
Midgen berry copper tops has coppery coloured new growth.