Thursday, 28 March 2019

Korora & Sapphire Beach 28 March 2019

This outing saw us in only two suburbs of Coffs Harbour - Korora and Sapphire Beach.

Aquaponics and then a beautiful cottage garden at Korora, those threatening clouds didn't eventuate into anything major, so we had perfect weather for our garden viewing.

We even slipped in an extra garden down the road from the cottage garden. AND for just a very few members they even saw another stunning back garden in the same street, so five gardens in all for the day - what a treat.

On to Sapphire Beach where we saw CHGC member Anne's lovely garden. People were especially interested in the Tuberose which had pride of place. 

 Beachstone Cafe must have been very, very pleased to see us today as there was certainly a huge line up of people attending the lunch.
Thanks once again to Marg F. for organising such interesting destinations for our outing today. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

28 March 2019 Club Outing

Nautical Drive, Korora Garden
Once again we'll be joining with Woopi Garden Club for the March outing.

If you could meet at the first garden @ 10am with a BYO morning tea that'd be fantastic.

Garden One:  16 Norman Hill Drive, Korora
Garden Two:  1 Nautical Dve, Korora - this link to google maps is before development
Garden Three:  4 Canomie St, Sapphire Beach

Lunch is at:  Beachstone Cafe Sapphire Beach to view their menus please see here.

If you intend going to lunch, could you please RSVP to Marg (details are in an email I sent out this arvo - or her deets can be found in the latest CHGC newsletter from Sue).

Hope to see lots of folk there - once again thanks goes to Marg for organising the outing.

Thursday, 14 March 2019


Flower of the Month - March 2019

KINGDOM:  Plantae

CLASS:   Magnoliopsida

ORDER:  Malvales

FAMILY:  Malvaceae (Mallow)

GENUS:  Hibiscus L.

Jerry from Gardening Australia says there is a hibiscus for every garden. With its colourful flowers and often pretty foliage, the species choice is huge; here are a few: 

Hibiscus syriacus: Rose of Sharon - has white, mauve, blue, red, pink or lavender blooms, all with a crimson eye.

Hibiscus tiliaceus: Mangrove or cotton hibiscus has yellow or white single flowers; a purple-leafed form is available. Tolerates salt spray. Forms a tree, shrub or windbreak. Evergreen (or tiliaceus rubra with red leaves).

Hibiscus schizopetalus: Elegant, pendulous pink, red or white flowers have keeply dissected petals. Japanese lantern is a bird-attracting shrub for the garden or containers.

Hibiscus tiliaceus - image Wikipedia
The Australian native hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus) is a tree rather than a shrub and more commonly called, sea hibiscus, beach hibiscus, coastal hibiscus, coastal cottonwood, native hibiscus, native rosella, cottonwood hibiscus. There are many growing around the Coffs Coast. The bronze foliaged variety is the tiliaceus rubra.

Bring along your favourite for the competition table this Saturday.

For more information on native Hibiscus' see this Gardening with Angus  page.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Organic Fungicides

As the temperature and humidity rises here on the Coffs Coast foliage diseases start to appear. The trick is to try and catch them before they take hold and set your plants back on their heels!

Get into the habit of walking around every few days to remove anything that looks a bit dodgy, spotty or weird - these are usually found on the older leaves and toss them into your general waste bin - not into compost bins. This not only keeps things looking tidy but it also eliminates a major source of fungal spores that would otherwise spread. Avoid wetting the foliage when watering as this splashes spores about the creates ideal conditions for foliage diseases to flourish.

If disease is getting away from you - despite your best efforts to remove damaged material, consider applying an organic fungicide to the remaining healthy unaffected foliage to help contain outbreaks. Fungicides add a layer of protection to the leaf, preventing fungal spores from germinating. Copper hydroxide can be applied to tomatoes to assist in managing septoria leaf spot. Organic products based on potassium bicarbonate effectively shield zucchini foliage from powdery mildew and kill existing fungal spores as well. Reapply fungicides after rain and always follow directions on the product label.

Friday, 1 March 2019

Fungus Gnat

Fungus gnats are those really annoying little flies that are commonly found in groups just hanging around our indoor plants and bags of potting mix. They are either black or dark grey and about 3mm long and just thrive in moist potting mix or soil. These critters are not benign - they can transmit diseases like pythium and fusariumYou may also see them hovering around over-ripe fruit in your fruit bowl and mistake them for fruit fly. Adult fungal gnats are attracted to the decomposing organic fruit matter.

The larvae can be fairly hard to see as they are so small - just 4-5mm long, white to translucent and live within the soil or potting mix. They feed on a range of organic material including plant roots, soft seedling stems and the base of cuttings. They can cause wilting and slow growth of plants. If your potting mix is infested with these critters it can make establishing cuttings very difficult as they have fewer roots and can be killed outright by the hungry larvae. 

Larvae can also spread various diseases like phytophthora, rhizoctonia, verticillium and others. 
(all links are to Wikipedia)

Fungus gnats can infest any soil but are most prevalent in potting mixes which are high in organic matter and damp areas outdoors. The soil in which houseplants are potted can also provide an environment in which fungus gnats can flourish, along with seedling punnets, pots with cuttings and in greenhouses. As a general rule allow your indoor plants to dry out before watering - this will kill the larval stages in the soil. In general do not overwater indoor plants, Excess watering leads to algal growth in the potting mix and on saucers which fungus gnats will also feed on.
An organic control method is to apply eco-neem as a soil drench to kill larvae within the soil. A repeat application may be required as adult fungus gnats live for several days and may lay some new eggs into the soil.