Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Zone Day Keynote Speaker Announced

The Keynote Speaker for Zone Day 2014 is

Horticultural Journalist Elizabeth Swane

Elizabeth is a member of one of Australia’s best-known rose growing families and is the daughter of rosarian Ben Swane. Elizabeth worked at the family nursery, Swane’s Nursery at Dural for 25 years until its sale in 2000. She has worked as the Horticultural Consultant to Burkes Backyard Magazine, been a regular gardening presenter on the popular talkback show ‘Weekends with Simon Marnie’ on ABC Radio 702 Sydney and has written for several national gardening magazines. Elizabeth currently is the garden Editor for Central West Lifestyle Magazine and also contributes as a freelancer to Your Garden and Better Homes and Gardens Magazines.

Elizabeth’s presence at our Zone Day is made possible only by generous sponsorship from Total Gardens, Coffs Harbour

This rose was named for Elizabeth's Aunt, Valerie Swane

Zone Day 2014 is being held
at the Cavanbah Centre, Harbour Drive, Coffs

Saturday 16 August 2014

Friendship through Gardens

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Quiz Answers

The answers to the quiz published in the CHGC February newsletter are:

1. a)    Topiary
2. a)    The bark
3. b)    Tomato
4. a)    Citrus
5. b)    A shallow trench in which to sow seeds
6. c)    Orchid
7. b)    Boron deficiency
8. c)    To help prevent a build-up of pests and diseases in the soil

The questions can also be viewed on the CHGC facebook page

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Citrus Leaf Miner

Phyllocnistic citrella

Distorted growth on citrus tree
Distorted growth as in this photo, is often caused by citrus leafminer. Citrus leafminer is a small moth pest and the damage to the leaves of citrus is caused by the larvae as they mine immature foliage. Twisted and curled leaves are generally the first symptoms noticed. Severe infestations - an average of two or more mines per leaf - can retard the growth and yield of nursery and newly planted trees, however their effect on mature trees is far less serious. Infestations generally occur in late summer and autumn and are often related to low natural enemy activity. They rarely occur in spring because the production of new growth is prolific and synchronised and quickly becomes immune to attack. Leafminer is native to eastern and southern Asia and is now widely distributed where citrus is grown throughout the world.

The moth was first recorded in Australia in and around Darwin in 1912. It was probably present several years earlier and was apparently eliminated in 1922 after a five year campaign to eradicate citrus canker. During the campaign all citrus trees north of the nineteenth parallel in the territory were destroyed. Since then rigorous quarantine measures have been in force to prevent establishment of the disease in Australia. In 1940 citrus leafminer was again found in Darwin and in 1965 it was recorded at Cairns in Qld. Between 1965 and 1985 it spread slowly southwards along the east coast of the continent to the NSW south coast. In 1988 it was still only found in the Northern Territory and in the coastal districts of NSW and Qld and was affecting less than 20% of the Australian citrus industry. In 1989 it was recorded for the first time in orchards and home gardens from Dubbo north. Between then and 1992 it spread south west into the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Areas, Hillston and the Murray River districts of NSW and Victoria. By January 1993 it reached the NSW/Victorian Sunraysia and South Australian Riverland districts. By April 1995 it had spread across the continent to south-western Western Australia. So from the first moth recorded around 1912 it has been spread throughout the continent of Australia, amazing how it can be spread by we humans possibly taking a few citrus to family and friends!

The adults are night flying moths with a wingspan of a tiny 5mm. The females lay their eggs on new young growth in the warmer months of the year. When the larvae hatch they are flat and yellow and are around 3mm long. The larvae burrows into the leaf, leaving silvery squiggly paths on the foliage.

Once grown, the larvae will curl the edges of the leaf together to help form the cocoon. Inside the cocoon, it will pupate into its final form - the small moth mentioned above.

Under optimum conditions the whole life cycle takes from two to three weeks. The affects can stunt growth and reduce yield. It can be especially damaging to the tender new growth of the plant.

Control: Because infestations are restricted to flush growth, particularly in late summer and autumn, their severity can be reduced by fertilising in winter to promote flush growth in spring when the pest is either absent or relatively scarce and by limiting flush growth in late summer and autumn by not fertilising and irrigating during summer and autumn in excess of the amount needed for normal growth. This is a bit of a problem for our Coffs' gardens as we have wet summers! Pruning of late flush growth can also be used to limit and remove the unsightly infestations.

Natural enemies include small parasitic wasps and predators such as lacewings. These predators are generally associated with heavy infestations.

Spraying with an approved citrus spray at the recommended doses and frequency to both the upper and lower surfaces of susceptible leaves should commence in January.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Boambee Creek Reserve Picnic BBQ

Our first event for 2014 will be a social get together at Boambee Creek Reserve, Sawtell Road around noon on Monday 3 February 2014.

This gathering is a chance for us to once again interact as a group, but also an opportunity for any potential new members to meet us in a social setting. We welcome anyone who would like to become a member of the Coffs Garden Club.

There are BBQ plates available if you wish to cook up a storm; bring a picnic lunch or there is a Kiosk which has food for purchase.

Look out for our little rainbow Bali flag - we try to snaffle the first shelter on the left after passing the Kiosk!

If you require further info please give Geoff a call 6656 2429.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Zone Co-ordinator Keryn Rodham

Photo Laurie Gardner                                                  

Keryn was all smiles at the Coffs Garden Club Christmas function held at Opal Cove. Keryn makes time to visit every Club within her zone each year and we were very happy to welcome both her and husband Scott (President Woolgoolga Garden Club) to this event.

Reminder of Air-side Maintenance at Coffs Airport

There will be air-side maintenance at the airport this Wednesday 15 January. Please bring photo ID, hat, gloves and your favourite garden tools and meet outside the Administration Building at 9.15am (take the left access road after the undercover long stay car park). Work usually commences at 9.30am however, time has to be allowed for signing in.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Gardeners' Tips - January 2014

Citrus— fertilize with citrus food and mulch well. Trees will need regular Pest Oil spray to keep Citrus Leaf Miner attack under control. 

Cymbidium Orchids— foliar spray in December and a fertilize from late January with Orchid Food as flower spikes will have commenced to form and develop in most cultivars.

Flowering shrubs— give a little haircut after flowering to encourage new growth, also reward them with some fertilizer for their effort in producing those beautiful blooms.

Hedges—now that the mad spring growth has slowed, it’s time to give our hedges a little haircut.

Hibiscus and Bougainvilleas—Liquid Feed these ‘hungry’ plants, look out for Hibiscus Beetle and if noticed spray in the middle of the day when flowers are fully open.

Lawns—look for dead patches in lawns caused by lawn grubs and treat immediately. Apply a good complete turf fertilizer before rain for that wonderful verdant green lawn for the kids to play on!

Mulch—Use pelletized fertilizers before adding mulch to your garden beds.

Natives—will enjoy a dose of native fertilizer, never use high phosphorus products on natives—they will reward you by curling up their toes!

Passionfruit and Strawberries are gross feeders so apply a blood and bone/potash mix (4:1) every six to eight weeks during fruiting period. Keeping the Cockatoos out is another matter!

Pots—Use a wetting agent in conjunction with liquid fertilizer to keep your plants happy.

Powdery mildew on cucurbits such as cucumbers, melons, zucchini and pumpkins is not a good look so use a preventative spray of a canola based oil to the upper and underneath surfaces of the leaves. If however, there are infected plants spray with Mancozeb Plus.

Propagate—this is the time to take those tip cutting from Azaleas, Camellias, Gardenias, Vibernums, Buddleias and Magnolias.

Roses—keep deadheading by cutting the stems off two buds underneath the spent flowers, and keep up your applications of fertilizer every 6 weeks.

Vegetables—keep up the nitrogen enriched fertilizers to those vegies that are ‘green’ ie spinach, lettuce, herbs etc