Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Powdery Mildew

A very common fungal disease, powdery mildew attacks a broad range of plants. It looks like a white or grey powder coating leaves of plants and spreads rapidly over foliage. On some plants it will also attach and distort young stems and flower buds - the infected tissue withers and dies.

This is one that demands fast action because of its rapid growth and also to prevent its spread to other plants. If left untreated powdery mildew will kill most annuals and significantly weaken other plants.

Plants that are susceptible include grapes, roses, peas, geraniums, hydrangeas, gerberas, rosemary, mint, zucchini, annuals and crepe myrtles.

The most efficient organic way to curb powdery mildew is to hit it with eco-fungicide or eco-rose (both of which will destroy the fungal growth on contact) and will leave a protective coating against new spores germinating. 

By adding seaweed product to the spray this will also help the plants to recover by strengthening their foliage to fight off further attacks and reduce the stress to the plant. Any affected leaves should be removed and destroyed.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Coffs Harbour Garden Club celebrates 40 years

Allen Taylor's sawmill and Park Beach Plaza at a very early stage of construction,
Coffs Harbour, March 6, 1979. Image John Rotar

Just to help you recall 1979 - Sir Zelman Cowen was the Governor General, Malcolm Fraser Prime Minister, Bill Hayden Opposition Leader and Neville Wran NSW Premier. By the way it was Premier Wran who allowed pubs to open on Sundays in New South Wales in that year too!

On the 19th April 1979 a motion was carried at the Coffs Harbour Horticultural Society meeting to change the name of the Society to Coffs Harbour Garden Club. The Horticultural Society had been established in 1950 for the purposes of tidying up and beautifying the town of Coffs Harbour. It was very successful and well supported, just a mere 18 months after its inauguration the Horticultural Society, was able to boast an attendance of 100 people at its AGM in June 1952!

Mr A. McLauchlan became the first President of Coffs Harbour Garden Club (rather than Chairman as in the Horticultural Society) and subscriptions remained at the princely sum of 20 cents per member.

An AGM was conducted on that day in April 1979 with 19 members present and seven apologies, and all positions were filled - President, two Vice-Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer.

The activities of the club at that time were similar to those carried out by the Garden Club today. There was involvement with the local Agricultural Show, and to raise funds, street stalls were held plus morning teas at members' homes. 

At meetings a plant and flower competition was conducted, along with a question box and raffles. Surplus funds were donated to various worthy causes. Entertainment at the meetings consisted of slides of famous gardens and other gardens, with a guest speaker every second month.

2019 marks the 40th Anniversary of the name change from Coffs Harbour Horticultural Society to Coffs Harbour Garden Club. The contribution since 1950 to the Coffs Harbour area from the Horticultural Society and what is now known as Coffs Harbour Garden Club has been considerable over the past 69 years.

Coffs Harbour Garden Club continues to support the Coffs Harbour community in several ways.  Perhaps most important of these is the annual Spring Garden Competition, which seeks to encourage our residents, businesses and community organisations to do their bit to help beautify our city through their gardens.  Club members also give their time and expertise in looking after the airside gardens at Coffs Harbour Regional Airport, providing a welcoming environment for the many thousands of people who use the airport each year.  And of course our Club continues to provide opportunities for Coffs Harbour people to enjoy the friendship that comes from a shared passion for gardens and gardening.

So 2019 marks the 40th Anniversary of what is known as Coffs Harbour Garden Club - let the party begin!


Spittlebugs are interesting insects, the nymph produces a white frothy substance on stems and leaves which looks just like spittle! Hidden underneath that froth is the juvenile busily sucking out sap from the plant. This froth serves to protect the youngster from adverse weather conditions, reduce the risk of dehydration and to deter parasites and predator attack.

The insect adult (pictured above) has a narrow curved horn on the front of the head. It is brown and can be found here on the Coffs Coast. Even though they are sap suckers they rarely cause significant damage.

If they offend you they can be hosed off or the affected part of the plant can be pruned off. They usually take up residence in natives including wattles, gum trees and casuarinas.

2 Jan 2019 Airport Gardening Cancelled

cordyline australis purple tower

The airport garden maintenance (that was perhaps) scheduled for tomorrow is cancelled. Team leader Peter was unable to contact management to see if there was a supervisor available. So folks, kick back and extend the silly season for another day - Cheers!