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Cynthia Carson
MAIH – Redlands
Horticulturist

Senior Extension Horticulturist – Turf DPI&F, Cleveland

Queensland blue couch (Digitaria didactyla) is a robust and popular turfgrass for subtropical Australia. Known for its distinctive blue–tinged, fine-textured leaves, this species can be prone to a disorder seen as randomly occurring yellow patches which can appear quite rapidly and is caused by iron deficiency. ‘Aussiblue’ (D. didactyla), a more vigorous and lighter green coloured variety, is also affected by yellows, but less so than Queensland blue couch. Unlike yellowing caused by nitrogen deficiency, the problem can sometimes correct itself without treatment.

From a 2 page Gardening Know-How Article in Issue Four

Erratum
Caption for Image (as shown at right) on pp. 82 of Issue Four should read:

"Area between leaf veins become yellow and progressively white."

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Area between leaf veins become yellow and progressively white.
 
Colin Campbell
FAIH – Sunshine Coast
Horticulturist

One of the sad truths of gardening is that hardly anyone actually reads or understands the directions for use that are clearly set out on garden fertiliser, insecticide, fungicide and herbicide packaging. If they did, when it comes to fertilisers specifically, they would discover that usually quite close to the directions, is printed the fertiliser analysis.

The reason we apply fertiliser is to supply the plants with a range of nutrients that will help them grow better and to ensure that optimum yields of fruit, vegetables or flowers are obtained. In order to achieve these results all the nutrients that the plant needs must be available in a form acceptable to the plant.

Plants need at least 16 chemical elements for optimum growth, but, fortunately for us, the ones required in the greatest quantity are obtained from the air and are usually quite readily available. These are carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. The next most important essential elements are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), followed by the secondary nutrients calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulphur (S).

From a 2 page Gardening Know-How Article in Issue Four
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Foliage plants prefer a fertiliser higher in nitrogen.
 
David and Joanna Roberts
Cedar Creek
Horticulturists

Grapes, figs, olives and pomegranates …what do these have in common apart from their romantic connotations?

They are all plants that were grown for their fruit around the Mediterranean basin in ancient times. They can also be propagated very easily by an ancient technique that the Greeks and Romans used – by planting cuttings made from pieces of ‘hardwood’ stem.

There is a range of other plants that can also be propagated using this simple method. Anyone can do it, and you don’t need any special equipment or facilities. Why not give it a go? It is a traditional wintertime technique, offering success when it’s too cool for other methods.

From a 4 page Gardening Know-How Article in Issue Four
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Don’t plant any deeper than halfway down the pot.
 

SPECIAL ONLINE CONTENT

The below item complements this article read in the current issue:

Garden Maintenance
(p. 90)
Indoor and container plants, cut flowers
and annuals!

Paul Hoffmann
MAIH – Brisbane
Horticulturist

Now’s the time to give your garden an old fashioned ‘Spring Clean’. Here are a few jobs to get you started:

Start by removing any old, dead or unwanted plants.
   
Improve your soil structure with organic matter in the form of compost. This will also help to retain soil moisture.
From a 2 page Gardening Know-How Article in Issue Four
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Make use of the warmer spring weather to give all your plants a good fertiliser.
 
 

 

   
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