Rose Rambler 29.8.2013

ROSE RAMBLER 29.8.2013

Hello dear rose friends …  there’s always something to share … gardening is just that way and a tip for those of you who have fruit trees that you wish to protect from possums is:

“Hello there Diana, thanks for all the pearls of wisdom you send out.

RE the possums – mine love the nectarines but do not bother my roses  –  choosy!!!

However, last year I heard, saw or read that if you spray with molasses one cup to one litre water, they will leave the fruit alone. Last year when there were actually some nectarines growing on the tree (none this year to check), I sprayed with this concoction and lo and behold the nectarines survived. Just a light spray over the plant did the trick.   Perhaps someone would like to try this. As I was not able to repeat this year I cannot be sure if it was just coincidence …??? Cheers,  Dorothy”

“Hi Diana & Graham, Sorry to hear the parrots are misbehaving in your garden. I feel a bit guilty as I did chuckle but sympathize really, a bit destructive like the possums around here. At the moment I am hanging small yellow plastic containers with moth balls in them on my rose bushes. (They are about 10cm long and came from Bunnings.) They seem to be working but have only been there 2 weeks. These containers are sealed but moth balls are poisonous so not a good idea if you have inquisitive children.

I have also cut up the black, plastic, spiky guards and nailed them to the top of the fence. That does make life unpleasant for the possums when I run out in the evening (doing a Diana) and they need to escape in a hurry!  Have a good day.  Margaret”

If you have a pearl of garden wisdom to share, please send me an email just like Dorothy and Margaret did and here also, are  GRAHAM’S GARDENING TIPS:

  • I suggest that molasses sprayed on an area of weeds will reduce their proliferation.  Why, I hear you ask?  The weeds do not like ‘sweet soil’ and since molasses is a sweetener, made from sugar cane, weeds cannot and will not grow where the soil is sweet!
  • Coffee grinds are very useful so don’t ‘bin’ them for the following reasons:
  1. There is a heap of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium including traces of other minerals.
  2. Acid loving plants appreciate a sprinkling of coffee grounds directly on the soil around the base of the plant.
  3. Slugs and snails will not crawl across the grounds – use them as a repellent.
  4. Place the grounds in the compost heap – worms absolutely love them!

Next time you’re at your local Café, ask if they will save the coffee grinds so that you can use them on your garden … they’ll most likely oblige – especially if you offer to collect them a few times each week and provide a lidded container for the storage.

Joke of the Week … What happens if you eat yeast and shoe polish?

Answer:  You will rise and shine! What a wonderful way to start Spring … it’s going to be a great season!

RE-POTTING PLANTS … At least every two years, plants which have been in containers must be planted into fresh potting mix.  Follow these easy steps to rejuvenate your potted roses:

  • Tip the pot sideways out onto an old bag or plastic sheet – you may need a knife to lever the plant out;
  • Trim 2/3 of the growth – remove all dead or old wood;
  • Cut away 1/3 of the existing root ball and tease remaining roots;
  • Reposition the plant using a high quality, fresh potting mix;
  • Water-in with the hose to remove all air-pockets – you may need to top up the potting mix after this soaking;
  • Water over with liquid seaweed to reduce the transplanting shock.

It’s never too late to undertake this very important task – plants which are left in containers for more than two years will definitely deteriorate.  Always use high quality potting mix and for the life of the plant, water containerised roses with liquid seaweed at least once a month.

IN CLOSING … One touch of nature makes the whole world kin” … William Shakespeare

This is the Season when everything changes so radically, so perfectly, so beautifully … the birds are singing and the mowers mowing … enjoy the moments!

Diana & Graham Sargeant, Silkies Rose Farm, CLONBINANE

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