Winter Organics

Spring and autumn have been the traditional times when gardeners feed their gardens. At Neutrog, we believe that it’s because we can see a reaction in the garden – plants are actively growing, flowering and fruiting. As they say, ‘spring is in the air’. We recognise that they need nutrition to bring out the best that our plants have to offer.
If that is an accurate assessment, then the opposite is true for winter and to a lesser extent summer, as many gardeners don’t apply fertilisers during these periods. We tend to think of these times more in the way of maintenance, but in actual fact, applying nutrition to your soil and garden is as important – if not more so – during winter and summer.

Continue reading

Treating water moulds in your garden

This week, Neutrog’s Microbiologist and R&D Manager talks about what some of us see as fungi, but are in fact water moulds.

There are couple of major diseases which can cause huge losses – not only in the agricultural industry, but also in home gardens. These are called Pythium and Phytophthora. Most people think they are fungi (they do have some resemblance to fungi, mainly because of their filamentous growing habit), but they are very different, both genetically and in their cell surface.

Continue reading

The Uni Rose Garden – Hobart

Heather Huxley has spent many years in the horticultural field, and in March 2019 was successful in obtaining the role of Program Officer Parks & Reserves with the City of Hobart, which encompasses the care of 148 parks and gardens in the metropolitan area.

The Uni Rose Garden is one of the main gardens under Heather’s care, and is located on a main entrance into the Hobart CBD. The garden features almost 700 roses with around 40 varieties. “Most of the roses were quite old and well past their prime” said Heather. “Given the condition of the roses, I made the decision to get tough – either they had to improve or we’d make the decision to remove them.”

Continue reading

Winter care of roses

Each season the Rose Society of South Australia releases cultural notes, which are recommendations from the experts on how to care for your roses. Here are the winter cultural notes from Gavin Woods, Past President of the RSSA and the National Rose Society of Australia. Gavin is also Chief Judge with the RSSA and an International Rose Judge accredited with the World Federation of Rose Societies. The photos are of the Rose Society’s Rose of the Month – ‘Pepita’.

Continue reading

Old garden restoration in the Adelaide Hills

Brenton Roberts and his wife Libby have restored an old garden in the Adelaide Hills. Watching over the property is a beautiful old stone home which is also under restoration.

Brenton grew up in the area, and as many people do, moved away with work to further his career. This took him to Ballarat and Melbourne for 8 years, but the goal was always to return home.  Brenton tells us, “We knew what we were looking for; a few acres and a home which matched our style.  We found our dream property, which although affordable, was run down and quite overgrown. We knew this would mean a tonne of work – especially to make more bushfire safe. Whilst I’d been living in Melbourne, I studied at Burnley Horticultural College and undertook a Graduate Certificate in Garden & Landscape Design, and our new property was the perfect opportunity to allow me full reign with my ideas, whilst incorporating our family’s needs and wants”.

Continue reading

Controlling nematodes in your garden

Nematodes or roundworms are almost microscopic worms – the majority of them can be beneficial as they help break down organic matter and control pests such as insects. However there is one group of nematodes which are real troublemakers – they attack and feed on the roots of plants, and if their numbers explode, the damage to a plant’s roots can kill young plants and stress older plants so they become prone to diseases.
So how can we control these damaging nematodes?

Continue reading

How to prune your roses

Perhaps you’ve taken the step of planting some roses, you’ve enjoyed their fragrance and colour during the year, and now you’re feeling a little panicky at the need to prune shortly?  Sandra Turner, President of the Victorian Rose Society explains how to do it.

When pruning all roses, you need to be prepared.  Be dressed appropriately, have good gardening gloves – preferably elbow length.  Correct tools such as sharp secateurs, loppers and a pruning saw are essential.  You will also need a cloth and jar with diluted bleach to disinfect your tools as you prune your roses.

Continue reading

Soil Odour & Health

As gardeners, I’m sure many of us have gone out into the garden after it’s been raining and you can smell that lovely earthy smell. You can often smell it when you turn over your compost heap. This is due to a compound called Geosmin,  which is a compound secreted by bacteria know as Streptomyces. What it indicates is a soil that is biologically active –  meaning it has a lot of bacteria and fungi in it.  Exactly the sort of thing you want to have. Geosmin is a bit of a strange compound. Humans can detect it at very low levels and we love the smell of it in the soil. Geosmin gives beets that district earthy flavour, and it is even used in perfumes to get that earthy smell. We don’t know  exactly why bacteria produce Geosmin – it may be to attract soil insect like the spring tails…

Continue reading