[IGS] Oz News

Dear Dale,
Good to hear from you again, your letters are interesting and
informative...Chamomile tea ... what next!    I have just read an article
in our gardening magazine which suggests a garlic spray as a fungicide . (
I can hear you saying ĎI told you so!í)  It doesnít give a recipe but I
have seen garlic sprays in other books, usually for the control of insects,
must look them up.   I have given the lot a burst of  FOSJECT, something
that only came out here a couple of years ago. It is produced in Queensland
and apparently saved our Avocado crops when they were infected with
phytophthora a terrible Ďdie backí disease.  The active ingredient is
200g/L phosphonic acid.  Anyway it seems quite good and has been
recommended for geraniums.  Yes Iím coming in with the Ďbig gunsí now. I
donít have the time to fiddle around too much, my back has become worse and
looks like Iíll have to give in and go back tho the Neuro surgeon.
Re Coco-peat.  I did try it a couple of times.    I have heard from growers
here that it should be washed before use as it has been found to have a lot
of salt in it.  Apparently they use sea water to compact it ... worth
thinking about anyway.
Your striking mix ... Iíve never used spaghnum moss as it is very expensive
here.  I have used perilte in my potting mix, but am using up vermiculite
now, which I have on hand.  I will get more perlite when that runs out.   I
used to be into hydroponics (very interesting)   I didnít have it in the
wardrobe by the way, like some of our Ďpotí smoking young people!)  and
used all perlite as a growing medium for beans tomatoes cucumbers capsicum
etc.   That was before I got hooked on geraniums.    I have tried clay pots
but find they dry out too quickly here
   Did I tell you that I had a rep. from the potting mix company up here.
It seems that there is a fairly high percentage of composted sawdust in the
mix I was using and that may attract the ants.   Anyway he has left me 2
bags of another mix which has no sawdust.  It does have pine bark though,
which I suspect may also attract them as well.      I also complained that
the pH was low,  I make it around 5.6.  he said that our Australian
Standards Endorsement  (which allows them to have 4 red ticks on the pack)
demand that their potting mix be BELOW   pH of 6.3.  It doesnít specify how
far below.  I believe that Zonals like a pH  of  6.5 - 7.
I have been using a little Dolomite now and again, but will have to use
more if the mix is going to be that low.  I had a problem earlier in the
year where leaves went very pale, specially new growth.  I tried just about
everything, except testing the pH.   
About the scanner .... we havenít been able to get it working properly and
it is to go back tomorrow to get it sorted out.  It may have something to
do with the new CD ROM driver.  If we donít get it going soon Iíll have to
use the old hand held (which is colour).   
I forgot to answer your comment on the Gyroplane or Gyrocopter as we call
them here.  My partner Peter flies a single seater and I drive the car and
trailer between country towns where there are landing strips.  That is so
as he can fuel up before moving on to the next town. The trailer is quite
large and when the Gyro is winched out there are fold down beds., also
cupboards,  sink, fridge etc.  So we cant stay out a few days at a time.  I
have been up in a Gyro,  but once is enough,   as you say itís pretty wild!
Yes I am still using the Uni ďnetĒ but there is talk of us getting an
extension,  however we have been warned that the lines would be pretty busy
and not available to us a lot of the time.   I am making enquiries again
about server charges.
I see by your  -0500  time that you are almost opposite us on the globe,
time I wise at least.  For it to be exact you would need  to be 1 hour to
the east  or me out in the Indian Ocean!.  We are   +0800 hours  to GMT.
What is you latitude.  We are 32ļ south which I think is about the same as
southern California  and across to the top of Florida.
      Well itsí bedtime, hope I havenít missed anything in you letter.
            anyway will TTYL
                    Joan S.

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