Re: [IGS] Oz News


-- [ From: Dale Neil * EMC.Ver #2.5.3 ] --

Hi Joan,
I got your photos in good condition. I hadn't heard of those names
before. Would 'Margaret Kay' be considered a painted lady? I especially
liked the way 'Little Primula' looked .

> our gardening magazine which suggests a garlic spray as a fungicide >.
( I can hear you saying 'I told you so!')
Actually I was glad to hear that confirmation of an idea that i had read
about and found to work. By the way, I had just read in a magazine in
the States ('Fine Gardening') of another person that had successfully
been using that Chamomile tea idea to defeat damping off so evidently
that idea is getting more recognition now also.
Another idea I have read about  :-) ...  Willow tree water (an infusion
made by soaking willow tree sticks in water for a few days) seem to have
growth hormones that help cuttings similar to some of the rooting
powders and solution that are available today. One is supposed to soak
the cut end of the cuttings in the infusion before placing in the
rooting medium/

> them up.   I have given the lot a burst of  FOSJECT, something that
>only came out here a couple of years ago. ..... .
>  The active ingredient is 200g/L phosphonic acid.  Anyway
> it seems quite good and has been recommended for geraniums.  Yes >I'm
coming in with the 'big guns' now. I don't have the time to fiddle
>around too much, my back has become worse and looks like I'll have >to
give in and go back tho the Neuro surgeon.

Oh I can sympathize with getting something that works without very much
work if your back is bothering you alot. Actually Phosphoric Acid
doesn't sound out of line at all . I have been know to use it in water
because the water around here is fairly alkaline and can raise the PH of
pure spagnum moss 2 numbers after watering for a month or so. And as you
have mentioned, 6.5 is pretty close to ideal for geraniums. I hope you
can get some relief for your back without any additional surgery.

> 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.
Thanks for mentioning that . What I have found is called "Grow Brick"
and I don't know if they process it that way or not. I did soak it quite
a lot and drained the excess water off. I like how light and airy it is.
I have used it in the last couple of days for some cuttings and so far
they seem to be doing well. I am watching them for results. I will
report back to you my experience.

> when that runs out.   I used to be into hydroponics (very interesting)
 > I didn't have it in the wardrobe by the way, like some of our 'pot'
>smoking young people!)  and used all perlite as a growing medium for Oh
is that the latest thing going now in the world of Marijuana growing,
Hmmmm I guess that would give the desired results of large yields in
small out of the way spaces.

>beans tomatoes cucumbers
> capsicum etc.   That was before I got hooked on geraniums.
I had wanted to try hydroponics when I was young but it seemed to take
so much equipment that I didn't want to make the investment. I wonder if
anyone has grown geraniums successfully by hydroponics. I would have
think that geraniums would rot that way but than I was surprised when I
stuck a piece of ivy geranium that feel off on day in a glass of water
and it formed a massive network of roots because I was too lazy to pot
it up. I finally potted it and it is doing fine.

>    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 doesn't't specify how far
>below.  I believe that Zonals like a pH  of  6.5 - 7.
I wonder if those might be a type of what we call carpenter ants over
here. I have some of those work on a tree in my front yard and I'm
trying to figure out how to get rid of them so they don't eat up the
tree. Trying to grow a thick mat of pennyroyal around the trunk because
the ants aren't supposed to like that. Haven't grown enough of it yet to
tell if it will work or not.
I have read that 6.5 -7.0 is right for zonals and 6.0-6.5 is ideal for
scenteds so I try to obtain 6.5 the best I can.  That surprises me about
the potting mix standard in Australia as in the United States, Many of
the mixes already have lime added to raise the PH to around 7.2 or so.
that's why I add sphagnum moss. Between starting out at 7.2 and adding
my alkaline water, The geraniums end up starving even if i pile on plant
food.

> (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 .......
I wondered if that wasn't what you meant. It sounds like what we call
Ultra Light aircraft here. I don't blame you for only going up in it
once. While some find it exciting to be up there with no protection
looking a little like a dragon fly <G> No offense Peter :-) , I can't
picture myself doing that. I have a 13 year old daughter though that is
hoping to get a pilots license next summer and would probably love that
(I don't want to look when that happens <G>). (She also hopes to go to
Australia in a Student exchange program so I will have her knock on your
door :-) .

Well I better sign off for now. Hope this message finds you well.
TTYL,
Dale



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