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Readers Questions for May

Readers Questions for May

Jodie Cucinotta asks: Hi I’m new to this group, I was wondering if anyone can please tell me the best was to get rid of onion weed in my gardens. I dug it all up and thought I pulled out all the bulbs but clearly not all . They have come back worse than before, very fine. I’ve tried vinegar and boiling water but nothing will keep them away. I have rose bushes in the  middle so I don’t want to ruin them. Any help would be appreciated. Tia

BRIAN ANSWERS:

Hey there Jodie, thanks for your question. I sometimes wish onion weed had some decent flowers on it so we could learn to appreciate it as it grows so well in Australia! It is a bit of a pain though and finds its way into gardens everywhere. Once you have it, it is generally very difficult to totally get rid of.

Here is a few things to think about.

It is a bulb, so under the soil will be a cluster of bulbs hiding away. To remove it you can't just take the leafy tops and still leave the bulbs behind as they will just come up again in a month or so.

The bulbs can be very small so even when you do dig them up, it is easy to leave a few behind.

If you do want to dig them up, the Wilcox weeder is a great tool for getting in there and lifting the bulbs. If you find it resprouting again later, it just means you left a bulb or two behind, but you are reducing the numbers each time. Just have another go and dig the last few up.

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If you’ve got a lot to deal with, you may need to resort to using a herbicide. There is  a new one out from Amgrow called Eraze. It contains Glyphosate and is a very effective broad spectrum herbicide (Broad spectrum means it kills just about anything plant wise so don’t get it on the plants you want to keep) It is non residual so doesn’t contaminate the soil long term. Wait for 7 days before you plant any seedlings in the same area and don't spray when rain is expected that day as it will wash the herbicide off and possibly onto other plants downstream.

Being made from Glyphosate which is now known to be carcinogenic, we always wear protective gear when spraying. ie, mask, gloves, long clothes. It is effective on onion weed. You might need to apply a couple of times as a new bulb that was hiding below ground may have sprouted after you spray but it does get down into the bulbs and kills those off.  Stick to the mixing ratio on the pack. It is strong stuff, so only 15mL per 1L of water should do the trick.

Get Eraze at the Aussie Gardener Store. Delivery only takes a few days.

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Sarah Hinchliffe asked: Just discovered this on my citrus splitzer this morning..  is it citrus leaf miner? Or something else... Leaves are a bit curly too .. what should I do?

BRIAN ANSWERS:

Thank you for your question Sarah, yes you do have some citrus leaf miner there. It's quite amazing how they burrow just below the surface of the leaves and feed on all the nice green ‘flesh’ inside. The reason you never know how they got there is because they are a tiny moth (5mm wingspan) that flies only at night time. It lands on your delectable citrus (and other plants) and lays eggs on new leaves. The larvae then hatch and tunnel their way through the leaves making all those artistic patterns visible on the surface.

The larvae continue to grow and eventually they cleverly curl the leaf around as a bit of protection as they pupate to turn into a moth. That whole cycle happens within a couple of weeks.

Do you need to get rid of them?

The tree will survive even with the leaf miners but it will reduce its ability to photosynthesise. This can make it grow a bit stunted and affects its overall health which can reduce the fruit yield too.

They only feed on the newest of shoots, so the best approach is to cut off those leaves that are damaged and throw in the rubbish bin (not compost) You can also spray with an oil to make it less desirable for the moths to land there and lay eggs in the future. Amgrows White Oil is suitable for this. Make sure you spray early morning when bugs are least active as you don’t want to accidentally spray other beneficial (good) insects. Also don’t spray when it's going to be a really hot day as the oil can burn the leaves.

Don’t skip the step of first removing the affected leaves though. The white oil doesn't kill this particular pest, it just deters them from laying more eggs.

Buy white oil at the Aussie Gardener Store for $10.50

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Christina Job asks: I was down in the vegetable garden yesterday picking mouse cucumbers when I somehow managed to lose my reading glasses.

So my question is . . . I wonder if I’ll ever find them ? ?  It’s going to be interesting we’re they turn up if they do. Has anyone else had this problem? Did you find what you miss placed in the garden?

BRIAN ANSWERS:

I wonder how many things we give as an unwilling offering to our gardens. I know I often find graters, spoons, peelers in our compost bin that somehow got mixed up when cooking dinner. Usually causing a few arguments about where the potato peeler is until someone says.. check the compost bin. Yep it’s there.

Here is a story about someone willingly giving up a bicycle to the forest that is amusing.

The famous bike in the tree dates to the 1950s and belonged to a boy named Don Puz. The house that Don lived in burned down, and he received the bike as a donation. But Don didn’t like the bike—it was too small for him and the handlebars were a bit girlie. As his mother Helen told the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, one day Don and a gang of friends went into the woods to play. Don was the only one on a bike and when the boys went home he simply left it there.

"Probably as much as I detested the little thing, I just gave it a toss and forgot about it, and then denied knowing where it was." Don said.

55 Years later, Don visited those woods near where is mother lived and was surprised to what the tree had done.

“We went down there in the woods,” said Don, “and there was this bike in the tree, and I said, ‘That’s my bike. I recognized it, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen another one like it.”

Now I have a good solution for the glasses Christina and that is the Aussie Gardener Canvas Apron. It not only protects your clothes but also means you can stop leaving things behind when gardening. No more leaving your phone out and then accidentally watering it.

But if you leave a bicycle leaning on a tree, I cant solve that one.

Get your Aussie Gardener Canvas Apron as your gardening uniform. Handy pockets to keep glasses, phone, secateurs and gloves.

Canvas Garden Apron - 100% cotton canvas

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