Its Mango sucking season! - Nov 01, 2012

Dear gardening friends

We had a great response to The Italian Lemon Chicken story last week. Monica cooked it for her husband and he thought it was the juiciest chicken he had ever eaten. She forgot the rosemary and it still tasted great! If you are looking for fresh rosemary take a stroll down the main street of Camden. They have planted it as hedges and a little tip pruning will only make it grow better. If you get caught tell them you are good friends with Jeff Corrigan! He is one of our Tim's Garden Club members and he will be coughing and spluttering after reading this.

I have another recipe for a Lemon Cake which I will give you next week. It is my Aunty Una's recipe. She made this cake often using lemons off her own tree. So if you could call it "Aunty Una's Lemon Cake" that would be great. She has been a keen gardener for many years but her body has grown old now.
I was driving through Glen Alpine on Saturday and noticed several Mango trees growing in the front yard of a house.

The trees were covered in flowers so the owner can expect to have juicy home grown mangoes in March.

I often get asked for Dwarf Mango trees at the nursery but in our climate all mango trees will be lucky to grow higher than 5 metres in 20 years. I took a photo of a tree outside a house in Hurstville. It must be 20 years old and it is only about 3 metres high.

The best tasting variety is Bowen mango or Kensington pride. This is the same variety sold under two different names.

Mango trees need protection from frost so if your house is on a hill you will have more success. Trees planted in front of a north facing brick wall seem to grow better. Plant your tree on a mound of compost improved soil. It should start to flower within a couple of years. If it rains while the tree is flowering most of the flowers and fruit drop off. Spray your flowering tree with a fungicide called Mancozeb Plus and your crop will increase by 500%.

Home grown mangoes grow to an enormous size. The fruit you buy in the shop are small because they have been picked green and then ripened artificially. That's why they often taste terrible. Now is the best time to plant tropical fruit trees so come and talk to Lisa if you need help.

Avocado trees have just arrived too. These are fast growing glossy green trees with coppery coloured new growth. Well worth growing just for the foliage but they will also produce delicious fruit. They like the same conditions as mangoes.
I have fallen in love with Bougainvilleas this week. They are spilling over fences every where. Bougainvilleas are fantastic plants for keeping out the baddies.

They have huge thorns so it is like planting barbed wire. Grow one on your back fence in a sunny position and enjoy the flowers all summer long. Bougainvilleas need to be pruned like a grape vine to stop them taking over your entire back yard. Train a leader along the top of your fence then cut back the side shoots at the start of spring. "Scarlet Glory" is a variety that has those bright red flowers that we all love.

My parents have had a dwarf variety called "Temple Fire" growing in a pot for 25 years. This little cutie only grows one metre high.

Bougainvilleas hate having their roots disturbed so take it out of the pot very carefully keeping as much soil as possible around the roots.

We have nice plants in flower for $21.99.
Jacaranda trees are starting to flower on the hills around Macarthur. The dry weather means the trees will flower better this year than ever before.

They are beautiful shade trees for large gardens or plant one on your nature strip and you will be able to park your car under it on those hot days in summer.

They are fast growing if you plant them using Greengold Planting Compost. Mulch around the base with woodchip and water twice weekly with a bucket of water.

Hydrangeas are starting to flower. These golden oldies are making a come back. We are selling heaps as flowering gifts because they are covered in flowers and they only cost around $20.00. Hydrangeas grow best in a morning sun position. They can be grown in large pots and they will flower right up till Christmas.

I love the Lace cap Hydrangeas the best. Hydrangeas come in pink, white and blue. The white ones will always be white while the pink and blue change colour depending on the acidity of your soil. We do sell Hydrangea bluing tonic if you want them to stay blue.

Hydrangeas need lots of water so water them often for best results.
Geraniums are flowering beautifully this year because they love hot dry weather. A new variety called Geranium Elcipse is proving to be a crowd favourite. This compact plant grows 45cms x 45cms and flowers non stop. If you have trouble keeping plants alive in pots then try one of these.

When you are buying pots, remember the bigger the pot, the more potting mix it will hold, the more water it will hold, the better chance your plant will grow.
Tim's Delicious Tomato will be available from Saturday the 10th of November. This is an exclusive release to our garden club members only.

"Delicious tomato" is the current world record holder for the biggest tomato in the world! The fruit can weigh 1kg. The best news is they taste delicious!

We are selling the plants for $4.99 and all money raised is being donated to The African Aids Foundation. We only have 140 plants this season.

We would love to see which one of our club members can grow the biggest tomato.
Stink bugs are back! These stinky bugs live in citrus trees and cause the fruit to have dry patches. Citrus stink bugs change colour from green, brown and orange.

They look a bit like cockroaches. Confidor kills them but this is not recommended for fruiting plants. Pyrethrum should work or suck them off with your vacuum cleaner.

Happy gardening