Make friends with a frog? - Dec 30, 2016

Dear Gardening Friends,

I had a disturbing gardening question first day back at work. One of our customers wanted to know how to kill frogs? He had been to his daughters place for Christmas and she was complaining about having too many frogs in her garden.

I was shocked by this question and I told him there is no such thing as "too many frogs" and, no I wasn't going to tell him how to kill them. Frogs and tadpoles are protected so by law you aren't allowed to kill them.

If you want to attract frogs into your garden, then plant Agapanthus. I have them growing in my garden and thousands of small green tree frogs live inside the strappy leaves as they offer protection from birds and other prey. My irrigation system also keeps the plants and frogs wet. Provide moisture and protection and the frogs will come!

I came home last night to discover Bronze Orange Bugs copulating in my Lemon tree. They must love the heat. These smelly bugs are also called Stink Bugs, and when you disturb them, you will find out why!

They can also be green or orange in colour but the adults are usually dark brown. One of our customers tried to remove them by hand, and his fingers ended up stained brown and he can't wash it off. They can easily be controlled using Yates Natures Way Citrus and Ornamental Spray. It comes ready to use and takes 24 hours to work. Come see us.

Arthur's Big Greek Tomato really is amazing! This heirloom variety is producing huge tomatoes in my garden right now, so I should have plenty of seeds for next years charity drive. With your help we raised $1500.00 for The African Aids Foundation. We will get a photo of John Schwarz with the cheque next month.

I will leave these Tomatoes on the vine until they start to turn yellowish green, then I will bring them inside to ripen on the window sill. This will prevent them getting stung by Fruit Fly. The tomatoes can weigh over one kilo so they really are huge!

Thank you to everyone who bought one of Arthur's Big Greek Tomatoes. If you are in Kings Charcoal Chicken in Queen Street Campbelltown thank Arthur too!

Two Spotted Mites are causing serious problems for tomato growers this year. These sap sucking insects sit under the leaves and cause your plants to wither and die. The new growth will grow distorted and plants will lose vigor. Two Spotted Mites love hot dry weather.

They haven't caused problems in the past because gardeners were using serious pesticides like Rogor and Lebaycid. These have been discontinued for home gardeners so Two Spotted Mites are thriving.

To protect your Tomato plants, spray under the leaves with Pest oil or Eco Oil. You can also spray with Yates Mavrik. This is a low toxic, water based pyrethroid and it seems to work much better. Come and see our horticulturists for more advice.

We often get asked for Poinciana Trees by gardeners who have just returned home from a holiday way up north. These tropical trees have beautiful jacaranda like, weeping foliage, with these spectacular red flowers.

I went to Manly for the weekend and spotted this amazing Poinciana Tree growing in Darley Road opposite the old post office. It was covered in red flowers so I had to share this photo with you.

If you want to grow a Poinciana move closer to the coast or head up north to sunny Queensland.

We are always looking for new plants to tempt our gardeners and this new Grevillea has just arrived. It's called Grevillea "Outback Sunrise" and it might be a winner. It has these small bird attracting flowers throughout the year and it grows up to 3 metres high so it will block out the neighbours real fast.

When you provide food for native birds they turn up every day to feed on the nectar. Scientists have discovered that the more nature you attract into your garden the happier your mental health will be!

It's well known that I am in love with Coles trolleys. They have such a great retro look with these long legs! I just couldn't resist this photo when the flowers from our Crepe Myrtle tree just happened to line up with the trolley. A trolley full of flowers!!!!

Crepe Myrtles are flowering all over Macarthur in summer and we have heaps if you have fallen in love with them too! Plants cost just $24.99 and they are in flower.

We have been sweating like pigs this week. Temperatures in Sydney have been hotter than Queensland so maybe it's only a matter of time before we can all plant a Poinciana tree!

Poor Pig was doing it tough.
I hope you're keeping cool under a shady tree in your garden.

Happy New Year, and we hope to see you more often in 2017. We are closed New Years Day and Monday. We will be back next Tuesday to help you in the garden.

Happy Gardening