Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Notes on: Eco Oil:

for Red or two spotted Mite, Aphids. Spray when pest first appear. Apply two sprays 3-5 days apart. Repeat application at signs of infestation. Spray both upper and underside of leaves  to run of.

Citrus leaf miner: Begin applying when new flush of growth is 4cm long. Aplly every 5 -14 days during flush growth periods. Do NOT apply mor than 8 times per season. Remove damaged foliage to reduce further infestation.
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How to Use eco-oil:

For aphids, whitely and mites -Dilute 5ml eco-oil per litre of water. Spray when pests first appear and follow-up spray 3-5 days later.  Repeat applications at any sign of reinfestation.

For scale and citrus leafminer - Dilute 10ml eco-oil per litre of water. Spray for scale at earliest sign of infestation (usually in early Spring) and follow-up spray 7 days later.  Repeat spray at first sign of reinfestation. To control citrus leafminer spray new flush growth every 1-2 weeks.

With all applications it is important to cover foliage well.  This means spraying both the top and underside of leaves.

Note:
 As with all oil sprays there can be a risk of foliage burn.  eco-oil is a light grade oil which is applied at low rate.  This significantly reduces the likelihood of burning but we still recommend you take the following precautions.  Do not spray when temperatures exceed 30 degrees.  Do not apply to plants suffering from heat or moisture stress. Do not spray directly onto sensitive flower heads.

eco-oil is a registered organic miticide/insecticide spray made from Australian grown canola oil, enhanced with a blend of teatree and eucalyptus oils.  It controls a broad range of insects including scale, mites, aphids, whitefly and citrus leafminer.  There is less risk of burning foliage than with traditional mineral oil sprays and no withholding periods on edible crops.
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How it works:
eco-oil coats and penetrates the 'skin' of insects effectively blocking their breathing holes or 'spiracles' and suffocating them.  The protective membrane around insect eggs is also broken down resulting in death via dehydration.

eco-oil also has a mild repellancy action on the leaves of plants, which discourages insects from laying new eggs on sprayed areas.  This repellancy action, combined with the dehydration of existing eggs extends the period of protection that eco-oil provides.

Advantages
*eco-oil controls a broad range of soft bodied, sap sucking insects and mites.  This includes aphids, scale, whitefly, citrus leafminer and two-spotted mites

*No withholding period on edible crops

*Very effective at lower rates, making it economical to use

*Less risk of burning foliage, compared to other horticultural oils

*100% plant oils, no petrochemicals ingredients

*Registered organic with the BFA (Biological Farmers of Australia)

*Safe to beneficial insects

*Can be used as a wetting agent with other sprays

*Australian grown and made

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Fact Sheet: Azaleas

The blaze of colour displayed in nurseries when azaleas are in flower, makes them one of the most impulse driven plants in the industry. They often have a short life in the garden because they are not given the right conditions. Azaleas will do well for many years, but they have particular requirements. Colours range from white, through pinks, mauves, purples, reds, oranges and yellows. There are two basic flower types. The single flower is very hardy and, the double flowered form is sometimes referred to as hose and hose.

It is firstly important to recognise the light requirements of a new plant to know if it likes morning sun, full sun or full shade.

Azaleas love acid soil, so the soil needs to be adjusted to a pH range between 5.5 and 6.0.

Most azaleas fail to thrive because gardeners don’t tease the root ball out, and the fibrous roots remain bound and are never able to spread beyond the confines of the shape of their former pot. Don’t be tempted to cut the roots with secateurs blades because the gritty texture of potting mix will dull the blades. Slice through the roots with an old knife from top to bottom, around the outside of the root ball. Pull the matted roots apart gently splaying them outwards, which will encourage the new roots to extend to the soil in which it has been planted.

Place the plant in the planting hole and backfill. Water it in well with a seaweed solution to help the plant overcome transplant shock.

Because azaleas have a shallow root system, mulch is important to keep moisture in the soil, and also modifies the temperature of the soil, keeping the roots warm in winter and cool in summer.

As soon as the shrub has finished flowering, the shrub should be pruned back by about one third, and it is also the time to consider fertilising with a good organic azalea and camellia fertiliser. If these are both done at the same time then the new growth will coincide with the development of new flowers on the outside of the bush. If a shrub is fertilised too soon the flower buds will develop on the inside of the shrub while the shrub continues to grow, and will not be as visible.


Azaleas do have some pest and disease problems, often when the bush has a magnificent display of flowers. Petal blight is a fungal disease that turns the beautiful flowers suddenly brown. The easiest solution is to pick them off and throw them into the compost. Those wanting to try to prevent the occurrence can spray bushes with Bordeaux mixture in December followed by a fungicide a bit later.

A minor problem is caused by a leaf rolling insect, which lays its eggs in the tip of a leaf, rolling it as protection for the hatchlings. This is not visually prominent and is not really worth doing anything about.

A common problem with azaleas is one where the leaves loose their colour and lustre and looks as if it has been sand blasted. It appears that red spider mite may cause the problem, but more often than not the lace bug may be the problem. Red spots underneath the leaf can be the droppings of the lace bug, but because they do no inhibit flowering, it is best to fertilise the bush and tolerate the appearance.

Azaleas can be grown not just for the flowers, but for foliage colour as well. The new Azalea ‘Plumtastic’ is grown for the beautiful maroon growth rather than the flowers, which are insignificant. The more they are trimmed the more the coloured new growth dominates the bush. They can easily be shaped into a standard, with regular pruning.

Azaleas generally flower in spring, with spasmodic flowering throughout the year. In 2005 there will be a new range of azaleas available called the Encore Series.


Specialist azalea nursery:

Redlands Nursery, 905 – 907, Church Road, Redlands Bay, Queensland. 4165

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Fact Sheet: Camellias

The camellia has been with us, since it was imported into Europe from southern China, in the 17th century. It was imported as the tea plant. Our cups of tea come from Camellia sinensis - a wonderful thing but a very different plant to the ornamental ones grown in the garden.

Camellias were being cultivated in Australia within 20 years of the landing of the first fleet, so their beautifully fragile and delicate flowers have been a feature of our gardens for two centuries. If you're looking for a hardy winter-flowering plant, it is hard to beat a camellia. With correct selection, you can have a flowering camellia, from early February, through autumn, winter, and to the end of spring. They're quite amazing.

Camellia sasanqua 'Shishigashira' has absolutely wonderful pink flowers. Sasanqua camellias chiefly have white and pink flowers. They're wonderful because they