Garden Calander – February

In February in many coastal areas of Australia, summer humidity sets in and everything rots out from under you. This is also the month of the year when the worst lawn problems appear. In some areas the dreaded armyworm marches across entire neighbourhoods; symptoms include the browning off of huge lawn areas almost overnight. On closer inspection. small, greyish caterpillars can be found in tunnels just below the soil surface. Often, flocks of galahs or even starlings are blamed for the damage, but in fact these birds help by eating the armyworms.

JOBS TO DO NOW
• In coastal areas, powdery mildew Will be on the increase. This causes a talc like coating on leaves and, later, dieback of roses, crepe myrtles, cucumbers, zucchinis, pumpkins, grapes, fuchsias and anything else that happens to be lying around. To control this problem, spray with Benlate(not organic). Organic option would be milk.

• This is the last month (in non-tropical areas) to plant warm climate plants such as hibiscus, bougainvillea and frangipani. Later planting may causeQueensland Fruit Fly problems.

• Watch out for fruit fly in central and northern areas; to control, spray with Lebaycid or Chemspray Fruit Fly Kit. Organic option is netting or fruit fly lure.

• Take a look at your native shrubs-if they have finished flowering and look a little scruffy, prune lightly all over. This helps them to live longer, look better and flower more.

LAWNS
• To control severe infestations of armyworms, spray with Carbaryl(Organic use neem)-and keep the galahs away for a few days. Fungal diseases in lawns, which appear as small, often dead patches, can be sprayed with Daconil or Mancozeb(Use organic fungicide). Don’t overwater, as this helps diseases to spread. Black beetles rarely do much damage, but in severe cases and as a last resort use any of the lawn beetle chemicals that are available.

CITRUSAfrican Violet
• Fertilise citrus trees. Citrus will bravely fruit until they exhaust themselves and the surrounding soil, leading to die-back, collar rot etc, so get some chook manure or citrus food. Apply the manure as a surface mulch 1cm (0.5”) thick to the width of the branches (but keep it back 10cm/4″ from the trunk) and water in well with a sprinkler. A light application of trace elements, particularly in sandy soil areas, will help to make the fruit taste sweeter and the tree itself to resist disease and insect attack.

• Keep weeds and lawns away from the trunks of citrus trees. As well as competing for food and water, grass and weeds can hide problems such as collar rot, which affect the citrus trunk at ground level.

INDOOR PLANTS
• This is a good time to fertilise. For year round feeding use nine-month Osmocote, Nutricote or Selley’s spikes, and for a quick boost use Nitrosol or Fish Emulsion. Always water well when you apply fertiliser.

• Either don’t bother to feed African violets or use African violet food only, and don’t overwater.

TIME TO PLANT
• Wok enthusiasts can plant snow peas, sugar snap peas and Chinese cabbage, all of which are really worthwhile. Purists who need lots of exercise might consider growing potatoes. This is also the time for beans, peas, broccoli, carrots, beetroot, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower and tomatoes (in warmer areas).

• Flowering annuals to plant include violas, pansies, cinerarias and primulas.

Reference: Mr Don Burke

Why is Climate Change not Debated?

Shouldn’t debate on climate change be put through the same scrutiny as other scientific debates? Climate change could effect us all and all the evidence should be considered. 20/20 look into some simple questions.

COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER

Knowone knows what is causing this problem in Europe and USA. Some of the possible causes are GMO crops, climate change, virus, mobile phone towers and many more. Albert Einstein once said if bees were to disappear mankind could only survive 4 years on earth. This is because 1/3 of the food we consume is reliant on bees. Until we are clear on the root cause/s of this problem the best solution is to support organic farmers and plant bee friendly flowers and trees.

Are Solar Flares Effecting Our Climate?

The STEREO mission will provide a totally new perspective on solar eruptions by capturing images of coronal mass ejections and background events from two observatories at the same time. STEREO’s twin observatories will be offset from one another in orbit. One observatory will be placed “ahead” of the Earth in its orbit, and using a series of lunar swingbys, the other will travel “behind.” Just as the slight offset between your eyes provides you with depth perception, this placement will allow the STEREO observatories to obtain 3-D images of the sun.

Using this unique 3-D imagery, scientists will be able to examine the structure of these important events, and learn more about their fundamental nature and origin.

TED talk Bjorn Lomborg

Even if man made climate is real it is a long way down the list of problems in the world to fix.

Economist Bjorn Lomborg makes a persuasive case for prioritizing the world’s biggest problems, asking “If we had $50 billion to spend over the next four years to do good in the world, where should we spend it?” His recommendations – based on the findings of the 2004 Copenhagen Consensus – controversially place global warming at the bottom of the list (and AIDS prevention at the top). Lomborg was named one of the 100 Most Influential People by Time magazine after the publication of his controversial book, The Skeptical Environmentalist which challenged widely-held beliefs that the environment is getting worse. Now the Danish economist is taking on the world’s biggest problems with his Copenhagen Consensus. (Recorded February 2005 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 17:27)”You need to have flashplayer enabled to watch this Google video