Gardening Australia episode 30 2020: We launch our series covering all you need to know about indoor plants; Josh Byrne on how to find room for more plants; Millie Ross transforms her lawn into lunch; Tino Carnevale shows how to learn from your weeds.
Gardening Australia has always provided practical, trustworthy and credible gardening advice to inspire and entertain. Inspiring, entertaining and full of practical advice, join Costa Georgiadis and the team as they unearth gardening ideas, meet avid gardeners and look at some of the most inspiring gardens from across the country.
Gardening Australia episode 30 2020
Sophie visits a professional gardener at home, where he experiments with texture, form, and whatever nature brings him. Many designers say that constraints can be the greatest blessings for creativity, because they force your brain to be more innovative. That seems to be the case at Yalamurra, which was created by professional gardener Kurt Wilkinson in response to the hot, dry conditions, thin soil and salty bore water at his home north-east of Adelaide.
Kurt describes his garden as ‘wild’ and a blend of chaos and formal structures. Loose, flowing cottage-style plants combine with strictly trimmed bushes. Kurt is a keen topiarist and he has experimented with unusual specimens, such as the native Lilac Hibiscus (Alyogyne huegelii) as well as more traditional pencil pines.
He has used whatever survives, blending lavenders with native plants, pasture grasses, and tough Mediterranean species such as Centaurea. The tough site has even taught him to love hardy succulents, which he wasn’t initially fond of.
FAQs – Making honey | Propagating mint | Using worm castings
Gardening Australia presenters answer commonly asked gardening questions.
Plants in Spaaaaaaace
Costa goes to Mt Annan seed bank to discover some seeds that are out of this world. Costa visits the Australian Botanic Garden and Mt Annan, about an hour out of Sydney, to see some seeds that are out of this world.
He meets Dr Peter Cuneo, who is the PlantBank Manager where millions of Australian native seed are stored at minus 20C. Some Australian seeds were sent to the International Space Station in 2008 and stored there for six months. The idea was to test if space travel affected the seed’s germination.
The team chose ‘iconic’ Australian plants for the venture, including some New South Wales favourites that grow quite well at Mt Annan. Each plant chosen has a different type of seed size, structure and design, so it covered a wide range of varieties.
After their trip, the seeds were tested against newly harvested seeds and there was no noticeable difference in germination, so it would be possible to send seeds into space for storage or to cultivate new plants in space. Peter says the lack of gravity does not affect plant growth in space as much as light levels.
Room for Improvement
Josh suggests how to find room for more plants – even when you thought your garden was full! Josh always likes to try and grow as many types of plant as he can in his garden but as it’s filling up he’s having to be more creative to find new spots that will work and bring something new to his outdoor space. He identifies four garden spaces and finds four plants perfectly suited to growing there.
Read Your Weeds in Gardening Australia episode 30 2020
Tino reveals some useful lessons that weeds can teach you about your site and soil. As your plants just kick off, it often means your garden starts filling up with weeds, too. But weeds aren’t all bad news – they can tell you a lot about your soil too. Tino interprets a few weeds for us:
Capeweed and Stinging Nettles are signs of nutrient-rich, cultivated soil. If the growth is stunted or leaves are yellow, it would show the soil is lacking in nitrogen. Thistles, chickweed and purslane also indicate fertility. Clover and other weeds that fix their own nitrogen can be a sign the soil is lacking in nitrogen.
Dandelion, flatweed and oniongrass are supported by poor soils that lack structure. Dock and plantain indicate the soil is likely to be acidic and heavy.
Sedges and nut grass are usually found in waterlogged heavy soils. Bracken is often found in soils that are nutrient depleted, but also when it’s been disturbed or over-grazed. However, the bracken, like many other weeds, is colonizing the site and will protect it against the sun and weather erosion.
Perennial weeds such as bracken live for more than one year, so are better indicators of soil condition than annual weeds, which may be a one-off fluke brought in by birds or the wind.
The Great Indoors – Containers and Potting Mixes
Indoor-plant expert Craig Miller-Randle launches this special series on all you need to know for houseplant success.
Jerry shows how to get the best from coffee plants. Australia’s first coffee plants came on the first fleet – via seeds that were collected in Brazil on the way. Jerry is growing a coffee plant he believes is descended from that era but it needs some attention to encourage more flowering and fruit.
He prunes out some of the overcrowded stems and removes any twisted or damaged stems in the process. Jerry eats the outer berries and makes tea from the new leaves. Flowers form on new growth so to encourage this, he tip prunes it as well, and will fertilise.
Mangroves in Gardening Australia episode 30 2020
Clarence explains why so many different plants are called mangroves. Clarence explains why there are so many different plants called ‘mangroves’. The name ‘mangrove’ applies to the habitat as well as the tree that dominates this swampy, estuarine environment.
In northern NSW, there are about five different Mangrove species and they’re not directly related, because each species has independently evolved the same traits for coping with the same conditions – this is called convergent evolution. These traits allow them to live in the harsh conditions of salt water, low-oxygen mud, and salty air. Some of them grow aerial roots to lift the plant out of the water, some grow right on the edge to reduce the impact of the salty water, and most of the plants have devised ways to desalinate the water.
Mangrove seeds are also well adapted: some float and one spears down into the mud, so it can germinate. Mangroves provide habitat for many animals, including crabs, schools of juvenile fish, reptiles, and insects. Aboriginal people have always valued mangrove habitat, knowing you can always get a good feed around a mangrove.
Many mangroves are named by their traits or looks, including milky mangrove, which emits a milky sap if the bark is damaged.
Lawn to Lunch
Millie shows how to transform a patch of unused lawn into a productive paradise.
Plant Pioneers in Gardening Australia episode 30 2020
Jane explores an Australian plant collection that is the life’s work of two great gardeners.