The Garden Dickson, botanicus perfectus

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Fact sheets

One of our resident oracles, Ann Costelloe has produced many summaries of garden information. They are succinct and practical and are on occasion used by our staff as reference material.

Tomato Guide

Tomatoes are the most popular summer vegie and we have an excellent range of the Diggers Heirloom varieties including Beams Yellow, Cherry Roma, Green Zebra, Tigerella, Tommy Toe, Red Fig, Siberian Cherry, Mortgage Lifter, Principe Borghese and Black Russian. Principe Borghese Perfect for salads and drying Glowing red, apricot sized fruit Can be grown in… keep reading…

Vegie patch advice

Simple secrets to having that successful veggie patch is to ensure that you select an area that receives sun most of the day, is sheltered from strong winds and is within reach of your garden hose. Ground preparation is important, good drainage and the adding of organic matter to your existing soil will provide that… keep reading…

Citrus

Citrus are subtropical but hardy plants and many will do well, even in areas which experience cold winters and frosts. They are susceptible to some pest and disease problems in all climates. When planting citrus in a cold climate you will need to choose the area carefully. A warm, sheltered position is essential for the… keep reading…

Cymbidium Orchids

Summary Growing cymbidiums is not too hard but remember that they do not grow in ‘earth’ as most other plants do.  Cymbidiums naturally occur in trees, in forest areas rich in decaying organic matter.  When growing in pots, adjust the conditions to achieve the drainage they need.  The drainage hole in a pot used for… keep reading…

Gardenias

Gardenias are wonderful, versatile plants and do very well in Canberra with just a bit of effort during the growing season. Great plants for dappled shade, or areas with morning sun, they are also useful as a low hedge in areas of semi-shade. They are not frost tender – this is a myth – and… keep reading…

Rose Pruning & Care

Why are roses pruned ? To promote growth of new wood which will bear flowers – rejuvenation. To remove dead, diseased or damaged material. For aesthetic appearance – shaping. To allow light and air circulation into the centre of the plant for bud development.  Light improves flower colour and air circulation reduces fungal infection. To… keep reading…

Rockmelons and Watermelons

Sow from seed or seedlings after all danger of frost is over. Mound the soil and sow seed or plants into the top of the mounds as they need good drainage during early stages of growth. The survival rate can be low with melons, depending on the weather, so plant a number of seeds or… keep reading…

Strawberries

Strawberries are an easy care fruit for the home gardener. Ideally the soil should be quite rich and well drained with a good mulch around the plants to help keep the ground moist, suppress weeds and protect the fruit. Weedmat or black plastic can be used instead of mulch and weedmat is preferable as it… keep reading…

Growing Waterlilies

Waterlilies come in many different shapes and sizes, some are native and some are exotic.  They may be grown in dams and ponds, or even in containers and there are varieties which will grow in almost any part of Australia. Waterlilies dislike moving water or splashing produced by fountains or pumps.  They are only suitable… keep reading…

Grass trees

Grass trees grow very slowly, approximately 1 cm per year.  A plant, which is harvested from its natural habitat at a height of 2 metres, can be anywhere between 100 to 200 years old, depending on prevailing conditions and climate.  Grass trees form part of Australia’s hard-leaved, fire adapted vegetation and occur mainly on soils… keep reading…

Citrus Pests & Diseases

Aphids & Mealy Bugs.  The presence of these small, sap sucking pests is usually indicated by black sooty mould.  Aphids may be evident clustered on the new growth but mealy bugs are usually on the underside of the leaves.   Use synthetic pyrethroid products, Pest Oil or Confidor on these pests. Black Spot is a fungal… keep reading…

Blueberries

The blueberry is a deciduous, perennial shrub which is native to North America, and grows to about 4 metres. Blueberries need cold winters to produce fruit. An easterly or north-easterly position with plenty of sunshine is best. The soil should be well drained and quite acidic, in the range of pH 4.5 to 5.5, with… keep reading…

Growing Asparagus

Asparagus is believed to have originated in the eastern Mediterranean lands and Asia Minor, and has been used as a food for thousands of years. It was depicted in the Pyramids by the Egyptians and the Romans named it the ‘King of Vegetables’. Today asparagus is grown widely throughout the world. Asparagus does best in… keep reading…