Dear Diggers (Summer 2016)

Contributions and feedback from our readers following the Summer Garden 2016 issue.

My first Tree Poppy!

Dear Diggers, I wanted to say thank you. I had great joy this morning to spot the first flower on my Californian Tree Poppy planted earlier this year. I made the whole family come out to look I was so excited!

The size is a marvel, the petal texture and shape is elegant and a lovely contrast with its large orange heart. We can't wait to see the rest of the bush as the buds open. It will be a summer beauty and highlight in our garden. Thank you so much.

Needless to say I sent photos to my family, gardener and non-gardener alike and posted photos in Facebook. Gardening can provide everyone delight, from gardener to observer! Thanks, Alex B.

Success with seeds...

Last year I attempted to raise seeds and was unsuccessful, having not one germinate. This year after reading your article on sowing seeds and watching the online video I have Tommy Toe, Legend, Green Grape and Brown Berry tomatoes; Spring Onions, Zinnia and Silverbeet.

I have managed to germinate a number of Tommy Toe tomatoes that I am giving to my friends and family. They are very excited that they will have a tomato plant this year for the first time

Thank you so very much for your continued support and advice to novice gardeners like myself. Keep up the fantastic work. Love Heidi K.

Organic weedicide...

I read with interest your article in the spring issue of the Diggers magazine about dealing with weeds organically.

I would like to add that I have found that boiling water is most effective in eradicating broad leafed weeds. Clover is especially rewarding as when you pour the boiling water on you can smell it cooking.

Some of the flat weeds start to go black as soon as the water hits them. I have noticed over the years that for broad leafed plants the water can be boiled inside and then taken outside to be applied. The narrow leafed grasses have to have the water bubbling as it is applied. I have also had some success with boiling water on ‘Wandering Jew’. Regards, Joy K.

MEIKUEN C. has grown Flanders Poppy from seed!

Bunnings assimilation...

With all due respect Sir, when did the “big boys” ever look out for the “little guy”?

Living under the illusion that any large corporation will spread your intentions and ideals to reproduce heirlooms with the goodness-of-heart you started your company is truly naive; and the reasons for selling out are always reasonable to begin with. Most courteously, Mim B.

Socialist future, propaganda, and scaremongering...

I read with interest your propaganda piece on climate in the last issue of your excellent publication. The usual scaremongering, no facts and a lot of hot air. Fact – the earth's climate has been warmer (by 1-2 degrees) than it is currently for 90% of the last 10,000 years (Google Christopher Monckton).

Fact – the earth's climate is currently in a 65 million years long term cooling trend and we are most likely headed into a global cooling situation which is far more dangerous than warming (Google David Lappi). Fact – 90% of the world's scientists do NOT agree that global warming is caused by man. As a gardener you will be well aware of the implications of a couple of years of crop failures. You also will be well aware of carbon dioxide being an essential plant fertiliser.

The UN's Agenda 21 (Google is your friend) means my children will be reduced to overcrowded cities (Melbourne 2050 – Google again) with inadequate heating or cooling, no freedom to own a vehicle and dependent on the ‘whim and where's’ of public transport.

The Socialist future you envision is at best bleak. I would grant our children’s future be filled with opportunity, creativity and sustainable prosperity. Restricting freedom of movement is fundamental to their control Clive, you must know this as well.

I'm sure couldn't live in your garden paradise without the freedom of a car and nor would you trade it for life as a cog in the machine of these future slums, so why condemn my children to do so? Chris L.

Dear Chris, most people I know follow a principle of touching this earth lightly. We don't want to pollute the soil or the atmosphere. We don't want to create waste with rubbish bins or see plastic bags all over our beaches and waterways.
You may be unaware that Australians are the greatest contributors to global emissions per capita in the world so, despite the efforts of some to live sustainably, we have a greater obligation to fix up our crisis than any other nation.
Most of us have had to tolerate the deniers for 3-4 years now, who are probably the same group who resisted progress on smoking bans, health labelling of food and supported the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Give us a break — you have had your time, it's now time to live in harmony with nature and it isn't a socialist propaganda, it is just a healthy understanding of man's proper place on this planet.
Yours, Clive Blazey

On edible landscapes...

Hi Diggers, re Bill's article on Edible Landscapes – my parents have a hedge of orange trees along their driveway in Bayside Melbourne. It's beautiful at all times, but awesome when flowering and fruiting. The fruit looks great on the trees for months. The only maintenance they require is feeding a couple of times a year, water in summer and an occasional light prune.

My parents pick enough to last a week or two, then juice them every morning. With both Navel and Valencia trees, they have fresh juice for 4 to 5 months, plus some to give away. Regards, Ian O.

Home grown pumpkins in Tarpeena, SA...

Dear Diggers, about thirty to forty odd years ago I grew my pumpkins a little bit different. I built a caged fowl house. I'd feed scraps to the chooks at night, quite often with pumpkin seeds. Soon a pumpkin plant showed its face.

The fowls removed from the pen. A butterfly sprinkler put on a long pole to water them. As they grew I tossed back the top runners. I never fertilise them. The main pumpkins I grew were Butter, Queensland Blue and a marked pumpkin called Crowne & Prince. Over the years other breeds would have pollinated.

I guess I shouldn't have showed you this, breaking lots of rules of planting pumpkins! Allan S.

Search for an article

It's easy to find one of our gardening articles.

Click one of the topic panels to see an A-Z list of articles on a specific topic, like 'Edible gardening' or 'How to garden'.

Or, if you're looking for something in particular, use the search box to enter a term like 'Mediterranean plants' or 'Community gardening', then filter the search results by Article.  Happy reading!


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Autumn Flower 2016

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Autumn Flower 2017

Read what our members had to say in Dear Diggers, Autumn Flower Garden, 2017

Autumn Fruit 2016

Read what our members had to say in Dear Diggers, Autumn Fruit Garden, 2016

Autumn Fruit 2017

Read what our members had to say in Dear Diggers, Autumn Fruit Garden, 2017

Autumn fruit garden 2018

Read what our members had to say in Dear Diggers, Autumn Fruit Garden 2018

Autumn Fruit Garden 2019

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Festive Garden Magazine 2018

Read what our members had to say in Dear Diggers, Festive Garden Magazine 2018

Festive Gardens 2014

Members talk about climate change and poison hay bales!

Festive Gardens 2017

Read what our members had to say in Dear Diggers, Festive Gardens, 2017

Spring 2014

St Arnaud's Pumpkin pageant and feedback on Tim Flannery's lecture.

Spring 2015

Feedback on Diggers selling heirlooms into Bunnings.

Spring 2016

Read what our members had to say in Dear Diggers, Spring Garden 2016

Spring Food Garden 2018

Read what our members had to say in Dear Diggers, Spring Food Garden 2018

Summer 2015

A wildflower waterfront and an organic garden scheme in Germany.

Summer Garden 2018

Read what our members had to say in Dear Diggers, Summer Garden 2018


Read what our members had to say in Dear Diggers, Summer Garden 2019

Winter 2015

An update on the Steve Marsh GM case and feedback on 40 degrees in the shade.

Winter 2017

Read what our members had to say in Dear Diggers, Winter 2017
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