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Project Builds (non Car) Here is an area where you can show / discuss other non car builds be they bikes, caravans, boats, BBQ's or whatever.

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Old 30-10-2022, 10:01 PM   #721
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

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Putting stock out today, this variety made me smile..............

image

With a name like that, it would have to be very good!

Digiplexis are a cross between Digitalis (Foxglove) and Isoplexis (Canary Island Foxglove), offering a longer flowering period than either of their parents. Growing best in full sun, the flower spikes will reach 90-100cm in height.

These plants best suit a cottage garden or mixed boarder. They are also bee friendly.
Planting these in July, these Digiplexis are now in flower. The wet winter allowed them to grow and flower more quickly than expected.

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Old 05-11-2022, 07:18 PM   #722
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

Thought I'd share this one an Arisaema lily that comes up at my folks place every year.





Its one of the earliest memories I have of the garden. It was there when Mum and Dad arrived 45 years ago. I believe its a bulb and sprouts late winter and flowers in late spring before dying off again over summer.
The flowers are a good 50cm and the thing that always captivated me are that they smell like rotten meat.
And I mean they smell! It stays in your nostrils and mind long after the fact.
I always reveled in telling people to have a smell "they smell just like banana's" I say
People didn't have to get too close to get a real whiff of them and we had to fence it off from the old Border Collie that'd go wild for it.


Its in an odd place in the garden and we've always just left it alone and worked around it. I know one day it will need moving, I won't be leaving this one behind.
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Old 05-11-2022, 07:22 PM   #723
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

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Thought I'd share this one an Arisaema lily that comes up at my folks place every year.

image

image

Its one of the earliest memories I have of the garden. It was there when Mum and Dad arrived 45 years ago. I believe its a bulb and sprouts late winter and flowers in late spring before dying off again over summer.
The flowers are a good 50cm and the thing that always captivated me are that they smell like rotten meat.
And I mean they smell! It stays in your nostrils and mind long after the fact.
I always reveled in telling people to have a smell "they smell just like banana's" I say
People didn't have to get too close to get a real whiff of them and we had to fence it off from the old Border Collie that'd go wild for it.


Its in an odd place in the garden and we've always just left it alone and worked around it. I know one day it will need moving, I won't be leaving this one behind.
I have a very strong sense of smell, so there is no way I could have that in my garden! Impressive as it is.
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Old 07-11-2022, 05:06 PM   #724
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

##Posted in the Mowing thread but I wanted it in this thread too##

Before I started for the day, I walked into my local Stihl dealer with a wad of cash ready to buy a new chainsaw!

I had two models shortlisted, the $ 899 MS 251 and the $999 MS 271. These two are within Stihl's "Landowner" range, offering bigger engines than the "Homeowner" range, but without the bulk and extreme power of the "Professional" line that is catered to industries who use these all day long.

https://www.stihl.com.au/STIHL-Produ...72/MS-251.aspx
https://www.stihl.com.au/STIHL-Produ...72/MS-271.aspx

Stihl also sell a MS 251 C-BE for $999 with their Easy2Start system, but I decided to forgo that feature. I figured that if I'm going to spend $1000, I would rather spend that on a more powerful machine. For the extra $100 over the 45.6cc MS 251, the MS 271 comes with a larger 50.2cc engine and a longer bar. In the end, I chose the MS 271 for the additional power and bar size for a modest price premium. Once you go above the MS 271, you start to get into pretty big money, so the 271 is a happy sweet spot in the range.

This store is ALWAYS busy, with far more floor traffic and phone calls than they small team can deal with. I know how that feels! So I try to know what I want and just get to the point so I'm not wasting their time or mine.

I told the guy I wanted a saw and the two I was looking at, he handed me the MS 271 and I said "I'll take it" in less than 15 seconds. He remarked that I was so easy to deal with, my response was I always researched what I'm looking at so I kind of already know what I want when I walk in the store.

I also wanted the carry case and the 2-in1 chain sharpening tool along with the saw. I never ask for discount, I think it's rude to be honest. But they know I'm a contractor so they seem to always give me a good deal. This saw was no different. The MS 271 retails for $999 and the case $100, so I came prepared to spend $1100. All up, I got the saw, sharpener and case for $1050 with a free chain included, which works out to be about $147 discount and $50 under budget.

We both won here, he got an easy sale, and I got a new toy...........















Stihl saws have had these features for a while now, but a single action choke/run/stop lever and the tool-less fuel/oil caps add to ease of use.





The 2in1 File is for quickly sharpening the teeth and depth gauge in a single step.

https://www.stihl.com.au/STIHL-Produ...le-Holder.aspx







The case is supplied with a replacement bar cover to allow it to slot into the body of the case.



The case is also large enough to hold the supplied multitool and sharpener.





When the salesman took the machine out back for it's pre-use startup, I couldn't help but smile at the sound she made, a super healthy scream.

For this point onwards, I'm going to call her Aretha, as in Aretha Franklin whose voice seemed to have the ability to out scream all the others.

Once I got her home, I can safely say I'm going to love using this saw. It has a little hesitancy on initial throttle application that I'm told will settle once the saw breaks in. But boy, can she rev! She has this lovely throaty growl when given full throttle that builds to a frankly hard-on inducing scream. Sorry, but I can't be the only nutjob who gets off on the sound of an angry chainsaw!

NOW! I have this unnatural urge to go and chop something down! Anything!

With thanks to Rallye Sport for the advice!
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Old 07-11-2022, 05:41 PM   #725
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

I mentioned previously my now departed neighbor I had growing up. He was like me in a couple of ways, never doing things by halves when it came to gadgets and tools.

He had a wood fired heater for the winter months, and that meant he needed a chainsaw. I remember my Dad and I tagging along to help him collect firewood for his and our garage potbelly stove. We supplied the big Mazda T3500 and labor, meaning he could collect more than the little box trailer he normally used. He supplied the chainsaw. We then split the load, he taking 2/3 and us 1/3.

I always wanted a chainsaw like he had. To a 12-year-old boy, it looked and sounded so big and powerful. This is that saw, a Stihl 028AV Super -







From what I can gather, this model was made from 1979 to 1990 and in Super guise, used a 51.5cc engine with 3.2hp. The "AV" designation refers to Anti-Vibration, a feature most saws have as standard these days. It also has a full magnesium case, rather than the plastic used for most modern saws.

As you can see, she is in need of some attention. While it may look dirty and unloved, he looked after that saw very well so I have no doubt it would still be a very good machine. It's likely not been used in ten years or more and now hangs unneeded on a hook.
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Old 12-11-2022, 07:37 PM   #726
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

The rose section of the nursery is absolutely stunning at the moment, the additional rainfall this spring has allowed them to develop lovely full flower buds.

These Pierre De Ronsard roses are a highlight at the moment. This variety is commonly grown as a climber, but this example is a weeping standard. I have also seen Pierre De Ronsard kept pruned as a shrub rose.



In addition to pink, there is also a blushed white variety called 'Blushing Pierre' and a red version called 'Red Pierre'. All three varieties feature a similar bloom structure and overall growth habit, I prefer the red and pink versions though.

That added rainfall, now teamed with warmth, means there is an added challenge - blackspot. Fungal problems thrive in humidity, blackspot is no different. This situation is not helped by our overhead watering system and the sheer volume of rose stock we have this year, limiting airflow. Even with weekly sprays with both Mancozeb and Triforine, the blackspot is still developing. It can be hard to explain that to a customer, that blackspot and roses go hand in hand, even with the best practice treatments.

If you are also battling blackspot on roses, here are a couple of things to consider trying -

-Maintain airflow by pruning out inward pointing shoots. This helps keep the middle of the bush open and improves airflow.

-Avoid overhead watering, directing water to the root system rather than over the foliage.

-Thin out your mulch a little around the base of the plants. Mulch is great, but it can also increase humidity.

-Remove fallen blackspot affected foliage as best as you can. This will limit the spores being released back onto the rest of the plant. It's also a good idea to put this material in the bin rather than the compost to avoid spreading the spores around the garden.

-Regularly use an appropriate fungicide. Triforine is the best, but Mancozeb can be added into the rotation as well. There are also homemade remedies, but their effectiveness is limited. You can also get combined insecticide/fungicide products for roses, but I prefer to treat blackspot with a dedicated fungicide for a more focused effect. Both Triforine and Mancozeb are systemic, meaning they have a residual effect for 10 - 14 days.

https://www.pestrol.com.au/buy-onlin...iforine-250ml/
https://www.pestrol.com.au/buy-onlin...zeb-fungicide/
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Old 22-11-2022, 10:10 AM   #727
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

Iíd appreciate any knowledge shared in identifying this plant (not the Euphorbia).

Large soft leaves, rich mauve inflorescences that fade to cream and blow away like dandelion seeds. Grows to about 90cm tall, shallow rooted and likes to spread. Iíve been treating it as a weed because of how it travels.
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Old 22-11-2022, 06:35 PM   #728
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Iíd appreciate any knowledge shared in identifying this plant (not the Euphorbia).

Large soft leaves, rich mauve inflorescences that fade to cream and blow away like dandelion seeds. Grows to about 90cm tall, shallow rooted and likes to spread. Iíve been treating it as a weed because of how it travels.
image
Almost certainly a weed, but I can't positively narrow it down.

Have a look at 'Wingstem Camphorweed' / Pluchea sagittalis

Otherwise, I will ask around tomorrow.
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Old 22-11-2022, 09:24 PM   #729
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Thank you. Fairly sure itís not the one you referenced, but I can see the similarity.
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Old 27-12-2022, 08:11 AM   #730
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

Summer heat is now ďonĒ and seems to have come very quickly. Back to pre-dawn watering.

Have you noticed much in your jobs to be struggling with the fairly sudden transition to higher temperatures? Iíve lost a small olive tree, a black bean and two azaleas arenít happy (but should pull through).
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Old 27-12-2022, 12:52 PM   #731
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

Plants all a ok so far but noticed parts of the grass already suffering week before last - been sprinkling sections last 2wks and looking like for a while ahead.


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Old 27-12-2022, 01:41 PM   #732
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

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Summer heat is now ďonĒ and seems to have come very quickly. Back to pre-dawn watering.

Have you noticed much in your jobs to be struggling with the fairly sudden transition to higher temperatures? Iíve lost a small olive tree, a black bean and two azaleas arenít happy (but should pull through).
Noticed lots of lemon scented gums are shedding their bark lately through this sudden heat. 39 here today. Our own red gums are loosing their leaves which usually happens in Summer. Grevillea's do fine, lots of bees and butterflies atm.
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Old 27-12-2022, 07:05 PM   #733
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

It's 40 degrees here today, beyond my comfort zone, and no doubt the plants too.

People are often shocked at much potted plants need watering. I had one guy complaining about his expensive standard Gardenia's looking sick. I asked all the usual questions, including how much water they were getting. The response was the usual "plenty"..............I know to further question that because most overestimate how much water is being applied. His response was once or twice a week, which is simply not enough for a large potted plant like that at this time of the year. I would be watering a pot like that once a day in 30+ degree weather.

The nursery watering is extensive in summer. When we close at the end of the day, the automated sprinkler system is set to run through a program. We then have it come on again at 6am. By lunchtime, we are then hand watering specific areas/plants that are struggling. On a hot and windy day, you basically start hand watering at 10am, again at 12pm and again at 2pm. We will also run the sprinklers on certain lines to put some moisture in the air.







Watering plants is not exactly a hard job, although there is some skill and technique involved to ensure you are delivering a deep soaking rather than just a little sprinkle that some of my co-workers seem to think is adequate. However, the areas that need hand watering in this weather are often out in the full sun, meaning you are basically standing in the sun for hours on end.

I hate summer by the way, give me an autumn or winter day over a 40-degree swelter.
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Old 04-01-2023, 09:16 PM   #734
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

4-5 years ago these was only about 2' high when The Dragon Lady planted them, this is the first time they have what passes for flowers.

What is it please?


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Old 04-01-2023, 09:27 PM   #735
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4-5 years ago these was only about 2' high when The Dragon Lady planted them, this is the first time they have what passes for flowers.

What is it please?


image
It's a variety of Phormium or New Zealand Flax. They typically flower once well established.

NZ Flax, Cordyline's and Yucca's were extremely popular during the 2000's. They were typically used for their foliage colours and drought resistance. I'm starting to see more interest in Flax and Cordylines lately. Not Yucca's though, they can stay in the past!
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Old 07-01-2023, 04:51 PM   #736
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

I hear you on the Yucca's DFB, heres a few I banished to the pages of history recently. They lined the path that leads to the first and tenth tee's at work and were the first impression people got of the course.





Theres a funny dynamic going on at work. Staff haven't ever touched the gardens, probably a good thing, whilst turfies are at the top of their game when it comes to grass it seems to be a trend at the clubs I've worked at that they don't know squat about gardens and are actually quite ignorant to them.
In the hay day of the club they were left to the volunteer's mainly the ladies group however as times got tough there and the membership aged or was lost neglect set in.
When I started on the gardens I was warned not to upset or step on the toes of 'The Ladies' I'll cross that bridge when I come to it I thought.
On commencing I was approached by said 'Ladies' Quite happy to dig my heels in for a stoush I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they were happy someone was finally taking charge of them, in fact we even bounced a few ideas off each other.

So here it is after day one, looking better with a layer of mulch alone. I'm keeping it simple and cheap by striking some rosemary cuttings for a hedge at the moment.



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Old 07-01-2023, 06:33 PM   #737
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

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I hear you on the Yucca's DFB, heres a few I banished to the pages of history recently. They lined the path that leads to the first and tenth tee's at work and were the first impression people got of the course.

image

image

Theres a funny dynamic going on at work. Staff haven't ever touched the gardens, probably a good thing, whilst turfies are at the top of their game when it comes to grass it seems to be a trend at the clubs I've worked at that they don't know squat about gardens and are actually quite ignorant to them.
In the hay day of the club they were left to the volunteer's mainly the ladies group however as times got tough there and the membership aged or was lost neglect set in.
When I started on the gardens I was warned not to upset or step on the toes of 'The Ladies' I'll cross that bridge when I come to it I thought.
On commencing I was approached by said 'Ladies' Quite happy to dig my heels in for a stoush I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they were happy someone was finally taking charge of them, in fact we even bounced a few ideas off each other.

So here it is after day one, looking better with a layer of mulch alone. I'm keeping it simple and cheap by striking some rosemary cuttings for a hedge at the moment.

image

image
Much, much better! I would actually be happy with the removal and mulching and calling it a day.

Perhaps look into some Correa's or even Rhaphiolepis Snow Maiden. I don't like how woody Rosemary can get unless frequently clipped.
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Old 07-01-2023, 06:54 PM   #738
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

The Rhaph's are a good idea I certainly won't rule them out. At the moment I'm fighting for budget so the rosemary are free, I plan to plant them a fair way back so that we don't have to prune them to wood and they can slowly move forward to the edge.
The long game will be to make some cheap, quick changes then as the idea of gardens start to normalize I can justify more time and money being spent on them.

I've put a plan and costing in for some reveg / conservation plantings that has been well received so fingers crossed thats finalized soon, ahead of the winter planting season. Also been in touch with our local Tafe aswell so I may have some free slaves, sorry labourers that'll also reduce costs and make it a more attractive proposition to the club.
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Old 07-01-2023, 07:42 PM   #739
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

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The Rhaph's are a good idea I certainly won't rule them out. At the moment I'm fighting for budget so the rosemary are free, I plan to plant them a fair way back so that we don't have to prune them to wood and they can slowly move forward to the edge.
The long game will be to make some cheap, quick changes then as the idea of gardens start to normalize I can justify more time and money being spent on them.

I've put a plan and costing in for some reveg / conservation plantings that has been well received so fingers crossed thats finalized soon, ahead of the winter planting season. Also been in touch with our local Tafe aswell so I may have some free slaves, sorry labourers that'll also reduce costs and make it a more attractive proposition to the club.
Snow Maidens are pretty expensive, so I understand the budget concerns.

You could also perhaps ask the TAFE if they would be willing to propagate and donate plants in addition to labor. That would be a good start to finish learning experience for the students.
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Old 12-01-2023, 09:51 PM   #740
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

Today's project, getting these display frames back into shape.





These frames were constructed to grow Chinese Star Jasmine on, a great way of providing height without width. As they put on growth in spring and then flower in early summer, they lose their crisscross design. After flowering, they are pruned and trained back into shape.





This is a time-consuming job, one that takes patience, finesse and a good eye for detail. No hack jobs here! Sure, they have had a LOT of material removed, but within a month or so, these will flesh out again a touch while maintaining the same diamond pattern.

I love this sort of work, I had an audience a few times too.
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Old 12-01-2023, 10:01 PM   #741
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I love watching something come back after a hard prune. Especially monitoring the first ďare they, or am I imagining it?Ē bumps on stems.

Not sure if itís a sadistic streak or curatorial interest!
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Old 12-01-2023, 10:19 PM   #742
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I love watching something come back after a hard prune. Especially monitoring the first ďare they, or am I imagining it?Ē bumps on stems.

Not sure if itís a sadistic streak or curatorial interest!
We have a rapid action high nitrogen fertilizer that helps bring plants back into growth or colour after a very hard cut back. Sometimes, you can see it working within a week. Good stuff!
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Old 12-01-2023, 11:37 PM   #743
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Is there a trade-off with using it? Like, extra watering or careful monitoring of soil?

Having recently smashed my 70 year old rhododendrons, itís been super-satisfying to watch them develop healthy new growth - but as you inferred, it took about 2-3 weeks before recovery was identifiable.
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Old 13-01-2023, 07:39 PM   #744
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Is there a trade-off with using it? Like, extra watering or careful monitoring of soil?

Having recently smashed my 70 year old rhododendrons, itís been super-satisfying to watch them develop healthy new growth - but as you inferred, it took about 2-3 weeks before recovery was identifiable.
The product is called Osmoform, designed for rapid greening and growth.

https://icl-sf.com/global-en/product...-osmoform-nxt/



We typically use this to give a plant a lift if it's been in the nursery for a while, or when we have cut something back and want it to put on growth and become salable again quickly. Some plants respond within days, some take longer, as in a couple of weeks. It also has a nice feature in that when it wets down, it clumps together and holds in the pot, even if blown over by the wind. Osmocote on the other hand will simply fall out.

There are some key things to be careful of when using a product like this:

-First, unlike Osmocote which is encapsulated and designed to release slowly, Osmoform is raw and is designed to have an immediate effect. The tradeoff here is that it can burn foliage if not used carefully. This is mostly a problem on plants with foliage covering the pot surface, a groundcover for example. I like to either water it into the soil or make a small hole in the soil, fill it with the product and cover it over with a small amount of potting mix.

-Osmoform really needs to be measured out for the pot size. Too much and you have the possibility of frying the plant or causing to grow too quickly (see below). Too little and you are wasting your time. We have a gram rate per pot size.

-Because this fertilizer acts so quickly, it can cause "soft" growth that is more prone to heat, cold and pest and disease. This is where careful/accurate dosing comes into the equation.

For the most part, Osmoform can be used on all plants, including natives. However, I have noticed some plants react better to it than others, in which case I may decide to instead trade off the speed of Osmoform and go with the slower acting Osmocote instead.

A good product, one that has transformed this part of the business.
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Old 13-01-2023, 07:50 PM   #745
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Really handy information, thanks. Iíll guess it also brings up adjacent growth (weeds) faster - this could be a useful side effect.
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Old 17-01-2023, 06:14 PM   #746
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What was supposed to be an order for a replacement seal kit for my Solo 456 sprayer turned into something a bit more elaborate.................

https://duralirrigation.com.au/produ...cf4a700f&_ss=r



The Solo Eazy 206 is a battery powered sprayer which uses a small 10.8V / 2.5 Ah lithium-ion battery. The tank holds 6 liters and will offer just under 3 hours of spraying from a single charge.







Solo also offer the 406Li 6 Liter sprayer, but the pump runs constantly, not shutting off when the trigger is released. The Eazy 206 on the other hand does, while also offering more consistent pressure. On the 206, I also like the carry handle independent of the lid.

https://duralirrigation.com.au/produ...cf4a700f&_ss=r



The worst thing about weed spraying is pumping up the bottle and the time that wastes. Hopefully this improves my efficiency.
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Old 04-03-2023, 07:28 PM   #747
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I find it fascinating how some people are happy to plant something and watch it grow, while others want the results overnight. Catering to the later, we grow a lot of our own advanced stock.

Having the space to allow the growing of high-quality advanced stock is a key component in the mix. The nursery invested a lot of money in setting up a space capable of delivering this.

Not only does this allow us to provide the customers with larger plants at more reasonable costs (no expensive transporting costs for example), it is also more profitable per plant. Think of it like selling a base model Falcon XT compared to a FPV GT; the GT has more margin.

Most of the advanced stock will start from a smaller 140 and 200mm pot. We then put them into 330mm pots accompanied by appropriate fertiliser, stakes, ties and weed control matting.

image

Today's task was potting up 40 Magnolia Little Gem and 10 Magnolia Kay Parris.

image

After potting, each plant is put into position, hooked to a dripper line and attached to the wire support.

image

image

Took me the better part of 6 hours to process those.

From here, the plants will stay in place until they have grown to an appropriate size. That also applies to the root system, meaning we want it developed so that it pot can be removed and not have it fall apart.

The root system is what separates a nursery from a large green hardware store. Stock from them will often been grown so fast that the roots system has not kept up, meaning a weaker plant more susceptible to root disturbance and transplant shock. This is why you pay so little at the big green shed and more at a nursery that understands how plants grow rather than treating them like a packet of bolts or a can of paint.
And just under 7 months later, this stock is now starting to hit the shelves.

From this................





To this..........................



Retrieved from the dripper lines, given a shot of quick acting fertiliser to hold their colour, re-labeled, priced and put into stock. The growth rate on this particular variety called "Kay Parris" is seemingly much faster than "Little Gem", which still have another month or so before they will be ready for sale.

This stock could have gone out earlier, but we make sure the plant has a developed root system before sending them out. This is something that differentiates us from the "big green shed", and why our prices are higher too. The big B keeps the price down by stocking plants that have been force fed to grow very fast. Shorter growing time, shorter labour required ect. The byproduct of that is a root system that has not kept up, and when taken out of the pot, the disturbance to underdeveloped roots will often severely compromise the success of the plant. We often have people say to us that "Bunning's plants just die", and this is why.

This is my favorite part of my job, the actual plant side of the business and not the "dealing with the general public" aspect. Plants I can deal with, they don't talk back!
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Old 05-03-2023, 08:51 AM   #748
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Default Re: DFB's Greenthumb Project

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We often have people say to us that "Bunning's plants just die", and this is why.

This is my favorite part of my job, the actual plant side of the business and not the "dealing with the general public" aspect. Plants I can deal with, they don't talk back!
So true imo. I've never had any success with any plant from Bunnings.
Usually wait for the monthly Violet Town markets before buying anything.

BTW Nice job.
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Old 05-03-2023, 06:04 PM   #749
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Is this a variant of Magnolia Grandiflora? Itís a hedging plant about 1800 tall, in a garden thatís going feral.
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Old 05-03-2023, 06:38 PM   #750
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Is this a variant of Magnolia Grandiflora? Itís a hedging plant about 1800 tall, in a garden thatís going feral.
image
That looks like Viburnum odoratissimum or a variant of it. These have become popular over the last couple of years, following the trend of multiple layers glossy green foliage.

https://www.alpinenurseries.com.au/a...odoratissimum/

There are a number of different versions, the most popular being "Dense Fence", "Emerald Lustre" and 'Awabuki'. If it's been there for a while, the one you posted is likely the parent variety.

I really like these plants, they make a nice thick hedge with glossy green foliage. They are also relatively fast growing compared to other Viburnums, and can be pruned very hard if required.
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