With Autumn over and winter her it's a good time to get the leaves out of the gutters as they can block your drains and plumbers are expensive. Just Saying :-)

With Autumn over and winter her it's a good time to get the leaves out of the gutters as they can block your drains and plumbers are expensive. Just Saying :-)

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Time to fertilise the camellias.
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Look Here is a large Sandstone Pond, created through the Winter. This pond is solid and clad in 50mll thick saw sandstone.
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2013-09-08
6 Photos - View album

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Azalea Lace Bugs


The Azalea Lace Bug (Stephanitis pyrioides), an insect originating from Japan, is a signicant pest of azaleas and rhododendrons in many regions of the world where these plants are cultivated. The bug especially attacks plants growing in sunny, exposed situations.

Symptoms of lace bug attack


The feeding activity of every stage of the lace bug life cycle produces a widespread grey-whitish/silvery mottling on the upper surfaces of the leaves, similar in colour but coarser in texture to that caused by spider mites. Adult and juvenile lace bugs feed on the undersurfaces of azalea and rhododendron leaves. 

The mottling is usually so severe that leaves that have been attacked are permanently disfigured. Leaves will die and fall from the plant well before their time. Sticky brown patches or ‘varnish’ (excretory products of the lace bugs) appear on the undersides of the leaves. The Azalea Lace Bug is widespread throughout Australia.
Life cycle

The lace bug has at least two (and possibly four) generations per year in Australia. Adults reach 4-6 mm in length. They have clear, heavily veined wings - hence the insects’ common name. Juvenile lace bugs are wingless, spiny, have long antennae relative to their body length, and have a black and tan mottled colouring giving them an overall dark appearance.

There are probably five nymphal instars. Nymphal moult skins often remain stuck to lace bug varnish on the undersides of leaves. Lace bugs overwinter in the egg stage, hatching when conditions improve for them in the spring. Eggs are inserted into the mid-vein on the underside of the azalea or rhododendron leaf as they are laid. They have a brown protective covering which hardens on contact with air.
Control
Lace bugs are particularly difficult to control. There is currently no known effective biological control agent (e.g. a parasitic wasp). There are some pesticides that are registered for the control of this pest.
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Composting



- Posted by Zeal Property Maintenance P/L from iPad.Composting

What is composting?
Composting is nature’s own recycling program. In time, organisms will break down the ingredients listed below into rich, dark crumbly compost - nature’s own nutrient-rich fertiliser.

How does composting work and how long does it take?
Natural composting, or decomposition, occurs all the time in nature. Home composting generally takes two months or more. The more you turn and mix the contents - adding air in the process - the more rapid the composting action will be.

The right conditions include
the right ratio of nitrogen to carbon - equal amounts of ‘greens’ (kitchen scraps) for nitrogen and ‘browns’ (fallen leaves and woody material) for carbon
the right amount of water (feels like a damp sponge)
good drainage (to remove excess moisture)
enough oxygen (turned often)
What can you compost at home?
Vegetable and fruit scraps
Fallen leaves
Grass clippings
Finely chipped branches
Used vegetable cooking oil
Tea leaves, tea bags
Coffee grounds
Vacuum cleaner dust
Egg shells
Sheets of newspaper
Paper bags
Shredded paper
What can’t you compost?
Metal, plastic, glass
Meat and dairy products (attract rodents)
Large branches
Bones
Plant bulbs (need specialised treatment)
Droppings of meat-eating animals (e.g. dogs)
Grubs in your compost?
Sometimes in compost bins there are many segmented brown grubs. These are the larvae of the beneficial Soldier Fly. They are not pests, nor will they cause health problems.

Mulches
Mulches can prevent up to 73% evaporation loss and they are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to make the most of water in the garden.
The best mulch is a well-rotted compost which will also improve the soil structure and stimulate the biological life of the soil. Place the mulch away from the trunk to prevent collar rot.
Do not apply mulch more than 75-100 mm in thickness or water may not easily penetrate into the soil.
Sylvester the Digester
At the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney we have one of only a few VCUs - Vertical Composting Units - in Australia. Our VCU, nick-named ‘Sylvester the Digester’, will help us lead the way in responsible recycling to help save our environment. Sylvester is an insulated, weather-sealed unit that processes organic waste and turns it into a nutrient-rich compost. We are turning our green ‘waste’ material into a high quality mulch and soil conditioner.

Sylvester is filled with fresh waste, water is added, then the waste is transferred to the top of the unit to descend through a temperature gradient from 85ºC to 45ºC. The high temperatures ensure elimination of pathogens and weed seeds. Sylvester is at work 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The time required to make the final compost product is around two to four weeks.

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want to be able to identify Eucalypts? Look here and discover so much. 
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