Lismore Garden Club News

We were watching the news on television late one afternoon lately when we heard a frog in distress. At first we thought that a snake may have him, so I traced his whereabouts to a waterwell pot hanging on the front porch. To my relief there was no snake but a telltale line of black ants which had climbed up some nearby plants, obviously looking for a high and dry place to relocate their nest. To have an ant nest in a pot plant was neither good for the plant or the frog. I overcame the problem by flooding the plant with water. The frog didn’t mind the water but the ants cleared out. With the amount of rain that we have had lately it would pay to check your potted plants closely. If you find that ants have set up home in a conventional pot plant the simplest thing to do is gently submerge it in a tub of water and leave it to soak for half an hour. It would be best to re-pot the plant in fresh premium potting mix. To prevent the ants from returning you can wipe some kerosene on a brick or paver and stand the pot on it.

One of the most glorious sights that a gardener can behold is a king protea in flower. If you have always wanted to try growing one or two from the proteaceae family to which the king protea belongs, but haven’t quite had the courage, here is a few easier ones to try. Protea ‘Pink Ice’, the ‘King Protea’ or any of the lovely hybrid leucospermums. They require a well-drained sunny location. If your soil is not so well drained you can improve it with the addition of gypsum and organic material and slightly mound the planting location. Do not use high phosphorus fertiliser of fowl manure on them. It is prudent to dust the planting site with agricultural sulphur before planting. They can be fertilised with low phosphorus fertiliser at the end of winter. They should always be kept mulched and not allowed to dry out completely.

The Lismore Garden Club meets on the second Thursday of the month at 1pm at the Lismore Workers Club. Most meetings we have an interesting speaker. Potential new members are most welcome. For further information phone Ray on 6625 1773 or Rosemary on 6629 3353.

Finally: “Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of what you already have.”

Happy gardening

Ron Burns


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