Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday's talk

In the last thee days Katoomba has received 266mm of rain, almost half of it in the 24 hours since 9 am this morning! Fortunately for all the people (there was around 40 of us) who turned out yesterday to the Blue Mountains Organic Community Gardens — to the talks by Sue Girard, Wayne Levi and Stafford Lowe — it was only raining lightly much of the time. The rain did stop us inspecting the gardens' fruit and nuts trees for pests and diseases and the topic was not exhausted, so we will hold part two of this session at 10.30 am to noon on Saturday 6 March. Even if you did not attend the first session yesterday I am sure that you will get a lot out of the next one.

The session yesterday stressed preparing soils and other conditions for plant growth so as to prevent and avoid pests and diseases and to implement integrated pest management. As well as participants wanting pests and diseases identified, Sue and Wayne brought examples and handed round devices used to get rid of pests (such as sticky paper) and to scare pests (such as birds) away.

Wayne suggested a particularly good book on the topic: What Garden Pest or Disease is That? Organic and Chemical Solutions For Every Garden Problem by Judy McMaugh, New Holland Publishers, Sydney. The book advises on avoidance, organic controls and is structured around an A to Z in the three key areas of 1) plant care, 2) pests, 3) diseases. It has lots of illustrations for identification.

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We can harvest a wide range of fruits and nuts locally each season.

Local fruit and/or nut gardeners are invited to make additions or suggest modifications to the following work-in-progress compiled by Lizzie Connor.


Across the mountains: loquat, mulberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late spring) raspberry

Best in the lower mountains: avocado, jaboticaba, lemonade


Across the mountains: apricot, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, currant (red, black, white), gooseberry, kumquat, loganberry, loquat, mulberry,nectarine, peach, plum, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late summer) almond, apple, fig, hazelnut, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), pomegranate, youngberry

Best in lower mountains:lemon (Eureka), lemonade, lime, mandarin, orange, persimmon (non-astringent) and (in late summer) avocado, babaco, macadamia, rockmelon, wampee, watermelon

Best in upper mountains: jostaberry, lemon (Meyer), persimmon (astringent)


Across the mountains: almond, apple, chestnut, feijoa, fig, grape, hazel, kiwi fruit, kumquat, medlar, olive, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), plum, quince, raspberry (some), rhubarb, strawberry, strawberry guava, walnut

Best in lower mountains: avocado, babaco, cherimoya, grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), macademia, monstera deliciosa, orange, pine nut, pistachio, rockmelon, tamarillo, walnut, watermelon, white sapote

Best in upper mountains: lemon (Meyer), mandarin (Satsuma)


Across the mountains: apple, hazelnut, kiwi fruit, kumquat, pear (incl. nashi)

Best in lower mountains: grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), orange, tangelo

Best in upper mountains: avocado (Bacon), lemon (Meyer)