Marianne Cannon

About Marianne Cannon

Marianne Cannon has been broadcasting as Real World Gardener on radio 2RRR 88.5fm in Sydney, since September 2009, and the program is now syndicated to radio stations around Australia. It's about growing your own, the abc of plants, and how to create sustainable gardens to fit into today's environment. Not just a show about plants; it has a strong green and ecological bent, with co-presenters addressing issues such as native animals and plants, water conservation, composting, reducing waste, protecting native species and more.

Indoor plant care

Indoor plants are very much in vogue. But it’s important to look after them. Here are some top tips to keeping your indoor plants looking good.

 

Indoor plants are popular. Image Real World Gardener

 

I’m talking with Steve Falcioni, General Manager of EcoOrganic Garden 

Top up the potting mix. After 2-3 years, potting mix becomes compacted and shrinks several cms. Old potting mix needs replacing after a while because of this “slumping” and also it becomes acidic over time.

Check if the soil has become hydrophobic.
Scratch the surface after you’ve initially watered to see if it has actually penetrated. If not, apply a soil wetting agent.

Indoor plants look good. Image, Real World Gardener

Check for pests or diseases: If you have any indoor plant problems is important to first diagnose what is exactly happening with the plant.
Is it just the soil, or is it something that needs spraying.
Because your plants are indoors I would recommend using organic sprays

How to grow and use caraway

Caraway is used to flavour a whole lot of food that we eat, like havarti cheese, rye bread, sauerkraut and caraway seed cake in Britain. What may surprise you is that the roots can be cooked as a vegetable like parsnips or carrots and also that the leaves are sometimes eaten as herbs, either raw, dried, or cooked, just like you would with parsley. Continue reading

How to grow and use turmeric

Turmeric, Cucurma longa, is a tropical rhizome you can grow in both subtropical and cool subtropical areas like Sydney. You can even grow it in a pot in cooler climates, as long as it’s protected from frost and extreme cold. In cooking it is used for colour and flavour. Continue reading

How to choose, clean and sharpen your secateurs

Secateurs are one of your most important gardening tools and will get used most times you go out into the garden. Thats why, if you’re a new gardener, you should invest in a good pair. Most long-time gardeners have a favourite pair they’ve been using for years but tragedy can strike and those long-loved secateurs are lost or damaged. Here’s a handy three part guide about how you should choose, clean and sharpen your secateurs. Continue reading

Barn owls and crested terns

Today I’m talking with ecologist Sue Stevens about barn owls and crested terns. Barn owls are not common in urban areas but are found throughout Australia in grasslands and open woodland. Fish-eating crested terns frequent coastal areas with protected areas for breeding. Continue reading

What’s eating my lilly pilly?

All down the east coast of Australia, gardeners with lilly pilly hedges have been noticing lots of chewed and damaged foliage. While it used to be pimple psyllid that most affected lilly pillies, causing those ugly pimply bumps all over the leaves followed by lots of sooty mould, there’s now a relatively new insect pest that’s doing as much, if not more, damage on Syzygium australe and its cultivars – a native green leaf-eating beetle called Paropsides calypso**. Continue reading

Cockatoos, crimson rosellas and currawongs

How well do you know some of our iconic and most common Australian birds? I talk with ecologist Sue Stephens about the destructive, snowy-white sulphur-crested cockatoo; the vividly-coloured crimson rosella; and the black and white pied currawong, and why it’s often an unwelcome visitor in your garden. Continue reading

How to grow and use licorice

Today I’m talking with herb specialist Ian Hemphill of Herbies Spices about growing that very tasty plant, licorice (or liquorice if you are in the UK). Forget the sticky black confectionary licorice – you can make your own sweet treats like licorice icecream and even chewable sticks from your own home-grown plant. Continue reading

Why has my plant got yellow leaves?

Yellowing leaves is a common problem on both indoor and garden plants. Today I’m talking with Steve Falcioni about how you can work out what’s causing yellow leaves on your plant. There’s a wide range of possibilities from leaf age and season, nutrient deficiencies, incorrect pH, low temperatures, over- and under-watering, to pest and disease attack. Continue reading