Thursday, December 29, 2011

Everett Gaskins Hancock

I’ve been in business for quite a number of years now but I’ve never seen times quite as bad as we have now. It seems like the only people making money now are the lawyers. I’ve just finished a lengthy court case against a former client but it looks like I’m going to need help from the everett gaskins hancock lawyers again with another client bellying up. I’ve had good results from these lawyers so I’d recommend them to anyone needing a lawyer for their business litigations.

Lemons, Limes & Cumquats

There are an enormous variety of fruits in the citrus family, many not commonly grown by home gardeners, but they grow extremely well in all areas of Australia from the tropics to the cooler, more temperate areas. Not all are used for their juice, but some like the Bergamot Orange Citrus bergamia is only used for its fragrance. It contains a rich essential oil that is the basis of Eau de Cologne. Others like the Buddha’s Hand Citrus Medica is used specifically for its zest in cooking and confectionary.

It is the lemons, limes and cumquats that are most often grown. Lemons are the most popular citrus that is grown in home gardens from the tropical regions to cold areas. The Lisbon Lemon Citrus limon ‘Lisbon’ is a favourite cultivar in a Mediterranean climate for alkaline soils. They are mostly grafted onto the rootstock of a rough lemon, and will give three crops a year, with only a short gap in January/February where the tree won’t have any lemons at all. The blossoms have a very strong fragrance and will frequently be flowering and fruiting at the same time. This variety can’t always be grown in all areas. Meyer Lemon Citrus Limon ‘Meyer’ is easier to grow in the cooler regions and Eureka Lemon Citrus Limon ‘Eureka’ is a better variety for humid areas. Good drainage is essential no matter what region a lemon is grown. Growing them in a raised bed or on a slope can improve an otherwise poorly drained area. After 10 or 15 year the tree may be too high to pick the fruit comfortably, so it is a good practice to keep them pruned to a height where the top of the tree is easy to reach. A Variegated Lisbon Lemon has ornamental foliage and smaller fruit that is not quite as prolific.

The Caffre Lime Citrus hystrix has become the most popular lime in Australia over the last couple of years. It is grown exclusively for the leaf, which is used as flavouring in Thai cooking. The fruits are extremely sour and not edible, but the plant makes an excellent container plant. They are very easy to grow if they are kept trimmed and are fed twice a year in spring and summer with a slow-release fertiliser. The West Indian Lime Citrus aurantifolia is smaller than the Tahitian Lime. It has a fruit with seeds but it has the best lime flavour and is widely grown and consumed in the tropics, whereas the Tahitian lime has smaller, thin-skinned seedless, very juicy fruit. The West Indian Lime is grown here at the edge of its geographical tolerance, so it is grown on a compatible rootstock, which is rough lemon. The Rangpur Lime Citrus x limonia has a large juicy fruit, almost orange with green seeds. This fruit has an interesting aftertaste.

Nagami Cumquat Fortunella margarita can be eaten whole, including the skin, unlike the Calamondin Citrus madurensis, which is incredibly sour and not one that can be eaten fresh. Chinotto Citrus myrtifolia is one of the most ornamental species that has pendulous branches with very glossy leaves, with fruit that turns bright orange when ripe, but also with fruit too sour to be eaten fresh. These are all best grown in a warm protected area. For a colder climate the Limequat Citrus aurantifolia x Fortunella margarita is an ideal hybrid with delicious fruit.

All of these varieties can be grown in containers, but should be given adequate amounts of fertiliser and they will provide tasty fruit as well as being a beautiful decorative feature.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Guitar songs

If you ask me what my regret is in my life I’d say not learning to play the guitar. I love listening to guitar songs and I regret not learning to play it when I was growing up. Yes I know it is never too late to learn but I have absolutely no creative juices in me to be able to learn guitar playing. I think you’re born with musical talent and sadly I wasn’t born with it.

Seeds vs Seedlings

Most of our plants began life as a tiny seed, and this particularly true when it comes to flowering annuals and vegetables. Today there is the option of growing plants directly from seed or buying ready-grown seedlings. There are advantages and disadvantages of both.

Seeds vary in size from large ones like avocado and some beans, to the very minute seeds of lettuces and pansies. Small seeds must be placed on the surface of the seed-raising mix because if they are covered too thickly they will not germinate. Other seeds like sweet corn are planted at twice the depth of the thickness of the seed itself, and that is the basic rule to follow with all seeds.

When buying seed-raising mix make sure that it has been especially formulated for the purpose, with not too much air-filled porosity and the correct level of moisture-holding capacity. The surface should be levelled and firmed with a flat piece of wood or similar object, in preparation for sowing.

Seeds can be planted directly in the garden bed, or in seed-raising mix to plant the seedlings in the garden at a later time. If a small amount of Epsom salts is added to water, when applied to the soil the magnesium in it will help the plant to activate the enzymes that breaks down the food supply in the seed. A light misting is adequate. Too much water will rot the seeds. A covering of perlite will absorb moisture as well as provide an insulating layer and aid in germination.

There are several options when planting seeds in the ground. Some seed companies are supplying a length of tape that is impregnated with seed such as radish that is evenly spaced. The tape is laid out in a straight line as a row, and the seeds will germinate at regular intervals.

Many gardeners are also interested in heirloom and heritage seeds. Some are available from nurseries and garden centres supply a variety of these, but to get open pollinated varieties you may need to contact an organic growers group to get home-saved seed, or contact a seed savers network.

If you grow a lot of F1 hybrids, the chances are that the seeds will not be viable, so new seeds will have to be purchased otherwise seedlings can be used. Although seedlings cost a little bit more they save a lot of time. It generally takes 10 to 14 days for seedlings to germinate and come through the ground, and then another 2 to 3 weeks for them to develop some size as young plants. The germination rate of parsley is so poor that it is better to leave it to someone else’s propagating skills. Begonias also have a poor germination rate as well as the seeds being very expensive.

When buying seedlings, you are often confronted with a choice of very small plants or tall, leggy ones. The temptation is to buy the big ones thinking that they will be better, but this is not the case. The small seedlings will easily outgrow the larger ones, as well as being much stronger plants.

When planting seedlings into the garden care must be taken not to crush the stems, as this is the route of transportation of nutrients to the plant. Hold the plants by the leaves and ease them out so that you don’t damage the root system. After planting them in the ground, water them in with a seaweed extract, because the vitamin B1 will help the seedlings overcome transplant shock.

Seeds are cheaper but seedlings are quicker, so it is just a matter of personal choice.