Latest Posts

How do you collect a sample of the root zone solution?

April 11, 2017
Rick Donnan

In my answers I frequently refer to the root zone solution. That is, the solution around the plant roots from which the plant takes up water and nutrients, as explained in my previous two columns. I stress that it is this root zone solution, which is the basis for good hydroponic management. Many growers obsess about their feed solution, but this is only a means to managing the root zone. I am often asked how to collect a root zone solution sample from a dripper-fed container of medium, so this is my practical answer to that question.

Answer by RICK DONNAN Read More »

Its not just kids – adults shirk fruit and veggies

April 3, 2017

Australia’s largest ever fruit and vegetable survey has found that four out of five Australian adults are not eating enough fruit and vegetables in order to meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Worryingly, the Fruit, Vegetables and Diet Score Report released today, found one in two (51 per cent) adults are not eating the recommended intake of fruit, while two out of three adults (66 per cent) are not eating enough vegetables. Read More »

Residents urged to help stop spread of tomato potato psyllid

April 1, 2017
Community garden

The Department of Agriculture and Food is urging home gardeners to do their bit to help stop the spread of the tomato potato psyllid, a destructive insect pest which has been discovered in Australia for the first time. The psyllid feeds on a range of plants, including potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli, tamarillo and sweet potato. Many of these vegetables are widely grown in backyard plots. Read More »

SULPHUR: deficiency & toxicity

March 31, 2017
Sulphur deficiency in tomato leaves

Plant deficiencies or excesses of mineral elements show in a number of ways: in colour, density, size and shape of leaves; in the thickness and colour of stems and the length of internodes; in the colour, fibrousness and thickness of roots; in the abundance and timing of flowers; and in the size, colour, hardness and flavour of fruit. Recognising those particular effects is the key to diagnosing nutritional disorders. 

By STEVEN CARRUTHERS Read More »

Queensland growers need support to get back on their feet

March 31, 2017

Growers hit by ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie need the full support of Australians to get back on their feet as they face huge recovery costs in the wake of the storm, according to leading industry bodies AUSVEG and Growcom. Read More »

Imported food reform

March 20, 2017

The Coalition Government is strengthening its borders to place tighter controls on imported food, to better protect Australians from food safety and health risks. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said comprehensive changes would be introduced to give Australian consumers greater assurance at the supermarket that imported food is safe, without burdening local importers with unnecessary red tape. Read More »

What do eggshells, tomato peels and rubber have in common?

March 10, 2017
Rubber filler research

Tomorrow’s tyres could come from the farm as much as the factory. Researchers at The Ohio State University have discovered that food waste can partially replace the petroleum-based filler that has been used in manufacturing tires for more than a century. In tests, rubber made with the new fillers exceeds industrial standards for performance, which may ultimately open up new applications for rubber. Read More »