Curl Grubs

Curl Grub

Erez Ben asked: Can anyone help identify these grubs. They came out of a pot with a chilli plant in it.
Horticulturist Brian Answers: Those strange juicy looking things are called Curl Grubs and they do quite a bit of damage to plants especially if they are in a pot.
They are so called because the ‘C’ shape they form when found as they curl up. They usually have 6 legs and a white/cream body and are the larvae stage of black beetles. Whilst there is thousands of native Scarab beetles in Australia, the ones that damage your lawn and pot plants are generally introduced species from Africa and Argentina. These chunky larvae get that way by eating the roots of your lawn or plants. The adult female beetles lay eggs in soil which hatch and become these curl grubs.
If you have brown patches in your lawn, try lifting the turf in that area and you will very likely find it can be rolled back easily because the roots have been eaten. Birds are attracted to them so if you see large birds like magpies pecking at the ground it usually means there is curl grubs underneath.
To control curl grub there are granular insecticides that you can sprinkle across your lawn or pots and water them in. It is effective but it has lead to the poisoning of a lot of birds who then eat the curl grubs that come to the surface.
An organic alternative is to use Eucalyptus Oil and Tea Tree Oil.
Australian company Amgrow makes a great product for this purpose that also has fertiliser and wetting agents to help your lawn and plants get water and nutrients. Professor Mac 3 in 1 Organic insecticide is available at the Aussie Gardener Store as a 1litre concentrate or a 2litre hose on. It is non toxic to use and smells great too.
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How an ancient society in the Sahara Desert rose and fell with groundwater

Garamantes Sahara

With its low quantities of rain and soaring high temperatures, the Sahara Desert is often regarded as one of the most extreme and least habitable environments on Earth. While the Sahara was periodically much greener in the distant past, an ancient society living in a climate very similar to today’s found a way to harvest water in the seemingly dry Sahara—thriving until the water ran out.

https://phys.org/news/2023-10-ancient-society-sahara-rose-fell.html

Dehydrating Carrots

Dehydrated Carrots

(From a post on a Facebook group.)
One extra large bowl of diced carrots dehydrated down to fill about 3/4 of a quart jar.

My process:
Peel carrots (they seem to re hydrate better if they are peeled),
cut into approximately 1/8″ dice,
blanch 2 minutes,
dehydrate at 135 degrees F.

It took about 7 hours to get them fully dry, but let that only be a guideline. How long it takes yours to dry depends on the humidity in your home, age of produce, accuracy of the temperature on your dehydrator, and other variables. Dry until you can tear apart a piece and no moisture comes out of the food.

I store my dehydrated foods in glass jars with air-tight lids, placed in a dark cupboard. They last at least a year.

To re hydrate, I usually pour boiling water over the food and cover it with a plate. You could also pour water over the food, cover, and refrigerate overnight (be sure the water is a couple of inches above the food), or gently simmer the food in a saucepan.

Remember: The carrots still need cooking.

Blending In

Blending In

I Am Writing Another Book

A page from it:

The Purpose Of This Book

The genus of the book was the observation that according to all indicators, this civilization was not heading up, it was heading down. And that if the current trend is not reverted, then we are headed for some very rough times ahead.

I looked at the worst case scenario and realised that in that case I would not have the skills my forebears had. I would not have enough knowledge to be able to grow food enough to survive. I would not know what to grow from seeds and what to grow from cuttings, what to plant when, how to remedy soil nutrient deficiencies, what crops do well together and what don’t, what pests/diseases affect a crop and, more importantly, how to minimise/eradicate them, how to preserve foods, how to harvest and store seeds for next year.

Therefore the principal purpose of the book is so that a person with zero to little knowledge of the subject (me) could have a single source of reliable data to utilise to be able to grow enough to survive in the event of a societal catastrophe when it will no longer be able to source such data from the internet or a local gardening shop. I envisage that in such a scenario a preparedness manual like this would be worth its weight in gold! It could mean the difference between survival and not.

The secondary purpose is to provide a comprehensive, single reference point to enable a beginning gardener to be able to successfully plan and execute food crop growing in whatever space they have available.