Skin Protection

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Dr David Bromwich is a professional occupational hygienist based in Brisbane and dabbles in gardening.


Ultra violet radiation
Working in the garden is a pleasure for all keen gardeners. The fresh air, warmth of the sun and connecting with nature is a basic desire for us all. However, exposure to sunlight does raise some concerns.

Sunlight not only helps us grow the plants we like, we also recognise ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a major factor causing skin and eye damage. However, effects of solar UVR light are fairly complex and a basic knowledge of this is relevant to everyone.

In the open, only about half the solar UVR comes directly from the sun. The rest is scattered UVR from the sky, so even in the shade any visible patch of sky is a source of UVR. This explains why babies still burn in the shade of a beach umbrella. Almost paradoxically, it is possible to have a situation where moving from the sun to the shade increases the levels of UVR, if the position in the shade ‘sees’ more of the sky.

Other topics covered include:

  • Protection
  • Shade
  • Hats
  • Sunscreens


From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Two
Solar UVR reaches people on the ground directly from the sun, scattered from the open sky and reflected from the environment.
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Garden Calendar
Arno King


Once again the late autumn and winter have been exceptionally wet in northern coastal Australia. Many long term weather forecasts predict higher than average rainfall will continue into spring.

While many cool climate plants are enjoying the cooler wet weather, many more tropical plants which are adapted to drier winter conditions are not appreciating these conditions and bacterial and fungal foliar damage is becoming visible. This may be unattractive, but fresh unblemished leaves will soon replace them when the weather warms. Applying fungicide to these plants risks damaging the valuable soil biology and ultimately making matters worse. Applying weak organic foliar fertilisers and seaweed can help boost plant health in the meantime.

Information is given for what to do in each of the months:

  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November

Special information is also provided for:

  • Vegetable planting schedule for August, September, October and November for subtropics and tropics
  • Annual planting schedule for August through November

Also discussed in general is the Vegetable Garden.


From a 5 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Two
If space is limited, consider recycling to make portable vegie gardens. August is the last month you want to plant Kale.
Take cuttings of Bougainvillea just as they spurt into growth (Bougainvillea ‘Jazzi’ shown).
Get lots of teepees in for climbing beans and other vegetables.
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