From Jon Lamb Communications
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November 19, 2021

Shade shaping up as the critical factor

As our climate continues to change, shading will be the key element that allows South Australians to keep on gardening.
It’s now inevitable – SA will experience more hot weather more often.
As this occurs, many gardeners are likely to lose heart, particularly if they can’t grow vegetables, herbs and other productive crops without being ruined by constant heat waves.
Until recently most home gardeners relied on regular watering and correct mulching to protect their gardens during hot, dry conditions.
However, when temperatures climb regularly into the 40s this is not enough.
The simple act of adding temporary shade in the garden holds the key to preventing significant plant damage during heatwaves conditions.

The benefits of shade

The reason is all to do with temperatures – both in and around the plant’s canopy and, in particular, in the topsoil where the plant’s roots are growing.
Shading has the potential to:
  • Drop soil temperatures where most roots grow by 10-15oC
  • Drop air temperatures in and around the plant’s canopy by 15-25oC.
Many gardeners have now established structures where they can cover their plants during January and February with 50 percent white shade cloth.
For many gardeners, the use of shade cloth during summer months, particularly on vegetables and herbs is now a matter of routine.

As summer approaches Good Gardening will highlight what many SA gardeners are doing to beat the heat.
Small bush heirloom tomatoes
The Penny Woodward list of bush  or determinate-type heirloom tomatoes, discussed on ABC Talkback Gardening last Saturday, will be published in next week’s newsletter.

Summer pruning due soon for fruit trees

Young fruit trees that are making strong, healthy growth this season should be summer pruned in the next few weeks.
This will save removing and wasting excessive growth next winter. 
It will also encourage the tree to mature earlier than normal and with regular summer pruning, contain its eventual size.

Tipping summer-flowering shrubs    

Summer-flowering shrubs such as fuchsias should be producing strong new growth. 
Bushes should be tip pruned regularly over the next few weeks to encourage plants to become bushy. 
Well established dahlias and chrysanthemums should also be tipped regularly for the same reason.
Feature plantsof the week
Best Impression

New rose releases on the horizon

While gardeners with spring-flowering roses are enjoying colour and fragrance from this season’s blooms, at Knight's Roses planning is already underway to release top new rose varieties in the year ahead.
This week Daniel Knight has selected two very impressive roses that can now be pre-ordered for delivery in 2022.

Best Impression

Beautiful and fragrant, with classic large very full spiralled blooms of cherry red and white.
With time, some of the petal stripes appear creamy, turning a deeper pink.
The flowers appear in clusters, repeatedly on bronze and matte green healthy foliage.
This hybrid tea rose makes a lasting impression.
Good disease resistance. Height 80cm – 120cm.

Heidi Klum

A compact, hybrid tea type patio rose with very fragrant, violet-coloured blooms,
The foliage is dense, mid green and semi glossy.
This is a rose for those looking for something special. It was selected and launched by Germany’s international supermodel, Heidi Klum.
Heidi Klum
Knight's RosesKnights' Roses, one of the largest rose growers and suppliers in Australia, offer a comprehensive collection of rose bushes to both wholesalers and the public. 44 Jack Cooper Drive, Gawler, SA.
Phone (08) 8523 1311.
Snapdragon Red

Why not try dwarf snapdragons?

It’s the perfect time for planting out dwarf snapdragons, particularly well established seedlings that are now available in the distinctive Easy Colour purple coloured 6 packs.
Because the individual growing cells are bigger than you find in traditional punnets, root damage and transplant shock is reduced while individual plants are more advanced.
Easy Colour 6 packs also feature a unique “pop out” system that makes plant removal very easy.
Dwarf snapdragons are available in a range of warm colours and look great when growing in an attractive courtyard container.
They also thrive in sunny raised garden beds.
Make sure the plants are well watered during warm weather and a monthly application of a liquid organic fertiliser will keep them flowering right through the growing season.
Snapdragon Yellow
Easy ColourDward snapdragons are in stock at Heyne's Garden Centre, Beulah Park, Semaphore Pets & Gardens and Barrow & Bench, Malvern and should be available at other good gardening centres.
Lovie Dovie

Great show from Lovie Dovie happitunias

Lovie Dovie is a show-stopping Happitunia, a smaller flowered petunia that is constantly covered with eye-catching pink and white striped flowers.
These appear early in spring and continue through until the end of autumn.
Because the plants are both mounding and trailing they quickly fill a large container and, once established, trail elegantly over the sides.
The plants are vigorous, hardy, heat and drought tolerant and very easy to grow. The blooms are self-cleaning.
This is a top performing petunia and will respond quickly to regular applications of fertilisers during the warmer months.
Lovie Dovie will grow 30 to 40 cm high and spread 40 to 60 cm wide – ideal for landscaping or for planting in feature containers.

Proven WinnersLovie Dovie happitunias  are in stock at Heyne's Garden Centre, Beulah Park, Semaphore Pets & Gardens and Barrow & Bench, Malvern and should be available at other good gardening centres.

Try growing new plants in water

What could be easier than growing your own courtyard garden plants in a glass of water?
It’s the time of the year when many plants will happily produce a new set of roots (i.e. strike) from the base of stems sitting in water.
Once this happens all you have to do is transfer the rooted stems into smaller containers filled with free draining potting mix and your new plants are up and away.

These strike readily in water – Coleus, plectranthus, begonias, African violets, creeping fig (ficus), grape ivy (cissus), impatiens, variegated ivy. Also many soft stemmed houseplants.

Selecting the right cuttings

The best cuttings are taken from healthy plants, making vigorous growth that are growing outside and either receive direct sun or very bright natural light.
The cuttings should be 4 to 8 cm long and almost pencil thickness.
Avoid thin, soft, sappy growth and cuttings from plants that have been growing indoors or in poor light.
Don’t use stems that are flowering or starting to produce flower buds.
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When the answer is a lemon

When there is room only for one citrus tree the choice often turns out to be a lemon.
Lemon trees are very easy to grow and with the right management most of the popular varieties can be managed to produce fruit all year round.
Lemons also have better tolerance to cold than oranges and mandarins.
  • Lisbon: Tops for true lemon taste and the trees are also very productive. However, they are also quite vigorous and the older forms are thorny. Look for newer cultivars that are almost thornless and seedless.
  • Eureka: Being thornless and not over vigorous while producing plenty of juice, the Eureka lemon is often a popular choice. However, fruit size is quite large and the skin a little rough.
  • Meyer: A smaller, attractive thornless tree that produces plenty of smooth skinned juicy fruit that is a little less acid than traditional varieties. This is an ideal variety for container growing. It also has reasonably good tolerance to cold.

Seaweed – concentrated and cost effective

eco-seaweed is a powdered seaweed extract that is super concentrated and more cost effective than buying liquid seaweed products.
Why pay for water?
All you need is a heaped teaspoon in a 9L watering can with the 600g jar treating up to 6,600 sq m.
Plus it’s packed with over 60 vital biostimulants and nutrients, including a whopping 12% potassium. Incredible stuff!

eco-seaweed  is available from hardware stores, nurseries, supermarkets and online »
The full range of eco organic garden products and advice is here »

Watch out for citrus leaf miner

Rising temperatures will soon encourage the citrus leaf miner into activity.
This is a minute caterpillar that burrows small mines between the top and bottom layer of citrus leaves.
You know they are there by the indiscriminate scribble patterns that appear on the leaves.
When damage is severe, the leaves often look distorted.
Citrus leaf miners generally attack foliage that is soft and succulent.
However, it is likely to be a major problem where trees have been overstimulated with nitrogen fertiliser in spring.
Damage can be reduced significantly by not overstimulating the trees with either fertiliser or water.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

Installing your own lawn irrigation

Have you started watering the lawn yet?
After a relatively mild start to spring it’s time to think seriously about how the garden and, in particular, the lawn will be watered during the warmer months.
If you have experienced problems watering the lawn in the past, maybe it’s time to consider changing to a more efficient system – one that you install yourself.
You may be surprised at how easy this is, while the savings are considerable.
In this week’s lawn blog, turf consultant Stefan Palm highlights some of the installation problems you need to avoid.
Stefan also provides links to a number of resources that will help you plan your system.

More information »

Pop-up sprinklers can be water wasters

Automated pop up sprinklers certainly take the drudgery out of watering the lawn.
But if they are not set correctly, you could be wasting water.
In too many cases, automatic sprinkling systems are not capable of managing the number of sprinkler outlets needed to water the area effectively.
You need to be able to run a cycle for 20 to 30 minutes at a time before moving to the next area.  
If you experience runoff after 10 or 15 minutes because the soil will not accept the moisture, you are wasting valuable water. 
Your system must be capable of repeating its cycles after a short interval.
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Reducing the pressure

There is little doubt about the effectiveness of micro-irrigation.
However, all too often these systems leak because the water pressure within the system is too high.
Turning the tap off a little is not the answer, as this reduces both the water flow and the pressure.
The solution is to install a pressure regulator.
These regulate the pressure available to the system without affecting the water output from your drippers or sprays.
Pressure regulators are low-cost ($20-$30) and should be installed next to the tap, but before the water filter.
Products incorporating both a regulator and filter are now available.

Is it the right container?

In small gardens where space is at a premium, the use of containers can significantly increase the range of vegetables that can be grown.
The bigger the container, the easier it is to care for your plants. 
If it is your first experience in container growing, something 50 cm across and just as deep should be the minimum size to use. 
Nine litre plastic buckets are useful for the smaller vegetables such as lettuce, spring onions, herbs, patio tomatoes and pepper as they are deeper than they are wide (deep containers retain moisture more effectively than those that are shallow).
Polystyrene containers used in the vegetable trade are useful – if you can find them.
However, there is now a very large range of attractive PVC and ceramic planter bowls and planter boxes available at most garden centres.
Whatever you use, make sure they have big holes at the base for drainage.

Container grown vegetables                                     

A premium grade potting mix is ideal for growing vegetables but it tends to dry out rapidly.
Try adding up to 30 percent well-made compost to the mix or buy some commercial soil improver.  It will certainly help overcome watering problems.


Once your plants are up and growing, they should be encouraged to grow steadily by applying liquid fertiliser. 
A half strength mix applied every fortnight is recommended. 
However, it’s important not to exceed the recommended rates. 
Supplementary feeding with liquid fertiliser is important, as many of the plant foods needed by your crops are washed out of the potting mix when you water.

Please keep your questions
for Talkback Gardening

Good Gardening  is unable to answer individual reader's questions via email. If you're looking for specific advice please give me a call on ABC Radio Adelaide's Saturday morning Talkback Gardening  or ask at your local garden centre.

Open GardensOpen Gardens SA

Saturday & Sunday, November 20 & 21
8 Fowler Rd, Mt George

29 Longwood Road, Stirling

Gardens open 10 am to 4.30 pm.
Entry $8 - OGSA members; $6 - Government concession card holders; children under 18 free.

More information on the 2021 season »
Weather forecasts

Talkback Gardening tomorrow

ABC Talkback Gardening podcastsABC Radio Adelaide Talkback Gardening this Saturday, 8.30 am to 10 am – phone Deb Tribe and me on 1300 222 891 and have your own gardening question answered.

Lawn consultant Stefan Palm will provide topical lawn advice and help solve your lawn  problems.

Garden centre directory

Leading Adelaide garden centres recommended by Good Gardening newsletter.

Heynes Garden Centre

Heyne's Garden Centre
283-289 The Parade, Beulah Park. (08) 8332 2933
Sometimes choosing garden décor can be daunting, not anymore!
Check out our gorgeous new range of your favourite Australian native animals – there is something for everyone! See you this weekend!

South Australia's oldest established garden centre. Huge range. Expert staff on hand for personal advice. Visit online »

Semaphore Pets & Garden
Semaphore Pets and Garden
119 Semaphore Rd, Semaphore. (08) 8242 7302
We are all about organic this week.
We've got organic South Aussie-made fertilisers, pest spray, mulches and beneficial bug-attracters. See you soon!

Always a great selection of plants, pets and giftware – all under the one roof. Open 7 days.
Facebook »

Barrow & Bench
Barrow & Bench Mitre 10
321 Unley Rd, Malvern. (08) 8272 8566
Your one stop Christmas shop – poinsettia, hydrangea, clipped buxus, wreaths, lanterns, the ever-elusive Christmas Tree skirts and more all available at Barrow & Bench Mitre10.
Specialising in providing quality plants and expert garden advice. Follow the Instagram feed »

Regular garden attractions

Check with each venue's web site for any Covid-19 restrictions on opening hours.

Adelaide Botanic Gardens – free guided walks

Friends of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide guided walks for the public at Adelaide, Mount Lofty and Wittunga Botanic Gardens, and Botanic Park.
More information »

Carrick Hill

Heritage house museum and garden, the former home of Sir Edward and Lady Ursula Hayward. Open weekends & public holidays. Free admission into garden and grounds. 46 Carrick Hill Drive, Springfield.
More information »

Cummins Historic House and gardens
23 Sheoak Ave, Novar Gardens. Gardens open and plant sales on 1st & 3rd Sundays of each month (except Dec & Jan) 2 pm - 4.30 pm. Plant sales also available every Friday morning 9 am to noon. More information » Facebook »

Heysen - The Cedars
The historic home of two of Australia’s most noted artists, Sir Hans Heysen and his daughter Nora. This unique 60-hectare heritage estate features the original family home, two artists’ studios and the celebrated cottage-style garden, planted chiefly with exotics, including the massive Himalayan cedar trees.
Heysen Road, Hahndorf. Open 10 am - 4.30 pm, Tuesday to Sunday, and also open on public holiday Mondays. Ticketed entry, including guided tours at 11am and 2 pm.
More information »

Old Government House, Belair National Park
The former vice-regal summer residence of some of the early governors of South Australia.  An excellent example of Victorian architecture, set amongst one acre of magnificent gardens. Features cottage plants and flowers cultivated in Victorian times, heritage roses and mature trees.
Tours and  afternoon tea on the first and third Sundays each month and public holidays, 1 pm – 4.30 pm. Free entry into Belair National Park if you are visiting OGH - tell the info office staff as you drive in.
More information »

Urrbrae House historic precinct gardens
At the end of Walter Young Avenue, off Fullarton Road, Urrbrae, or from the Urrbrae House gate, Claremont Avenue, Netherby.
Open from dawn until dusk every day. Free entry.
More information »

Waite Arboretum, Fullarton Road, Urrbrae
Open free to the public every day of the year from dawn to dusk, except on fire ban days. Free guided walks on the first Sunday of every month, 11 am to 12.30 pm.
Meet at the West lawn (Croquet Lawn) of Urrbrae House. Bookings not necessary.
More information »

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Disclaimer: Although all reasonable care is taken in preparing information contained in this email, neither Jon Lamb Communications (JLC) nor its officers, staff or suppliers involved in the editing and production of this email accept any liability resulting from the interpretation or use of the information set out in this document. Information contained in this document is subject to change without notice and is of a general nature and should not take the place of professional personal advice. No responsibility is accepted by Jon Lamb Communications for the accuracy of information contained in web sites linked from this email. Publication of an advertisement does not constitute endorsement by JLC of any product or service, or warrant its suitability.
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