From Jon Lamb Communications
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August 28, 2020

Sunshine and spring 

A short spell of sunny weather at the end of winter – and for many gardeners the urge to spend time outdoors and start planting is almost irresistible.
The weather outlook through September and October is for above average (but not excessive) rains, with temperatures also slightly above average.
Is it any wonder expectations for the gardening season ahead are currently running high?  

Hasten slowly – soil temperatures still too low

Resist any temptation to start planting tomatoes, basil, petunias and in fact most warm season vegetables, herbs and flowers directly into the ground.
Topsoil temperatures – a key driver of early spring plant growth – are still well below the level needed to stimulate these plants into active growth. (Adelaide’s topsoil temperatures are currently fluctuating between 9° C and 11° C)

So, what can you plant?

Lettuce, silverbeet, spinach and broccoli should be given high priority particularly if space is at a premium, as these are quick to mature and are all cut-and-grow-again vegetables. 
This means you get high yields from a relatively small area.
Small hybrid cabbage is also worth considering.
Carrots and parsnips will take a little longer to mature and, as temperatures begin to rise, start sowing small but frequent plantings of summer peas and beans (both bush and climbing). Keep in mind, vegetables need a sunny, well-drained position. 
A raised bed located in full sun is absolutely ideal.

Effective control program for 2020

SA gardeners now have three effective programs to control citrus gall wasp.
The first two involve pruning or the use of a horticultural glue to prevent overwintering wasps from emerging.
The third is based on spraying infested trees with kaolin clay and is designed to prevent female wasps from laying eggs.
All three programs need to be carried out early in spring and investigations by Good Gardening indicate the timing of each program is critical.  


Pruning to remove galls before wasps emerge early in spring is a very effective control measure providing the tree is not too large and there are only a few galls present or their removal does not destroy the main framework branches on small trees.
Problems with pruning
Pruning in autumn or winter to remove numerous galls from infested citrus trees is no longer recommended, as it is likely to stimulate soft new branch growth early in spring.
This soft growth is favoured by the citrus gall wasp when it lays its eggs during mid spring.
Pruning to remove citrus wasp galls is best carried out in September.

Smearing with horticultural glue

This is designed to trap wasps as they emerge from their overwintering galls during early spring. Applying the glue can be messy and the glue is very sticky.
For best results horticultural glue should be applied during September, before the wasps begin to emerge.
*Wasp emergence in Adelaide is expected in early October.

Spraying with kaolin clay

This will suppress wasps laying eggs into new season branches. (Mid spring).
This is a new product and should be available from most garden centres. It is sold as Vasilis Citrus Gall Wasp Spray.
Two sprays are required, two weeks apart. The first spray needs to be applied just before the wasps begin to lay eggs.
*Wasp egg laying is expected during late October or early November.
Horticultural oil can also be used to suppress wasp egg laying, but is not as effective as kaolin clay. Spray timing is similar to kaolin clay.

 • More accurate dates will be published in the Good Gardening newsletter and broadcast on ABC Saturday TalkBack Gardening as the season progresses.

Worth knowing

Within three days of emerging, female wasps will mate and lay up to 100 eggs (in bundles), under the bark of soft new branches.
Within a week of emerging the wasps are dead.
Last season the wasps began emerging from their overwintering galls in mid October and reached a peak early in November, with the final wasps emerging mid November.
Feature plantsof the week

Shadow Dancers: new high-performing fuchsias

Shadow Dancers are a new generation of high-performing fuchsias that have been selected for their improved tolerance to sun and heat. They also have an ability to produce masses of blooms through winter, spring and well into summer.
At the same time they retain the charm of traditional fuchsia varieties.
Shadow Dancers – and there are now quite a number of different varieties – are also quite compact (25 cm x 25 cm), making them ideal plants for growing in planter pots, hanging baskets or group planting in the garden.
These fuchsias are also one of the few plants that will provide plenty of colour during winter, adapting to either semi shade or sunshine, given protection from the midday sun.

Proven WinnersShadow Dancer fuchsias are in stock at Heynes Garden Centre, Norwood, Semaphore Pets & Gardens and Barrow & Bench, Malvern and should be available at other good gardening centres.

This easy care Bonica rose is hot pink

Bonica Hot Lips is an excellent, easy care, floribunda bush rose that is continually covered in clusters of semi-double hot pink blooms.
The bushes are both compact and spreading (120 cm high and 150 cm wide) and with dark glossy green leaves they are ideal for mass planting in small gardens or large landscapes.
The bushes can also be trimmed to produce an attractive hedge, while the blooms are also ideal for cutting.
With Bonica Hot Lips you can expect a healthy, relatively disease-free, easy-care rose that will repeat flower often if it pruned regularly.
You can also expect attractive rosehips if the bushes remain unpruned in autumn.
Bonica Hot Lips is exclusive to Knights Roses.

Knights 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.
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Life in the soil – Neutrog

Plant nutrition – getting the balance right

There is a plethora of issues related to the incorrect feeding of plants, but these can be overcome by using a nutritionally-balanced fertiliser and feeding your plants on a regular basis.
People often look at a packet of fertiliser but only look for levels of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium.
But plants need so much more. Other critical nutrients which are required in relatively high levels are things like sulphur, magnesium and Neutrogcalcium as well as a whole range of trace or micronutrients such as iron, zinc, manganese - the list goes on.

More information »

Hurry with stone fruit sprays

Quick action is needed if you plan to protect stone fruit trees from fungal problems (curl leaf,  freckle, shot hole and Brown rot) – where the buds have not yet started to open.
The aim is to cover the buds with a copper-based fungicide solution before they begin to open.
This prevents fungal spores that overwinter on nearby branches from being splashed by rain drops into the buds as they begin to crack open.
Once inside the buds the damage is done, with the fungus causing leaves inside the buds to distort very soon after they emerge.
Liquid copper fungicide is recommended, as it spreads more evenly and persists much longer than other copper-based products (particularly in showery weather).

When buds are opening

If the buds on your tree have already started to open, but you have not yet sprayed, its likely early emerging leaves will be damaged by the leaf curl fungus. 
However, where many of the flower buds have not yet opened, consider changing your fungicide spray to mancozeb, as it will protect late opening buds, while having little adverse effect on bees. (Needed for pollination).

Care needed when planting after bud burst 

Bare rooted deciduous trees and shrubs (including roses) can still be planted after bud burst, but extra care is needed to keep damage to new root growth to a minimum.

Before planting: Soak the plant’s roots in a bucket of water (with added seaweed) for 2 to 4 hours. This will help offset moisture lost through late planting and bud burst.
Fertiliser should not be added to the planting hole. Wait until the plant is making strong new growth before fertilising.

After planting: Make sure the canopy of the tree or shrub is hard pruned i.e. shorten the main branches by at least 50 pc. This is needed to offset damage to newly emerging roots.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

Is your lawn ready for spring

Three more days and it will be spring – at least officially.
After this week’s welcome return to sunshine, it’s time to think seriously about priority jobs in the garden. 
Turf consultant Stefan Palm suggests you put lawns near the top of the priority list.
In this week’s lawn blog Stefan explains how to manage your lawn before it begins its vigorous spring growth.
He also has some sound advice for those wanting to rollout instant turf as well are some tips on mowing and fertilising at this critical time of the year.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Good reasons to fertilise now

Many gardeners wait until mid or even late spring before applying garden fertiliser.
For trees and shrubs grown for their fruit or flowers – particularly roses –this is too late.
Their big need is for energy at bud burst.
Ideally the fertiliser should be applied during late winter, before bud burst, as this provides time for the fertiliser to be converted into a form the plants can use – but when it is needed.
On the other hand, if you haven’t fertilised – do it soon.
Use a balanced or “complete” fertiliser (organic or manufactured) containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potash and essential trace elements.  The amount needed should be on the container.

Tomato trenching time

Experienced vegetable growers will tell you the best tomatoes in town are usually found growing alongside garden trenches that have been filled during late winter with all kinds of organic materials.
From a tomato’s point of view, organic matter, particularly if it contains animal manure, is like feeding at a smorgasbord while they are flowering and producing fruit.
The trick is to begin burying your organic material now as it will take four to six weeks for the materials in your trench break down and start releasing their nutrients.

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 gardening advice please give me a call on ABC Radio Adelaide's Saturday morning Talkback Gardening  or speak to the experts at your local garden centre.
Saturday & Sunday August 29 & 30
Riverland annual spectacular
Town Hall, Wilson Street, Berri.

Talkback Gardening tomorrow

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

Penny Woodward, horticulturalist, author of many gardening books and technical editor for the ABC Organic Gardener magazine will consider plants that are repellent to garden pests. Which ones work and why. Plus some great sowing tips for growing tomatoes from seed.

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
Seeds are for sowing! Check out our gorgeous seed packs that have just landed!
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
Spring is just around the corner so bring in your mud map and we will help you choose the right plants Join our loyalty club to get credit dollars when you spend. We have experienced horticulturists in every day.
Always has a great selection of plants, pets and giftware – all under the one roof.
Facebook »

Barrow & Bench
Barrow & Bench Mitre 10
321 Unley Rd, Malvern. (08) 8272 8566
We are springing into spring with colour and edible favourites this week.  In store you will find petunias, dahlias, potted perennials, tomatoes, basil, and beautiful citrus trees. 
Specialises in providing quality plants and expert garden advice. Follow the Instagram feed »
Weather forecasts

Coming soon

Sunday, September 6
Spring plant sale, Australian Plants Society, Fleurieu Group and Friends of Nangawooka Flora Reserve.
Also an Open Day of the reserve and all the wonderful  Australian flora on display. 10 am - 3 pm, Nangawooka Flora Reserve, corner of Victor Harbor Road and Waterport Road, Victor Harbor.

Saturday, September 12
Port Augusta Garden Club plant sale.
10 am - 12 noon, Garden Club Hall,  Elizabeth Terrace, Port Augusta.  A display of 'Garden in a Bag' will be on show.

Saturday & Sunday, September 12 &13
Australian Native Plants Sale
Jubilee Pavilion, Adelaide Showgrounds. Sat 10 am - 4 pm; Sun 10 am - 3 pm.
A list of plants available will be on the Australian Plants Society website the week before the sale »

Saturday, September 19
Orchid Club of SA Spring Show
Plants and acessories for sale, potting demonstrations. 10 am - 4 pm, $5 entry. Enfield Community Centre, 540 Regency Rd, Enfield.

Saturday, October 24
Begonia and Fern Spring Show 2020
Klemzig Community Hall, 242 North East Rd.

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 »

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, 1pm and 3pm.
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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