From Jon Lamb Communications
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February 19, 2021

Autumn roses will bloom on cue

Roses have the wonderful ability of flowering in autumn on cue.  Any branch you cut during late February is almost guaranteed to produce a bloom in 48 to 54 days' time. 
It's all to do with day length. However, as the days become shorter, the later you leave the decision to trim, the more days you need to provide before your roses bloom.
Experienced rose growers usually spend time watering and fertilising their bushes the week before they trim. 
This primes the plants and by the time you prune, dormant buds are ready to burst into new growth.
If you want every branch on a bush to bloom at the same time, you will have to trim the end of every branch or lateral. 
However, to do this you may have to sacrifice buds which are about to burst into bloom. 
Many growers simply work their way over the bush, removing deadheads and cutting back any branches that have either stopped growing or don't look as though they are about to produce a flower bud.
This way buds that are just forming are left to provide blooms over the next few weeks, with the main display arriving on cue in April.

Worth knowing          

  • Cluster roses are likely to bloom 3 to 4 days earlier than large single roses.
  • Light trimming will result in blooms 3 to 5 days earlier than those that are pruned to a lower, more dormant, bud.
  • Pruning half the bush on one day and the remaining half three to five days later will extend peak flowering significantly i.e. from 4 to 5 days to 10 days and more.
  • Trimming rose bushes in late summer to achieve target blooming is not compulsory. If you do nothing your bushes will continue to spot bloom through March and reach their peak early in April.

Good gardening weather to continue

South Australia’s relatively mild, dry weather is likely to continue through late February, March and possibly early April.
Independent climatologist Darren Ray believes the likelihood of heatwave conditions is now extremely low,.
However, he is still suggesting temperatures will sometimes spike into the mid 30s.
SA Landscape Festival

A cottage garden with a contemporary feel

Designed to provide street appeal in-keeping with the neighbouring properties as well as easy access to the house, this is a modern twist on a traditional cottage garden.
The garden at Malvern and its professionally-designed landscape is one of nine which will be open to the public during the SA Landscape Festival on the weekend of April 10 and 11.
Hardscaping has been kept to a minimum and the focus is on a charming and colourful mix of hardy perennial flowering plants.
A hedge and liriope-lined stepper path leads through the garden past a trickling custom-built water feature and a handsome oversized limestone pot.
Corten steel edged garden beds adds to the contemporary feel.

Nicki King Landscape Design and Elite Outdoor Design and Construct – Malvern »

Open Saturday & Sunday , April 10 & 11 – 10 am to 4 pm

More information and the complete SA Landscape Festival program and ticket purchase here »

Learn how a professional landscaper can help you »
Feature plantsof the week
Life of the Party

Unprecedented demand for new roses

Home gardener demand for new-season roses is currently at an all-time high.
Wagner's Rose Nursery, one of the largest rose growing nurseries in Australia, recently released its 2021 new season catalogue.
However, some varieties are already sold out.
To avoid disappointment Wagner’s are recommending gardeners take full advantage of the company’s pre-order program for bare- root roses.

Two top 2021 varieties include:

Life of the Party
This is a unique variety that brings joy and fun to any garden.
Old style blooms grow in clusters showing different colours and shape as they age. These start as cupped flowers in soft yellow that change to light pink when fully opened, with many petals and yellow stamens.
The bush is compact, disease resistant and performs well in hot and dry conditions. Height 120 cm.
Heaven on Earth
Long-Lasting soft peach apricot blooms that pale to cream with age.
These cover a healthy compact bush with mid-green leaves.
Heat tolerant and a good cut flower.
Fragrance: Mild. Height: 120cm
Heaven on Earth
WAagners Rose Nursery

Show-stopping colour for shady gardens

Elite Double Impatiens has solved the problem of producing show-stopping colour in shady gardens.
The plants have lovely green, mounded foliage with their colourful double flowers peeking over the entire plants during the warmer weather – extending well into April.
Plants that carry the Elite label have been selected for their ability to produce better blooms with brighter colours over a longer period.
Like all impatiens these “Elite Doubles” need to be watered regularly without the potting mix remaining over wet.
They also grow best in partial shade but will respond well to sunshine early in the morning.
These impatiens will also respond quickly to a monthly application of fertiliser blended for flowers.
Elite Double Impatiens are perfect plants for growing in garden beds, pots, window boxes and hanging baskets – in fact anywhere you would like a splash of colour.
The colour range includes rose, cherry, lavender and salmon. These grow to around 30 cm x 30 cm.

Elite Double Impatiens 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.

Chrysanthemums – continuous colour all year

Through clever breeding and selection Elite chrysanthemums really do smother themselves with flowers, not just through autumn, but in spring time is well.
The flowers are carried well on short, sturdy stems and the colour range features white, pink, gold and orange.
The plants are pleasantly mounding, growing to around 60 cm tall and 80 cm wide, making them ideal for mass planting in the garden or growing in large feature containers.
Elite chrysanthemums are happy to grow in full sun but don’t mind light shading during the hottest months.
The plants respond well to normal watering and an application of fertiliser at the beginning of each growing season.
Maintenance is low –  just trim the plants lightly after flowering.
As a bonus, butterflies will be attracted to the flowers.

Elite seriesElite Chrysanthemums 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.
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Don’t get caught by a sudden spike of heat

If you are thinking of establishing seedlings or small plants soon, check out the seven-day weather forecasts. The idea is to carry out your activities to coincide with 3 to 4 days of below 32°C.
  • Seedlings and small plants need a short, stress-free period when transplanted to re-establish roots damaged in the move.
  • Serious heat stress is less likely when temperatures do not exceed 32oC.
  • At this time of the year, well-established seedlings growing in individual cells (six packs and four packs) will suffer fewer setbacks than those sold in non-separated punnets.

Also worth considering

I know of many vegetable gardeners who now cover all seedlings and small plants transplanted during summer with 50 percent shade cloth – at least during the first week after transplanting. 
The difference in crop establishment is dramatic.
Irrigation Guide – Antelco

Triple treats for watering your garden

Looking for the perfect watering device for your garden? Antelco has you covered.
Proudly South Australian-made and owned, Antelco has the perfect product to “tune” your watering system to suit your growing garden.

More information »

Reading plant signals to time your watering

When temperatures spike into the mid and upper thirties, look closely at the plant’s leaves and particularly their growing tips. 
If the leaves look limp and the growing tips are starting to wilt, soil water reserves are running low and your plant is saying “my root zone needs soaking”.

Late summer rains give new herbs a headstart

Late summer, particularly after widespread rain, is an ideal time to start growing herbs.
There is still another 12 to 14 weeks of good growing weather ahead before the current growing season ends.

Easy to grow herbs include:

Individual plants produce leaves that can be cut and chopped for salads.
There are usually half a dozen or more plants in a container.  Simply chop the leaves when they are ready and a new set will reappear.  Buy two or three pots if you need a regular supply.

A single plant will provide numerous sprigs and remain productive for months, providing you remove any flowering stems.

Easy to grow bushy plants to 45cm.  Take care not to over-water.  Many different types available.

A very quick growing annual that produces broad, flat leaves similar to radish.   They have a wonderful mustard flavour and put life into any salad.  New plants are easily grown from seed.

Another quick growing annual with pungent spicy leaves.  Plants run to seed quickly.  Look for slow to bolt seeding varieties such as 'Slow Bolt'.
There are many different varieties available.

Keeping your lawn in top condition

Summer is about to merge with autumn and, although there is milder weather ahead, heat spikes are still occurring.
Until the milder weather arrives consider:
  • Eliminating weeds as they appear. If you let them go to seed there will be an explosion of new weeds.
  • Lift the blades on your mower to the highest recommended level. Longer lawn blades will help protect the soil from the sun.
  • Water deeply but less frequently. This will encourage the lawn grass to produce healthier and deeper roots.
  • Revitalise the lawn and soil with Seasol Lawn + Soil Booster. This contains a rich source of natural ingredients including seaweed and compost to boost soil health for lush, green growth. It also helps lawns to cope with heat, drought and foot traffic.
More information »

Broken fruit tree branch – what to do?    

If a branch of a heavily-laden fruit trees have snapped, but remain attached to the tree, leave them until the fruit has matured.
After harvest, cut the branch back hard to a vigorous growth, or remove it completely.
Swab the area with fungicide.

Iris may need attention

Clumps that have become congested can be dug and divided over the next few weeks. Use the outer part of the clumps to start new plants. Trim both the roots and the leaves quite hard before replanting.

Don’t prune asparagus fern yet      

Whatever you do don’t cut asparagus fern back hard until it turns completely yellow.
Right now any green fronds will be busily storing energy to produce new spears in spring.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

Managing lawns in hot weather

What a season! No heat waves – but regular heat spikes; tropical rain – but long dry spells and relatively mild weather in between.
Trying to manage productive plants and ornamentals during the growing season has certainly been a challenge.
What about the lawns – on the surface summer active lawns generally are looking good.
However, lawn consultant Stefan Palm is concerned soil moisture levels in many gardens is now lower than normal.
In this week’s lawn blog Stefan provides an excellent overview of what happening in the soil beneath our couch, kikuyu or buffalo lawns.
Stefan also provides some practical suggestions on managing lawns in hot, dry weather.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Citrus could do with a light feed right now        

Healthy citrus trees should be producing a new flush of growth.
Help this along with a small application of fertiliser containing a blend of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash.
If the soil is sandy or the leaves are a mottled yellow, use a mixture containing trace elements as well.

Root vegetables and bulbs need phosphorus           

If you are an organic gardener and rely mainly on animal manures to grow your vegetables (and bulbs), keep in mind these provide a very good source of slow release nitrogen and sometimes potash.
However, they lack phosphorus.
This element is critical for early plant growth and in particular the development of strong healthy roots.
The problem is easily rectified by incorporating superphosphate (50 to 100 g/m²) into the top 10 to 15 cm of the planting area or applying an organic fertiliser blended specifically for bulbs.

Grow your own plants from cuttings

Late summer and early autumn is an ideal time to take semi/hardwood cuttings from woody shrubs such as fuchsias, camellias, hibiscus, hydrangeas, grevillea and correas, as well as soft stemmed plants including coleus, begonias and geraniums.

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.
Sunday, February 21
Gamble Cottage and Garden, Blackwood open day
Historic workman's cottage open, with afternoon tea available in the garden. Plant nursery open for sales, with a variety of hardy and inexpensive plants to choose from.
296 Main Rd Blackwood, cnr Dorham Rd. 1pm - 4pm. Entry is free.
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.

Listen to how experienced rosarian and leader of the National Rose Trial Gardens team, Merv Trimper will prune his rose bushes this weekend and produce a garden full of show-stopping blooms.

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
Have your indoor friends gone WILD? Are they trying to escape their pots?
A repot or an upsizing might be in order. We have you covered with a great range of pots which 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
We have a new supplier of beautiful quality indoor plants along with a big shipment from all our favourites in this week. Our outdoor stock is looking exceptional as well, there is so much colour everything is looking so lush and healthy.
Our local growers are doing an amazing job constantly delivering us premium plants.

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
The garden centre is brimming with plants.  Plenty of flowering perennials putting on a good show, a lovely range of indoor plants this week and, of course, service with a smile.
Specialises in providing quality plants and expert garden advice. Follow the Instagram feed »

Coming soon

February in the Botanic Gardens
Including Sunday and Tuesday gardening workshops.
Full details »

Saturday & Sunday, March 27 & 28
Bromeliad Society Annual  Show and Sales Extravaganza
Maltese Cultural Centre, 6 Jeanes St, Beverley. Sat 9am - 3pm, Sun 10am- 3pm. Free entry both days.

Saturday & Sunday, April 10 &11
Autumn Plant Sale - Australian Plants Society (SA Region)
Adelaide Showgrounds, Wayville. More information »

Saturday & Sunday, April 10 & 11
Barossa Rose & Flower Show
Rose Society of SA. Sat noon to 5.30 pm, Sun 9 am - 5.00 pm.Barossa Nursery, 3186 Barossa Valley Way, Nuriootpa.

Saturday & Sunday, April 17 & 18
Rose Society of South Australia Autumn Rose Show
Sat 10 am - 4 pm, Sun 10 am - 4 pm. Noel Lothian Hall, Adelaide Botanic Garden.

People Choice Rose Trial Gardens 2021
Adelaide Rose Trial Gardens, Adelaide Botanic Garden, 10 am - 4 pm both days.

Saturday & Sunday, April 24 & 25
Festival of Flowers
St Pauls College, 792 Grand Junction Road, Gillies Plains.
More information »

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 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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