From Jon Lamb Communications
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September 18, 2020

First dates for citrus gall wasp emergence

SA gardeners can expect the first wave of citrus gall wasps to emerge from their over-wintering galls in 3 to 5 weeks.
Information from the National Citrus Gall Wasp control program indicates wasp emergence is likely to be between the third and final week of October.
Wasp emergence dates for Adelaide are based on average day temperatures in the Riverland.
Currently Adelaide’s average day temperature is 1.5°C above average.
More precise dates for Adelaide will be available and published in next week’s newsletter.
For the record: Adelaide’s overnight temperatures are currently 2°C above the September average, while soil temperatures are fluctuating between 14 and 15°C – just over 2°C above average.
September rainfall is currently well below average (Adelaide 15.6mm) but most spring gardens are looking great.

Why tomatoes need warm soil

Experienced gardeners will tell you tomatoes, along with capsicum, cucumber, zucchini and other sun-loving summer vegetables, should not be planted until garden topsoil temperature have reached 16ºC.
This is the temperature that stimulates the roots of newly-established summer vegetable seedlings into active growth. Below this temperature the plants simply sit there and sulk.
All vegetables have what is known as an “optimum” soil growing temperature.
This is the level that produces optimum plant growth. At the same time there is also a minimum temperature, where newly established seedlings struggle to survive.
Let’s use tomatoes as an example – they grow fastest when soil temperatures are between 23ºC and 26ºC, but will fail to grow if they drop below 10ºC. The magic figure to ensure steady growth is 16ºC. 
This season, with both day and soil temperature well above average, it looks like that all important 16ºC  will arrive during the last week in September.

Roses respond to the right watering

With roses it is important to place the water where the roots are growing.
In this week’s rose-growing video, Brian Wagner from Wagner’s Rose Nursery discusses the importance of watering to achieve maximum growth and flowers.
Brian is a strong advocate of deep watering (around weekly), rather than providing a small amount of water often.
Brian also has some sound advice on why watering new roses is different to watering those that have a well-established root system.

You can view Brian’s video here »
WAagners Rose Nursery

Time to tip prune topiary plants        

Most topiary plants, including hedges, produce attractive tip growth towards the end of winter. 
Enjoy the display while it lasts, as there is often little colour in the garden very early in spring.
However, towards the end of September, this tip growth will become vigorous and, if left unchecked, look untidy.
Consider trimming the outer two or three sets of leaves with hedging clippers. This will help keep the canopy compact while encouraging a new flush of tip growth. 
Further trimming should be scheduled for early December and early March.
Feature plantsof the week

Improved Verbenas for garden impact

If it’s long-lasting summer colour and great garden impact you are looking for, the latest series of Cadet Verbenas are for you.
While the plants are compact, they are also very upright and considered to be more uniform in growth than similar Verbenas.
Cadet Verbenas have improved resistance to disease, particularly powdery mildew, and, like other Verbenas, they have excellent tolerance to heat.
These are great plants for growing in containers, window boxes, hanging baskets and for border planting.
Improved varieties include Hot Pink Wink, Lavender Blue and Red.

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

Profuse flowering  from Solstice Pelargoniums

The Elite series of Solstice Pelargoniums belong to a very colourful group of compact plants that repeat-flower continually through spring, summer and autumn.
While their azalea-like flowers are eye catching, the plants are in fact very hardy, tolerating dry conditions well.
On the other hand they respond quickly to normal watering.
These are ideal plants for growing in containers, window boxes and garden beds.
Elite Solstice Pelargoniums prefer a sunny location, while deadheading spent flowers and applying fertiliser each growing season will promote new growth and more flowers.

More information »

Elite seriesSolstice Pelargoniums are in stock at Heynes Garden Centre, Norwood , Semaphore Pets & Gardens and Barrow & Bench, Malvern and should be available at other good gardening centres.

Changes to soil acidity best done now

If you would like to make your soil a little more acid so you can grow acid-loving plants such as camellias and azaleas, then now is a good time to try. 
Use garden sulphur (from garden centres) and sprinkle around 30 gm to a square metre over the soil, working it into the top few centimetres. 
Apply a second dressing in autumn.
Organic mulches also help increase soil acidity.
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Boost spring vegetables with liquid compost

Want to produce a bumper crop of tasty produce this spring?
Here are a few tips from Seasol to get you going:
  • Harvest winter crops and remove plants that have finished, clearing the way for your new spring plantings.
  • Remove weeds as they compete for space and nutrients.
  • Revitalise soils with an organic compost and manure. For a no-dig option use Seasol Liquid Compost.
  • (Mix 50 ml of Seasol Liquid Compost concentrate with 9 litres of water and apply it every 3 to 6 months.
    To treat extremely poor soils, mix 100 ml of Seasol Liquid Compost concentrate with 9 litres of water and apply it every 2 weeks until the soil improves.)
  • Top up mulch with pea straw or sugar cane mulch to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture.
More information on Seasol Liquid Compost »

Spring garden fertilising program

While making a note to fertilise your fruit trees during early spring, don’t overlook the need to feed your citrus trees regularly during the growing season.
  • Garden-grown: Ornamental trees should receive a small amount of organic fertiliser. Make sure this is watered into the topsoil.
  • Container plants: Apply a three-month, slow-release fertiliser during September and a further application in January.
    Fruiting and flowering plants should also be supplemented with a monthly application of a liquid organic fertiliser through spring and early autumn.
Irrigation Guide – Antelco

Irrigation catalogue an ideal pre-season checklist

Antelco's 2020 irrigation equipment catalogue will help gardeners get their irrigation systems ready for the upcoming summer season.
It details the complete range of choices in:Antelco catalogue
  • Drippers
  • Sprays
  • Sprinklers
  • Valves
  • Fittings
  • Accessories

View the 2020 catalogue here:

To prune or not to prune after bud burst?

If you haven’t completed pruning deciduous trees and shrubs and the buds are bursting, leave the operation until petal fall and new growth has started. 
At that stage, prune more lightly than normal and add a little extra fertiliser to make up for the tree energy lost through late pruning.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

How to spray lawn weeds effectively

When it comes to winning the war against lawn weeds, weedicides are your best weapon.
But they need to be applied correctly.
In this week's lawn blog, turf consultant Stefan Palm provides some very practical tips on how to control weeds by spraying chemicals correctly.
Stefan also comments on the importance of using the right chemical and the benefits of using additives such as wetters and spreaders.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

What's a Jiffy pot?

If you like growing plants from seed, have a go at geminating them in “Jiffy pots”
These are small, dry discs (2cm high x 4cm wide) made from dry compressed peat. 
The peat is very water absorbent and if you drop one into half a cupful of water it will slowly expand to form a 5cm high cylinder.
This is ideal for germinating single plants, particularly large-seeded vegetables like cucumbers, zucchinis and beans.
Once the plants have grown, they can be planted straight into the garden or into a larger container with minimum root disturbance.

Big benefits from adding compost

Digging compost into your garden soil has been likened to installing a free water tank and fertiliser dispenser.
When wet, compost acts like a sponge, absorbing and holding onto large quantities of moisture. 
This is particularly important for soils used to grow vegetables flowers and fruit through the warmer months.
Compost contains soft material called humus. This becomes sticky when wet, bonding the small particles of soil together. 
The resulting aggregates or soil ‘crumbs’ allow air and moisture to pass freely between the particles. 
Humus plays a vital role in improving the structure of both sandy and clay soils.
All you need to do is dig a 2-5 cm layer of quality compost into the top 15-20 cm of your garden beds soon.
By the end of a growing season, you will be surprised at the difference this makes.

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.
Thursday to Sunday, September 17 to 20
South Coast Orchid Club spring show
Seaford Central Shopping Centre, Commercial Road, Seaford. Plants for sale, specialty cymbidium sales. Experienced growers will be on  hand  to give  expert advice.

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.

Sunday, September 20
Marino Community Garden annual fundraiser
25 Newland Avenue, Marino. 10 am - 2 pm.

Sunday & Monday, September 20 & 21
Al Ru Farm Open Garden
1/1016 One Tree Hill Road, Sampson Flat. A community event and a fundraiser for the  local C.F.S.  Stallholders selling local produce – from jams to wooden boards, nurseries and even a wildlife sanctuary. Teas and lunches made by the local church ladies and vegetables and salads from Al Ru's own gardens.
More information »
Weather forecasts

Talkback Gardening tomorrow

ABC Talkback Gardening podcastsABC 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.

Plants and products for spring
Horticulturalist and garden centre manager Brett Draper will provide an update on what’s new and essential for your spring gardening program.

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
Spring is here! So it’s a fine time to get propagating.  It’s official. Plant cuttings count as interior décor, and we’re here to fuel your plant obsession. Up your houseplant game with water propagation vases!
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 bursting at the seams with beautiful spring stock. Everything is looking perfect at the moment and so much choice.
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
Now is a great time to be preparing your garden for summer – plenty of WhoFlungDung (and other mulches), soil wetters and soil improvers in store.
Specialises in providing quality plants and expert garden advice. Follow the Instagram feed »

Coming soon

Saturday, October 17
SA Chrysanthemum Society annual plant sale
10 Lucknow St, Marleston. 10 am - 1pm.  An opportunity to buy and to meet other growers.

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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