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From Jon Lamb Communications
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March 19, 2021

Bountiful harvest from late-summer crops

Gardeners who defied tradition and planted summer vegetable crops following late January and early February rains are now enjoying a bountiful harvest.
Planting vegetable crops during summer is usually avoided because of the likelihood of damaging heat waves.
However, the combination of late summer rains and a weather outlook for “heat spikes but not heat waves” encouraged many gardeners to establish a range of warm-season vegetables.
In many gardens, tomatoes, capsicum, zucchinis, cucumbers and lettuce are producing worthwhile crops, although cucumber and zucchini plants are now being seriously affected by powdery mildew.
 

. . . and we told you so!  

Good Gardening – February 5, 2021
“The weather outlook is for continued mild weather with an occasional spike into the high 30s – but no damaging heat waves. The potential for achieving a successful harvest is extremely high.”
 

Annual tomato survey starts next week

If you are an experienced home garden tomato grower or a beginner, make sure you take part in next week’s Good Gardening “Tomato Season Review”.
We will publish a link to the online survey page.
Results will be published in the newsletter and summarised on ABC Radio Adelaide’s Saturday TalkBack Gardening.

Try growing from your own cuttings

It’s surprising how many different types of plants can be grown from “semi-hardwood cuttings” collected from garden plants at this time of the year.
The following lists were prepared by Matt Coulter, curator at the Adelaide botanic Gardens following a  “Mini Masterclass” on plant propagation during last Saturday’ s ABC TalkBack Gardening.

    Easier to propagate – plants develop roots in 6-8 weeks   

Buddleja
Buxus
Correa
Dianthus
Euonymus
Euryops
Helichrysum
Lauris(Bay)
Lavandula
Lonicera
Murraya
Myrtus
Pelargonium
Penstemon
Plectranthus
Prostanthera
Rosmarinus
Salvia
Syzygium/Acmena
Viburnum

    Harder/slower to propagate – roots develop in 12-16 weeks   

Adenanthos
Boronia
Bougainvillea
Bursaria
Callistemon
Callitris
Calothamnus
Camellia
Daphne
Eucryphia
Gardenia
Grevillea
Grewia
Juniperus
Leucodendron
Magnolia(Evergreen types)
Protea
Rhododendron/Azalea
Teucrium
Tibouchina
Read or download the autumn edition of Yates' Growing with You magazine »

A great time for planting – but hurry  

If you are thinking of growing vegetables, herbs or flowering annuals through winter and early spring, now is the time to start.  Planting conditions are ideal – but not for long. 
Topsoil temperatures in Adelaide are currently around 18-21oC.  However, they have dropped three to four degrees over the past three weeks.
 

Picking pumpkins      

It has been a disappointing season for pumpkins, so don't lose them through poor storage.
Cut them from the vine (with the stalk intact) when mature and let them stay in the open for a week or two before storing them in a cool, dry, airy position.

Landscaped entry offers a warm welcome

A long narrow space in front of the house has been thoughtfully designed as a welcoming entrance with the focal point a stylish in-built seat in this Kent Town landscape.
The garden and its professionally-designed landscape is one of 12 which will be open to the public during the SA Landscape Festival on the weekend of April 10 and 11.
Shaded by a mature crepe myrtle, the semi-circular seat has transformed the area into an attractive and usable outdoor room.
The tranquil trickling of a small copper water feature ingeniously incorporated into the wall of the seat makes the area all the more inviting.
Materials used create a smart modern look and hedges add privacy and structure.

The Great Outdawes – Kent Town »

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

Easy-care landscape suits its surrounds

Landscaped to blend aesthetically with its Blackwood and Adelaide Hills surroundings, this garden nicely caters for the needs of a young family.
Using curves, recycled materials, corten steel and an interesting selection of water-efficient plants, Ground Designs have created an inspiring natural look that is attractive, usable and low maintenance.
A unique firepit and seating area is a fabulous focal point and a corner dedicated to veggies shows that productive plants can fit into any garden.
The garden and its professionally-designed landscape is one of 12 which will be open to the public during the SA Landscape Festival on the weekend of April 10 and 11.

Ground Design Landscaping – Blackwood  »

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 »

Quick boost for early-planted winter veg

Broccoli, cabbage and other leafy crops, including Asian vegetables, silver beet and lettuce, will all respond to a quick-acting liquid foliar fertiliser (Thrive, Aquasol)
Root crops, including garlic, onions and carrots should receive a slower acting organic product.
Feature plantsof the week
Afrikaans

Roses producing their autumn display

Roses are starting to produce a magnificent autumn display and at Wagner's Rose Nursery there is continued excitement over the release of new season varieties.
Two standout varieties that can be pre-ordered now for winter delivery:
 

Afrikaans – a look at me rose

Wherever this rose grows you will definitely notice it!
Afrikaans is an excellent combination of disease resistance, vigour and an abundance of small to medium sized blooms, making this floribunda rose a must for every garden.
The shapely blooms are a vivid orange on a golden base. Great for bees. Height 200 cm.
 

Delightful Parfuma – the name says it all

This is a delightful rose with old world charm and intense fragrance. The blooms have petals of deep mauve pink with pale pink reverse. These look great when used as a cut flower.
The bush is upright and healthy with mid-green foliage. Strong fragrance, height 1 m.
Delightful Parfuma
WAagners Rose Nursery

Osteos for cool-season colour

Collectively the latest Elite series of osteospermum (osteos) make a stunning display.
Elite osteos feature large daisy-like flowers in a range of eye-catching colours.
The plant's growth is compact and exceptionally uniform, with the flowers standing well above the foliage.
Elite osteos are well suited to growing in South Australia, producing non-stop flowers during the cooler months. In milder districts they will flower all year round.
These are great plants for growing singly in containers or mixed and mass planted in the garden.
Plants should be cut back after flowering to encourage new growth and improve plant habit.
Ideally, osteospermum prefer full sun. In fact, the more light you can give them the better they bloom.
Once established they are reasonably tolerant of drought.

Osteospermum 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.

Compact hibiscus with extra large flowers

Rio hibiscus are attractive, compact, low-growing bushes that have been selected for their extra large, vibrantly coloured flowers.
These are on display continuously from mid spring through to late autumn and framed by a dense canopy of glossy green leaves.
The bushes are quite compact (2 m x 1.5 m) with numerous short branches that increase their flowering potential.
Rio hibiscus adapt well to growing in large containers and look great growing in the garden or even as a hedge.
They are best grown in a warm sunny position with good drainage.
Prune to shape and fertilise each season to encourage new growth.

Rio hibiscus 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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Ornamental plants like hydrangeas (pictured) and citrus are often seriously affected by iron deficiency, evidenced by yellowing between the leaf veins.

Are your plants deficient in iron?

Spraying ornamental plants with the readily available form of iron chelates (EDTA) is by far the most cost effective way of treating plants with iron deficiency in alkaline soil.
Iron in a chelated form, when mixed with water is readily absorbed into the leaves of the plant.
However, when applied to most SA soils, it is quickly immobilised because of the high soil pH.
Keep in mind iron does not move readily around the plant and as a result new growth will also require spraying.
Yates Dynamic Lifter

Big benefits if you fertilise now

If you are wondering when to fertilise the garden – do it now and ideally with an organic fertiliser such as Yates Dynamic Lifter.
Dynamic Lifter is both a soil improver and a plant fertiliser, combining the benefits of blood and bone, fish meal and seaweed with composted, pelletised chicken manure.
These produce a slow release of organic rich nutrients that in turn help improve the soil’s water holding capacity, while providing an excellent source of food for earthworms and beneficial microorganisms.
The end result – better root growth, stronger plants and more flowers and fruit.
While Dynamic Lifter can be used on all garden plants (including Australian natives) all year round, there are extra benefits when it is used as the season changes in autumn.

Tip: When using Dynamic Lifter make sure it is watered well into the topsoil.  Dynamic Lifter Liquid is only available at Bunnings. More information »

Sandy or clay soil – what's the difference?

Sandy soils are easy to dig and loosen but their ability to retain plant foods and moisture is usually very poor. 
Fortunately this is easily overcome by mixing well-aged compost or commercial soil improver into the top 20-30cm of soil where the plant is to be established.
Clay soils on the other hand retain nutrients and moisture quite well. But after a long, hot, dry summer, the ground tends to be quite compacted.
Once again, the answer is organic matter, compost or soil improver. 
If possible, add up to 25 percent by volume to the top 30 cm of the planting area.
The structure of clay soils can also be improved cheaply and very effectively by spreading gypsum over the soil before incorporating the organic matter.
Gypsum is a natural soil conditioner available in small bags from garden centres.  You will need ¾-1kg to the square metre.
Irrigation Guide – Antelco

All-in-one spike and dripper

The arrival of autumn brings with it many days of warm dry weather.
In the garden, considering how dry it’s been, it’s important to keep plants hydrated.
If you are thinking of installing or extending your micro irrigation system consider the benefits of using Asta Drip PC Spike Drippers.
These drippers are South Australian made and are designed as an all-in-one stake and dripper.
This allows you to place the drippers directly into soil, exactly where you need it.
Asta Drip PC Spike Drippers also have pressure compensating abilities.
This means they drip a pre-set amount of water each hour, giving you much greater control of where and how much water you put on your garden.

More information »

Soil that remains dry when you water

When the water you apply to the garden stays on the surface or runs down a slope instead of soaking into the soil, what can you do?
Similar problems often arise when watering plants in containers or hanging baskets.  Again, the water runs over or around the potting mix instead of soaking in.
These are the classic symptoms of non-wetting soil, a problem caused by a composting fungus that leaves a waxy coating around the individual soil particles.
Over a period, the top few centimetres of the soil can become completely water repellent.
 

. . . a simple solution

Spread a quality soil wetting agent (liquid or powdered) over the surface of affected areas and water lightly.
Wetting agents act like a detergent, breaking down the surface tension on the soil particles and allow the water to pass through.

When summer turns into autumn

It’s time to enjoy the last of this summer’s vegetable harvest.
However, it is also time to revitalise the soil they grew in and prepare garden beds for the season ahead.
Continue to harvest vegies as soon as they are ready. Left too long they become bitter, tasteless or can be attacked by pests.
Remove plants that have finished production.
Check remaining plants for pests and diseases and either prune off affected parts or remove the plant altogether.
Revive the soil where plants have been removed as it will be lacking in nutrients and fertility due to the previous crops.
Early autumn is a great time to apply organic compost and manure. This will help condition the soil while improving nutrient uptake and soil moisture.
For a no-dig option use Seasol Liquid Compost. It contains highly active liquid compost, seaweed, fish & nutrients to help revitalise all soils.
It is easy to use and goes to work immediately, on any soil type, whether you use the concentrate in a watering can or the hose-on pack.

More information »

Changing times          

It may be dry but with milder weather and shorter days ahead, it’s probably time to reset the buttons on automatic irrigation controllers that are still programmed for summer watering.
 

. . . and hello sunshine 

It’s also time for productive gardeners to remove shade cloth from the last of their summer vegetables.
Winter vegetables will need as much sun as they can get.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

The benefits of growing a lawn

Growing enough vegetables in your own garden to become self-sufficient is a concept that many gardeners would like to achieve.
But if the only way to achieve self-sufficiency was to give up part of your lawn – what would you do?
The idea of sacrificing part of the lawn to achieve self-sufficiency was discussed in the media last week. 
Having considered the concept of self-sufficiency, turf consultant Stefan Palm decided this week’s lawn blog should consider the benefits of maintaining your lawn.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Sow sweet peas early

In South Australia, mid to late March is an ideal time to establish sweet peas if you want them to flower during winter. 
The aim is to encourage the plants to grow quickly and produce a large canopy of leaves and tendrils before low temperatures bring plant growth to a standstill during July and early August.
Once the plants move into flowering mode they will continue producing blooms through late winter and, providing you keep picking the flowers, right through spring. 
Plants established over the next few weeks will produce strong vigorous growth as a response to warm soil temperatures.
 

Finding the right location

Sweet peas like plenty of sun and in particular morning sun. 
However, they don’t like wet feet. 
If the ground is low or likely to remain wet during winter, build the soil into a mound 20cm high and 30cm wide. 
Once the plants start to grow they will also need a wall, fence or trellis for support.
 

Time to control persistent weeds                 

March is an ideal time to spray perennial weeds such as nut grass, couch, buffalo and also bamboo with the systemic herbicide, glyphosate. 
However, these plants need to be making active growth before you spray.
If the ground is dry, water the area well the day before spraying.

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.

Open GardensOpen Gardens SA

Saturday & Sunday, March 20 & 21
Tipsy Hill
309 Blewitt Springs Road, Blewitt Springs
An extensive, captivating Tuscan-inspired garden, set high on a hill and surrounded by vineyards. Evocative of Mediterranean landscapes with a quintessentially Australian flavour, it offers some of McLaren Vale’s most picturesque views of the surrounding valley and Willunga Hills.

More information on the garden and directions »

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.

A self-sufficient vegetable garden or an attractive green lawn – what would you choose?
Guests include Professor Tom Cavagnaro from the University of Adelaide, and Munns Lawns turf consultant , Stefan Palm.

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
Looking for some large pots? Our GEO range has just landed.
Perfect for that statement plant indoors or outdoors.

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 special this weekend only when you spend $50 or more and tell us that you love Jon Lamb, you get a free coffee from Sarah's sisters. Now that's worth the trip!
Always 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
With the cool weather fast approaching, don’t leave it too late to apply a winter grass pre-emergent like ‘Embargo’ and don’t forget to feed summer-active lawns now.  All your lawn needs & more available in store.
Specialising in providing quality plants and expert garden advice. Follow the Instagram feed »

Coming soon

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.

Sunday, March 28
Plant sale, Friends of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide
10.30 am - 2.30 pm in the Adelaide Botanic Garden, next to the Mulberry Arbor (F10 on the map), west of Murdoch Avenue (Fig tree Avenue).  A list of plants available here »

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.

Sunday, April 11
Herb & Salvia Propagation Workshop
Herb Society of SA - at back of Findon Community Centre, 222 Findon Road, Findon, 2 - 4 pm  
Tour the herb garden and learn how to propagate herbs and salvias. Materials provided. Bring your own secateurs. More details »

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's 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 »

Saturday & Sunday, May 8 & 9
Enfield Horticultural Society Autumn Show
Klemzig Community Hall, 242 North East Road, Klemzig.  Sat 12 noon - 4 pm. Sun 10 am - 4 pm, Admission $2.  Competitions in cut flowers, bonsai, fruit, home produce, junior sections and floral design.  Plants for sale and a trading table.

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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