From Jon Lamb Communications
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September 6, 2019

Spring is in the air

As rain clouds clear and the sun comes shining through, the urge to get out into the garden and start planting becomes almost irresistible.
But hasten slowly.
During early September soil temperatures across Adelaide generally hover between 12 and 14°C, whereas if you wait until later in the month or early October, they should be close to 16°C. 
This is the magic tomato planting temperature and is far more suited to most of the popular summer salad vegetable lines, as well as warm season ornamentals.

Soil temperature update – take care

It could take four weeks, maybe longer, before soil temperatures are warm enough to sustain steady plant growth.
This doesn’t mean you can’t start planting summer vegetables now. 
If you can find a warm sunny position out of the wind (this may be on a sunny veranda or even inside on a windowsill that receives sunlight for much of the day), it’s possible to start your planting early, as established seedlings in small containers.

Planting out seedlings

The next few weeks will see many hundreds of vegetable and flower seedlings planted directly into open gardens, raised beds and containers.
How you treat seedlings before they are transplanted will have a big bearing on how they perform.
Try soaking the seedlings, while they are still in their punnets, in a dilute seaweed solution( Seasol)  for 10 minutes before transplanting.

Vegetables to plant now

Broccoli, bok choy, beetroot*, carrots*, cabbage, lettuce, onions, peas, radish, rocket and silverbeet. (*seed only)
Feature plant

New Elite nemesias with Plums and Custard

Plums and Custard is a great name for brightly coloured, highly-scented nemesias that are now part of a new elite range of high performers.
The flowers are produced on strong stems that are bred to withstand strong winds, heavy rain and even hail.
Both the foliage and flowers are compact, resulting in a wonderful display when planted en masse.
They are also excellent in pots, hanging baskets window boxes or in your garden bed.
Try planting them along your garden path to make an elegant and highly aromatic statement.
The elite series of nemesias are available in a large range of colours from white, lemon, berry, red, orange, pink and lavender.
All Elite nemesias are very weather hardy and require little attention. However, a little trim back and fertiliser each season will help keep the plants flowering.

More information »

First dates for citrus gall wasp emergence

SA gardeners can expect the first wave of citrus gall wasps for the coming season to emerge during the final week of September or the first week of October *
Citrus industry gall wasp researcher Dr Jianhua Mo has again confirmed the importance of home gardeners checking their citrus trees and removing (or smearing horticultural glue on) as many citrus galls as possible, before the first wasps emerge.
The wasp only has one life-cycle each year and the entire wasp population is currently inside over-wintering galls.
Dr Mo believes preventing the wasps from emerging as adults before they mate and lay eggs provide home gardeners with their best method of controlling.
*Good Gardening will provide weekly updates of predicted wasp emergence and egg laying weekly.

New beneficial booster for potting mix

Seasol Potting Mix Booster is new. It is designed to bring life to both new and existing potting mix with the addition of beneficial soil microbes. Simply mix the solution into the potting mix and water in thoroughly.
Over time potting mix becomes worn out, microbes die, and the mix becomes lifeless – affecting the health of your plants. 
Seasol Potting Mix Booster brings tired old potting mix back to life by creating a living potting mix with the help of beneficial microbes. It also helps to improve aeration and water absorption and makes plants more resilient to drought.
New potting mix can also start to break down after a couple of weeks due to the lack of good microbes in the soil.
Seasol Potting Mix Booster helps to keep the mix alive by incorporating beneficial microbes and natural minerals. This helps plants to flourish, boosting their root system and promoting strong, healthy growth.
To apply, mix the solution it into the top 2 cm of the potting mix soil or mix through the potting mix and backfill soil before planting.
More information »

Growing from seed   

Most summer vegetables establish readily from seed.  This is certainly the cheapest method of growing vegetables and it also gives you the widest choice of vegetable varieties. 
If however, you are in a hurry, you can usually save three to six weeks by buying established seedlings.
Once your vegetables are up and growing, get into the habit of feeding them every three to four weeks with a liquid fertiliser. 
It’s surprising what a difference this can make.
Irrigation Guide

Preparing your home irrigation system

As we come out of the cold winter months it is time to start thinking about the watering season ahead and preparing your irrigation system for watering your garden. Follow this simple checklist to get your system ready:
  1. Check for breaks and leaks in your pipework system – sometimes over the winter months soil movements, pets or vermin or just wear and tear can break apart your pipe and fittings systems and these need to be repaired before you can start irrigating. Use quality Antelco barbed poly fittings and Repair plugs to repair your system. It is always a good idea to use Ratchet Clamps over barbed fittings to secure the pipe to the fitting.
  2. Check your drippers/sprays/sprinklers - Over the winter months plants and weeds may have grown over your drippers, sprays and sprinklers. These need to be cleared to allow for effective watering. Check that all drippers, sprays and sprinklers are working correctly i.e. they are outputting the right amount of water and watering the right area. Adjust, replace or clean any faulty emitters.
  3. Clean any sediments in the pipework system – Over the winter period sediments and bacteria slimes can grow in the poly pipework systems. It is a good idea to flush your pipework system by opening the ends of the lines and operate the system to flush out any contaminants. Run the system until the water runs clear and then reseal the ends.
  4.  It is a good time to dismantle and clean any filters in the system/s by cleaning them under a running tap and brushing with an old toothbrush if dirty.
  5. Automation system – if you are using a tap timer or irrigation controller check its operation and set a schedule for the season ahead.

Herbs in planter boxes

When garden bed space is at a premium and you would like to grow a range of herbs, consider buying a couple of lightweight planter boxes. 
Where possible, place them close to where the herbs will be used i.e. next to the barbecue. 
A planter box 60cm long will provide enough room for three or four different herbs.
Try:  Chives, coriander, mint, oregano, parsley, sage and thyme. It’s a little cool yet for basil and lemongrass.

It's not too late to plant fruit trees

If you’re still thinking of planting deciduous trees (either fruiting or ornamental) while they are dormant, it’s not too late. However, time is now rapidly running out.
When you buy your trees, soak them in a seaweed or compost solution for an hour before planting.
Many garden centres still have good supplies of both fruiting and ornamentals varieties ready for planting.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm

Time to fertilise the lawn? Not yet

Cold August weather has certainly dispelled prospects for an early spring.
Right now many gardeners can’t wait for a sustained period of sunshine.
Needless to say these conditions are causing problems for gardeners wanting to make sure their lawn is in top condition, ready for the season ahead.
In this week’s lawn blog turf advisor Stefan Palm looks at the effects of our cool, late winter conditions and provides a number of practical comments on how this could affect your lawn fertilising program during spring.
More information here »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Aphids on the march

These small troublesome insects are starting to multiply on rose tips in some gardens. 
They are easily controlled by squirting the tip growth with a jet of water from a hose. 
This will allow a range of natural predators to take control.

Spraying stone fruits

Recent showers have made it difficult to spray stone fruit trees with a fungicide to control fungus disease during spring. 
It is important to spray peaches, nectarines and apricots with a copper based fungicide before the buds start to open. 
If you are running a bit late and the buds have opened, change to Mancozeb.
Unlike copper sprays, this fungicide will not affect bees.

Mulch the best moisture-storing solution

Experienced gardeners will tell you the most effective method of storing moisture already in the soil and preventing it from being lost through evaporation is to cover the ground with mulch.

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.
Friday, September 6
Rhododendron Society’s Grant Memorial Lecture
International award-winning landscape architect and media personality Jim Fogarty. Coventry Library, 63 Mount Barker Road, Stirling, 6.30 pm. $20, including wine and cheese. Contact for more details »

Saturday & Sunday, September 7, 8
Enfield Horticultural Society Spring Show
Klemzig Community Hall, 242 North East Road, Klemzig. 12 - 5 pm Sat, 10 am - 4 pm Sun. Admission $2. More information 8251 2299.

Sunday, September 8 (also 15 & 22)
Camellia Society Adelaide Hills open days
Stangate House, Euston Road, Aldgate. 12 pm - 4 pm. Admission $5, under 14s free.

Sunday, September 8
Australian Plants Society Fleurieu Group's Native Plants Sale and the Friends of Nangawooka Open Day
Nangawooka Flora Reserve, corner of Adelaide/Victor Harbor and Waterport Roads, Victor Harbor. 11am – 4 pm. Soil testing available (bring a soil sample).Grafting demonstrations. Sausage sizzle and afternoon tea.
Weekend gardening weather

Talkback Gardening tomorrow

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

Broadcast live from the Royal Adelaide Show

Join Deb Tribe and me as we again broadcast Talkback Gardening direct from the Royal Show.
Guests will include Darren Ray, BOM climatologist, with his three month-weather outlook for home gardeners, plus other show presenters.

Coming soon

Sunday, September 15
Herb Society of SA - Herb & Salvia Propagation Workshop
Herb Garden at back of Findon Community Centre, 222 Findon Road, Findon, 2 - 4 pm  
Tour the Herb Garden and lean how to propagate herbs and salvias. Materials provided. Bring your own secateurs. More details »

Friday, September 20 to Friday, September 27
South Coast Orchid Club of SA Spring Show
Seaford Central Shopping Centre, Commercial Road, Seaford.

Saturday, September 21
Spring Garden Festival, Mount Pleasant
Stalls featuring quality plants, garden furniture, decor and garden-care products.
Showgrounds, Melrose Street. 8 am - 3 pm. $5 entry, concession $3, child under 15 free.
More information »

Saturday, September 21
Goody Patch Community Garden annual plant sale
Quality and well-priced plants, vegetables, succulents and herbs as well as baked goods and preserves. Goodwood Primary School gate, Goodwood Road, 9.15 am to 12 pm.
More information »
Facebook »

Saturday & Sunday,  September 21 & 22
Orchid Club of South Australia Spring Show
Enfield Community Centre , 540 Regency Road, Enfield. 10 am to 4 pm each day. Pies, pasties, Devonshire teas. Trading table, plants and accessories, cultural demonstrations and raffle. Expert advice from friendly, experienced growers. Entry only $5.

Saturday & Sunday, October 12, 13
Spring Expo – Native Flower Display & Plant Sale
Australian Plants Society (SA Region). Adelaide Showgrounds. Sat.10 am - 4 pm; Sun. 10 am - 3 pm.

Saturday, October 19
Begonia and Fern Spring Show
Klemzig Community Hall, 242 North East Rd, Klemzig (enter from Wellington St). $2 admission. Morning and afternoon tea.

SA Chrysanthemum Society annual plant sale
10 Lucknow St, Marleston SA, 10 am to 2pm.

Saturday & Sunday, October 19, 20
SA Geranium and Pelargonium Society spring show
Payneham Library complex, corner O.G. Road and Turner Street, Felixstow. Plant sales & display. Entry $3.

Burra Spring Garden Expo and Open Gardens
More information:  Expo »    Open Gardens »

Saturday,  October 26
SA Chrysanthemum Society annual plant sale, second day
10 Sutherland Place, Golden Grove, SA, 11am to 2pm

Saturday & Sunday, October 26, 27
Rose Society of SA Spring Rose Show – Roses are Red
Burnside Community Centre, corner of Portrush and Greenhill Roads Tusmore.
To be officially opened by the President of the World Federation of Rose Societies, Henrianne de Briey, 3 pm Saturday afternoon.
Competitive rose classes in Australian Championships and World Federation of Rose Societies classes, lectures, floral demonstration,trading tables - gifts, plants, rose growing information, including “Identify your rose”. Entry $5. Full program here »

Sunday, October 27
Herb Society of SA - Spring Salvia Sale
Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton
8:30am - 12 noon, free admission and parking.
Choose from a large selection of Salvias - be early for the best choice!
More details »

Sunday, November 3
Herb Society of SA - Herb Day Market
Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton. 10am - 3pm, free admission and parking.
The largest selection of potted herbs for sale, herb seeds and books. Guest speakers presenting on a range of topics.  Herb identification – bring your plant sample along. More details »

Sunday, November 10
Art and Roses at The Cedars
Heysen Road, Hahndorf. An exclusive one-day celebration of  spring in the garden of the renowned father and daughter artists Sir Hans and Nora Heysen. Featuring reproductions with real flowers of the artists' still life works, display of heritage roses, talks on art and blooms. 10 am - 6 pm. $15 (children under 15 free) Includes entry to the garden, house and studios. More information »

Regular garden attractions

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 »

The 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 »

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 »

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 »

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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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