From Jon Lamb Communications
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September 11, 2020

It may be time to start watering

rain gaugeIt’s only the beginning of spring, yet gardeners are starting to water.
Adelaide’s previous significant rainfall (more than 10 mm) was back in mid June – that’s 12 weeks ago.
Is it any wonder topsoil moisture in many gardens is disappearing fast?

Quick soil check

The best way to determine if the garden needs watering is to take a trowel and dig holes, 20-30 cm deep in three or four locations. 
Check the moisture at different levels (10, 20 and 30 cm) by taking small handfuls of soil and squeezing these into balls.
If the soil balls fall apart after opening your hand, moisture levels are running low.
If you are growing plants that rely on surface roots for moisture, and we don’t receive a significant rain tomorrow, then maybe it’s time to start watering.

What about larger plants?

Think carefully before deep watering large shrubs, and particularly ornamental and fruiting trees. 
All of these have a deep root system and, although they will readily soak up any surface moisture, they also have an ability to gather moisture at depth i.e. 30 to 40 cm plus – providing of course they have been encouraged to develop a deep root system.
This can be achieved by not watering until the top soil (0-20cm) is quite dry.
Regular light watering early in the season is not advised, as it will encourage deep rooted plants to set up an extensive network of surface roots.
Feature plantsof the week

Petunias – ready to grow now

If you are looking for quick garden colour now – that will last right through the growing season, it’s hard to go past Easy Colour petunias, in their distinctive easy to recognise purple punnets and easy carry handles.
The colour range is extensive and includes Blue Ice, Sky Blue, Frosty and Soft Pink. These look great growing in pots, hanging baskets as well as garden beds.
These petunias are already covered in blooms that are large and extremely uniform.
They are also grown in Easy Colour’s unique “pop out” growing cells and as a result they are easily removed without damage, ready for transferring into containers or garden beds.
Petunias are just one of the many top performers selected by Easy Colour for their extensive range of flowering annuals.
Easy Colour
Petunias are in stock at Heynes Garden Centre, Norwood , Semaphore Pets & Gardens and Barrow & Bench, Malvern and should be available at other good gardening centres.

It’s time to try Buddleja Buzz

This is a true dwarf buddleja that is also compact and constantly covered in butterfly attracting flower spikes.
Buddleja Buzz grows to around 1.5 m, flowers for many months and needs little pruning to keep it looking good.
The flower spikes appear in a range of colours including; Sky Blue, Hot Raspberry, Soft pink and Ivory.
These last well when cut and used for indoor decoration.
Buddleja Buzz is an ideal plant to grow in a sunny or semi-shaded border or for grouping in a garden bed.
Because the plants are dwarf and compact, they also adapt well to container growing.

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

Critical time to prune or smear citrus wasp galls

September is the best time to prevent the emergence of citrus gall wasps from their overwintering galls.
Right now South Australia’s entire citrus gall wasp population is packed inside those unsightly, light brown galls.
Removing the galls by pruning or smearing the galls with a horticultural glue to prevent the wasps from emerging has been shown to provide effective control.
However, to be effective these operations must be carried out before the wasps emerge in October.
Predicted dates for this season’s wasp emergence and egg laying will be published in next week’s edition of Good Gardening.

Removing old wood from citrus trees

As citrus trees mature they often become woody, particularly near the centre of their canopy.
Now is a good time to remove old or weak branches and deadwood. 
Take the opportunity to also thin out a few of the outer branches. 
This will allow more light to penetrate the canopy and increase the tree’s cropping potential. 
Hold off a few more weeks if you’re in a frost prone area.
But don’t wait too long as the trees will need time to grow enough new leaves to protect exposed branches from sunburn over summer.

Peter Brock Foundation Rose

This is a multiple award winning hybrid tea rose. It is vigorous, upright and produces striking luminous bright red blooms with a light perfume. The spiral buds are large and the foliage a glossy dark green.
This rose (pictured left) symbolises and honours the legacy of Australian motor racing driver, Peter Brock

Follow your Dreams

Follow Your Dreams (pictured right) is a natural sport of the ionic Peter Brock Foundation Rose, named after one of Peter’s favourite sayings “follow your dreams."
This is a classic hybrid tea rose that gives you numerous well shaped pink flowers with a mild fragrance.The long, straight stems are ideal to cut for blooms in a vase.
Follow Your Dreams is a hardy, vigorous, upright bush (1m), with tough disease resistant foliage that is best used in garden beds, borders or for a hedging effect.
Part proceeds from the sale of this rose assists the Peter Brock Foundation children’s charity
Knight's Roses now have freshly potted Peter Brock roses available for sale as well as Follow Your Dreams.
Name correction: The correct name for the pink Bonica rose featured by Knights Roses two weeks ago in Good Gardening is in fact Bonica Hot Pink – not Hot Lips.

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.
Cabbage white butterfly larvae damage on broccoli.

White butterflies are everywhere    

Have you noticed unusually high populations of cabbage white butterflies flitting around your garden? 
If early reports are correct, we can expect a major invasion of cabbage white butterfly and cabbage moth caterpillars during spring.
Seedlings of cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli should be sprayed with a low-toxic chemical such as Success Ultra as soon as the caterpillars are noticed.
Success Ultra is a new-generation insecticide developed from beneficial soil bacteria to control caterpillars, including codling moth, cherry slug, thrips as well as a large range of other leaf eating insects.
Success Ultra is safe to use on a wide range of vegetables, fruit, herbs and ornamentals. 
However, it is important to follow label directions.
More information, including how to use Success Ultra here »
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Time to feed and mulch perennials

Perennial clumps that do not need dividing right now should be rewarded with an application of a slow acting organic fertiliser.
Once the weather becomes warmer and the plants are producing strong new growth, covering the ground with mulch will pay big dividends by reducing water lost through evaporation and also in the general health of the plants.
Life in the soil – Neutrog

Fertilising non-flowering plants

Often when we think about fertiliser we only look at things like flowers, fruit trees, vegetables and lawns.
But what about all of the plants in your garden that you may be growing as a privacy screen, hedge or as ornamental foliage plants?
People often forget that these plants, just like any other, also need fertiliser.
What best suits them?
This lawn fertiliser also works a treat on things like Neutrogpalms, hedges and all of your ornamental plants.

More information »

Quick fix for iron-deficient plants

Garden plant leaves that turn yellow while their veins remain bright green is a good indicator of an iron deficiency.
This is a very common problem on fruit trees, particularly citrus, as well as a wide range of ornamental plants.
In most cases the problem is caused by our alkaline soils.
Fortunately the problem is quickly and easily solved by spraying effected plants with iron chelates.
Iron in a chelated form, when mixed with water is readily absorbed into the leaves.
On the other hand, if it is applied to the soil it is quickly immobilised because of the high pH of our alkaline soils.
Keep in mind iron does not move around the plant and as a result new growth will require spraying.

Effective alternative treatment                    

Try blending half a cup of iron chelates in a 10 L bucket of compost.
However, rather than scattering the compost on the soil,  dig three holes under the canopy of your effected plants and bury 3 to 4 L of the compost in each hole.
The compost will hold onto the iron and it will not be immobilised by the surrounding alkaline soil.
This treatment should last for 2 to 3 years.

Chrysanthemum cuttings

It’s time to take cuttings or slips from last year’s bushes. 
Plants grown from cuttings strike readily and produce a compact bush.  They can also be grown by breaking last year’s clump into small pieces.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns
lawn fertiliser

Fertilising the lawn – solid or liquid?

Lawns in most gardens are starting to produce their normal strong spring growth and it’s time to start thinking seriously about fertilising.
For many it’s simply a matter of buying a bag of lawn fertiliser and start spreading.
But for lawn consultant Stefan Palm there are a lot more issues to be considered.
What kind of fertiliser is best, how much, how often?
There is also the question of solid fertilisers versus liquid.
In this week’s lawn blog Stefan takes a critical look at how solid and liquid fertilisers work and how you decide what form is best for your lawn.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Early spring orchid activities

A one-day-only Spring Orchid Show will be staged by the Orchid Club of SA at the Enfield Community Centre next Saturday, September 19. See more info here
This will be a great opportunity for the community to see different orchids on display and select some interesting orchids from the plants sales.
As restrictions continue to ease the Orchid Club hopes to resume its popular cultural workshops for newer members later in the year.
If there are any enquiries about orchids please ring Trevor, the Orchid Club of South Australia’s Publicity /Education Officer  on 0414 807 634.

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, 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 is available on the Australian Plants Society website »

Sunday, September 13
Herb Society of SA, herb & salvia propagation workshop

Herb garden at back of Findon Community Centre, 222 Findon Road, Findon, 2 - 4 pm.  
Materials provided. Bring your own secateurs.
More details »

Saturday, September 12, 19, 26
Spring Garden Fling
Mt Pleasant showground. Every Saturday during September – a great range of stalls featuring quality plants, garden furniture, decor and garden care products together with the regular farmers market fare. 8 am – 1 pm. Gold coin entry.

Sunday, September 13, 20, 27
Camellia Society Adelaide Hills Inc open days
Stangate House, Aldgate on every Sunday in September. 12 noon - 4 pm.
Due to COVID-19 the house will not be open and there will not be any refreshments available.  You are very welcome to bring your own picnic and there is plenty of room in the garden to do social distancing. Some camellias for sale.
Weather forecasts

Talkback Gardening tomorrow

ABC Talkback 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.

Elm leaf beetle
Adelaide arborist Shane Selway discusses whether they will be a significant problem this season and how gardeners can help protect their trees from this troublesome pest.

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
Ready for spring! Ready for picking! Ready for eating! Get your veggies  … Large silverbeet, rainbow chard, kale and plenty of the new-season summer seedlings.
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 the largest variety of indoor pots in South Australia – let us help you green up your beautiful spaces by helping you pick the perfect pot and plant for that special indoor spot!
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
Swing into spring – plenty of summer veg and flowering annuals available along with, perennials, shrubs, roses and citrus trees.
Specialises in providing quality plants and expert garden advice. Follow the Instagram feed »

Coming soon

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.

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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