From Jon Lamb Communications
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August 9, 2019

Too cold yet for summer vegetables

Right now topsoil temperatures across Adelaide are hovering between 9 and 10ºC.  Tomatoes, along with their warm loving friends, need soil temperatures of 16ºC and more if they are to produce strong healthy growth. 
In fact, they will simply sit and sulk if they are planted into the garden too soon.

. . .  so what can you grow now?

This doesn’t mean abandoning the vegetable garden until the ground is much warmer.
Lettuce, broccoli, silver beet, peas, carrots, onions and potatoes as well as coriander, chives and parsley are amongst a range of summer vegetables (and herbs) that don’t mind the cold and will grow exceedingly well when planted in August.

Consider starting from seeds

On the other hand the seeds of many popular summer vegetables including
tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicums, zucchinis and eggfruit can all be germinated in small containers if you have a small, heated propagator ($40 to $50).
You may also be successful if you have a sunny, protected position and you can place your seed containers in an insulated box (polystyrene vegetable box) covered with plastic or glass.
Seedlings germinated now should be ready for transplanting in mid to late September.
Feature plant

Grevillea Bronze Rambler

This is an ideal low-growing Australian shrub for covering the ground. It is fast-growing and will quickly produce an attractive canopy (50x 350cm) with attractive bronze coloured tip growth.
Large red tooth brush flowers all year round will attract the birds. Hardy and very waterwise.

Now is a good time to move some plants   

Mid to late August is one of the best times to move established cold-hardy evergreen trees and shrubs from one place to another.
Any damaged roots will recover quickly. 
After moving, reduce the top growth by 20-30 pc to compensate for the loss of roots. 
Meanwhile, time is running out fast if you’re thinking of planting deciduous trees.
Try soaking the plants in water (plus Seasol) for 2-3hrs before you plant.

Consider fertilising now       

Many gardeners wait until mid or even late spring before applying garden fertiliser.
For trees and shrubs grown for their fruit or flowers,particularly roses, this really is too late.
Their big need is for energy to produce new growth after bud burst.
Ideally the fertiliser should be applied during late winter, before bud burst, as it provides time for the fertiliser to be converted into a form the plants can use when it is needed – soon after bud burst.

Agapanthus can be dvidied now       

Late winter is a good time to lift and divide large clumps of agapanthus. But hurry as they will be sending up new flower spikes very early in spring. 
Once the clumps are out of the ground they can be divided into large pieces.
Make sure each clump has numerous shoots or crowns. Small pieces will continue to grow, but they may not flower in the first season.

Dwarf agapanthus

These produce very attractive balls of blue or white blooms on relatively short stems. The leaves are either green or variegated. Great plants for container growing or edging borders.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm

Late winter strategies for summer lawns

The current spell of cold showery weather will do little to hasten the recovery of winter dormant lawns.
In most gardens the grass has not yet taken on its usual late winter, lush-green appearance and, in fact, many stands are looking rather ordinary.
This raises the question, is it possible to speed up their recovery?
In this week’s lawn blog, turf consultant Stefan Palm considers a number of strategies to prepare your lawn for spring.
He also has some practical advice that should assist lawns that were allowed to turn brown last summer.

More information here »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Preparing orchids for spring

August, while the weather remains cool, is the time to prepare your spring flowering orchids.
Spring flowering cymbidiums should now have well developed flower spikes.
These will need to be staked and tied in their final position. zygopetalum types may be in flower or showing flower spikes after their autumn display.
Recent strong winds has helped with pest control but may have dislodged plants from their resting place. Despite continuous drizzly conditions plants may not have received all the water they need. Check that your growing medium has not dried out.
Next, check shade cloth for damage and carry out repairs before the heat of summer. 
A good memory jogger is to increase shading by 50% around Melbourne Cup day and remove around Anzac Day.
Other plants that should be in flower soon are the Australian and South African terrestrial plants including, Pterostylus, Diuris and Caladenias and others from the local area and Satyrium and Pterogodium from South Africa cape regions.
Australian native Dendrobiums should be showing flower spikes and will flower through spring. Check for aphids and scale on these plants and control as necessary.
As days lengthen, fertilizing rates can be increased.
An application of GoGo Juice or Seamungus  will act as a tonic for your plants. Follow up with a fertilizer such as Strike Back for Orchids.
Take time out to enjoy the spectacular orchid display at the Royal Adelaide Show.

Snail time

The combination of showers and cooler weather will encourage snails to come out of their summer hiding places. 
They will be very hungry and can be very destructive. Snail baits placed near their hiding places and feeding areas over the next week or so will reduce populations dramatically.
Regular trapping is also very effective.
Populations should be reduced before they start breeding and that’s likely to be soon.

Keep houseplants on the dry side

The next four to six weeks are vital for most houseplants as they are developing new hair roots to begin next season's growth.
During this period the roots have a bigger than normal need for air - easily displaced when you over-water.
Allowing the potting mix to dry out completely on the surface in between watering will ensure it contains plenty of air at this critical time of the year.
Soil in containers more than 20cm deep should be allowed to dry to a depth of 4 to 6 cm before re-watering.

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 & Sunday, August 10, 11
Annual Camellia Show, Camellias South Australia annual show
Carrick Hill, 46 Carrick Hill Drive, Springfield. Sat. 12noon - 4 pm; Sun. 10. am - 4 pm
Quality plants for sale. Free admission to the show & Carrick Hill grounds.
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.

Guest – Phillip Smoult, horticultural product supplier to the SA garden industry.
Topic – Simpyfying the terms and language used to describe home garden chemicals, fertilisers and products.

Coming soon

Friday, September 6
Rhododendron Society’s Grant Memorial Lecture
International award-winning landscape architect and media personalityJim 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.

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 & 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.

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 »

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, 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.

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 »

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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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