From Jon Lamb Communications
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October 22, 2021

Don’t delay planting

If you are planning to establish trees, shrubs, vegetables or even a new lawn, do it soon.
Action now will give newly established plants time to develop strong healthy roots, well before they need to cope with continued stress, caused by above average temperatures during summer.
Garden soils are now warm enough to encourage newly established plants to produce healthy moisture and nutrient-seeking roots.
However, climatologists are predicting South Australia is likely to experience numerous short heat spikes, particularly early in the New Year.

Secrets to success                  

The secret to successful gardening during summer is to keep the roots of your plants moist and cool. 
The combination of organic matter in the soil, mulch on top of the soil and the use of temporary shade will provide home gardeners with the key strategies needed to protect their plants from damaging heat.

Cool weather delays wasp emergence

Last week Good Gardening reported wasp emergence was due to begin on October 22.
However, the citrus industry wasp emergence guide indicates wasp emergence will now begin two days later on October 26.
It means home gardeners wanting to protect their citrus trees from wasp re-infestation should begin spraying their trees this weekend, with a follow-up spray between November 6 and November 13.
Spraying with kaolin clay, sold as Vasilis Citrus Wasp Spray will prevent emerging wasps from re-invading citrus trees and laying eggs into the soft bark on new seasons branch growth.

Small trees for small gardens

A  list of small trees for small gardens discussed on TalkBack Gardening last Saturday by master landscaper Jamie McIlwain will be published in next week's newsletter.

Spring booster                       

Most fruit and ornamentals trees and shrubs should be producing strong new spring growth. 
However, if they haven’t been fed with a fertiliser since last season they may soon run short of nutrients. 
An application of a balanced fertiliser (organic or manufactured), containing nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, may be needed.

Warm enough to plant fruit trees                  

Soil temperatures are now consistently warm enough to plant citrus, avocadoes and other semi tropical fruits.
Choose a well- drained sunny site.  Where drainage is not ideal, the plant should be established on a mound 15-20 cm high and 2 metres wide. 
Keep in mind citrus and avocadoes will not tolerate wet feet.

Rose competition for home gardeners

Home gardeners will have an opportunity to put their top roses on display at this weekend’s Spring Rose Show.
For the first time members of the SA Rose Society will “take their show to the people” by staging their annual two-day event at the Golden Grove Garden centre.
Non-Society members are being invited to enter their top blooms (maximum three entries) in a special “Top home garden rose” section.
Entries must be taken to the show between 7:30 am and 8:30 am tomorrow morning.
Feature plantsof the week
In Appreciation

Potted roses now available online

It’s been a good season for home grown roses and in many gardens established bushes are now at their “blooming best”.
However, now is also a good time to choose and order potted roses online.
This week Daniel Knight has selected two outstanding hybrid tea roses.

In Appreciation

In Appreciation is a stunning rose with unique dark pink, luminous like petals that makes sure it “stands out in a crowd”.
Each bloom has perfect form to bring your senses alive and with a light fragrance it is certainly “one for your list”.
With a free-branching habit this rose will gift you with many decorative blooms. These are most suitable for the vase and will bring much enjoyment both inside your home as outside.
In Appreciation is an award-winning rose. (National Rose trial Gardens of Australia) with good resistance to black spot and mildew.

Perfect Harmony

Charming blooms provide a blend of yellow with pink/ peach edges.
Perfect Harmony is a beautiful hybrid tea rose with large, well-filled flowers, which are carried singly or in small clusters on strong stems.
A robust citrus fragrance floats from these high-centred buds.
This captivating rose blooms in flushes throughout the season, making it perfect for providing cut flowers for the home throughout the growing season.
Perfect harmony is an award-winning rose. Height 80 to 100 cm.
Perfect Harmony
Knight's RosesKnights' 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.
Easy Colour petunias mini mix

Petunias for long-lasting colour

If you are looking for quick garden colour that will last right through the growing season, it’s hard to go past Easy Colour’s extensive range of petunias, in their distinctive easy to recognise purple punnets and easy carry handles.
Petunias look great growing in pots, hanging baskets or growing in garden beds.
The plants you buy 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 are easily removed without damage, ready for transferring into containers or garden beds.
Petunias are just one of the many top performing annuals grown by Easy Colour, now available from a very wide range of garden centres.
Check the full range »
Easy ColourEasy Colour petunias 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.
Heuchera Eye Spy (left) and Grape Expectations

Coral Bells back with a difference

Old-fashioned Coral Bells (Heuchera) are now outstanding foliage plants, thanks to some clever plant breeding.
And if your garden is semi-shaded the news is good.
Coral Bells thrive in semi shade and adapt well to full shade, providing the light is bright.
This makes them ideal feature plants to grow in all kinds of shady gardens, courtyards, patios and balconies.
The foliage on these plants is quite large and is available in a fascinating range of colours, including dark purples, glowing coppers, soft limes and green (Height 20 cm – spread 50 cm).
As a bonus the plants also produce long-lasting spires of colourful flowers through spring and early summer.
Two outstanding varieties include:
  • Grape Expectations: Grape purple leaves with black veins and a silver overlay.
  • Eye Spy: Amber leaves with a deep rose centre.
Coral Bells are very easy to grow, particularly where the drainage is good and the soil improved with organic matter.
Keep the soil moist and apply a liquid organic fertiliser through the warmer months. 

Proven WinnersCoral Bells 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.

Re-potting not compulsory

Do all of your container grown plants need re-potting? 
No – but for plants that produce strong, vigorous growth each year, it is certainly recommended. 
It doesn’t take long for the roots of a healthy vigorous plant to reach the sides of a container. 
With nowhere to go, the strongest roots quickly circle the rootball. 
By the end of the growing season, the outer roots will completely enclose the rootball and the plant will need to be continually plied with water and plant foods if it is to remain in reasonable shape.

Tell-tale signs  

Roots poking through or blocking the drain holes, plants that wilt very quickly after watering, pale leaves and lack of strong new growth are all good indicators that re-potting may be necessary. 

Re-potting is quite easy

  • Remove the plant and its root ball from its original container
  • Trim excess roots, i.e., those growing around and under the root ball
  • Remove some of the weathered potting mix from around and under the root ball
  • Restore the plant to its original (or larger) container using fresh potting mix to fill the space created around and under the root ball.

Beware of Ali Baba pots

Large containers that have a narrow or an in-curving lip at the top usually look great but are not always plant friendly. 
Most plants need to be repotted at some stage if they are to maintain their health. 
Moving a root -bound plant from a container with a narrow top is all but impossible.
Grow your plant in a large plastic container.  Check that it fits inside your decorative container. 
If you cover the inside container with mulch, no-one will ever know it’s not growing in the larger container. 
To repot, simply remove the inside container.
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It’s time to start mulching

There is nothing like a short burst of sunshine to stimulate gardeners into thinking about the importance of mulching.
The best mulches are those materials that hold their form well without breaking down during the warmer drier months. 
As a guide we are talking about chunky bark, hogged tree branches, hay or dried straw.
All of these materials can reduce soil evaporation by 70 percent.  In most gardens this should reduce the amount of water you use by 40 percent or possibly more.

Soft mulches are different

This does not mean fine textured materials, including finely chopped straw, processed coconut fibre and composted soil improvers, should not be used. 
They are all very effective in controlling weeds – which in turn reduces water loss. 
Because they also break down rapidly, they have a very important role to play as a soil improver. 
In some gardens where the soil is sandy or comprises of hard setting clay, improving soil texture may in fact be more important than saving water.

Slug, snail populations increase rapidly

Slugs and snails are both male and female (hermaphrodites).
However, although they can self-fertilise, cross fertilisation is quite normal with slugs producing 30-50 eggs and snails 80-100 eggs at a time. 
Under favourable conditions (moisture and mild temperatures), egg laying can occur every two to three weeks, giving rise to huge populations very quickly.

New organic snail, slug pellets available

Finally, an easy way to control snails, slugs and slaters with pellets that have been approved for organic gardeners.
The product, eco-shield organic snail and slug killer, has been designed to protect seedlings, vegetables and flowering plants in garden beds and pots
Simply scatter the organic pellets around seedlings, veggies and other plants that you want to protect.
As an added bonus the pellets breakdown into nutrients for the soil and plants.

eco-shield  is available from hardware stores, nurseries,
supermarkets and online »
The full range of eco organic garden products and advice is here »

Aphids on stone fruits

It’s worth checking the tips of stone fruit trees at this time of the year for signs of peach aphids. 
These can be black or green and, if ignored, can quickly damage new tip growth or distort newly formed leaves (similar to peach leaf curl damage). 
Unlike rose aphids, peach aphids can be hard to dislodge by squirting with water.
They are also likely to be resistant to most common home garden insecticides.
Try spraying the tips with a horticultural oil.
A high pressure (hand pump) sprayer should be used and set the nozzle to achieve a fine spray.

Self-watering pots     

Self-watering pots work well if used correctly. 
Initially water them from above and allow the water to drain through into the well. 
Plants draw water from the well by capillary action. 
Don’t place a very small plant in a very deep container, as the roots will not be strong enough to draw water up from the well. 
Tall containers require a more open potting mix for capillary action to work. 
Use a premium potting mix and consider adding some ground coir to the potting mix.

Animal manures

Many gardeners prefer to use animal manures in the garden rather than a manufactured product. 
Animal manures usually supply most of the nitrogen needed but they usually lack adequate supplies of phosphorus and potassium.
This is often reflected in the garden when vegetables, flowers and even fruit trees produce lush vigorous growth but few or no fruits or flowers.

Roses nipped in the bud        

Take a close look at the new buds forming on rose bushes. 
At a distance the bushes look great but in many gardens there are small green caterpillars nipping the tips out of new buds before they are fully formed. 
This caterpillar is very destructive but is easily controlled by spraying tip growth with Success, a non-toxic chemical registered for use by organic gardeners.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

Turf mites invading lawns

If you have a lawn and it’s starting to produce its normal vigorous spring growth, take a close look.
In many lawns, turf mites are moving in and they are already starting to cause significant problems.
According to turf consultant Stefan Palm, turf mites and not easy to identify and it appears each year the problem is worse than the last.
Stefan’s experience over the past few years suggests that spraying with typical lawn mite chemicals won’t control them, especially when they invade couch grass.
In this week’s lawn blog Stefan explains how gardeners can achieve better results by using an experienced spray contractor, who is familiar with the correct spread of chemicals, uses the right methods and at the right intervals.

More information »
A runner of couch with a healthy runner and some stunted runners.
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

These vegetables are quick and easy

Nothing succeeds like success, particularly when it comes to growing garden fresh vegetables. 
The following are very easy to grow and should be ready to harvest well before Christmas.
  • Lettuce: Select non-hearting varieties.  Harvest over an extended period by continually removing the outer leaves. Combo seedling packs will provide two plants of three different varieties.
  • Cucumbers: New varieties offer smaller sized fruit on traditional trailing bushes.  Also, more compact varieties available ideally suited to raised gardens.
  • Zucchini: An interesting range of colours available in dark and light green, yellow and grey.  Bushes are becoming more compact and again, suit raised garden beds.
  • Beans (dwarf):  These grow readily from seed spaced 10 cm apart in double rows, spaced 30 cm apart.  Quick maturing and capable of producing a big harvest within 10-12 weeks although the harvest period is short.  Sowing 8-10 plants every two to three weeks will provide a continuous harvest over an extended period. 
  • Rocket: A very quick growing leafy vegetable with strong spicy taste, great for salads.  Germinates readily from seed although seedlings planted now will be ready to harvest after four weeks.  Pick outer leaves often to prevent plants from running to seed.

Family favourites

In most summer vegetable gardens, you’re sure to find the following:
  • Capsicums:  Need full sun, adapt well to container growing but like tomatoes, should be placed in large containers (i.e., 10 litres potting mix/plant).
  • Silver beet: Another excellent ‘cut-and-come-again’ winter vegetable that can be harvested over a very long period.  Grows 30-40cm high. Spaced 15-20cm apart.
  • Snap peas: Good value as they will be ready to harvest in eight to 10 weeks.  You can eat the pods whole.  Space close together (10cm) as this will help the plants hold each other upright.  Stake if growing in a windy position.

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 advice please give me a call on ABC Radio Adelaide's Saturday morning Talkback Gardening  or ask at your local garden centre.
Saturday & Sunday, October 23 & 24
Spring rose show, Rose Society of South Australia Inc
Garden Grove, 1150 Golden Grove Road, Golden Grove. Sat 11 am - 5 pm, Sun 9 am - 5pm.
More information »

Saturday & Sunday, October 23 & 24
Bromeliad Society spring  show and sales extravaganza
Maltese Cultural Centre, 6 Jeanes St, Beverley. Sat 9 am - 3pm), Sun 10 am - 3 pm. Free entry both days.

Sunday, October 24
Friends of Botanic Gardens of Adelaide plant sale.
10.30am -2.30 pm,  Mt. Lofty Botanic Garden in the Chris Steele-Scott Pavilion, just south of the Lower Car Park off Lampert Road, Piccadilly. A list of the plants available here »
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.

Bringing roses to the public. SA Rose Society president Diane vom Berg discusses the society’s bold move to hold their Spring show at a major garden centre.
Then Bromeliad Society president Adam Boderick reviews some of the bromeliads available at this weekend's bromeliad show.

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
Time to spring into the veggie patch. Get your basil and tomatoes in! 
How about cucumbers, pumpkins and, for bit of heat, chilli !!

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
Tomato, tomato, tomato. We have them to the rafters. Get them in the ground or pots and reap the rewards! Pair it with our beautiful sweet basil and some crusty bread sprinkled with some parmesan cheese, ricotta, caramelised onions topped with drizzled  balsamic vinegar. Yumm.
Always a great selection of plants, pets and giftware – all under the one roof. Open 7 days.
Facebook »

Barrow & Bench
Barrow & Bench Mitre 10
321 Unley Rd, Malvern. (08) 8272 8566
The ethical and sustainability of Australian bush foods is a great reason to try a few of the amazing bush food plants now in stock at Barrow & Bench. 
Why not try Midgenberry, Muntries, Seablite, Native Pepper Berry and more?  Open 8-5 Saturday.  9-5 Sunday.  7.30am – 7pm Monday to Friday

Specialising in providing quality plants and expert garden advice. Follow the Instagram feed »

Coming soon

Sunday, October 31
Lobethal Gardening Festival.
10 am - 4.30 pm. Starts at Bushland Park. More details »

Sunday, October 31
Herb Society of SA - Spring Salvia Sale
Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Rd, Fullarton, 8:30am – 12 noon  
For all those Salvia lovers and anyone who is looking for an economic & colourful way to add to your garden, come down and choose from a large selection of Salvia’s but be quick we do sell out!
More details »

Saturday, November 6
SA Plant Clubs' Open Day
Western Youth Centre, 79 Marion Rd, Cowandilla. Plant sales & supplies. African Violets, carnivorous, cottage garden, scculents, pelargoniums and geraniums. Covid-safe cafe and sausage sizzle. $2 entry.

Saturday, November 6
Show me your garden: Private gardens of Medindie
Meet the Women of Walkerville at the corner of Briar and Willyama Avenues to be given the directions to explore three unique and inspiring Medindie gardens, within easy walking distance of each other, and not normally open to the public. Open 1pm - 3.30 pm. $10 entry.
The Women of Walkerville is a fundraising committee that holds events to raise money for domestic violence causes.
More information »

Sunday, November 7,
The Heritage Garden open day & book launch
Walter & Kay Duncan’s rose garden at Sevenhill, 12 McCord Lane, Gillentown, via Clare. 10 am - 5 pm. $10 admission, children under 15 free. Proceeds to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Book launch "A Tapestry of Shared Passions" at 11 am.
Tickets »  |   More information »

Sunday, November 7
Herb Society of SA – Herb Day Market
Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Rd, Fullarton, 10am – 3pm  
Our biggest event for the year. The largest selection of potted herbs for sale, this is an event not to miss if you love gardening! Great selection of herb seeds and books. Herb identification – bring your plant sample along and let our experts help you to identify.
More details »

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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