From Jon Lamb Communications
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March 26, 2021

Don’t delay autumn plantings

Don’t wait for traditional autumn rains before establishing new trees or shrubs in the garden.
The seasonal break in SA does not occur, on average, until the middle of April, and often not until mid or late May.
By this stage soil temperatures (currently fluctuating between 21 and 24º) have plummeted to around 13ºC. 
At this level, the growth of warmth-loving plants such as hibiscus, gardenias, along with citrus and other sub-tropicals virtually comes to a standstill.

In the garden this weekend

It will soon be too late to establish sub-tropical fruit trees in the garden. 
With Easter in mind, consider preparing the garden this weekend for growing avocadoes (Hass), bananas (Lady Fingers), mango (Bowen) or maybe guavas, feijoas and passionfruit.

Our tomato season survey ready to go

How was your tomato crop this season?
Unlike last summer, there were no damaging heat waves.
But cool conditions during spring resulted in a host of growing problems, including poor fruit set, slow ripening and small fruit.
On the other hand, the lack of heat waves during summer also encouraged many gardeners to grow a late season crop.
Either way, if you grew tomatoes this season we would like your feedback – regardless of whether your crops were successful or a disappointment.
Our aim is to help identify the key elements that contribute to a successful tomato harvest.
The survey will conclude on Monday, April 12 with results published in Good Gardening  on Friday, April 16 and summarised on Saturday's ABC Radio TalkBack Gardening on Saturday, April 17.,

You can complete the survey here »

Citrus gall wasp – it’s time to check 

It’s time to start checking citrus trees, particularly lemons and grapefruit for signs of the damaging citrus gall wasp. 
Look for small, cylinder-like raised lumps (galls) on recently produced pencil thin branches. 
Each gall contains dozens of minute larvae that will emerge as wasps early in spring. 
Removing the galls by pruning is still an effective and practical method of controlling this pest, providing there are only a few galls present and they are removed before the end of March.

Spring control more effective

Pruning during late autumn and winter to remove numerous galls is no longer recommended, as it is likely to stimulate soft new branch growth early in spring.
This soft growth is favoured by the citrus gall wasp when it lays its eggs during mid spring.
Spraying trees just before wasp emergence in spring with Kaolin Clay is now recommended.

We will keep you informed when it is time to spray.

Peace, serenity hallmarks of this garden

A unique Zen-inspired garden, designed to harmonise with a recent Japanese-style extension to the house, is one of 12 professionally-designed landscapes which will be open to the public during the SA Landscape Festival on the weekend of April 10 and 11.
The tranquil yet stimulating space creates a beautiful entrance, as well as offering alluring views from both inside and out.
Planting is restrained but a feature is the stunning cloud-pruned trees and the clusters of meticulously-clipped topiary domes.
Carefully-positioned rocks, several pots and a small water bowl, all featured in traditional Japanese gardens, add to the ambience.

Hedgehogs Gardens – Stirling ‘Zen’ Garden »

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

Pool a perfect fit in a tight garden space

A decked alfresco and a striking backlit privacy screen catch the eye, but it is the infinity-edged swimming pool with its shimmering water and striking black-tiled walls that takes centre stage in this compact back garden.
The designer has used the challenging access and existing levels to their advantage and the wet edge pool is constructed partially above ground, creating visual impact from both inside and outside the home.
Precise planning has maximised the space and created a relaxing, private retreat.
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.

Yardstick Landscapes – Glenelg North »

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

More information and the  SA Landscape Festival program
and ticket purchase here »

Learn how a professional
landscaper can help you »


Putting bloomers on display over Easter

Colourful “bloomers” are long-lasting, colourful plants in small cell packs, carefully grown so they are already flowering when you buy them.
Given a little tender loving care, they will provide brilliant colour for your courtyard, patio or outdoor living area over many weeks.

Our Easter edition next week

Good Gardening's Easter weekend edition will be published a day early, on Thursday, April 1.
Feature plantsof the week
Perfect Harmony

Roses ready for winter delivery

Roses in many gardens are now producing a magnificent autumn display.
However, at Knights Roses the focus right now is on preparing a range of new varieties for delivery in the winter season ahead.
Their selection includes: 

Perfect Harmony

Like its name suggests, this rose is in perfect harmony with itself and surroundings.
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 throughout the growing season.

Pink Moon

Pink Moon is a vigorous and free-flowering Hybrid Tea rose with very fragrant pink double blooms.
Once in a “Pink Moon” a rose of this calibre is discovered.
With the all-time favourite “Blue Moon” being a parent, we know this rose will also be outstanding.
Beautiful, slender pointed buds open into bright vivid pink, strongly fragrant blooms on robust, lengthy stems. These are ideal for cutting.
Pink Moon produces a vigorous, upright, free-flowering bush with mid green, lush foliage.

Both roses can be pre-ordered now for delivery during the 2021 winter.
Knight's Roses
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.
Pink Moon

Ficus Green Island a versatile option

Ficus Green Island has to be the ultimate as an evergreen, easy-care, grow-anywhere garden shrub.
This compact member of the fig family produces a dense canopy of round, glossy green leaves.
It is both hardy and drought tolerant, not over-vigorous, but happy to grow in either full sun or semi shade.
Ficus Green Island can be clipped and used in the garden as a hedge or low border, grown in courtyards as topiary or in containers.
It also looks great featured as an indoor plant.
When grown in the garden, prune lightly once or twice a year to keep the canopy compact.
Provide an occasional deep watering during the warmer weather and apply a slow release fertiliser early in spring.
Height – around 2 m but this is a shrub that can be clipped and kept at whatever height you need.

Proven WinnersFicus Green Island 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.

Trailing pansies for groundcover, baskets

Trailing pansies have a spreading growth habit, as opposed to the traditional upright growth of most pansies.
You can trim them to promote branching but they will continue to spread.
Flower size is a little smaller than the larger, blooming pansies.
However, the trailing/ spreading growth habit of these plants makes them perfect for hanging baskets or as spreading ground covers.
This spreading habit means you can plant them much further apart –  25 to 30 cm spacing is recommended.
It also means fewer plants – and less of your time spent planting!
The colour range includes shades of yellow, rose, blue, red/orange and white.

Trailing pansies 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. Look for the distinctive purple cell paks.

Home-grown garlic is great

Now, while the ground is still warm, is an ideal time to start growing garlic.
  • Garlic thrives in full sun and grows best in fertile soil that must be well drained.
  • Individual cloves of garlic should be planted with the tip of the thin end level with the surface.
  • Before planting incorporate a balanced fertiliser with a relatively high phosphorus level into the soil.

This is how it grows

Garlic produces very short, fibrous roots beneath a thin platform that supports clumps of individual cloves.
These are held together by a thin, papery skin. 
The resulting bulb also produces a number of thin strap-like leaves. It’s worth noting the size of the bulb at harvest and in particular the size of individual cloves is very dependent on the number of leaves formed by the end of winter. 
To produce plenty of leaves before winter, plant early.

Effective weed control for Buffalo lawns

Home gardeners now have an effective herbicide to control broad-leaf weeds that grow in Buffalo lawns.
Buffalo Pro Weed 'n Feed is produced by Yates and is readily available from most garden outlets.
While Buffalo grass produces an attractive, hard-wearing, drought-tolerant lawn, it is easily damaged by most of the weedicides currently available for controlling broad leaf lawn weeds.
These include dandelions, clover, thistles and Bindi.
Buffalo Pro Weed 'n Feed contains MCPA and Bromoxynil, two chemicals that effectively control most broad leaf weeds without harming Buffalo grass.
It also contains nitrogen and iron, two elements that are very effective in promoting lush, dark green grass.
The liquid formula doesn’t need mixing or diluting – all you need to do is attach it to a hose and start spraying. The container also has an on/off switch for easy application
Buffalo Pro is also safe to use on other common lawn grasses.

More information »
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Big selection of leafy salad greens   

It’s surprising how many different types of leafy “greens” are now available as seedlings from your local garden centre.
The good news – they all adapt readily to container growing.
Because you are continually harvesting the outer leaves, before the plants grow to their normal size, it is possible to plant them quite close together.
The secret to harvesting fresh tasting leaves is to keep the plants growing at a steady pace i.e. a fortnightly application of half-strength liquid fertiliser.
At the same time make sure the plants are never stressed through lack of water.

Check these out: non-hearting lettuce, Asian greens , baby spinach, rocket, mizuna.

Safe organic insecticide for broad control

eco-neem is a certified organic insecticide that controls a broad range of both chewing and sap-sucking pests.
The list includes caterpillars, grasshoppers, curl grubs, aphids, whitefly, mealybugs and more. You can even use it indoors to control those pesky fungus gnats!
Importantly, eco-neem is safe for bees and other beneficial insects.
The two main actions involve suppression of insect appetite (they starve to death) and restricting growth (unable to moult successfully).
Plant damage stops as soon as the insect ingests eco-neem but insect death may take several days, depending on their size and type.

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

Try growing carrots

Carrots are easily grown, very hardy and full of health-giving vitamin C.
They can also be harvested at different stages of growth.
Carrots grow best in deep, well-worked, stone-free soil, especially if the longer-rooted types are grown.
However, they are also available as small and short-rooted types – ideal for container growing.

. . . or maybe dwarf sugar snap peas                 

Dwarf sugar snap peas planted now should be producing a reasonable harvest in 6 to 8 weeks.
Follow this with a further planting in 4 to 6 weeks, if you would like a regular supply of sweet tender edible pods.
This is a great first crop for kids, as the seeds germinate quickly, the plants make rapid growth and they usually love picking and eating the pods.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns
Lawn in shade

What lawn is best for a shady garden?

South Australia’s popular drought-hardy lawns all thrive in the sun.
But what to do when you would like to grow a lawn but the garden is mostly shady.
It's a question that is regularly posed to turf consultant Stefan Palm.
In this week’s lawn blog Stefan comments on key issues, such as how to identify how much shade you have and what is the reason for wanting a lawn.
He also provides sound advice on the shade tolerance of different lawn varieties and the other factors you need to consider, particularly the kind of wear and tear it is likely to be subjected to.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Don’t waste those early autumn leaves        

Over the next few weeks the ground in many gardens will be strewn with the leaves of ornamental deciduous trees.
Don’t let them blow in the wind or be wasted, as they can be gathered and used to make excellent compost or alternatively used as garden mulch.

Watch the moisture on evergreens          

Lack of late autumn rains means the soil in many gardens is now very dry.
While evergreen trees and shrubs should not be overstimulated with water (or fertiliser), make sure the soil around their roots is kept adequately moist.

Act soon on apricot dieback   

If you are wondering when to remove apricots branches affected by limb dieback or gummosis, do it soon, certainly well before winter.
The fungus spores responsible for this disease enter the tree through pruning cuts made just before or soon after a late autumn or winter rain.
Branch removal and, if needed, pruning during late summer and early autumn will reduce the likelihood of tree infection.
Infected branches should be removed at least 30 cm below an affected area.
Make sure all infected limbs and small branches are removed from the garden.

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, 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 »

Open Gardens SA

Saturday & Sunday, March 27 & 28Open Gardens
94 Day Terrace, West Croydon
An oasis for the soul with garden rooms and special spaces. Churston offers a mix of cottage colour, classical style, fruit and vegetable production intermingled with creative ideas and artistic whimsy.
More information on the garden and directions »

The Post and Rail
7 Bill James Court, Compton (in Mt Gambier)
A special focus is on productive gardening and preserving the harvest. The picturesque five-acre rural property has peaceful views of rolling hills and a pine tree plantation.
More information on the garden and directions »

Sunday, March 28
Beaumont House
631 Glynburn Road, Beaumont
This country-style, heritage-listed garden provides many good examples of tough, heat loving shrubs and perennials. The vegetable and herb garden has had a makeover and this autumn will feature a scarecrow standing guard over a giant pumpkin patch.
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.

Faunature ecologist, James Smith will launch a special  “Attracting wildlife to your garden” competition.
This is a photographic competition, designed  to find out what gardeners are doing to attract wildlife back into their gardens.

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
Autumn in the garden means bulb planting!
Tulips, irises, daffodils, hyacinth, allium & crocus are just some of the stunning beauties that are now available.

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 – 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
While we might be in the throes of autumn, now is the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs. 
Great selection available in store and ready for planting.  Complemented of course, by bulb fertiliser, baskets and bulb planters.  See you in store soon.

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

Coming soon

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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