From Jon Lamb Communications
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Weekend gardening weather
August 12, 2016

End of winter on the horizon

This week's spell of relatively fine weather – including  22° C on Monday – is just what is needed to restore and re-stimulate interest in gardening.
And with further fine weather to come, you can expect many plants in your garden will soon  break their winter dormancy.

Feed me time – now

Surveys indicate most home gardeners wait until after bud burst to fertilise their fruit trees.
On the other hand commercial fruit growers fertilise their trees before bud burst.
This allows time for the fertiliser to be converted into available plant nutrients ready to stimulate new spring growth and benefit fruit set.
If you are growing fruit trees maybe it’s time for a change.

Simple guide to feeding

Assuming you have healthy, mature fruit trees that bear reasonable crops, consider applying the following:
  • 3 to 5 kg of quality pelletised chicken manure or
  • 1 to 1.5 kg of complete garden fertiliser.
Many gardeners choose to use a half rate of both.
A similar application should be made soon after fruit harvest or very early in autumn.

Great splashes of colour

Most garden centres are starting to receive supplies of “new season” releases.
If you’re looking for colour try the “African” series of arctotis. These plants produce large daisy-like flowers in a range of vivid colours and they are not invasive.
Another colourful daisy worth considering at this time of the year is the osteospermum particularly the 3D and Elite series. (Pictured above is Elite Magic).
Both are the results of new breeding techniques that result in a greater number of flowering stems over an extended period.
Feature product of the week

About seaweed solutions

Seasol is derived from a blend of the finest brown kelps from around the world.
These are not harvested from living stands, but sustainably sourced from storm-cast material collected from the remote southern ocean shores of Tasmania and parts of the North Atlantic.
These seaweeds contain a wide range of plant nutrients, trace elements, alginic acids and other bioactive compounds.
Their role is to promote healthy roots on plants, encourage beneficial soil micro organisms, stimulate flowering and fruiting and help plants cope with stressors like heat, drought and frost as well as pest and disease attack.

More information here »

Healthy start for bare rooted roses

Take care not to let the root system of bare rooted roses dry out before planting.
Just before establishing, soak the plant's root system in a Seasol solution. Repeat weekly throughout the growing season.
This will encourage root initiation and the development and promotion of both strong  growth and healthy flowers.

Cold-tolerant plants worth planting

Australian native plants, along with camellias, azaleas and other hardy winter or early spring flowering evergreens should be planted soon.
These all have good tolerance to cold weather and if planted soon they will establish a strong, vigorous root system well before summer.

Violets with no blooms

If your African violets have stopped flowering, it may be lack of light.
These plants need very bright light for at least 10 hours a day.
Another common cause is a buildup of acidity caused by regular fertilising. Try adding half a teaspoon of superphosphate to each plant and water it in well.

Camellia buds dropping

Sometimes the buds on healthy camellia bushes drop just before they should bloom.
Although this is natural for a few varieties it often means there are too many buds on the bush.
Next year remember to thin excess buds early in autumn (or earlier) while they are still very small.

Repotting orchids

Cymbidium orchids that have outgrown their container should be repotted as soon as the last flowering spike has died down.
If the plants did not flower, and the clump is congested consider repotting or dividing in the next few weeks.
Use a chunky bark or very coarse potting mix to ensure good drainage.
Balhannah Nurseries

Dwarf pears – now available

It’s taken some time but the first dwarf pear varieties have just been released and should be available at your local garden centre.
While pears normally produce very large trees, special dwarfing root stocks result in trees 3 to 3.5 m high.
The two popular varieties released include:

Duchess (Williams). Produces large, sweet, buttery fruits in early to mid February. (Self fertile). Pictured at left.

Sensation (Red Duchess). Similar flavour to Duchess but with very attractive rich red fruits and leaves. (Self fertile). Pictured at right.

More information here »


To contain the growth of vigorous pear tree branches, try tying them down so they are horizontal.
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

When moss and algae become an issue

Moss and algae compete for space with the lawn at the soil surface level and most times they successfully win the battle, out-competing your lawn.
Moss and algae are often present in cold, shady, damp areas during winter and frequently cause major problems in poorly drained soils.
Both are easy to control but measures should be taken as soon as you notice the problem.
Improving drainage will often improve the situation (i.e. on heavy soils spread gypsum).
If possible increase direct sunlight. You may also like to try an application of a moss and algae killer such as Velvas.

More information here »

Preparing for a new lawn

August is a good time to start preparing the ground if you intend to establish a new lawn from seed during spring.
Dig the ground, incorporate coarse sand if necessary, add fertiliser and rake the area smooth, but don’t sow the lawn seed. Wait until a crop of weeds has germinated and kill these by hoeing lightly just before you are ready to sow.

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 Jon Lamb a call on ABC 891's Saturday morning Talkback Gardening  or speak to the experts at your local garden centre.

Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14
Camellias South Australia annual show.
Saturday 12 noon to 4:30 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 4:30 PM.
Free admission to the show and the grounds of Carrick Hill.
Carrick Hill, 46 Carrick Hill Drive, Springfield.

No Talkback Gardening tomorrow

There is no Talkback Gardening tomorrow morning – enjoy the ABC 891 Olympics coverage.

However, you can read Jon Lamb’s Saturday gardening column in tomorrow's Advertiser – it’s all about growing camellias from cuttings.
Saturday Talkback Gardening will resume on August 27.

Podcast download
Catch up with the latest and recent podcasts
of ABC Local Radio 891 Saturday Talkback Gardening here »

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.

Copyright © 2016 Jon Lamb Communications, All rights reserved.

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