From Jon Lamb Communications
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August 21, 2020

A dose of winter yellows hits SA gardens

Adelaide gardens are suffering from a severe case of winter yellows.
After such a cold and, at times, wet winter the leaves on trees and shrubs in many gardens have lost their dark green lustre and are now pale green or yellow.
This is a classic indicator of hidden hunger and is usually linked to a lack of nutrients back in autumn when the plants should have been busy storing enough energy to get them through winter.

Quick fix needed

The quickest way to fix winter yellows is to spray the leaves with a liquid soluble fertiliser, as they contain a balanced blend of nutrients, including trace elements and are designed to be absorbed directly into the plants leaves and also their roots.
But this is a temporary fix only, as the amount of nutrients that can be taken up by plants through their leaves is relatively small.
The effect of this application will be short-lived.

Soluble fertilisers include Yates Flower+Fruit Soluble Fertiliser »

Fruit trees will need fertiliser soon

Meanwhile, waste no time checking out your supplies of fruit tree fertiliser for the coming season.
Many gardeners wait until mid or late spring before fertilising their garden.
However, it takes 2 to 3 weeks before either manufactured or organic fertilisers become available to the plants.
Fruit trees, particularly citrus, should be fertilised soon.

Alert issued for increased spring rain

La Nina alertThe likelihood of above-average spring rain increased this week, with the Bureau of Meteorology lifting its La Niña outlook from Watch to Alert.
La Niña typically results in cooler, cloudy days with above-average spring and summer rainfall.
The last significant La Niña event was in 2010-11, which was Australia’s wettest two-year period on record.
More information »
Brian Wagner's live pruning workshop at Balnaves Winery »

Not too late for pruning and planting roses

It may be late winter but it’s certainly not too late in the season to prune rose bushes or to plant bare rooted roses.
Pruning: In the Adelaide Hills and cooler districts many bushes are still dormant.
But in gardens where the bushes are starting to produce new growth, Brian Wagner from Wagner’s Rose Nursery believes it is important to carry out pruning as soon as possible.
If you would like some practical advice on pruning roses, take time out to view a rose pruning workshop presented recently by Brian. (Video above)

Planting: If you are planning on planting bare rooted roses but you are running a little late, you may find the buds have started to move.
In this situation Brian Wagner suggests WAagners Rose Nurserysoaking the entire plant (roots and stems) in water containing a liquid seaweed.
Brian has also provided a useful short video on “Planting bare rooted roses”. (Video below)
How to plant a new rose video
Planting a new rose bush : Brian Wagner's guide »

Black spot on roses

If our present showery weather persists don’t be surprised if rose bushes in many gardens are suddenly ravaged by black spot. 
Black spot fungal spores lurk in leaves and branches left over from the previous season. 
The spores need 8-10 hours of continuous wet weather to begin growing and, once established, many of the spores are spread by being splashed from one leaf to the next.
Spraying with copper – particularly liquid copper is recommended.
However, Triforine is often used as it is systemic, with the active ingredient being absorbed into the plant’s sap system. This allows it to be distributed into new growth.
However, early in the season rose bushes make very vigorous growth and will need to be retreated within a week to 10 days of spraying.
Feature plantsof the week

Inca Alstroemeria for long-lasting colour

There are not many perennial plants that flower for as long as Inca Alstroemerias.
The latest Incas are shorter than traditional varieties but the flowers are bigger (5 to 7 cm across) and more numerous.
The plants are extremely compact.
This makes them ideal for container growing or used in a colourful garden display.
Because of their vibrant foliage and upright blooms Inca Alstroemerias are a popular gift plant choice.
They can also be used for indoor decoration.
Inca Alstroemerias survive well during cold winters and adapt well to either full sun or semi shade.
Colours include Coral, Safari, Tirol, Replay, Husky and Lolly. Height 20 to 25 cm.

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

Bidens by name – bee friendly by reputation

If you are not familiar with Elite Bidens, take a close look at Bidens Elite Bee Boom Red Eye – it’s a real show-off.
The flowers are a vibrant yellow, but the inside of each petal is rich red.
Elite Bee Boom Red Eye also produces masses of blooms that smother the plant for most of the year, but particularly during the cooler months.
Elite Bee Boom Red Eye is a great pollinator plant, particularly for butterflies and bees.
Consider planting them around your veggie patch or close to fruit trees.
This is the perfect plant for low borders and rockeries or growing in pots and hanging baskets.
Plant in full sun to part shade and in well-drained soil.

Elite seriesElite Bee Boom Red Eye are in stock at Heynes Garden Centre, Norwood, Semaphore Pets & Gardens and Barrow & Bench, Malvern and should be available at other good gardening centres.
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It's a good time to divide perennials

Most flowering perennials grow happily undisturbed in the one spot for two or three years.
However, once they begin to lose their vigour it’s time to dig up their clumping roots system and break this it into chunky pieces.
But, before replanting make sure you improve the soil.
Add plenty of well-aged compost along with some quality organic fertiliser.
This action is important, as the old clump will have removed many of the nutrients from the soil. 
Additional pieces can be replanted in other sections of the garden, given away or swapped with friends.

Don’t overlook agapanthus

Agapanthus may not be everyone’s favourite but as garden gap filler they come into their own.
This almost indestructible perennial is quite happy in full sun or semi shade and tolerates virtually any kind of garden soil.
Rather than grow cast off plants from a neighbour’s garden, why not visit your local garden centre and take a look at the amazing range of dwarf and semi-dwarf cultivars now available in colours ranging through most shades of blue to snow white.

Is it trim time?

Towards the end of winter, topiary plants, hedges and particularly edging plants used to soften pathways, start to look a little ragged around the edges. 
In all three situations light trimming of over vigorous stem growth may be needed if the plants are to maintain an attractive shape through the growing season.

Vegetable aids to get an early start on spring

Why wait for spring?  With a little help from a few propagating aids designed specifically for home gardeners, you can start growing summer vegetables right now.
More information in my Advertiser gardening column, tomorrow.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

Big benefits when you core the lawn

Spring is just around the corner and it’s time to think seriously about planning and organising the essential tasks needed to make sure the lawn is in top condition for the season ahead.
While mowing and fertilising quickly come to mind, lawn advisor Stefan Palm believes there are big benefits in coring the lawn, particularly at this time of the year.
Stefan takes a detailed look at these benefits in this week’s lawn blog.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Late pruning – the pros and cons  

Deciduous fruit trees will not be harmed if they are pruned after bud burst.
But keep in mind the energy used to achieve bud burst on late-pruned branches will be wasted.
Give priority to stone fruits, as these will be the first to start growing in spring.
If peaches and nectarines are to fruit consistently they will still need pruning.
On the other hand, mature apricot, cherry and plum trees along with apples and pears can be left unpruned, as it will have little effect on this year’s fruiting potential.
Any reshaping needed can be carried out soon after harvest.
Be aware, most vines will bleed sap if they are pruned just before or during bud burst.
Because vines are normally very vigorous they will still need pruning.
This task is best carried out well after all the buds have burst.

Hit snails now to head off a spring invasion

SA’s current showery weather is ideal for slugs and snails. 
Consider reducing their numbers now, before they start breeding in the next few weeks – otherwise you will have an even bigger problem later in spring. 
It’s surprising how easy it is to keep numbers under control by trapping.  A board raised a few centimetres off the ground is very suitable. 
Place the board close to where they feed at night, gather and exterminate them in the morning.

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.

Talkback Gardening tomorrow

ABC 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.

Gardening aids for an early start to spring
Philip Smoult from Smoults Horticultural Supplies discusses the many propagating and plant growing aids now available for keen home gardeners  but which are not readily available from most garden centres.

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
Get some colour in the garden this summer with flowering bulbs! Now in stock!
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
Still, feeling the cold? Well so is your best mate! This week Semaphore Pets & Garden have all doggie jackets on sale. Buy one get one FREE of equal or lesser value.
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
Great assortment of potted deciduous fruit trees, including Ballarina apples available in store, along with stunning outdoor pots, beautiful urns and a selection of Rod Manning sculptures.
Specialises in providing quality plants and expert garden advice. Follow the Instagram feed »
Weather forecasts

Coming soon

Saturday & Sunday August 29 & 30
Riverland annual spectacular
Town Hall, Wilson Street, Berri.

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 available will be on the Australian Plants Society website the week before the sale »

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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