From Jon Lamb Communications
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October 18, 2019

Quick action needed to control citrus gall wasp

Citrus growers will need to hurry if they are to protect their trees from citrus gall wasp.
As reported in the Good Gardening newsletter last week the wasps were expected to begin emerging from overwintering galls this week and continue to emerge over the next 4 weeks.
After emerging the wasps will begin laying eggs immediately into new seasons citrus growth. However, egg laying can be reduced significantly by spraying trees before the wasps emerge, with kaolin clay (sold as Vasilis Citrus Gall Wasp Spray, available from many garden centres). Horticultural oil can also be used but is not as effective as kaolin clay. A follow-up application of either material two weeks after the initial emergence date is recommended.

Wasp emergence dates

The wasps began emerging from their over-wintering galls on October 16th; will reach a peak around November 6th; with the final wasps emerging mid-November.

Avoid insecticides

Insecticides should not be used to control citrus gall wasps as they are likely to have a devastating effect on beneficial insects, particularly those known to control citrus gall wasp.
Entomologists also advise gardeners not to use insect lures and sticky traps as again they are likely to destroy beneficial insects. It is also likely the wasps will have mated and laid their eggs before being trapped.

Healthy tomatoes

Young tomato plants should be growing rapidly at the moment.  Keep them disease free by spraying with wettable sulphur or dusting with a garden dust containing sulphur every 2-3 weeks.  This early protection will help prevent many of the problems that bring plants to a premature end while they are cropping, including mites.

Hand watering tomatoes still preferred

Despite the many advances in irrigation technology and a rapidly growing market for watering products, hoses, hand wands and buckets are still the preferred method of watering tomatoes. Last season 52% of respondents indicated that was how their crops were watered.  
However the use of drip irrigation is gaining in popularity (32%) along with micro sprays (10%). A further 6% relied on overhead sprinklers. 

... but drip irrigation provides big benefits

One of the most important and probably least understood benefits of using drip irrigation is its ability to place moisture around the plant’s roots – which is exactly where it is needed.  This eliminates the need to water the ground between the plants, resulting in a considerable reduction in the amount of water needed.

Take care when buying seedlings

Be careful when buying seedlings at the moment. There is an oversupply of some lines, particularly tomatoes and the quality of some plants leaves a lot to be desired.
Avoid thin, lanky plants and think twice if you can see lots of roots poking through the container drainage holes.
These will receive a setback when planted out and are likely to become stressed during hot weather. Consider soaking seedlings in a seaweed solution before planting out.

Changing beds worth considering

Be aware – growing the same crop in exactly the same location in your raised garden bed can quickly result in a build-up of damaging soil diseases.
The answer is to change the crop rows each year i.e. from fruiting crops such as tomatoes, capsicums and egg fruit to leafy crops including cabbage, lettuce and silver beet.
Feature plant

Elite Solstice Pelargoniums – better than grandma grew

Remember those great pelargoniums grandma used to grow. Well, Ellite Solstice pelargoniums (with clever breeding) are even better.
Elite Solstice pelargoniums produce masses of azalea-style blooms that appear in spring time and continue late into autumn. The colours include vibrant tones of reds, pinks and mauve.
All of the Elite Solstice range have large lush leaves but the bushes are neat and compact, making them ideal for growing in pots or planted as garden borders. These plants are very drought tolerant although they will not have as many flowers under prolonged stress.
More information and pictures here.

Pelargonium Solstice are available from good garden centres.

Managing stress to control Elm Leaf Beetle      

Experience over the past eight years indicates elm leaf beetles are most likely to attack trees that are stressed. In SA the most likely cause of stress is lack of subsoil moisture.
If elm trees are to remain healthy and not send out signals to elm leaf beetles that they are under stress, through lack of moisture, a change of thinking is needed. 
Regular supplementary watering is required. 

Distorted topiary       

Dwarf Lilly pillies (syzygiums) make great topiary plants but keep a close look out for signs of leaf pimpling or leaf distortion. 
This is caused by a sap-sucking psyllid.  It is easily controlled by spraying the leaves with the low-toxic systemic insecticide, Confidor, after the trees have stopped flowering. 
This should provide 12 months protection. 
Pushing one or two Confidor tablets into the potting mix at the first sign of leaf distortion is also effective.
If you are thinking of planting lilly pillies, check out the growing number of varieties that now have excellent resistance to this particular insect.
Irrigation Guide

Where to use standard non-compensating drippers

Standard non-compensating drippers are characterised by having a fixed turbulent flow path through the dripper. Their output flow performance varies depending upon the inlet pressure of the dripper.
They are simple in operation and generally provide the widest flow path when compared to pressure compensating drippers. This makes them ideal for low pressure situations such as gravity pressure off water tanks.
They have no moving parts or elastomers as found in PC drippers which give them excellent long-term operation.

Antelco Agri Drip™ Classic Non-compensating dripper range

A sealed turbulent flow path dripper that provides consistent and uniform performance at an economical price.

  • Colour Coded Bases for easy identification
  • (Red - 2 lph, Grey - 4 lph, Green - 8 lph).
  • Positive barb connection to suit 4 mm ID micro tube or direct connection to supply tubing.
  • Constructed of UV resistant plastic for long life.
To find your nearest Antelco distributor click here.

Caterpillars getting stuck into veges      

Beware, green and multi-coloured caterpillars are feasting greedily on many vegetable crops.  Small numbers can be removed by hand.  If spraying is needed, use Success Ultra or Dipel. Both are non-toxic insecticides.

Overfeeding citrus      

If the new leaves on your citrus trees are starting to curl on the edges and on inspection there are fine silvery lines through the leaves, you have probably been heavy handed with the fertiliser.  The damage is being caused by citrus leaf miner, a very small caterpillar that lives within the leaf tissues but normally only causes problems when the trees are being over-stimulated with too much fertiliser.
Removing affected leaves is the only action needed early in the season.

House plant selection          

Plants with variegated leaves have greater appeal and are more useful when it comes to interior decorating. 
But there is less green in the leaves to react with the light. 
These plants are best used in brightly lit rooms or placed as close as possible to a window. 
Those that do well as indoor plants include the variegated Devils Ivy or Pothos (Scindapsus), Arrow Head (Syngonium) and variegated forms of Dracanea and Aglaonema.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm

Looking for advice on lawns?

What do you do when managing the lawn and you come across a problem you can’t solve?
After 40 years of providing expert lawn advice the team of consultants at Paul Munns Instant Lawn are still providing a free (six day) advisory service.
As turf advisor Stefan Palm points out, whether the problem involves selecting the right type of lawn, fertilizing, mowing, coming to grips with insects, weeds or disease; in fact any information you need for your lawn, his team of consultants is sure to come up with the right answer.
This week’s Lawn Blog »

Find out more about the history of the Munns company »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

New from Seasol: Plant + Soil Booster 

Plant + Soil Booster is a rich blend of ready to use pelletised nutrients to promote healthy growth, flowering and fruiting.
It contains a rich source of natural ingredients including seaweed and compost – ideal for boosting the growth of all plants including Australian natives.
Plant + Soil Booster is ideal for using throughout the year. Right now it will  boost newly established plants as well as their growth throughout the season.
Because flowering and fruiting are boosted, you can expect bumper crops.
In addition the added seaweed will stimulate root development and help plants cope with seasonal stresses.
Simply mix pellets into the topsoil or through the backfill soil when planting and remember to water it in thoroughly. The pellets break down slowly over time. Apply every 6-8 weeks or as needed.
For more information »

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 – phone me and Deb Tribe on 1300 222 891 and have your own gardening question answered.

Feature topic: Begonias – ideal colour plants for shady courtyard gardens.
Guest: Val Hendy – Secretary of the Begonia Society of South Australia. 
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.

SA Chrysanthemum Society annual plant sale
10 Lucknow St, Marleston SA, 10 am to 2pm.

Secateurs Community Garden Open Day
Waverley House, St Andrews Hospital, 350 South Terrace, Adelaide. 10am to 1pm.

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.

Saturday & Sunday, October 19, 20
Burra Spring Garden Expo and Open Gardens
More information:  Expo »    Open Gardens »

Open GardensOpen Gardens

Saturday & Sunday, October 19 & 20
68 Strangways Terrace, North Adelaide
Pitcairn sits on a quiet corner in North Adelaide wrapped around by the borrowed landscape of the Parklands beyond.  It is an adaption of a classic old garden to meet contemporary needs and easy maintenance.
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 2019 season »

Weekend gardening weather

Coming soon

Saturday,  October 26
SA Chrysanthemum Society annual plant sale, second day
10 Sutherland Place, Golden Grove, SA, 11am to 2pm

Botanic Gardens workshop
Carnivorous plants – The fascinating world
Adelaide Botanic Garden
Tickets here »

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, October 27
Fern Avenue, Community Garden Open Day
18 to 20 Fern Avenue, Fullarton.
11am to 3pm. Free entry.

Saturday & Sunday, November 2 and 3
Bromeliad Society Spring Show and Sales Extravaganza
Maltese Cultural Centre, 6 Jeanes Street, Beverley.
Saturday 9am to 3pm, Sunday 10am to 3pm, Free entry.
Saturday, November 2
African Violet Association of SA, Open Day
Western Youth Centre, 79 Marion Road, Cowandilla.
Sunday, November 3
Herb Society of SA, Herb Day Market
Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton.
10am to 3pm. Free admission and parking.

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 »

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 »

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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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