From Jon Lamb Communications
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December 18, 2020
Good Gardening will be taking a Christmas break.
Our next newsletter will be published on Friday, January 8.

Fruit harvest bonanza for good gardeners

SA’s home garden fruit harvest is now underway and for many it looks like it could be a bonanza.
Early-maturing apricots, including the recently released variety Fireball, are ripening well and many gardeners are reporting better than expected crops of early-season cherries, particularly the new self fertile dwarf variety, Sir Don.
Relatively dry conditions during September certainly favoured fruit set, while above-average rains through October encouraged early fruit development.
Subsequent rains have been below average, but this has helped to keep fungal diseases to a minimum.
Fruit growing gardeners who keep their trees well watered in the run-up to harvest are sure to be rewarded.

But – beware of fruit fly

Having experienced one of the worst years on record for fruit fly and with eight suburban fruit fly outbreaks still current – fruit fly manager for PIRSA, Nick Secomb is asking gardeners to remain vigilant.
This week’s hot weather has been ideal for fruit fly activity.
There are currently huge quantities of overripe cherry plums on the ground in many suburbs and Nick believes these could act as a strong attractant to any fruit flies in the area.
Meanwhile, PIRSA is maintaining its major fruit fly eradication program. This involves the release of many millions of sterile fruit flies into suburban areas, as well as property inspections.

You can monitor current fruit fly outbreaks here »
Fruit hygiene: Ripe fruit that falls on the ground should be removed immediately and consigned to green waste disposal bins.

Small rolls of white shade cloth now available

It’s taken long enough to happen but it’s now possible to buy 50% white shade cloth in small rolls from hardware-type garden outlets and some garden centres.
The shade cloth available in 1.8 X 5 metre rolls ($40) is just what’s needed to protect newly established garden plants from inevitable spikes of heat.

It’s not too late to plant tomatoes

Try planting out three or four well established tomato seedlings during the Christmas break. 
In most seasons, planting early in January is very successful.
If possible, establish these plants at the beginning of a cool spell and early in the evening. 
They may need to be shaded for the first week.  However, once established growth will be rapid.
Healthy bushes should be fruiting in late February and during March, when harvest from early plantings has often come to an end.

Watering problems solved with a two-step tap timer

If you are wondering what to give an enthusiastic gardener who loves growing vegetables or plants in containers but doesn’t really have enough time to keep them well watered – consider buying them a two-step tap timer.
These are great as they are battery-operated and only have two settings – one that controls how often you operate the system and a second that determines how long.
How often – Every hour, two hours etc or every day, two days etc
How long – From one minute to 24 hours per run
Benefit - Low cost, ($30-$50) easy to install and set, suitable for drip irrigation, shrublers or sprinklers.
Feature plantsof the week

Zinnias so easy to grow

Zinnias with their colourful blooms are a great choice for summer gardens, particularly first-time flower gardeners.
Zinnias grow quickly, they are ever so reliable and don’t need very much maintenance.
They look especially beautiful when you plant your seedlings among a mix of flowers such as dahlias, marigolds, asters, petunias and other annuals that love the warm sunny days of summer.
Easy Colour suggest you plant your zinnias in an area that will get at least 6 hours of sun each day and where there is well-drainined soil.
Frequent cutting of spent blooms encourages many varieties to re-bloom constantly over many weeks.
Zinnias grown by Easy Colour are available in Cherry, Fire, Gold, and Red & White.
You will find them in the distinctive Easy Colour purple 4 cell pack.
Easy Colour
Zinnias are in stock at Heynes Garden Centre, Norwood , Semaphore Pets & Gardens and Barrow & Bench, Malvern and should be available at other good gardening centres.

Beating the heat with colourful Bambinos

Dwarf Bambino bougainvilleas with their brilliant colours and long-lasting flower bracts are changing the way home gardeners are using these sun-loving favourites.
While Bambino bougainvilleas are small (1 to 1.5 m) they still have plenty of vigour, making them ideal colour plants for container growing on the patio or courtyard, or maybe producing masses of colour when planted in a sunny part of the garden.
However, they can also be trimmed occasionally to produce a small hedge or espalier.
The colour of the flower bracts varies from the deepest of reds and purples through shades of pinks, yellow and white.
Bambino bougainvilleas  are easy to grow. While they need a sunny position for maximum flowering they will also colour well in semi shade.
They grow in most soils, providing it drains freely and flowering can be increased by keeping the plants on the dry side.
Bambinos are troubled by few pests and diseases.

Proven WinnersBambino bougainvilleas are in stock at Heyne's Garden Centre, Norwood, Semaphore Pets & Gardens and Barrow & Bench, Malvern and should be available at other good gardening centres.

Quick check needed for Christmas plants

If you receive an indoor or garden plant for Christmas, check immediately to see whether it needs watering.
If the potting mix looks dry, soak the plant in a bucket of water. 
Then, place it where it will receive reasonable light but not direct sunlight. 
Plants destined to grow in full sun that have been indoors in poor light for a while must be reacclimatised for at least a week.
Place outdoors in a shaded position where the light is as bright as possible.

Trolley handy for moving large pot plants

How many gardeners do you know who would love to be able to move their container plants from one location to another – without lifting?
Check out the latest low-cost plant “caddies” or trolleys.
These are basically strong metal or hardened plastic frames on wheels – great when the season changes and you need to protect sensitive plants from the sun.

Guardian Angel Rose

This is a beautiful, off-white shrub rose with excellent fragrance on a well -shaped bush that carries many buds on each stem.
The elegant cup-shaped flowers have over 40 soft petals that appear as soft pearl white, with a pale apricot centre in autumn.
Good disease resistance. Very easy to maintain.
Guardian Angel rose supports the Bears of Hope Foundation.
Pre-orders open for 2021
Favourite Roses make ideal gifts – particularly at Christmas time.Knight's Roses
You can pre-order now, with the bushes being dispatched during winter 2021. Knights will send you a gift certificate for presentation on Christmas Day. or   Phone (08) 85 231 311.
Knight's monthly newsletter »
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Treat your plants to a cooling mist

While planning last-minute Christmas gifts for family and friends, why not treat yourself to a  ‘snap-onto hose’, hand operated watering gun - that has a misting setting  as well as the standard shower and squirting outlets.
On hot days use the gun to mist plants growing in the shade, particularly those in containers. 
Misting quickly reduces leaf temperatures and significantly increases humidity around the plants.
However, unlike showering plants it does not result in over-watering – the Achilles’ heel of many gardens during hot weather.

Fruit tree labels that last

The problem of remembering the names of different fruit tree varieties growing in your garden has been solved.
Three enterprising Adelaide Hills brothers are now producing long lasting, attractive, hard wearing, engraved (not painted) fruit tree labels for all fruit tree varieties grown by Balhannah Fruit Nurseries
The labels are oval in shape and come with a hole in the top of the label to allow it to be attached to the side limb of a new tree with a zip tie.
Later when the branch expands the label can be nailed loosely to the trunk.
The labels cover the complete range of fruit tree varieties grown by Balhannah Fruit Nurseries and sold through garden centres in SA.
Labels can also be produced for other varieties of fruit trees or roses by special order.
The labels cost between $5 and $6 and can be ordered through most garden centres.
However, they are already on the shelf at Misty Creek garden centre (Mount Barker), Adelaide Tree Farm (Carey Gully), Karkoo Nursery (Blackwood) or McLaren Vale Mitre 10.
A great gift idea.

Order  forms can be obtained by email »

Premium locally grown stock from Balhannah Nurseries are available now.
Look out for the green bag. It's Balhannah Nurseries' guarantee of a premium fruit tree.

Try growing edible ornamental chillies

SA gardeners have been quick to try the latest wave of edible ornamental chillies.
They look most attractive when covered in fruit that remains ornamental right through the summer and well into autumn. 
Alternatively, the fruits can be harvested either one at a time or in batches to be incorporated into a culinary delight.
Be aware each variety has its own particular flavour and a degree of heat ranging from sweet and mild to hot, severe and even catastrophic.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

The benefits of using organic lawn fertiliser

When it comes to fertilising the lawn there is more to the story than keeping the grass green.
Most gardeners are familiar with the instant “greening” results they see when the lawn is fertilised with a mineral fertiliser such as Greenkeeper or Emerald Green.
However, turf consultant Stefan Palm believes it is just as important to consider the many benefits that flow from incorporating an organic fertiliser into your maintenance program.
In this week’s lawn blog Stefan discusses these benefits and explains why organic fertiliser should be used right now –  in a three-part seasonal program.
More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Bowls of fresh salad leaves

Imagine a big bowl of garden-fresh salad leaves picked, blended and ready to serve only a few minutes before they are eaten.
That’s what’s on offer when you grow your own gourmet lettuce and salad leaf combinations, now available at your local garden centre.
Garden salad leaves are simply leafy vegetables such as non-hearting lettuce, combined with a range of edible soft-leafed plants with tasty, peppery or distinctive flavours. 
The list includes mizuna, radicchio, mustard red, sorrel, baby beet leaves and more. 
These are often available as combo packs, where you can buy seedling punnets containing a combination of different salad leaf types.

So easy to grow: All of these salad lines adapt well to raised beds or containers. They are harvested over many weeks by continually removing the outer leaves.

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 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.

Looking back on the gardening year 2020 with garden centre manager and horticulturalist, Brett Draper, and garden writer and historian, Trevor Nottle.

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
We have a selection of textural, foliage interesting succulent! A special gift for the succulent lover or hoarder. Great teachers gift? 🎁 Pick up from in store... order online & we’ll have it ready & wrapped for you to pick up.
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
There is so much Christmas colour arrived at Semaphore Pets & Garden. We are surrounded by poinsettias, Christmas vincas, and Christmas petunias.
Get your Christmas spirit here! We have just got Afterpay, so pop on down and spoil yourself!

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
Open everyday until Christmas.  From our family to yours we wish you a safe & happy Christmas, and we look forward to welcoming you into our garden centre in the new year.
Specialises in providing quality plants and expert garden advice. Follow the Instagram feed »
Weather forecasts

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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