From Jon Lamb Communications
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May 24, 2019

Autumn ends next week

The end of autumn brings to a close a record hot, dry growing season – one that most gardeners will be happy to forget.
Over the next few weeks garden centre shelves will be stocked with an extensive range of deciduous trees (both fruiting and ornamental) as well as deciduous shrubs.
These will remain dormant through winter, although in SA we can expect root and bud movement in a number of plants by mid August.
Give planting priority to roses, hydrangeas, fuchsias, abelias, stone fruits and vines.

How to choose the best spot to plant

Most trees and shrubs dislike soils that drain poorly.
Clay soils can be improved considerably by spreading gypsum over the surface (1 kg/m²).
Alternatively, you can plant into a raised garden bed or into large containers filled with free-draining growing material.

Roses responding to late rain

Prepare yourself for a late rose pruning season.
Widespread rain earlier this month has stimulated heat-stressed rose bushes back into life.
In many gardens the bushes are now producing leaves and short branches, while near-dormant flower buds are starting to produce blooms.
Don’t be surprised if your bushes are still holding their leaves (and flowers) through July.
Regardless, rose pruning should be completed by the end of July.

Per Fyoom Perfume - the name of this rose says it all

The fragrant blooms on this glorious rose will wow you – scents of Victorian rose, Myrrh and apple blossom.
This is a multi award winning rose that has beautiful fairy floss pink petals and cupped shaped blooms. These hold well when cut and used in a flower arrangement.
The bushes produce healthy, medium-green, glossy foliage that complements their attractive blooms.
They also have excellent resistance to black spot and powdery mildew.
However, if what you are looking for is fragrance, you cannot go past this amazing rose, hence its name!

More information and online order details here »

Soggy leaves can make great mulch

Why not convert some of those soggy autumn leaves into a tailor-made blend of nutrient-rich mulch for use on your container plants next summer.
Take one large heap of soggy leaves, sprinkle liberally with chicken manure pellets or blood and bone and place loosely in large garbage bags. 
Make a few holes in the bags to increase aeration and store in a shady location. 
It should be ready to use as mulch by tomato planting time in late September.
Feature plant

Diascias for cool season colour

Twinspur Diascias are delightful, low growing, compact, mounding plants that really do smother themselves with small brightly coloured snapdragon like blooms through winter and spring.
The colours include Apple Blossom (pink), apricot, purple and orange, each with an interesting darker coloured throat.
Diascias are sun lovers and perform best in moist, free draining potting mix or garden soil.
They are ideal plants for growing in containers, particularly hanging baskets, and look great when spot planted alongside steps, pathways or mass planted in a small feature rockery.
The plants (15 x 25 cm) are fast-growing and respond quickly to a regular application of liquid organic fertiliser.
Removing spent flowers after the first wave of blooms will encourage another colourful performance.

Twinspur Diascias  are available from leading garden centres.

More information »

Quick action need to spray deciduous fruit trees

Time is running out if you intend to apply a fungal spray containing copper to reduce the carryover of fungal diseases on stone fruit trees.
By drenching the trees with the spray, you prevent the fungal spores from overwintering in cracks and crevices along the branches.
More on late autumn sprays in my gardening column in tomorrow’s Advertiser.

Bioremediation and contaminated soil

Bioremediation is the use of either naturally-occurring or deliberately introduced microorganisms to consume and break down environmental pollutants in order to clean contaminated soil.  
As a society we are faced with tracts of land which have been contaminated but are now being turned into housing estates. 
Obviously, it is critical that these sites are made as safe as possible. 
One way this is done is to remove the topsoil and then cap it with clean soil prior to being released for housing. The removed material is often treated by professional companies which specialise in decontaminating the soil.
But what about the underlying contaminated soil which has not been cleaned?
In these cases, some people are advised to grow vegetables in raised beds to avoid the contaminated soil. However, we should not accept this as the norm, and you don’t want your fruit trees or vegetables absorbing these contaminants.
Unfortunately, some of the plants which are the best at taking in contaminants like heavy metals are leafy vegetables and root crops.
I believe that land should not be made available for urban housing unless it has been decontaminated to a level which does not require the use of raised garden beds – but unfortunately this is not always the case.   

Read the full article here »

Broad beans worth growing

Consider establishing an early crop of broad beans now and follow this with a late planting early in July.
Broad beans grow readily from seed, but make sure you leave plenty of space in between the plants – 25 to 30 cm.
Close planting makes it difficult for bees to pollinate the flowers and poor bee pollination is usually the main reason for poor pod set.

Edible gardens project identifies big cost savings

Growing your own fruit and vegetables at home doesn’t cost – it pays.
This is the key finding from a unique two-year citizen science project to investigate the productivity and costs associated with urban food production in SA.
The project, coordinated by Uni SA PhD candidate, Georgia Pollard involved a wide range of gardeners and types of gardens across Adelaide.
Georgia’s findings were presented to the public at a Natural Resources Management function yesterday.

The key findings

When setup costs were discounted, 80% of the gardeners taking part saved more than $250 a year by growing fruit and vegetables at home.
The project also dispelled a number of popular perceptions about growing your own fruit and vegetables:
  • It takes too much time. Actual: 1.3 hours per week.
  • Uses too much water. Actual: home gardening water use is as efficient as commercial farming.
More information »
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm

It's not too late to rollout instant lawn

It’s taken some time, but after four hot dry months the season has changed quite dramatically.
While the topsoil is now quite moist – temperatures are also dropping fast.
For gardeners thinking about establishing a new lawn by rolling out instant turf, there is growing concern – is it now too late?
Take heart and read what SA lawn advisor Stefan Palm has to say in this week’s lawn blog.
Apart from encouraging you to “get started”, Stefan will also run through some of the important management issues that need to be considered.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Goodbye to Riverland rose legend David Ruston

Gardeners and in particular rose lovers across Australia will be saddened by the passing earlier this week of Renmark rose grower, David Ruston.
David’s involvement in gardening communities, gardening shows as well as growing and breeding roses, is well recognised throughout Australia and internationally.
His contribution to the rose made him a world rose industry legend.

Last call for spring bulbs

Hurry if you would like to enjoy a colourful display of bulbs in spring. Good performers include daffodils, jonquils, hyacinth, lachenalia.
Spring bulbs adapt well to container growing and look great when mass planted in a raised bed.
Bulbs can still be planted if they have started to grow but the first set of leaves has not emerged.

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.
Sunday, May 26
Plant sale, Friends of Botanic Gardens of Adelaide
At the  Growing Group Nursery, Mt. Lofty Botanic Garden (entry off Lampert Road, Piccadilly). 10.30am to 2.30 pm. Lst of plants available a few days before the sale »

Botanic Gardens masterclasses – Plant Propagation
More information »
Weekend gardening weather

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.

Guest – SARDI entomologist and snail researcher, Helen Brodie.
Topic – Why slugs and snails are suddenly a problem and what you need to know about baiting.

Coming soon

Saturday, Sunday, June 15, 16
SAROC Orchid Fair
Drill Hall, Torrens Parade Ground, King William Rd., Adelaide. Saturday 9 am – 5 pm; Sunday10 am – 4 pm. More information »

Saturday, September 21
Spring Garden Festival, Mount Pleasant
Stalls featuring quality plants, garden furniture, decor and garden-care products.
Showgrounds, Melrose Street. 8 am - 3 pm. $5 entry, concession $3, child under 15 free.
More information »

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.

Burra Spring Garden Expo and Open Gardens
More information »

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 »


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 © 2019 Jon Lamb Communications, All rights reserved.

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