From Jon Lamb Communications
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September 13, 2019

How to beat citrus gall wasp

Citrus growers now have two excellent strategies to protect their trees from citrus gall wasp.
Both strategies involve spraying trees with products that will deter citrus gall wasps from laying their eggs and re-infesting citrus trees in the coming season. Timing of these sprays is critical.
Horticultural oil: Products such as eco-oil and Pest Oil are ideal. Three sprays are required and these should be no more than two weeks apart.
Kaolin clay: This is a new product and has only just been released onto the market in South Australia. It is sold as Vasilis Citrus Gall Wasp Spray and should be available from many local garden centres. Three sprays are required, two weeks apart.
The first spray needs to be applied just before the wasps begin to lay eggs. This is likely to be either late October or early November.
More accurate dates will be published in the Good Gardening newsletter and broadcast on ABC TalkBack Gardening.

Soil temperatures climbing slowly

Topsoil temperatures (10 to 20 cm) are starting to rise slowly, but they are still slightly below the September average of 13 to 40°C.
However, warmer weather is on its way. Don’t be surprised if temperatures start to rise quite quickly.
Meanwhile, pay a visit to your local garden centre, there is an extensive range of cold-tolerant plants, particularly colour plants, that are ideal for growing in your garden.
Feature plant

Happitunia for larger containers

The display from a large container or hanging basket filled with Charm Happipitunias really is quite stunning.
Happitunia belong to the Star Charm series of recently released perennial petunias that feature white blooms adorned with colourful pink or Violet crosses.
The blooms are a little smaller than those on the traditional petunia but larger than those on a calibrachoa.
Star Happitunias are ideal for an open sunny garden, but look outstanding once well-established in a feature container or large hanging basket.
The plants are compact and grow 30 to 35 cm high and 35 to 45 cm wide, with the blooms opening early in spring and continuing well through autumn.
These are easy-care plants, although they may need protection from strong northerly winds and will respond to regular watering

Happitunia are available from leading garden centres.

When you simply can’t wait to get planting

If you can’t wait to plant a tomato or two, buy a few well-established seedlings in small containers, re-pot into slightly larger containers and encourage early growth by placing in a warm protected location. (Sunny window ledge or inside a medium- size, clear plastic storage container).
You should be rewarded with strong, vigorous plants ready for planting into the garden (or large planter containers) by the end of September.
Easy Colour  Petunia Burgundy

Burgundy Petunia in unique pop-out growing cells

Bold, bright, Burgundy Petunias in unique “pop out” growing cells have been selected by Easy Colour for their ability to provide quick spring colour in courtyard gardens.
These petunias are already covered in blooms that are large and extremely uniform.
However, they are grown in Easy Colour’s unique “popout” growing cells and as a result they are easily removed without damage, ready for transferring into containers or garden beds.
Petunia Burgundy is one of the many top performing petunias selected by Easy Colour for their extensive range of flowering annuals, vegetables and herbs.

Burgundy Petunias are available from leading garden centres.
More on the complete Easy Colour Pak range here »

Ideas for warming the soil 

When you plant out vegetable and flower seedlings early in spring, they tend to sit in the ground and sulk.
The aim is to warm both the air around the plant’s foliage and the soil around their roots.
The easiest way to achieve this is with a few two-litre plastic cordial bottles. 
Unscrew the lids, cut away the base (a serrated knife is usually effective) and place the containers over your prized petunias or treasured tomatoes.
In effect, you’re creating mini glasshouses. 
During the day, the sun’s rays will be trapped, heating both the air inside the container and the top few centimetres of soil.

New plant-based weedicide is very effective

Slasher is a certified organic weedkiller that is non-selective and controls a broad range of weeds, moss, algae and lichen.
It’s a fast-acting contact spray with visible results within hours.
Slasher is made from plant ingredients and free from glyphosate.
It is non-residual and can be used safely around roses, pathways and even in the veggie patch (no withholding period). 
Available from Bunnings, nurseries and online at:

More information here »

Time to start planting ornamentals

Early spring is an excellent time to establish native plants, along with ornamental trees and shrubs that don’t mind the cold. 
Here the list includes camellias, azaleas, viburnum, syzygium (Lily Pilly) and most of the small shrubs used for topiary.
The aim is to give the plants plenty of time to establish a strong vigorous root system well before the plants is subjected to hot weather during summer.

New plants need loose soil

The roots of new ornamental plants often find it very hard and sometimes impossible to push sufficient roots through hard setting soils to establish reasonable growth.
The remedy is to loosen the top soil, in other words, dig wide but not too deep. This will encourage the plants to produce lateral root growth.
Where possible, loosen the top 20-30cm of soil to at least three quarters of a metre around each planting hole.

Nutrition also essential

Meanwhile, prepare the planting site by incorporating large quantities of compost and animal manure into the top 15cm of soil.  This should be carried out at least three weeks before planting.
Add half a kilogram of complete fertiliser to the square metre when you are planting.  Then no more fertiliser until the bushes begin to flower.
Container-grown tomatoes should be planted into quality potting mix that contains a 3-4 month controlled release fertiliser.

Is your soil acid or alkaline and why does it matter?

As gardeners, we all know about acid loving plants like rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias, along with others like Japanese maples even daffodils and magnolias. 
But why do these plants prefer acidic soils, whereas others such as geraniums, poppies and the cabbage family prefer alkaline soils?
It really boils down to one major factor of evolution, which is driven by nutrient availability.
This is then influenced by soil pH (ie: acid or alkaline loving plants).
If you look at the soil from which these plants originated from, you can soon see that this is the driving force behind their nutrient requirements. 
We can take our native plants as an example, such as the phosphate-sensitive plants in the Western corner of WA.
These have evolved to take up phosphate when it is present in very low amounts, so when they are given too much, they suffer badly.
Similarly, plants that love acid soils have the same issue.
So what is the under lying reason for this?
Click here to find out »
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Pruning the heat lovers         

Hibiscus, oleanders and other heat loving bushes that flower in late summer and autumn should be cut back now if they need re-shaping. 
Hard cutting will encourage strong, new growth and this may need tip pruning a few weeks after growth begins.

Roses nipped in the bud        

Take a very close look at the new buds forming on rose bushes. 
At a distance, the bushes look great but in many gardens, there are small green caterpillars nipping the tips out of new buds before they are fully formed. 
This caterpillar is very destructive but is easily controlled by spraying tip growth with Success, a non-toxic chemical registered for use by organic gardeners.

Deciduous or evergreen – there is a difference

Ornamental trees that are deciduous lose their leaves in autumn, and remain dormant through winter, until they grow new leaves (and often blossom) in the spring.
By contrast, evergreen trees also drop and renew their leaves, but this goes on throughout the year.
There is no time where they are dormant.
So, for permanent screening effects or to maintain foliage all year evergreen trees, like pines or gums may provide great options. 
The advantage deciduous trees provide involves light.
They not only let the light shine through the trees in winter, when the leaves have dropped, they also provide shade and protection from the sun through the heat of summer.
In addition many deciduous trees also provide a spectacular colour display as they turn red, orange or yellow, just before they drop in the autumn.
Whether deciduous or evergreen, trees can add that extra dimension to a garden as well as soften the rows of buildings and rooflines that define our suburbs.

Top suggestions for smaller gardens:

Two crabapples – Malus Wychwood Ruby and Malus Tschononskii. Both have upright growth. Plus an ornamental pear, Pyrus Festivity.
Happy spring planting!

More information »

Premium locally grown stock from Balhannah Nurseries are available now.
Best time to plant bare-rooted trees is June to August. Look out for the green bag.
It's Balhannah Nurseries' guarantee of a premium fruit tree.

Fertilising citrus and roses

Citrus and stone fruit trees will soon be making new spring growth and both will respond to an application of fertiliser applied in the next 2-3 weeks. 
Use a complete fertiliser containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potash. 
Mature fruit trees (in the garden) need 2-3kg of a granular fertiliser but this is best used as a split dressing. 
Apply half now and the remainder very early in autumn.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm

Weeds running rampant over lawns

In many gardens weeds have responded to our showery finish to winter by producing rampant growth.
While these are relatively easy to control in the garden, when they appear in the lawn and start to take over, achieving effective control is not easy.
Following numerous calls this week for weed control advice, turf consultant Stefan Palm has put together an effective weed control strategy.
More information here »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Spring care for orchid growers

Trevor Garard
President of the Orchid Cub of SA

Cymbidiums that flower in spring should now be at their best. But with warmer weather on the way don’t forget to check the growing medium of all of your orchids.
Make sure it holds enough water to get your plants through a hot summer.
Re-potting after flowering in spring is OK but avoid re-potting in the heat of summer (if possible).
If you have not checked growing enclosures, the shade house, green house or glass house, now is the time to examine for structural integrity and make any necessary repairs.
The increasingly popular Australian native Dendrobiums should be ready to flower in spring.
While recent overcast weather has held them back, a couple of sunny days will see them erupt into masses of colour and fragrance.
Some of the terrestrial orchids will still be growing and their water needs will increase as rain becomes less frequent.
Keep moist until the foliage dies back and then give very little water until repotting tubers next year.
Check if other plants that have finished flowering need repotting.
Clean any husks off bulbs. Make sure mounted orchids have roots securely attached to their mounts. Re-attach if needed.
Take advantage of the better weather to check for pests and weeds then take the appropriate action.

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, September 15
Herb Society of SA - Herb & Salvia Propagation Workshop
Herb Garden at back of Findon Community Centre, 222 Findon Road, Findon, 2 - 4 pm  
Tour the Herb Garden and lean how to propagate herbs and salvias. Materials provided. Bring your own secateurs. More details »

Open GardensOpen Gardens

Saturday & Sunday, September 14 &15
The Slate Garden
4 St Matthews St, Willunga
a dry country garden established on a bed of clay limestone and shale with an original covering of less than 2cm of topsoil. Over time added mulch (200 tonnes) has produced a much better growing environment, and resourceful gardening techniques have seen the garden develop despite the challenging gardening conditions.
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

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: Jason Scroop from Poplar Grove wholesale plant nursery.
Topic: Quick but long-lasting colour for courtyard containers in spring gardens.

Coming soon

Friday, September 20 to Friday, September 27
South Coast Orchid Club of SA Spring Show
Seaford Central Shopping Centre, Commercial Road, Seaford.

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, September 21
Goody Patch Community Garden annual plant sale
Quality and well-priced plants, vegetables, succulents and herbs as well as baked goods and preserves. Goodwood Primary School gate, Goodwood Road, 9.15 am to 12 pm.
More information »
Facebook »

Saturday & Sunday,  September 21 & 22
Orchid Club of South Australia Spring Show
Enfield Community Centre , 540 Regency Road, Enfield. 10 am to 4 pm each day. Pies, pasties, Devonshire teas. Trading table, plants and accessories, cultural demonstrations and raffle. Expert advice from friendly, experienced growers. Entry only $5.

Saturday, September 28
St Peter's Lutheran Church Spring Plant Sale
521 Main North Rd, Elizabeth. 9 am - 1 pm. More than 1,000 home-grown plants.

Saturday & Sunday, October 12, 13
Spring Expo – Native Flower Display & Plant Sale
Australian Plants Society (SA Region). Adelaide Showgrounds. Sat.10 am - 4 pm; Sun. 10 am - 3 pm.

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.

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:  Expo »    Open Gardens »

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

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
Herb Society of SA - Spring Salvia Sale
Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton
8:30am - 12 noon, free admission and parking.
Choose from a large selection of Salvias - be early for the best choice!
More details »

Sunday, November 3
Herb Society of SA - Herb Day Market
Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton. 10am - 3pm, free admission and parking.
The largest selection of potted herbs for sale, herb seeds and books. Guest speakers presenting on a range of topics.  Herb identification – bring your plant sample along. More details »

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. 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 »

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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