From Jon Lamb Communications
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November 27, 2020

Beating summer’s extreme heat

Don’t be spooked by the prospect of extreme heat this summer.
When temperatures climb well into the 40s, the leaves on sun-loving plants will not turn crispy brown – providing they have a healthy, “functioning” root system and there is adequate moisture in the soil.
Talk to experience gardeners and they will delight in telling you how mulching and regular watering allowed their plants to come through last summer’s record-breaking heat with hardly a burnt leaf.

Keep plant roots cool

When day temperatures hit 35°C you can expect unshaded topsoil in your garden to have a reading between 40°C and 50°C.
This is hot enough to cause severe damage to plant roots growing close to the topsoil.
It’s worth repeating: Covering your garden beds with a layer of mulch will drop topsoil temperatures by 10 to 15°C – enough to keep plant root systems “functioning”.

Big benefits from temporary shade

A growing number of gardeners are now adding “temporary shade” to their heat prevention list, particular when it comes to growing vegetables, flowers, herbs, fruit trees and small ornamentals.
In this case the shade not only reduces plant leaf temperatures, it also plays a major role in shading the plant’s roots.

Ideal planting window closing soon

The window of opportunity for ideal planting weather is about to close. 
Topsoil moisture in most districts is drying out fast and climatologists are expecting summer temperatures will continue to spike regularly into the mid and upper 30s.
Establishing new plants over the next few weeks is still OK but it will pay big dividends to spend extra time preparing the soil before you plant. 
After planting keeping the soil moist, mulched and during heat spikes shading will increase your likelihood of success.
Feature plantsof the week

Two beautiful white roses

This week Wagner’s Rose Nursery is featuring two beautiful white varieties that are available now in pots or next winter as bare-rooted shrubs.


This is a new David Austin creation. It has pretty peachy-pink buds that open to reveal beautiful pure white flowers with an attractive hint of pink in the early stages.
The flowers are chalice shaped but open a little wider over time.
Desdemona is a strong, compact and healthy shrub rose with an intense myrrh fragrance. (1.2 m tall)
More information »

Pope John Paul II

A magnificent rose that produces large, luminous pure white blooms. The bush is recognised for its vigorous growth, disease resistance and form.
Considered to be one of the most fragrant roses of all time, this rose also features glossy dark green foliage, while its growth is tall (1.5 m) and upright
Each potted rose purchased will be shipped individually in a box and will have its own postage cost.
More information »
Pope John Paul 11

Blue Sunday Rose sale

Wagner’s Rose Nursery will be holding a “flash” sale this Sunday with 20 percent off all products – but for one day only. Browse and order online »

WAagners Rose Nursery

Blueberry Sunshine Blue an ideal gift

Why not give your garden friend a Blueberry bush for Christmas? You may also like to try growing them in your own garden.
Blueberry Sunshine Blue is ideal, as it is compact, hardy and produces masses of full flavoured medium-size fruits from October through to March. 
The fruits are very high in vitamins A and C and they are full of antioxidants. The bushes also have a very low winter chill requirement.
While blueberries need an acid soil, Sunshine Blue has reasonable tolerance to high pH in the garden and adapts readily to growing in large containers.
The bushes are self fertile but group planting will improve pollination, fruit size and yield.
They also prefer a sunny to part shade location with moist, well-drained, acidic soil.

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

Favourite impatiens now with double blooms

Impatiens are long-time favourites for adding colour in a shaded garden.
But, have you seen the latest Elite Double impatiens?
Double impatiens produce lovely green foliage with a strong mounded habit. However, the colourful double flowers continually peek through the foliage over the entire plant during the warmer weather and well into April.
Elite Double impatiens are perfect for growing in garden beds, pots, window boxes and hanging baskets – in fact anywhere you would like a splash of colour.
You can also multi plant them with other shade loving plants like begonias and fuchsias.
Impatiens are easily maintained with a light deadheading during peak flowering.
Fertilise each season with an organic fertiliser. For best flowering water regularly and protect from extreme heat (and frost).
The colour range in Elite Double Impatiens includes, rose, cherry,lavender and salmon. These grow around 30 cm x 30 cm.

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

Cucumbers, zucchini grow readily from seed

Sowing seeds directly into garden beds where the plants will grow avoids the risk of transplant shock, usually associated with establishing punnet grown plants.
Cucumbers and zucchini (cucurbits) thrive in the sun. But make sure the soil drains freely and contains plenty of well-made compost.
When sowing make sure you follow the directions outlined on the seed packet.

Feed well – but not too much

Cucurbits respond quickly to fertiliser, particularly nitrogen.
However, if you apply too much you’re likely to produce plenty of leaves  at the expense of flowers and fruit set.
Best results will be achieved by applying an organic fertiliser blended specifically for vegetables.
This should contain medium levels of nitrogen (N), a small amount of phosphorus (P) and high levels of potash (K).
Fertiliser should be incorporated into the topsoil before sowing, using half a cupful per square metre.
Once the plants are well established and start to produce flowers, add a further one third of a cupful per plant of sulphate of potash.
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Neem tree provides a safe botanical insecticide

eco-neem is a certified organic insecticide made from extracts of the neem tree.
eco-neem controls a broad range of chewing and sap sucking pests including caterpillars, grasshoppers, curl grubs, aphids, whitefly, mealybugs and more.
You can even use it indoors to control those pesky fungus gnats!
Importantly eco-neem is safe for bees and other beneficial insects.

More information here » 

OCP eco organic gardeneco-neem is available from hardware stores, nurseries, supermarkets and online»
Irrigation Guide – Antelco

Extreme hot weather advice for micro irrigation

Adelaide is expecting extremely hot weather and if there is not enough moisture in the soil, our gardens can suffer.
If you have a micro irrigation system you will probably have to make some adjustments for these conditions.
The key to preventing heat stress during extended hot weather is to make sure there is plenty of moisture in the plant’s root system at all times.
Learn more »

Watering in hot weather                               

How much water does the garden need when summer temperatures begin to soar?
Most garden plants have an incredible ability to keep themselves cool.
Basically, moisture from the soil is taken in through the plant’s roots and pushed out through its leaves, creating an ongoing cooling effect (transpiration).
So long as there is adequate moisture in the soil, the leaves on a healthy, sun-loving plant should not become scorched.

Is the root ball really wet? 

When the water you apply to your pot plants runs down the side of the container rather than diffusing through the root ball, it is likely the potting mix in the container has become water-repellent.
When this happens, treat the plants with an application of soil-wetting liquid or granules. 
Both work well. 
Soil wetters have an amazing ability to make the water soak into the root zone rather than run over it.
Where possible pot plants watered by hand should be allowed to soak, submerged in a bucket or bath of water for 5 to 10 minutes every month over summer.

Great planting time for summer veggie crops

The soil is certainly warm enough to plant a range of summer crops, particularly tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies, capsicums, sweet corn and eggplants.
Secrets for success:
  • Pick a spot with at least six hours of sunlight.
  • Rotate your crops every season to minimise the risk of disease.
  • Apply aged compost and manure to the soil before planting.
  • Check soil moisture daily and water when needed.
  • Add a stake or trellis where climbing plants need support.
But above all vegies need well-nourished soil with heaps of nutrients.
Consider a liquid food such as PowerFeed Pro Series for Tomatoes & Vegetables, as it is tailor-made for the vegie patch.
When you apply PowerFeed Pro Series to garden soils, or potting mix it helps promote vigorous growth and produce larger yields of delicious edibles.
Plus, as a soil conditioner, it nourishes and improves the soil while improving nutrient uptake.

More information »

Early summer pruning           

Young fruit trees that have made strong, healthy growth this season should be summer pruned in the next few weeks.
This will save removing and wasting excessive growth next winter. 
It will also encourage the tree to mature earlier than normal and help contain its eventual size.

Good time to control nut grass

Nut grass thrives in hot weather –but don't despair. Early summer is a good time to control this persistent weed using a systemic weedicide containing glyphosate. 
Make sure the plants are well grown and water them the day before treating.   
Individual weeds can be wiped or painted with neat chemical.
Spraying regrowth later may be necessary.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

Big benefits when you top dress the lawn

Is the surface of your lawn flat and even or are there unsightly holes and depressions.?
The solution to the problem is quite simple – top dress the lawn's surface.
And, as turf consultant Stefan Palm, points out top dressing carried out correctly can provide additional benefits.
On top of the obvious benefits of top dressing to level your lawn, the health benefits are amazing.
The addition of sand and compost on the surface of your lawn puts organic matter back into the soil.
This both improves its water holding capacity and introduces beneficial micro organisms which in turn improves soil health.
In this week’s lawn blog Stefan comments on the importance of using the right kind of top dressing material as well as explaining how to do it.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Spiders are your friends        

It’s that time of the year when spider webs keep appearing on the corners on your outside windows,  particularly those close to an outdoor light. 
Before you reach for an insecticide, keep in mind spiders are one of the most effective pest predators in your garden.
Window spiders regularly dine on moths, weevils and beetles before they lay eggs that hatch into plant eating caterpillars.
Maybe a quick brush with a broom will suffice.

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.

Hot weather watering. Irrigation trouble shooter and garden watering consultant, Richard Wilson, will join the program to help solve your garden watering problems.
Weather forecasts

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
Kitchen Garden! 🌶🍓
Herbs & delicious edibles are ready to pick, eat & grow. Straight from our garden to yours available online now.

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
All our Christmas giftware has arrived!
Beautiful range of hand-made natural soaps, creams,oils, deodorants, shampoos, and sunscreen.
We also have a great selection of unique gifts for that special man in your life. Check us out on Facebook as we will be posting new items for you to fall in love with.

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
It’s a week of planty treasures at Barrow & Bench.  Fresh poinsettia, beautiful hydrangea and potted Christmas trees all available, along with hot weather plant saviours like DroughtShield, mulch and soil wetters.
Specialises in providing quality plants and expert garden advice. Follow the Instagram feed »

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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