From Jon Lamb Communications
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April 1, 2021

Opportunities for Easter gardeners  

Easter is an ideal time to establish a wide range of garden plants.
If you’re growing vegetables for the first time, choose a position that receives full sun for at least two-thirds of the day.
Experienced vegetable growers will waste little time establishing leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, silverbeet, celery and lettuce.
It is also a good time to establish peas and carrots, along with a range of quick-growing Asian vegetables.
In gardens where summer crops have faded the strategy is clear – simply remove all spent plants, reinvigorate the soil with a quality vegetable fertiliser and start planting.
Vegetables planted over Easter, while the ground is warm (21 to 23°C) will produce twice the yield of those established in May when temperatures will be around 8°C colder.
However, if you are planting out seedling and small shrubs tomorrow or Saturday, when temperatures climb into the low 30s, be prepared to protect them with temporary shade.

Meanwhile, give watering a priority

Spend a little time this weekend checking on moisture levels in different garden locations.
You may be surprised at how little soil moisture is left 10 to 15 cm below the surface of fruit trees and closely planted ornamentals
For the record: March rainfall is likely to finish well below average. (West Terrace, 13mm – March average 24 mm.)
A native bee on a backyard lemon.

Attracting native wildlife to the garden

If you love attracting native wildlife into your garden why not take part in the ABC TalkBack Gardening photographic competition?
It doesn’t matter if your garden is small or large – take a photograph of what you have planted, installed or landscaped to attract native wildlife into your garden and send it to
Entries close on Tuesday April 6, 2021 with the winners announced in TalkBack Gardening on Saturday, April 10.
There are great gardening prizes up for grabs.
Winning photographs will be published in the Good Gardening newsletter.

New trees will appreciate a head start

If you are planting trees and shrubs, keep in mind they will be required to perform in the same location for many years.
Take advantage of the Easter break by spending a little extra time preparing the ground before you plant.
  • Loosen the soil around each planting site for at least half a metre and to a depth of 20 cm – if possible 30 cm.
  • Regardless of whether the soil is sandy or a clay loam, incorporate a 5 to 10 cm layer of aged animal manure or compost into the topsoil.
  • If the soil is hard-setting (clay or clay loam) incorporate gypsum (1 kg to the square metre). This can be spread with the animal manure or compost.
  • Do not add any additional fertiliser or organic matter to the planting hole when establishing your trees or shrubs.

Five easy-to-grow winter herbs

  • Coriander – harvest leaves regularly. Spicy flavours for salads and Asian foods.
  • Parsley – full of vitamins. Chop finely for salads and mid Eastern dishes.
  • Sage – very strong flavour. Use sparingly on all meats, stews and stuffing.
  • Thyme – many flavours available. Add to meats, particularly casseroles.
  • Chives – slow to start but the leaves are great for adding onion flavour to many foods.
Consider also: Rosemary, chervil, lemon myrtle and mint.

Share your tomato results in our survey

Another tomato season is coming to an end.
Before it does, if you grew tomatoes this season we need your feedback.
Whether the crop was good or disappointing and in particular whether you only grew one crop before Christmas or planted a late crop in the New Year, or both, we would like you to take part in our end-of-season tomato survey.
The survey will conclude on Monday, April 12 with results published in Good Gardening on Friday, April 16 and summarised on ABC radio TalkBack Gardening on Saturday, April 17

You can complete the survey here »

A small garden with a family focus

A small back garden at Croydon designed for family living and entertaining  is one of 12 professionally-designed landscapes which will be open to the public during the SA Landscape Festival on the weekend of April 10 and 11.
The style is eclectic with curves and angled lines creatively combined with plants chosen for their coloured or textured foliage.
A steel, wisteria-clad pergola wraps around the house and shelters the alfresco entertainment deck.
Trees provide shade and a leafy outlook.
Corten steel panels add a decorative element but it is the fire pit and stone seat set on a circle of intricately paved recycled brick that takes centre stage.
A functional, easily maintained garden with a family focus.

Yardstick Landscape Services – Croydon »

Open Saturday & Sunday , April 10 & 11 – 10 am to 4 pm

More information and the complete SA Landscape Festival program and ticket purchase here »

Learn how a professional landscaper can help you »
Feature plantsof the week
Mr Lincoln

Strong demand for highly fragrant roses

Roses with strong fragrance are currently in high demand, with many popular varieties selling out last year before the season ended.
To meet the demand, Wagner's Rose Nursery has increased supplies for the coming season and these will be available for planting as bare-rooted roses during winter.
Two very popular varieties are:

Mr Lincoln

One of the most sought-after red rose varieties.
This tough and reliable hybrid tea rose features large, full cupped blooms (26 to 40 petals) in dark red that fade to a dark purple hue.
It has dark green, leathery foliage and thrives in South Australia’s warm climate.
Mr Lincoln is a tall rose. Planted at the rear of a rose bed it will reward with regular flushes of numerous fragrant, large dark red blooms on long stems.
A great rose for cut flowers or the garden.
Height 90 to 200cm

Heaven Scent

Large orchid pink blooms with intense old damask fragrance. These perch on long, single stems that have few thorns, but lush green foliage.
An easy-to-grow rose that blooms in flushes throughout the season. Perfect for a landscape or as a shrub specimen. Height to 150 cm.

Pre-order now

These, along with other popular varieties, can be pre-ordered online now.
Wagner's Rose Garden at Kalangadoo will have its final summer Sunday opening on April 11 (10 AM to 3 PM).
From this date until the end of April all potted roses sold at the nursery and on line will be discounted by 50 percent.
Heaven Scent
WAagners Rose Nursery

Elite geraniums ideal for small gardens

Elite geraniums are still the ultimate when it comes to plants that produce masses of long-lasting, drought-tolerant colour.
The latest Elite Series geraniums have also been selected for their compact growth, making them ideal for growing in small gardens, courtyard containers or may be in a window box.
The colour range is extensive and now includes Pink Splash, Cranbury Splash, Magenta Splash, as well as red and white.
Grow Elite geraniums in full sun or filtered shade. They are also very suited to hot garden areas, given moderate watering.
Remove old blooms as they fade and fertilise each season to promote new foliage and flowers.

Elite seriesElite geraniums are in stock at Heyne's Garden Centre, Beulah Park, Semaphore Pets & Gardens and Barrow & Bench, Malvern and should be available at other good gardening centres.

Sunpatiens happy in full sun or shade

Sunpatiens are quite remarkable, producing non-stop colour in both full sun and shade from early spring through to late autumn.
Apart from being the first impatiens to thrive in full sun, they also have excellent tolerance to heat, humidity, weather damage and disease.
The flowers are larger than other impatiens, while the plants are quicker to establish a strong sturdy frame, along with a stronger, more vigorous root system.
Sunpatients are fast-growing plants and make an impressive display when mass planted.
However, individual plants will grow 45 to 90 cm high and 60 to 120 cm wide, making them ideal for growing in containers or planted as a garden border.
Sunpatients are available in a very wide range of colours.

Sun Patiens are in stock at Heyne's Garden Centre, Beulah Park, Semaphore Pets & Gardens and Barrow & Bench, Malvern and should be available at other good gardening centres.
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Sophie’s Patch open this Easter

Sophie’s Patch, the Adelaide Hills demonstration garden developed by Sophie Thomson, is open this long weekend.
Well-known garden experts will provide demonstrations and discussions on a range of wildlife and organic gardening topics.
The event will also involve garden nurseries and include art and craft, children’s activities and food tasting.
Sophie’s Patch (Hamlyn cottage) is at 394 Springs Road, Mount Barker Springs.

More information »
Book tickets »

These insecticides are safe to use 

What do you do when you need to control insect pests in the garden but you don’t want to use an insecticide that could contain chemicals that are poisonous?
Garden centres now carry a range of non-toxic chemicals that will control or contain a wide range of pests, but are quite safe for you (and the environment) to use.
These include:
  • Horticultural oils (eco-oil or Pest Oil). Very low toxicity but very effective in controlling aphids, scale, mealy bugs, white fly and leaf miners, while containing small caterpillars.
  • Potassium soaps (Natrasoap by Yates, Eco Fend by Searles). Non-toxic sprays for controlling a wide range of soft bodied insects including aphids, white fly, and mealy bug. When combined with eco-oil or Pest Oil ,potassium soaps will also control mites).
  • Success Ultra. Extremely low toxicity. Prevents insects from feeding. Very effective in controlling soft bodied, leaf eating insects such as caterpillars, cherry slugs, thrips and leaf miners. Not effective on sucking insects.

Towards integrated pest management

A single spray with a toxic chemical can easily wipe out an entire population of “good guy” in your garden. 
OK, if you don’t spray you may experience a small amount of damage to your plants.
More importantly, large numbers of beneficial insects will survive, hibernate and be ready to protect your plants in the season ahead.
Irrigation Guide – Antelco

Maintenance for micro irrigation systems

If you are planning to carry out a range of gardening activities over Easter, don’t forget your micro irrigation system.
The most common problem is likely to be with the emitters, as they sometimes become blocked.
This is usually caused by a build up of sediments, silts, inorganic and organic matter in the supply line, which can partially or fully clog the emitters.
More information »

Sound advice available

If you are thinking of installing an irrigation system, keep in mind your local irrigation store.
Specialist stores have a range of information available to help do-it-yourself installers.
Find a specialist here »

Leaf colour a handy guide to plant health

At this time of the year leaf colour is an excellent guide to the health of many plants growing in your garden and how they have coped with the stresses of summer.

Dark green is good. It’s an indication that nutrient levels in the soil are adequate – particularly nitrogen, the element largely responsible for active growth.
Just as important, it also means your plants have had access to enough soil moisture through summer to encourage the growth of healthy, nutrient-absorbing roots.

Light green is a signal that soil nutrients or moisture (possibly both) could be borderline.
A light application of an all purpose garden fertiliser may be needed, with a follow up application in spring. Check also that there is adequate soil moisture.
Pale green, particularly when combined with the older leaves turning yellow, is a sure sign that your nutrient levels are low.
If there are numerous yellow leaves and they are starting to fall, be warned, soil moisture levels under these plants are also extremely low.
Both nutrients and moisture need to be “topped up” immediately.

Australian plants are not difficult to grow

The key to growing Australian plants successfully is to match plant selections to your surrounding environment and soil type, grow local selections and take care with the fertilisers you choose.
Attractive selections include correas, grevilleas, banksias, callistemon and acacias.
These range in size from small ground covers to large shrubs and trees.
Many natives are sensitive to phosphorus, so chose a fertiliser that’s low in phosphorous, such as PowerFeed with Troforte All Purpose including Natives.
This fertiliser will boost plant health and growth, as it provides a balanced nutrient mix.
In addition the granules are coated with beneficial microbes (troforte) to improve soil health, including nutrient uptake.

More information »

Is that tree or shrub worth saving?  

Think carefully before removing old trees (or large shrubs) from your garden over the long weekend.
It may only take 10 minutes to fall a large, shady tree with a chainsaw. But it will take 10 years or more to grow another in its place.
Its surprising how quickly most trees and shrubs will respond to a treatment of complete fertiliser soaked well into the root system, followed a month or so later by hard pruning.
On the other hand, be tough.  If it’s the wrong plant in the wrong place, even if its health is reasonable, take it out.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

Tips for autumn lawns

While many lawns can expect a visit from Easter bunnies this weekend, for many gardeners Easter is a good time to check how the grass is growing and make sure it is in good condition for the season ahead.
In this week's lawn blog, turf consultant Stefan Palm considers some of the elements that may benefit from timely attention.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Plenty of sweet peas to choose from        

One of the joys of growing sweet peas is deciding what varieties to grow, as blooms are now available in a fascinating range of colours, shapes and fragrance.
Check out the seed stands at various garden outlets.
If you’re looking for early blooms make sure the word “early” is included in the variety description.
Many “heritage” varieties offer interesting shapes and perfume, but generally flower late in the season.

Bulbs for beginners

Bulbs planted in autumn that flower in spring are ideal when a splash of colour is called for but space for a garden is limited. 
If you’ve never grown spring-flowering bulbs before, don’t worry.  The flowers are already formed inside the bulb, protected by layers of fleshy scales.
All you need to do is place them in containers filled with just moist potting mix.  These should be located outside but protected from strong winds and rain.

Planting and growing tips

  • Place the bulbs so that they are covered with potting mix equal to their own depth.
  • Space the bulbs 5-10cm apart.
  • Use a quality potting mix that contains enough fertiliser to start the bulbs growing.
  • Once the first set of leaves is fully formed, begin a fortnightly program of feeding with a liquid or foliar fertiliser.
  • Keep the potting mix just moist but not soggy wet.

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.

Jamie Mc Illwain, one of South Australia’s top landscapers, will preview SA’s first landscape festival.
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
Hop in this long weekend!!! We’re bursting full of beautiful stock! From the indoor jungle, to a splash of potted colour and new-season vegetables. See you soon!
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
Hop-On in and get an Eggstra Special deal on all cane baskets – up to 50% off. The Furry Man with the Big Ears and a Super Fluffy Tail has left behind some eggstra special treats hidden amongst our beautiful garden. Keep your eyes open .... YUMMMMMM!  
We are closed on Good Friday and OPEN Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Always 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
Easter weekend is a fabulous time to be planting.  Gorgeous range of espalier citrus & camellia in store, along with a great selection of native plants. 
Open Easter Saturday 8-5, Sunday and Monday 9-5.  Closed Good Friday.    May your Easter be eggs-cellent.

Specialising in providing quality plants and expert garden advice. Follow the Instagram feed »

Coming soon

Saturday & Sunday, April 10 &11
Autumn Plant Sale - Australian Plants Society (SA Region)
Adelaide Showgrounds, Wayville. More information »

Saturday & Sunday, April 10 & 11
Barossa Rose & Flower Show
Rose Society of SA. Sat noon to 5.30 pm, Sun 9 am - 5.00 pm.Barossa Nursery, 3186 Barossa Valley Way, Nuriootpa.

Sunday, April 11
Herb & Salvia Propagation Workshop
Herb Society of SA - at back of Findon Community Centre, 222 Findon Road, Findon, 2 - 4 pm  
Tour the herb garden and learn how to propagate herbs and salvias. Materials provided. Bring your own secateurs. More details »

Saturday & Sunday, April 17 & 18
Rose Society of South Australia Autumn Rose Show
Sat 10 am - 4 pm, Sun 10 am - 4 pm. Noel Lothian Hall, Adelaide Botanic Garden.

People's Choice Rose Trial Gardens 2021
Adelaide Rose Trial Gardens, Adelaide Botanic Garden, 10 am - 4 pm both days.

Saturday & Sunday, April 24 & 25
Festival of Flowers
St Pauls College, 792 Grand Junction Road, Gillies Plains.
More information »

Sunday, May 2
Herb Society of SA - autumn salvia sale
Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Rd, Fullarton, 8.30 am – 12 noon.  
For salvia lovers and anyone looking for an economic & colourful way to add to your garden, come down and choose from a large selection of salvias. But be quick – we do sell out!
More details »

Thursday to Saturday, May 6 to 8
South Coast Orchid Club of SA autumn show
Seaford Central Shopping Centre, Commercial Rd, Seaford.
Display and  trading table with a range of plants for sale, including  Speciality Cymbidiums, Cattleya, Oncidium and Denrobium. Members will be on hand to give advice.

Saturday & Sunday, May 8 & 9
Enfield Horticultural Society Autumn Show
Klemzig Community Hall, 242 North East Road, Klemzig.  Sat 12 noon - 4 pm. Sun 10 am - 4 pm, Admission $2.  Competitions in cut flowers, bonsai, fruit, home produce, junior sections and floral design.  Plants for sale and a trading table.

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 » Facebook »

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 and 2 pm.
More information »

Old Government House, Belair National Park
The former vice-regal summer residence of some of the early governors of South Australia.  An excellent example of Victorian architecture, set amongst one acre of magnificent gardens. Features cottage plants and flowers cultivated in Victorian times, heritage roses and mature trees.
Tours and  afternoon tea on the first and third Sundays each month and public holidays, 1 pm – 4.30 pm. Free entry into Belair National Park if you are visiting OGH - tell the info office staff as you drive in.
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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