From Jon Lamb Communications
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May 22, 2020

Adelaide suburbs under fruit fly quarantine

Home gardeners have been called on to join an urgent program to eradicate fruit fly from Adelaide gardens.
Seven outbreaks of fruit fly have been reported so far this season and 740 suburbs across Adelaide are now under strict quarantine.
The latest outbreaks include Campbelltown and Pooraka with earlier outbreaks at Angle Park, Blair Athol, Croydon Park,  Semaphore and Rosewater.
Home-grown fruit is not permitted to be moved from homes in fruit fly quarantine areas.
Homeowners are also being asked to cooperate with PIRSA staff involved in the eradication program.
All seven outbreaks involve Mediterranean fruit fly, indicating infested fruit was brought into South Australia from Western Australia.
The current outbreaks are a major threat to South Australia’s $1.3 billion horticultural industry.
However, unless the program is successful home gardeners can expect the fruit and vegetables they grow to be seriously infested by fruit fly maggots.

You will find more information on current outbreaks and what you need to do here »
Maggot-infested fruit and the male Mediterranean fruit fly.

A wet finish to autumn is on the cards

Stand by for a wet finish to autumn – two significant weather systems are expected to move across the state later next week.
While early autumn was extremely dry (Kent Town, March only 5 mm, average 26 mm), it was quickly offset by 94 mm in April (May average 38 mm).
With 43 mm already in the rain gauge for May (Thursday May 21), autumn’s rainfall is already 16 mm above the 126 mm Kent Town average, with more to come.

    Getting ready for a wet winter    
Take care with winter roof water diversions

Many gardeners make use of summer and autumn rains by diverting water from house downpipes onto the garden.
While benefits during the drier months can be considerable, allowing large quantities of roof water to flow onto the garden beds during winter could be a recipe for disaster.
Soils that are constantly saturated contain very little oxygen.
Within a very short time the root system of any plants in the area will be seriously damaged.
With a wetter than normal winter likely, make sure all house and shed downpipes are connected to an approved surface drainage system.
Feature plant of the week

Cheerful blooms through winter

English daisy (Bellis) is a great, low-maintenance, cool-season perennial that boasts cheerful blooms in cooler climates.
Plant English daisy in well-drained, evenly moist soil for best results. English daisy does not appreciate drought and likes consistently moist soil.
As the flowers of English daisy fade, they will benefit from deadheading. 
Removing the old blooms will encourage more blooms and keep the plants from spending energy on producing seed.
English daisies are currently available in pink and red in distinctive Easy Colour purple packs with easy carry handles.
Easy Colour

English daisy are available at  good gardening centres.

Diascias great for cool-season colour

For a delightful splash of colour through winter and early spring take a look at the latest “Twinspur” diascias.
Diascias are low-growing, compact, mounding plants that smother themselves with brightly coloured snapdragon-like blooms through winter and spring.
The blooms also feature cheeky dark-coloured throats, creating a display that is both bright and breezy. 
These are sun lovers but during summer will benefit from shade. They also prefer moist, free-draining potting mix or garden soil. 
Twinspur diascias are fast-growing and respond quickly to regular applications of liquid organic fertiliser.
They are ideal plants for growing in containers, particularly hanging baskets.

Proven Winners
Diascias are available at  good gardening centres.

Try winter-flowering cactus

If you are looking for a colourful patio plant that flowers at this time of the year, try winter cactus. 
Winter cactus is often called zygo cactus, but is correctly known as schlumbergera.
Well grown individual plants will flower on a veranda or in a well lit sun-room for six to eight weeks and even longer, making them invaluable for a lasting splash of colour.
The good news is they are not difficult to grow.
After flowering, find a position that provides good strong light but not direct sun. 
Ideally they should receive 70 percent shade all year round.
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Last call for hydrangea pruning

Hydrangeas that were not pruned towards the end of summer should be pruned now.  But don't remove too much wood, as you will also remove next year's flowers.
Aim at cutting out old and dead canes at the base of the plant.
Then reduce canes that flowered this season by 50-60%, cutting back to big, fat buds.
Don't cut canes that are young, healthy and have not yet flowered, as they will produce your earliest blooms in the season ahead.

Autumn leaf display ending

Another week of cold, showery, windy weather should see an end to this season’s excellent display of autumn leaves – at least across the Adelaide Plains.
Sadly, autumn leaves are sometimes considered a nuisance and all too often they are allowed to blow away, becoming part of our waterway pollution.
The simplest solution in the garden is to rake them into a heap in an out of the way location and use them for mulching the garden in spring.
More on making leaf mulch and compost in my Advertiser gardening column, tomorrow.
Crop rotation

Reducing the need for crop rotation

Many gardeners, particularly those who grow roses, would know about sick soil or "replant disease".
If you put a plant into a hole where the same type of plant was previously, often the new plant does not perform well and can wither and die.
However, when you replant from a different family of plants, it does well.  So what causes this?

More information »

Use liquid fertilisers in winter   

There is little point in applying animal manure or powdered fertiliser to boost plant growth at the moment – the ground is too cold. 
If you need to stimulate winter-growing vegetables and flowering annuals, try spraying their leaves with a liquid or soluble fertiliser, as it is absorbed directly into the plants' leaves.
A liquid seaweed product can be added, as it will increase your plants' tolerance to cold.
At this time of the year organic fertiliser is great for improving soil health.

Good reasons to grow peas 

Peas are another easy-to-grow vegetable, producing pods that can be eaten whole or left to produce sweet-tasting seeds. 
Like broad beans, the plants absorb nitrogen from the air, so the material left behind after harvest should be used for composting.
Because peas mature over a relatively short period, it’s best to sow a small area often.
Sowing peas in June and July should see the plants flowering after the worst of the frosts but before the hot weather sets in.

Suddenly there are soursobs

In many gardens summer-active lawns have suddenly turned bright green. Sadly, the green is not lawn grass but the appearance of dreaded soursobs.
As turf consultant Stefan Palm points out it’s the time of the year when soursobs begin their winter invasion.
In this week’s lawn blog Stefan looks at why this is so. Why are they so invasive and how do you tell whether you are looking at soursobs in the lawn or maybe clover?
Stefan also explains why it’s important to understand how soursobs grow, particularly if you are intent on an eradication program.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Perennials can be cut back now

Once flowering is over, perennials should be cut back, leaving a stub of 15 cm (so the plant is not lost or trodden on).
Mulch the area if possible with organic material or compost.
Large clumps may be divided now.
But with most species it is best to wait until late winter or early spring.

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 and lachenalia.
Spring bulbs adapt well to container growing and look great when mass-planted in a raised bed.
Bulbs can still be planted if their roots have started to grow but the first set of leaves has not emerged.

Spraying deciduous fruit trees will pay off

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.

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 Radio Adelaide Talkback Gardening this Saturday, 8.30 am to 10 am – phone me and Deb Tribe on 1300 222 891 and have your own gardening question answered.

Adelaide's fruit fly invasion
Jason Size, fruit grower and SA Fruit Fly Standing Committee representative, explains why SA home gardeners will soon be the losers unless this pest is eradicated.

Garden centre directory

Leading Adelaide garden centres recommended by Good Gardening newsletter.

Heyne's Garden Centre
283-289 The Parade, Beulah Park. (08) 8332 2933
We have a good selection of Helleborus or Winter Rose – great winter colour.
South Australia's oldest established garden centre. Huge range. Expert staff on hand for personal advice. Visit online »
Weather forecasts

Garden events and shows cancelled

The COVID-19 situation has forced the cancellation of numerous garden events and shows.
All current and coming events listed in recent editions of Good Gardening have been cancelled.

Regular garden attractions

Some of our listed regular attractions may have closed or have limited access, due to the COVID-19 situation.
Please check with the relevant organisation.

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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