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From Jon Lamb Communications
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August 16, 2019

Leaf curl threat to early-flowering stone fruits

Two weeks of constant showery weather has set the scene for serious fungal disease problems on early-flowering stone fruit trees.
Peaches, nectarines, almonds, cherries, apricots and, to a lesser extent, plums are all susceptible to a range of fungal spots and rots early in spring.
After a cold wet start to August, curl leaf fungus is now likely to cause significant problems on early-flowering peaches and nectarines.
 

Quick action needed

If the buds on early season varieties have started to swell and crack open, the leaves inside are susceptible to leaf curl damage.
To prevent damage, spray the branches thoroughly with a protective fungicide containing copper, before the buds begin to open.
 

Copper sprays – here's what you need to know

  • Copper sprays are protectant fungicides only. To be effective they need to be applied before disease infection.
  • It is important to apply a thin layer of copper over all branches.
  • This protective layer will remain effective for 10 to 14 days – less if it subsequently rains.
  • If infection is likely over longer periods or it rains, re-application may be necessary.
  • More frequent applications using lower rates of copper are just as effective and cause less damage to new foliage than applying high rates in fewer applications.
 

Dwarf trees very susceptible to leaf curl

Dwarf stone fruit trees are very susceptible to leaf curl fungus.
Most varieties also break bud much earlier than traditional stone fruit trees. 
In many gardens that’s right now.
Feature plant

This Petunia is called Lovie Dovie

Keep an eye out for a new Petunia with the colourful name – Lovie Dovie.
Lovie Dovie is a ‘Supertunia' – a petunia that produces masses of large pink and white star patterned blooms.
These appear from early spring and continue until the end of autumn.
Because the plants are both mounding and trailing they will fill a large container quickly and, once established, trail elegantly over the sides.
The plants are vigorous, hardy, heat and drought tolerant and very easy to grow.
The blooms are self-cleaning.
These are top performing petunias and will respond quickly to regular applications of fertiliser.
Supertunias will grow 30 to 40 cm high and spread 40 to 60 cm wide – ideal for landscaping or for planting in feature containers.

Lovie Dovie Supertunia are available from leading garden centres.
More information here »

Time for a citrus gall wasp check

While citrus gall wasp is spreading rapidly across South Australia it is certainly not resident in all gardens.
New galls that appeared on last season’s branches are best removed by pruning.
There is little point in removing light infestations of old galls, as they no longer contain living insects.
Good Gardening will feature alternative methods of controlling citrus gall wasp through August and September.

Fungi feeding bacteria

Along with bacteria, fungi are important as decomposers in the soil food web.
They convert hard-to-digest organic material into forms that other organisms can use.
Fungal hyphae physically bind soil particles together, creating stable aggregates that help increase water infiltration and soil water-holding capacity.
Fungi prefer living and growing in dry conditions, however these conditions are not ideal for bacteria, as they like a bit more moisture.
New research indicates that a number of soil fungi can transfer water, carbon and nitrogen to certain bacteria in order to help them survive in dry conditions.
So how is this important for soil and plant health? Click here to find out why »



Additionally, if you apply Australian Certified Organic products such as Seamungus  or Rooster Booster  you will further enhance the diversity in your soil.

Topsoil temperatures update 

After almost a week of cold and, for many, frosty nights, soil temperatures plummeted to almost 2° C below the August average (8.2° C).
That all-important tomato planting soil temperature of 16°C currently seems a long way away.

You can rely on these “Old Favourites”

The range of fruit trees now available for growing in SA gardens is indeed extensive.
In reality there is a fruit and a variety available for almost every location and everyone’s taste.
While each variety provides its own benefits, deciding which one is for you can be a little bewildering.
If you’re unsure and would like a little sound advice, can I suggest one of the “Old Favourites” is a sure bet?
You can’t go wrong with any of the following varieties:

O’Henry peach – very tasty yellow flesh freestone.
Anzac peach – ever popular, earlier than other white flesh freestones.
Story’s Improved apricot (an early Moorpark) or Moorpark apricot – great for flavour with options of early or later harvest.
Flat peach and Nectarine – ideal for the lunch box. Novelty varieties include Angel ™ peach and Tango’s™ nectarine.
Satsuma or Mariposa plum – delicious taste, deep burgundy skin and flesh, cross pollinators for each other. Satsuma will crop without a pollinator or with another plum in the neighbourhood.
Goldmine nectarine – a traditional white flesh nectarine.
 
If in doubt, look for the OLD FAVOURITES ribbon logo – a guarantee that you’re choosing a delicious tasting traditional fruit variety!

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.

Out with the old in raised beds

It is likely many raised garden beds are still supporting cabbages, broad beans and other winter crops. 
Should these be removed to make room for those that grow best in summer?
Winter crops that are well grown and close to harvest should be retained. 
On the other hand, those that are past their prime or maybe taking up more than their share of space should be removed.
More on renovating raised garden beds in my Advertiser gardening column, tomorrow.
Sustainable living tips

Uncovering awesome local urban food initiatives

The SA Urban Food Network and the Adelaide Sustainability Centre (111 Franklin Street, Adelaide) are hosting two events across September, showcasing inspiring local and interstate food initiatives.
You will hear from urban farmers, café owners, businesses, backyard growers and community food groups all working towards a more regenerative food system.

Urban Food – Film Night & Potluck Dinner – Wednesday 4 September from 6 pm
Stories of Urban Food: Annual Showcase – Thursday 26 September from 6 pm
If you know of someone we should be showcasing, please email hello@saurbanfood.org.

If you are a resident of the City of Campbelltown, you can take your veggie growing to the next level with Steven Hoepfner and Nat Wiseman. They will be running their ninth Growing great veggies course since 2016:
Growing great veggies – Saturday 14 September, 9 – 5 pm, Campbelltown Library

If you would like to keep up to date with future events and opportunities please subscribe to the SA Urban Food Network’s regular news here »
The network is supported by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board. #jointhenetwork
Subscribe to this newsletter

Liquid fertiliser boost

Those winter-flowering seedlings you planted out in autumn should now be providing welcome colour. 
Stimulate plants with a fortnightly application of liquid fertiliser.  Don’t forget the flowering bulbs.
 

Food for thought        

Most fertilisers, whether they are organic or manufactured, take two to three weeks to be converted into a form that is available to fruit trees. 
The aim should be to have your fertiliser spread around the trees at least two weeks before bud burst. 
For many of the stone fruit trees growing on the plains this means in the next few weeks.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm

Quick colour fix for your lawn

Colour KingThere are times – particularly in winter – when it would be great if you could change the colour of your lawn from dull green or brown to an attractive bright green.
It may seem remarkable, but according to turf advisor, Stefan Palm it’s certainly possible.
In this week’s lawn blog Stefan describes a treatment that strengthens and protects grass from extreme cold conditions and at the same time reintroduces the green pigment back into the natural grass blades.
It is completely safe for both pets and people and your lawn will remain green for up to 3 months.
 
More information here »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Indoor plants bugged

Indoor plants in many homes stop growing during winter and some are now struggling for survival. 
However, when they are at their weakest, they are often attacked by sap-sucking insects, particularly mealy bug. 
Check the leaves and crown of your plants carefully for small, white soft-bodied insects. 
Infested plants will need spraying with a low-toxic insecticide such as Natrasoap or horticultural oil.

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 – phone me and Deb Tribe on 1300 222 891 and have your own gardening question answered.

Guest – Haidi Sutherland.
Topic – House plants: end of winter revival and early spring recovery.
Weekend gardening weather

Coming soon

Friday, August 30 to Sunday, September 8
Royal Adelaide Show.

Friday, September 6

Rhododendron Society’s Grant Memorial Lecture
International award-winning landscape architect and media personalityJim Fogarty. Coventry Library, 63 Mount Barker Road, Stirling, 6.30 pm. $20, including wine and cheese. Contact for more details »

Saturday & Sunday, September 7, 8
Enfield Horticultural Society Spring Show
Klemzig Community Hall, 242 North East Road, Klemzig. 12 - 5 pm Sat, 10 am - 4 pm Sun. Admission $2. More information 8251 2299.

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,  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 & 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.

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 »

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, 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.

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 »

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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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