From Jon Lamb Communications
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July 12, 2019
Citrus gall wasp

Major citrus gall wasp invasion likely in spring

Citrus gall wasp continues to threaten South Australia’s home garden citrus trees.
Since the wasp was first identified in Adelaide, less than 10 years ago, it has spread across the suburbs and well into adjacent regional centres.
While the wasp attacks most citrus it is particular damaging to lemons, limes and grapefruit.
The wasps lay hundreds of eggs in bundles, just beneath the bark of newly grown branches. The trees respond by producing small, brown swellings or lumps, known as galls.
Unless some form of cooperative action is carried out by both government and industry, home garden citrus production is likely to be seriously impaired.

Information on wasp emergence

Reports to Good Gardening and ABC Talkback Gardening indicate infestations of citrus galls during the past season are heavier than previous years and the galls appear to be larger.
According to Dr Jianhua Mo, who leads a team of NSW Department of Primary Industries citrus researchers, Adelaide can expect its first wave of adult wasps to emerge from overwintering galls early in spring.
Good Gardening will keep home gardeners advised of this activity and provide the latest information from Dr Mo’s research team, relating to best methods of citrus gall wasp control.

   Our competition winners   

You will find the winners and a selection of citrus gall wasp images from the recent ABC Talkback Gardening / Good Gardening “big, ugly or unusual” gall wasp competition here »

Toxic insecticide to be removed from market

Chlorpyrifos, widely used to control lawn beetles, ants, cockroaches and fleas, is to be completely removed from the home garden and domestic market.
The national authority for registering agricultural chemicals, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), has advised garden centres that they have 28 days to remove all products that contain chlorpyrifos.
This follows a comprehensive review of the chemical's environment and health impacts.
Chlorpyrifos is a broad spectrum insecticide – it is not selective in what it kills and is harmful if it is touched, inhaled or eaten. It is also extremely persistent.
This chemical has already been banned for home garden and domestic use in a number of countries.
There is currently a wide range of effective, low-toxic, insect-specific home garden chemicals available for controlling lawn beetles, ants, cockroaches and fleas.
Feature plant

Dolly’s Rose- supporting Dolly’ Dream

Dolly’s Rose is a stunning fragrant crimson pink rose bush, celebrating the life and dream of Amy “Dolly” Everett.
Dolly’s Rose features large, cup-shaped flowers produced in small clusters of 3-5 blooms on strong stems.
The blooms are delightful, producing an attractive deep purple colour in warm weather, but changing to a more intense burgundy on cooler days.
Typical of nostalgic blooms, Dolly’s Rose has a lovely strong fragrance with an oriental character. The bushes repeat-bloom extremely well – an ideal cut flower rose.
This is a very healthy, bush rose with a well-branched habit and abundant semi-glossy disease resistant foliage.
Dolly’s Rose is a fundraising collaboration between Knights Roses and Dolly’s Dream.
In remembrance of Amy “Dolly” Everett, a royalty is paid from every sale to Dolly’s Dream.
Knights RosesThis is a support program that focuses on educating and creating behaviour changes in schools and the community to reduce bullying and cyber bullying of young people.

More information and online ordering »

Roses still covered with leaves

Once again rose bushes across Adelaide are refusing to drop their leaves in readiness for pruning.
In many gardens the bushes are still supporting blooms.
Don’t wait for the leaves to fall. New season’s buds will start to swell soon and, by the end of the month, many bushes will be starting to make active growth.
Pruning before the leaves drop will have no adverse effect on the roses.  Pruning after the buds start growing can weaken new season’s growth. 
Most experienced rosarians will have their bushes pruned by the end of July regardless.

Getting ready for rose pruning 

When it comes to pruning roses, make sure you are well protected from their razor sharp thorns.  Wear a thick jumper and strong trousers and buy yourself a pair of cotton pruning gloves.
If you have a large number of old bushes to prune, it is worth investing in a pair of long handled pruning secateurs. 
It’s surprising how much leverage you can get from the long handles and they are ideal for coming to grips with thick branches and dead wood. 
A pruning saw is also very useful if you have to renovate old bushes or climbing roses.


Crepe Myrtles respond to hard pruning

Crepe Myrtles are one of the few flowering shrubs that respond well to hard pruning.  But there is no need to go overboard and destroy the plant’s natural shape.
Wait until late winter and cut last seasons’ laterals or side branches back to three or four buds.  Dwarf forms should only be pruned very lightly.

Wrong pruning can ruin lilac flowering

If your lilac bushes are not producing plenty of flowers it may be the way they are pruned.
This is a shrub that produces its flowers on the previous year’s growth. 
As such it is very easy to remove the flowering buds by over-zealous pruning in winter.
After flowering in spring remove spent blooms and cut back or remove any old or weak growth. 
Over-vigorous branches can be trimmed lightly in early summer.

Choosing home garden fruit tree varieties

If you have room in the garden for more than one fruit tree, why not choose your favourite fruit and grow a number of varieties which ripen at different times, i.e. early, mid season and late. 
This way you can enjoy your favourites throughout the harvest season.
NB: Maturity times should be clearly stated on the fruit tree label.

Tips for growing top home-grown fruit

When you are only growing a few trees, it’s possible to give each one a little extra attention. In terms of the quality of the fruit you harvest, this can be very rewarding.
  • It's sunshine that helps develop healthy fruit buds mature into delicious fruit. Grow your trees in the sunniest position possible.
  • Make sure the trees receive plenty of water particularly as the fruit matures (fruit is full of water and at this stage, the trees should not go thirsty).
  • Check the trees late in spring and if they are carrying a heavy crop, thin the clusters.
  • Mulch the trees with plenty of organic matter in spring and again in autumn and at the same time apply a fruit growing fertiliser.

Pomegranates - highly rated for health

Evidence is emerging that the juice of pomegranate seeds could have a valuable role to play in containing cancers and retarding degenerative diseases, while promoting more youthful skin.
However, in the kitchen, the rich red flesh-covered seeds are now being used in salads and particularly as an edible decoration for sweets and cheese platters.
Pomegranates are easy to grow, attractive and thrive in South Australia’s hot dry climate.
Like most hardy fruiting trees, pomegranates respond quickly to just a little attention including small quantities of organic fertiliser in spring and early autumn, a deep soaking during the summer months and regular mulching.
They don’t need cross pollination and have an excellent tolerance to frost.
Trees are best established as container grown plants during late winter, spring or early autumn.
Recommended varieties include Wonderful and Azerbaijan.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm

Lawn colour a guide to healthy feeding

Take a careful look at your lawn this weekend. Dark green leaves and steady growth is the lawn’s way of saying “thank you – whatever you are doing, keep it up”. 
According to SA lawn adviser, Stefan palm, dark green colour indicates the plants are receiving a good supply of their main plant foods, particularly nitrogen, phosphorus and potash.
Furthermore, the balance between these plant foods is sound. 
In simple terms, nitrogen is needed to maintain active growth; phosphorus is linked closely to the development of new growth, particularly root growth, while potash influences water movement through the plant and cell wall thickness.
However now is not the time for more fertilizer.
As Stefan pointed out two weeks ago, after so much cold weather most summer active lawn grasses are quite dormant.
The main message is to hold off with any further fertilisers until mid or late spring.
In most cases, lawns should be fertilised three times a year, i.e. mid spring, early summer and early autumn.

You can find a more detailed year round lawn fertiliser program prepared by Stefan here »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

It’s potato planting time

July is a good month to start growing potatoes but it’s worth sprouting your potatoes before you plant. 
Potatoes are started as sets  – pieces of potato cut into four or six centimetre lengths. 
Each set must contain an active growth area or eye. 
It pays to buy seed potatoes (sold by most garden centres), as they are free from disease and virus. 
Virus in particular can significantly reduce yields.
However, you can increase crop yields significantly and shorten the time to maturity by leaving the seed potatoes in a dry, well lit position for four or five weeks before sowing.
This will encourage dormant eyes to sprout and begin growing.
These should be at least one centimetre long before planting.

Caring for orchids when it’s cold

Trevor Garard
President of the Orchid Cub of SA

With more wintry weather to come, orchid growers will need to be prepared for frosts and severe cold conditions.
Those with small collections may be able to move their plants to a more protected area.
Others will have to keep an eye on the weather forecasts. Clear, sunny days can be a precursor to overnight frosts, so do not water on those days.
Try to keep plants off the ground. In southern Adelaide during June ground temperatures dropped to -3° at about 6 am.
Cymbidium orchids that flower in spring will need their flower spikes supported.
Make sure the flower buds have all cleared the sheath on the spike as some may become trapped.
Handle all flower spikes with care as they snap easily in the cold conditions. Protect all plants from slugs and snails.
Pictured: Cattleyas provide excellent colour in July.

Trevor  also presents “Gardening with Trev” on Tribe FM 91.1, Fridays at 11 am.

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 –  Roseworthy crop and garden agronomist, Chris Butler.
Topic – Controlling soursobs: why timing is so critical.
Weekend gardening weather

Coming soon

Saturday & Sunday, August 10, 11
Annual Camellia Show, Camellias South Australia annual show
Carrick Hill, 46 Carrick Hill Drive, Springfield. Sat. 12noon - 4 pm; Sun. 10. am - 4 pm
Quality plants for sale. Free admission to the show & Carrick Hill grounds.

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, 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 & 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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