From Jon Lamb Communications
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May 31, 2019

Our wet weather will soon dry up

Warmer and much drier conditions are now likely over SA through winter and spring, as an extremely strong, positive Indian Ocean Dipole is now forming.
If you are enjoying the current spell of above-average wet weather, Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Darren Ray suggests you take steps now to conserve as much soil moisture as possible – it may not last long.
You can hear more details tomorrow morning on ABC Radio Talkback Gardening, when Darren provides his three-month weather outlook for home gardeners.
This video produced by the Bureau explains how the IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole), which is closely linked to conditions that are warmer and drier than normal across SA, forms and how it works:


For the record . . .

Adelaide has just recorded its first above average rainfall in nine months (Kent Town, May 30 – 85 mm).
This is currently 25 mm above the May average of 61 mm.
Temperatures across Adelaide are currently slightly above-average. (Kent Town 19.3°C, average 19.1°C). 
However, the Bureau of Meteorology is likely to confirm Australia has just recorded  one of its five warmest autumns on record.
Meanwhile, the combination of wet weather and cold nights has seen topsoil temperatures plummet 5°C since the beginning of May (yesterday, Kent town 11 to 12°C).
Feature plant

Pansy Tumbles tops in SA

Tumbles is certainly the spreading pansy of choice if you’re looking for easy-to-grow, long-lasting colour to brighten your garden through winter, spring and early summer.
Tumbles is recognised as the best tumbling pansy for baskets and feature containers, as the plants spread quickly and eventually cover up to 60 cm – often more.
However, this pansy looks just as good spilling over the edge of a raised garden bed, used as a colourful edging to a pathway or group planted to produce a great splash of colour.
Tumbles is a vigorous, disease-free plant, low-growing (50 cm) with medium-size blooms – 5 cm across.

Tumbles are available in hanging baskets from Garden Grove Nursery, Mitre 10 McLaren Vale and selected garden centres.

Caterpillar numbers building on cabbages 

If you have planted broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower seedlings in the past four to six weeks, take a very close look at the leaves. 
Our late autumn burst of warm weather encouraged cabbage white butterflies to keep laying eggs. 
Most of these have hatched and it looks like a small army of green caterpillars has launched another pre-winter attack.
The size of the caterpillars can be gauged by the size of the holes made in the leaves. 
Success, a chemical designed specifically for controlling caterpillars, is worth trying. 
The caterpillars will stop feeding immediately but take three to four days to die after it is applied.

Sweetening sour oranges

There is nothing like a spell of cold weather to put colour into your ripening navel oranges.
If the fruits you are picking taste a little sour, leave them on the tree for a week or so, as cold temperatures will also increase their natural sugar content.

Citrus – buy now, plant later

New supplies of dwarf and standard-sized citrus trees will be arriving soon at your local garden centre. 
Buy – but don’t plant yet. 
Trees planted in cold, wet ground will receive a severe check and may not recover for many months.  Consider planting when it’s time to plant out tomato seedlings – late September.

Late peach ideal for the lunchbox

If you are looking for a great peach for the kids' lunchboxes, you will need a variety that ripens after they go back to school.
In SA we have hit the jackpot – Jackpot peach.
This is a fantastic new, late-season, yellow-flesh, freestone peach, ideal for the lunchbox or simply enjoying fresh at this time of the year.
Jackpot peach was discovered recently in a Balhannah garden and, thanks to the Balhannah Nursery, it is now available at your local garden centre.
If it is not yet in stock ask your garden centre to order a Jackpot peach for you.

More information in Balhannah's home gardeners' catalogue »

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.

Natural home-grown remedies for winter ailments 

The idea of growing herbs recognised for their medicinal properties has considerable appeal. 
While caution is needed in this area, there are a number of herbs recognised for their health benefits.

These herbs are cold and flu fighters:

  • Echinacea – antibiotic and reduces flu symptoms
  • Garlic – antibiotic, expectorant, helps prevent colds
  • Horseradish – helps reduce symptoms of flu and sinusitis
  • Hyssop – for treating coughs and bronchitis
  • Lemongrass – for fever and infections
  • Sage and thyme – antibiotic for throat and mouth infections
Sustainable living tips

It’s time to plant local natives

Autumn and winter are the ideal time to establish some new plants in your garden.

Why local natives?

  • They originally grew in your neighbourhood and have evolved to suit local conditions (long, hot, dry summers and a changing climate).
  • They are edible, medicinal and have cultural significance to the Koruna, Ngarrindjeri, Peramangk and Ngadjuri nations.

Where do you start?

Look out for local council plant sales and giveaways:
Trees for Life (SA): Go Wild – Garden Plant Sale: 30 May – 1 June »

City of West Torrens Native plant giveaway: Saturday 1 June »

Grevilleas a great source of winter colour

There are so many different forms of grevilleas but many of the smaller compact forms flower through winter and will provide a great splash of colour. 
They adapt well to growing in a container but in the garden you need forms that match your soil type i.e. acid or alkaline.
G Lanigera ‘Mount Tamboritha’ (pictured above) is very attractive with its deep pink to cream flowers, as is G Thelemanniana, with red, spider-like flowers and generally prostrate to low-growing.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm

Cold weather stops lawn growth

A run of cold weather means our summer-active lawns grasses, including couch, buffalo and kikuyu, have suddenly stopped their autumn growth.
The question is, will they still respond to fertiliser, and are they likely to lose their bright green colour?
In this week’s lawn blog SA turf advisor Stefan Palm suggests these grasses are already in winter dormancy and there is little you can do now to make them grow.
Stefan explains what to watch out for over the next few weeks and provides some practical tips on maintaining your lawn until it starts to grow again in spring.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Persimmons look good and taste good as well

Persimmons are one of the last deciduous fruit trees to ripen. Right now the fruits look quite spectacular as they hang on branches that are quickly losing their autumn leaves.
While their flesh needs to become quite soft before eating, new non-astringent varieties like Fuyu can be eaten fresh from the tree like a crunchy apple.
The trees are quite large, 5-6 metres x 3-4 metres and are a little slow to mature. 
Persimmons need a well drained soil and for good sized fruit should be watered regularly through summer.
Because the fruit buds appear towards the end of current branches, hard pruning can significantly reduce yields. 
Alternatively, light pruning can be used to improve the fruit size of high yielding trees. 
Persimmons don’t need cross-pollination to set, although the newer varieties will produce larger fruit if there is a cross pollinator.

Protecting against frost and cold

You can help prevent damage by carefully repositioning tender plants (or physically shield them) when frost and lower temperatures are forecast.
At the same time you can increase this protection by giving your plants regular doses of Seasol.
Frost damage is caused when frozen plant cells thaw out and rupture.
With regular use, Seasol can lower the temperature at which plant cells freeze.
It’s a bit like antifreeze for your garden, providing plants with a better chance of standing up to frost and colder temperatures.
The secret is to start applying Seasol regularly now, before wintry conditions set in.
Mix 30 ml of Seasol in 9 litres of water and apply it to plants in your garden every two weeks throughout the  year.

More information »

Colourful container plants

Annuals such as polyanthus, primulas, cinerarias and pansies make excellent flowering pot plants to brighten-up patios and verandas.
They can be bought as seedlings and placed in small containers. Use a potting mix that drains freely.

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.
Saturday, June 1
Go Wild - Garden Plant Sale
A wide variety of native seedlings suitable for the Adelaide metropolitan area, Hills and surrounds. Trees for Life Westwood Nursery, cnr of Sir Donald Bradman Drive & May Terrace, Brooklyn Park. 9 am - 1 pm. Please bring your recycled boxes or shopping bags to help take home your goodies.
More information »
Weekend gardening weather

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 – Bureau of Meteorology climatologist, Darren Ray.
Topic – Why winter and spring are likely to be dry. A three-month weather outlook for SA home gardeners.

Coming soon

Saturday, Sunday, June 15, 16
SAROC Orchid Fair
Drill Hall, Torrens Parade Ground, King William Rd., Adelaide. Saturday 9 am – 5 pm; Sunday10 am - 4 pm. More information »

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, 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 »

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 »


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.

Copyright © 2019 Jon Lamb Communications, All rights reserved.

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