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October 1, 2021

It's time to plant tomatoes

It’s time to declare another tomato planting season is officially underway.
Topsoil temperatures in Adelaide reached 17°C during the week, dropped backed to 16°C yesterday and may fall a little lower over the long weekend.
However, a short warm spell next week should see the thermometer back above the tomato stimulating temperature of 16°C
If you garden in the Hills or cooler districts there is no need to hurry.

Why so many tomato crops fail

Over-watering and over-fertilising are major reasons why so many home garden tomato crops fail to reach their true potential.
An investigation involving more than 10 years of Good Gardening end-of-tomato-season surveys, highlighted a number of management issues that were common to gardeners reporting disappointing crops.
In most cases the bushes were over-watered and over-fertilised, particularly early in the growing season.
This resulted in over-vigorous bushes with soft leaf and stem growth but few flowers.
As the season progressed these conditions encouraged root rotting diseases, reducing the plant’s capacity to absorb moisture, particular during hot weather.
 

Growing top tomatoes – getting started

If you are looking to harvest a top crop of tomatoes, aim at growing plants that produce steady but not rapid growth.
Keep in mind during the first 2 to 3 weeks of growth the plant’s root system is limited.
  • Go easy on the fertiliser (particularly nitrogen) until fruit set, otherwise vigour becomes excessive at the expense of fruit.
  • Water twice a week but lightly

Fertilising possibilities

  • Incorporate a quality organic fertiliser for vegetables into the top 20 cm of soil before planting. (Follow product recommendations)
  • Band a manufactured fertiliser for vegetables (125 g per plant) 5 cm either side of your seedlings and 5 cm deep
  • Use a liquid organic fertiliser for vegetables when planting and follow fortnightly with half strength applications until your plants are setting fruit.

Trees For Life - Start From Seed Kits

You can help create habitat by growing and planting South Australian native plant species.
Trees For Life has Start From Seed Kits to provide everything you need to grow 50 native plants from seed for only $60.
Start From Seed Kits are available to individuals, groups and schools throughout the year, with selected seed species depending on where in South Australia you intend to plant.
The seedlings you raise are yours to plant or to give away to restore native habitat.
Start From Seed Kits are available all year round – however, species choice can be seasonal.
Trees For Life offers a variety of species, including butterfly-attracting plants and you can grow up to two different species per kit.
For more information call 8406 0500 or email info@treesforlife.org.au

You can purchase your Start From Seed Kit online here »
Trees For Lie
*Please note: kits must be collected from the Trees For Life Westwood Nursery in Brooklyn Park, SA (allow 2 weeks for supply).

The quiet achiever

Aphids may be causing mayhem in some gardens – but not all.
Thanks to reader Jenny T for this photo.

Take care when buying seedlings

Be careful when buying seedlings at the moment.
Avoid thin, lanky plants and think twice if you can see lots of roots poking through the container drainage holes.
These will receive a setback when planted out and are likely to become stressed during hot weather.
Consider soaking all seedlings in a seaweed solution before planting out.
Feature plantsof the week
Opportunity Rose

Australian roses growing in popularity

This week, Brian Wagner has selected two of his favourite Bruce Brundrett varieties from their Australian rose selection.
 

The Opportunity Rose

This is a profuse bloomer with a compact habit and it is only a little over knee high.
Medium sized flower buds have attractive form, while their rich, variable copper shades are not prone to premature fading.
This rose has very high resistance to blackspot when compared to other varieties.
Light fragrance. Height 80 cm.
Proceeds from the sale help support pancreatic cancer research.
 

Shirley’s Rose

Decidedly a lady's rose, with large, intensely fragrant, full-bodied bloom of 40 petals.
When open, the blooms retain their intense  peach/apricot colour. These are framed by their outer bone petals.
The plants are vigorous and produce long stems for the vase. They also have good resistance to disease.
Shirley’s Rose was awarded a Silver Medal at Queensland’s Toowoomba Rose Trial Gardens.
Height: up to 150 cm.
One dollar from the sale of each plant will contribute to research into pancreatic cancer.
Shirley's Rose

Pre-order roses for 2022

All of Wagner’s 2022 bare root rose collection will be available online from Monday, October 11.
These will be available for delivery during winter 2022.
2021 prices will remain until January 2022.
Wagners Rose Nursery
One of the largest and longest-running
rose nurseries in Australia »
Living Colour petunias – Spreading Yellow (left) and Spreading Silver

Many uses for new spreading petunias

If you enjoy the display produced by easy-care petunias, you will love the performance from two new spreading petunias.
Petunia Spreading Silver and Petunia Spreading Yellow are quite amazing, as they spread quickly to produce a canopy 75 to 95 cm wide.
As such, they are ideal for growing as groundcover plants or used to spill over the side of hanging baskets or display containers.
These petunias are quick to bloom and will remain covered in flowers through spring summer and well into autumn.
Like all petunias, they thrive in full sun and have excellent tolerance to heat.
However, because of their inbuilt vigour they respond quickly to a fortnightly application of an organic fertiliser and need to be watered regularly, particularly during warm weather.
Petunia Spreading Silver and Petunia Spreading Yellow are grown in South Australia by Living Colour Nursery as part of their new “Fab 4” seedling range.

Living Colour spreading petunias 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.

Voltage – an osteo with high impact

If you need a high impact plant in your landscape, look no further than Osteo Voltage.
Voltage is an osteospermum that comes with a guarantee of bright refreshing colour.
Clear yellow petals radiate around a prominent darker centre with the blooms held high on flexible stems. The effect is quite eye-catching.
Voltage with its low, spreading habit looks quite brilliant in a landscape.
Because of its compact mounding habit, it is also an ideal plant for growing in baskets, containers or in garden beds.
This hardy, easy-care osteo flowers over a very long period – certainly from early spring right through to autumn – although in milder SA districts it will often remain in flower all year round.

Osteo Voltage 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.

Your first raised vegetable garden   

So, you are now the proud owner of a raised vegetable garden – resist the temptation to plant the entire vegetable plot at the one time.
It may look good but you’re likely to end up with too many vegetables maturing at the same time. 
Try to estimate the quantity you are likely to need over a two to three week period and plant accordingly.
 

Tips for starting your own raised vegetable garden bed

  • Vegetables are sun lovers. Choose the sunniest position possible.
  • Raised beds can be placed directly onto a hard surface such as courtyard pavers, bricks or a cement path. However, make provision for surplus moisture to drain freely.
  • If possible, fill the beds with a ‘raised bed’ soil mix. These are readily available from landscape supply yards.
  • Potting mix should have compost added as potting mix by itself dries out rapidly in summer.

Changing beds worth considering     

Growing the same crop in exactly the same location in your raised garden bed can quickly result in a build-up of damaging soil diseases.
The answer is to change crops each year  – from fruiting crops such as tomatoes, capsicums and egg fruit to leafy crops including cabbage, lettuce and silver beat.
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Grow your own leafy green stir fry vegies

The trick to growing tasty leafy greens is grow them fast.
Throughout the warmer months leafy greens can be harvested within three weeks of planting.
Harvest the leaves while young and delicate and only take the leaves required for the immediate meal – leave the plants to continue to grow.
This way harvesting can take place over a couple of months.
But for a continued supply of nutritious leaves through the growing season, make sure you plant a new batch every four weeks into soil that has been improved with Seasol Super Compost.
This is a premium compost mix especially formulated to revitalise soils for healthy plant growth.
Seasol Super Compost has everything small seedlings need to grow quickly and at the same time ensure they taste great.

More information »

Check for hungry caterpillars

Green and multi-coloured caterpillars are feasting greedily on the leaves of many vegetable crops. 
Small numbers can be removed by hand. 
If spraying is needed, use Success or Dipel.  Both are non-toxic insecticides.
 

Protect apple trees from codling moth

The first protective spray to control this insect should be applied two weeks after petal fall which is now for many varieties of apples and pears. 
Use Success for this spray, not carbaryl, as this can affect fruit set.

Possum deterrent spray

SA gardeners angered by possums constantly damaging their prize plants have a new scientifically-backed possum repellent to protect their garden. 
The repellent, developed by University of Melbourne zoologist Prof Lynn Selwood, has been patented by the University and is now being manufactured and distributed in Australia by Yates.
The repellent is being presented by Yates as a spray and contains a combination of plant-based ingredients that have been shown to effectively deter possums from browsing on a wide range of plants.
Yates recommends  the product should be sprayed regularly and thoroughly over target plants, particularly on new growth.
For maximum effectiveness it should be applied every seven days or after rain.
Retreatment timing can then be extended as possum behaviour changes.
The spray should be applied during late afternoon or early evening as most possum activity occurs at night.
Yates Possum Repellent Spray should be available from a wide range of garden outlets.

Possum prevention in your home & garden »

More product information »

Check soon for citrus gall wasp

It’s time to check the branches on citrus trees, particularly lemons and grapefruit for galls produced by the damaging citrus gall wasp. 
Look for small, cylindrical, light-brown lumps (galls) on recently produced pencil thin branches. 
Each gall contains dozens of minute larvae that will begin emerging later this month as adult wasps.
 

Strategies to beat citrus gall wasps

Citrus growers now have two effective strategies to protect their trees from citrus gall wasp.
Both strategies involve spraying trees with products that will deter the gall wasps from laying their eggs and re-infesting citrus trees in the coming season.

Timing of these sprays is critical.

Kaolin clay: This is a relatively new product and in commercial trials provided over 90 pc control.
It is sold as Vasilis Citrus Gall Wasp Spray and should be available from many local garden centres.
The first spray needs to be applied just before the wasps begin to emerge from their galls and the second two weeks later.

Horticultural oil: Products such as eco-oil and Pest Oil are also effective. Three sprays are required and these should be applied no more than two weeks apart.


Latest wasp emergence dates

At this stage it is anticipated wasps will begin emerging across Adelaide on October 23, reach a peak around November 11 with emergence completed by November 17.
Update information from the National Citrus Gall Wasp control program will be published weekly in Good Gardening.
Wasp emergence is determined by late winter and early spring temperatures.

Shrubblers, Bubblers and Spectrums

Looking for the perfect watering device for your garden? Antelco has you covered.
Shrubblers® are perfect for localised plant watering. Rotate the cap to adjust flow and coverage to suit plant's needs. Can be placed at ground level, or elevated above foliage using an Asta® Stake.

Mini Bubblers have your fruit and larger trees covered. The gentle umbrella pattern allows for more water to be applied in a shorter amount of time. Place at the plant root zone for targeted watering.

Spectrums are perfect for all your larger garden bed watering. Place above plant foliage and watch the fine water droplets as they provide full coverage.
Proudly South Australian made and owned, Antelco has the perfect product to “tune” your watering system to suit your growing garden.

More information »
 

Worried about water?          

Take a good look at the way you water the garden and when. 
Sprinklers that produce a fine mist and throw this high in the air should be labelled ‘water wasters. 
On a warm windy day, 60 percent of the water can be evaporated before reaching the ground. 
Choose one that produces large water drops distributed through a relatively low projector.
Even better, consider watering your trees and shrubs with one of the latest micro irrigation systems.
The savings in water will probably pay for the equipment in the first two to three years.
If possible, water the garden early in the morning.  This freshens the plants and helps them get through those hot windy days. 
There’s also less likely to be water losses through evaporation. 
However, to achieve this efficiency these systems require regular maintenance.

Pruning the heat lovers                     

Hibiscus, oleanders and other heat-loving bushes that flower in late summer and autumn should be cut back now if they need re-shaping. 
Hard cutting will encourage strong, new growth and this may need tip pruning a few weeks after growth begins.
 

Time to trim topiary

Most plants used for topiary are summer active but begin rapid growth during spring. 
This is the time to trim them back into shape.
However, if it is the first time you have had a go at reshaping a topiary and the laterals are already very long and lanky, be prepared to follow your initial shaping in three to four weeks with a light trim. 
After all it is the final shape that counts.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

Which lawn for you?

When it comes to choosing the right lawn for your own garden, where do you go for sound reliable information?
If you have tried trawling the web don’t be surprised if you end up quite confused.
In this week’s lawn blog turf consultant Stefan Palm takes a long, hard look at some of the many claims that are being made about lawn varieties.
He then looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the main lawn types and provides sound comment on some of the latest varieties.
According to Stefan, it’s important to do your research, understand your needs and ask plenty of questions.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Use leaf sprays for citrus yellows

Take a good look at the leaves on your citrus trees, particularly those in containers.
Many are pale green or even yellow instead of dark green. Blame our recent cold weather, as it is inhibiting early-season uptake of soil nitrogen.
Spraying the leaves (asap) with a foliar fertiliser and a seaweed solution should result in rapid leaf colour recovery. 
Follow this with your normal citrus feeding program.
 

Trim early spring-flowering plants

As spring flowering trees and shrubs lose their blooms, they should be trimmed lightly to encourage new growth for next year’s flowers. 
The list includes prunus, flowering almonds, cherries and other stone fruits, as well as wattles, thryptomene and other natives.

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 advice please give me a call on ABC Radio Adelaide's Saturday morning Talkback Gardening  or ask at your local garden centre.

Open GardensOpen Gardens SA

Saturday, October 2 – Monday, October 4
Avondale
146 Avondale Road, Riverton
An informal country garden where bulbs have increased and naturalised to provide a beautiful spring display.
Opening for a second time this season, the early bulbs have finished and now the later blooming varieties create a different but equally pretty show of colour. Open October long weekend - all three days.

More information on the garden and directions »

Gardens open 10 am to 4.30 pm.
Entry $8 - OGSA members; $6 - Government concession card holders; children under 18 free.

More information on the 2021 season »
Weather forecasts

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.

Independent climatologist Darren Ray provides his monthly weather outlook for home gardeners.

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
Here at Heyne’s the October long week equals gardening. We are loaded from seedling racks to plant benches with gorgeous flowering treasures,  fabulous herbs & vegetables.
Now is the time to plant and prosper – we’re open all long weekend, so there’s no excuse for not planting out a vegetable patch and getting  into the garden.

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
Well the garden centre is chock a block full of spectacular colour and quality stock. For all who know us, you know that there is not a spare space available!! Check us out on Insta and Facebook.
We are open all long weekend and would love to see your beautiful smiling faces. Have a great long weekend everyone, from all the crew at Semaphore Pets & Garden.

Always a great selection of plants, pets and giftware – all under the one roof. Open 7 days.
Facebook »

Barrow & Bench
Barrow & Bench Mitre 10
321 Unley Rd, Malvern. (08) 8272 8566
Are you long weekend-ready?  Plenty of summer veg and flowers available, along with lovely flowering perennials and more. 
Open Sat/Sun/Mon.  Sausage Sizzle Saturday.  Coffee van here Sunday. 
Can’t wait to see you in store.

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

Coming soon

Monday, October 4
SA Orchidaceous Society plant sale
Klemzig Community Hall, 242 North East Road, Klemzig, 9.30 am - 4 pm.

Saturday, October 9
Port Augusta Garden Club Show
A non-competitive exhibition by Garden Club members and friends, with native plants, flowers, produce on display. 10 am to 1 pm.  Port Augusta Garden Club, Elizabeth Terrace. Plant sales, raffle, sale of cakes and jams etc. Site of a magnificent mural painted by artist Joel Plevin. All welcome.

Saturday, October 9
SA Chrysanthemum Society annual plant sale
Goodwood Community Centre, 32-34 Rosa Street, Goodwood. 10 am - 2 pm.

Saturday, October 9
Fern sale, Adelaide High School
West Terrace Adelaide, 9 am - 2 pm.

Saturday & Sunday, October 9 & 10
Bonsai Society of  SA annual show
Goodwood Community Centre, 32 Rosa St. Goodwood. Sat 10 am - 4 pm, Sun 10 am - 3 pm.
Bonsai and Ikebana display and demonstrations. Bonsai, tools and pots for sale. Gold coin donation.
 
Dalveen open garden fund raiser
173 Dalveen Rd, Woodchester. 10 am - 4 pm
A young informal garden dependent on rainfall, with shelter-belt of old trees and sweeping lawns around a historic homestead, enjoying panoramic views of the family sheep and cropping property established in 1853. $10 entry includes Devonshire Tea. Proceeds benefit St Andrew’s Strathalbyn Uniting Church restorations.

Saturday, October 16
Spring Show, SA Geranium & Pelargonium Society
Western Youth Centre, 79 Marion Road, Cowandilla. 9.30 am - 4 pm.
More information »

Saturday & Sunday, October 16 & 17
Goyder Gardens - Burra & Beyond
Stallholders and presenters, workshops, food and music will be a feature in these open gardens, all within an hour's drive of Burra. This year will again focus on amazing diversity in often challenging environmental conditions.
More information »

Saturday & Sunday, October 16 & 17
Anlaby Open Garden
829 Anlaby Road, Hamilton (near Kapunda). With 10 acres to wander, you will be able to immerse yourself in history, Anlaby Station being the oldest Merino sheep studs on mainland Australia.
Web site »  |  Bookings »

Saturday & Sunday, October 23 & 24
Spring rose show, Rose Society of South Australia Inc
Garden Grove, 1150 Golden Grove Road, Golden Grove. Sat 11 am - 5 pm, Sun 9 am - 5pm.
More information »

Saturday & Sunday, October 23 & 24
Bromeliad Society spring  show and sales extravaganza
Maltese Cultural Centre, 6 Jeanes St, Beverley. Sat 9 am - 3pm), Sun 10 am - 3 pm. Free entry both days

Saturday, November 6
SA Plant Clubs' Open Day
Western Youth Centre, 79 Marion Rd, Cowandilla. Plant sales & supplies. African Violets, carnivorous, cottage garden, scculents, pelargoniums and geraniums. Covid-safe cafe and sausage sizzle. $2 entry.

Saturday, November 6
Show me your garden: Private gardens of Medindie
Meet the Women of Walkerville at the corner of Briar and Willyama Avenues to be given the directions to explore three unique and inspiring Medindie gardens, within easy walking distance of each other, and not normally open to the public. Open 1pm - 3.30 pm. $10 entry.
The Women of Walkerville are a fundraising committee that hold events to raise money for domestic violence causes.
More information »

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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