From Jon Lamb Communications
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October 29, 2021
Afrikaans (left) and Delightful Parfuma

Winners in Adelaide's national rose trials

Four new roses were awarded gold medals in this year's National Rose Garden trials.
The awards were announced in Adelaide this week and it is the first time four gold medals have been awarded from a single trial.
In addition, six roses were awarded silver medals and a further 18 received bronze awards.
According to trial garden coordinator, Merv Trimper, this was one of the largest numbers of awards presented from a particular trial.

Gold medal winners

Heaven on Earth: Also Australia’s Rose of the year, Best Rose in the trial and Best floribunda .
Jessica’s Rose: Also Best Australian bred rose and best hybrid tea. This rose was grown by Australian rose breeder Bruce Brundrett.
Delightful Parfuma: Also most fragrant rose in the trial.
Afrikaans: Also Most Pest and Disease Tolerant Rose and World Federation of Rose Society’s Peoples Choice Award 2021
Jessica's Rose (left) and Heaven on Earth

Soil temperatures now ideal for planting

Topsoil temperatures across most of Adelaide are now at an ideal level for establishing warm-season plants.
During the week temperatures fluctuated between 17 and 19°C with a quick spike into the low 20s.
This pattern is likely to be repeated in the week ahead.

Citrus wasp spray supplies running low

Adelaide supplies of the citrus gall wasp control chemical, kaolin clay are tight. Many garden centres have already sold out.
Melbourne-based distributor for the chemical, sold as Vasili's Citrus Gall Wasp Spray, told Good Gardening yesterday, South Australian orders for the product over the past two weeks had been quite extraordinary.
Backorders were being processed this week and these should be in SA garden centres by early next week.
The effectiveness of kaolin clay in controlling citrus gall wasps has been highlighted regularly over the past three weeks in the Good Gardening newsletter and also on ABC Saturday TalkBack Gardening.

Alternative control for citrus wasps

Gardeners unable to buy kaolin clay should spray their trees immediately with a horticultural oil  – Pest Oil or eco-oil.
In citrus gall wasp control trials, horticultural oil had a 70% plus effectiveness rating.
Follow-up oil sprays are recommended at two-week intervals.
SARDI entomologist Greg Baker, responsible for modifying the wasp emergence guide to Adelaide conditions, strongly recommends that gardeners should not use toxic sprays, to control the wasps, as they are likely to have a devastating effect on beneficial insects.

Citrus gall wasps arrive dead on time

Citrus gall wasps began emerging in Adelaide on exactly the date predicted in Good Gardening – Tuesday, 26 October.
And Fulham gardener Ian Picket was ready and waiting. He sent this photo of gall wasps stuck to a yellow sticky trap.
"On Monday there were none," he said. "But Tuesday, as predicted – BOOM. What a precise forecast."
According to the citrus industry wasp emergence guide, wasp activity will reach a peak on November 11, with the last wasps emerging around November 22.

Contest to pick our most important plants

A photographic competition is underway to discover the most important plants in SA gardens.
Launched last Saturday on ABC TalkBack Gardening, the competition aims to photographically identify plants that contribute most to SA gardens and the environment.
To take part in the competition, send a single photograph of the plant you believe contributes most to your garden (either to yourself or the environment) along with a maximum of 40 words explaining why.

These must be sent via the ABC website to
Entries close on Tuesday November 2, 2021 and 10 winners will be announced on ABC Saturday TalkBack Gardening on November 6.
The best winning entries will also be published in Good Gardening on November 12.
The competition is to celebrate 30 years of ABC Gardening Australia magazine.

Fungal risk with thundery weather

If our warm, showery weather continues, keep a watch out for a range of fungal diseases.
The biggest problems are likely to be caused by:
  • Blackspot: Roses, apples, grapevines
  • Target spot: Tomatoes
  • Powdery mildew: Leafy vegetables particularly cucumbers and zucchinis, new growth on ornamentals particularly roses and hydrangeas.

Best preventative sprays

Blackspot and target spot: Liquid copper or Mancozeb plus.
Powdery mildew: eco-fungicide, eco-Rose.

Wasps winning the war against aphids

Roses this season are certainly producing a magnificent display.
But in gardens where sap-sucking aphids have been a problem and you didn’t spray them with an insecticide, take a close look at what is happening now.
While aphids may still be active, so too are small parasitic wasps (aphidius rosea).
The wasps look like very small flies and when present they lay their eggs inside the aphids.
Grub-like larvae emerge, eat all of the aphid except the skin and this outside skin becomes a silver or bronze “mummy”.
Within a few days, the larvae emerge as a new parasitic wasp.
Since its introduction into South Australia more than a decade ago, this wasp has spread across most of the state and, once established in your garden and given the right conditions, it can play a major role in containing aphid populations.

Least-damaging control options

This small but very effective parasitic wasp will control aphids in your garden providing you do not spray your rose bushes during the growing season with a toxic insecticide, including pyrethrum-based products.
If you can’t see wasps at work in your rose bushes and there are hordes of aphids present, try dislodging them with squirts of water.
If you must spray, choose a non- toxic option, such as eco-oil or Pest Oil.
Mexican feathergrass

Invasive weed found in Adelaide backyard

SA gardeners have been asked to remain alert following recent detection of Mexican feather grass, a highly invasive pest plant, at Myrtle Bank.
Mexican feather grass is a hardy, drought-resilient weed and poses a major threat to both agriculture and the environment.
Each plant can potentially produce up to 100,000 seeds per year and these can be spread by wind rain and animals
It was accidentally introduced to Australia when it was mis-labelled and sold as an ornamental plants before being recalled.
The weed is not established in South Australia – yet.
Any suspected sighting of the plant should be reported immediately to your local Landscape Board »

More information on Mexican feathergrass and other alert weeds »
Feature plantsof the week
Jessica's Rose

National trials identify some great roses

Once again the National Rose trial Garden awards have identified a wide range of outstanding roses. Many of these will be grown at Wagner's' Rose Nursery and will be ready for sale in the near future.
Meanwhile, Brian Wagner has selected gold medal-winning Jessica’s Rose for this week’s Good Gardening newsletter.

Jessica's Rose

This trial garden gold medal  winner is yet another beautiful creation from multi -award winning Australian rose breeder, Bruce Brundrett
Elegant pink buds open into large soft pink flowers. These fade into nearly white when fully opened, showing their yellow stamens.
The bushes are healthy and clean with medium green foliage and flower on masse resulting in a beautiful well-rounded rose. Light Fragrance. Height 100cm.
Jessica’s Rose can be ordered online. It will be available as a bare rooted bush and available for dispatch next winter.
Wagners Rose Nursery is the agent for roses bred  by Bruce Brundrett. (see video)
Brian Wagner from Wagner's Rose Nursery talks with Australian rose breeder Bruce Brundrett.
Wagners Rose Nursery
One of the largest and longest-running
rose nurseries in Australia »

Capsicums to suit any small space

All you need is a small space and a sunny location to start growing Patio Snack Red capsicums.
The fruits have a crisp, sweet texture, the kind of vegetable you can eat fresh – either green or red.
Alternatively they will add instant flavour when cooking.
The shape of the fruits allows the stem end and internal seeds to be easily removed – great for stuffing, while the flesh holds its shape well when grilled.
When growing, sunshine is essential – but the plants adapt well to patio pots, courtyard containers and raised garden beds.
Capsicum Patio Snack Red belongs to the Living Colour Patio Patch series of vegetables. These are grown in 175 mm wide containers and are already starting to produce fruit.
Living Colour suggest the plants should be watered regularly during the warmer weather. When feeding use a controlled release fertiliser or a liquid fertiliser blended specifically for fruit and vegetables.

Patio Snack Red capsicums 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.

A lot to like about Megacopa bacopas

To start with there are more flowers on this bacopa and they are also much bigger than traditional varieties.
In South Australia don’t be surprised if your Megacopa produces its blooms all year round.
As a garden plant tolerance to full sun, wind and rain is excellent and, most importantly, it has improved heat performance.
Because Megacopa is also quite compact (10 to 20 cm high and 30 to 50 cm wide) it can be used as a moisture retaining groundcover in garden beds.
However, because of its excellent trailing habit it is also an ideal plant for growing in hanging baskets, containers or as a feature plant spilling over a retaining wall or rockery.

Megacopas 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.

What’s so good about raised vege gardens?

The simple act of raising the soil in a garden bed by 20-30 cm can result in a dramatic improvement in soil drainage and more importantly soil aeration.   
In a standard garden bed, small air spaces between soil particles are continually filled with moisture, often for extended periods, every time it rains or the soil is watered.
However, in a raised bed, surplus moisture quickly drains away and the spaces are refilled with air.  
Air circulating through the topsoil quickly stimulates the existing population of soil microbes and this in turn results in a healthier, more vigorous root system.
This is particularly so if you have already added organic matter to the soil. 
In this situation the soil microbes convert the organic matter as well as any fertilisers and /or animal manures into a steady supply of essential plant nutrients.

How much soil is enough?

To work out how much soil or mix you need to fill a medium-sized raised bed, multiply its length by its width by its height e.g., length 2m x width 1.5m x height 0.3m (30cm) = 0.9 cubic metres. 
This is roughly equivalent to the contents of a standard, small trailer.
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Trim for summer-flowering shrubs      

Attractive summer flowering shrubs including abelias, abutilon (Chinese lantern), hibiscus, oleander and gardenias should now be making healthy new season growth. 
If they need rejuvenating by hard pruning or simply tidying up with a trim, do it soon – and certainly before the beginning of summer. 
Tip pruning subsequent vigorous stem growth will help maintain a compact canopy.

Spring lawns respond to quality fertiliser

If you like the look of a healthy green lawn, take a very close look right now.
In most gardens the early spring flush of green grass is starting to fade and in some lawns weeds, a good indicator of a hungry lawn, are moving in.
Late October and early November is one of the best times to apply a quality fertiliser.
Munns Golf Course Green Lawn Fertiliser is quality-based, organic and recommended by lawn professionals.
It is designed to promote healthy growth without resulting in extra mowing and it can be used on all lawn varieties.
As a water-saving benefit it also contains Munns' unique organic Wetter – Lawn and Garden. This slows down the release of the Golf Course Green fertiliser, resulting in a greener lawn over a longer period which also requires less mowing.

More information and a calculator to work out how much
fertiliser you need »

Get ready to plant dahlias

If the thought of admiring a colourful display of dahlias through summer has appeal, start making your final preparations in the next few weeks.
This should include loosening the soil and incorporating plenty of moisture-retaining compost. 
A quality organic fertiliser blended for fruit and flower production should also be worked into the soil a week or so before planting.
You will find a wide range of ready-to-plant dahlia tubers hanging on special display stands at your local garden centre.

These plants grow easily from cuttings

Softwood cuttings can be struck very easily at the moment. 
Use a mixture of three parts coarse sand or perlite to one part peat moss. 
The range of plants that can be started include fuchsias, hydrangeas, hibiscus, lantana, rosemary and many Australian natives.

PotStream offers hassle-free watering

Potted plants are a beautiful accessory to any garden but when it comes to keeping them watered they can create a few frustrations.
Some common peeves of potted plant watering are: 
  • Water wastage and soil washout when watering by hand. 
  • Differing water requirements per plant and pot. 
  • Various pot sizes. 
  • Different growing conditions i.e., sun versus shade. 
  • Patio stains occur from overwatering. 
PotstreamThe PotStream® Adjustable Flow Dripper is a side mounted watering device that has an adjustable watering flow, from shut off to full distribution across the whole pot.
This allows for total control over how much water is delivered to each pot, depending on their watering requirements and pot size.
The PotStream® produces a light gentle stream that applies water at a low application rate, minimising soil disturbance and overwatering.

More information »

Start these vegetables from seed

Zucchinis, cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, peas and beans all start life as very large seeds.
They are also sun lovers and germinate readily when sown directly into a raised garden bed or large container, particularly if you can get them started before the end of November. 
Don’t forget to add plenty of composted organic matter and some complete organic fertiliser to the soil before sowing.

Natural spray for controlling white fly

How do you react when you disturb a plant and are greeted by a cloud of small flying insects?
These are sure to be white fly, tiny sap-sucking insects often found on the underside of plant leaves. Invariably they fly around when disturbed.
To check for white fly on vegetables look on the underside of the leaves. Low numbers don’t cause problems and are best ignored.
However, in plague proportion their activity can result in distorted leaves, yellowing, silvering of foliage and reduced amounts of produce.
White fly damage can be minimised by planting varieties in season, having healthy soil and fertilising regularly.
To reduce populations, apply EarthCare Natural Pyrethrum insect spray. This is low toxic, natural and has a rapid action on pests.
Spray both sides of the plant’s foliage and, repeat every 14 days, if needed.

More information »
White fly on tomato leaves.

Do your plants need re-potting? 

It doesn’t take long for the roots of a healthy container grown plant to reach the outer edge of its root ball.
With nowhere to go the strongest roots begin to circle the root ball.
If you do nothing the plant quickly become root bound, growth slows and the plant begins to decline.
When this occurs, roots growing around the root ball need to be removed – with a pair of secateurs – without disturbing roots growing within the root ball.
Now, while container-grown plants are making active growth, is a good time to remove the container and check what’s happening.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

Tom Thumb grass makes a good lawn

When you like the look of a lawn but don’t have time for mowing and watering, dichondra or Tom Thumb grass makes a great lawn alternative.
Technically, dichondra is a groundcover but it produces a thick stand of low-growing, grass-green, kidney-shaped leaves and happily thrives thrive in South Australia’s warm dry climate.
According to lawn consultant Stefan Palm, dichondra has many uses, as it grows well in sun or shade and can provide an ideal solution for locations that are small or too difficult to mow.
In this week’s lawn blog Stefan provides all the details you need to plant your dichondra and keep it looking good.

More information »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Safe way to feed house plants

The safest and easiest way to feed plants in containers is to use a slow-acting, controlled-release fertiliser. Products with a 3 to 4 months action are ideal.
The first application should be applied now, as plants begin their spring growth, with a second application added towards the end of summer. Check the product label for application rates.

Soil and plant boosters

If you are growing house plants that flower or produce very strong growth, you may also like to try some of the recently released soil and plant boosters.
These contain a range of natural elements to stimulate and/or protect plants and soil health.
While they can be very beneficial, they are not a substitute for fertilisers.

Small trees for small gardens

The following list of small trees was provided by Master landscaper Jamie McIlwain during the October 22 ABC Saturday TalkBack Gardening program. Jamie is a multi-award-winning landscaper and runs Hills Classic Gardens »

   Small trees / large shrubs  

Malus (Crabapples)
Malus transitoria Golden Raindrops (H 5/6m by W 4/5m)
Malus sutyzam Sugar Time (H 6m by W 5m)
Malus yunnanensis Wychwood Ruby (H 4 by W 3m)

Cotinus (Smokebush)
Cotinus coggygria Grace (H 4m by W 3m)
Cotinus coggygria Purpurea(H 4m by W 3m)

Lagerstroemia(Crepe Myrtle)
Lagerstoemia indica X fauriei Tonto (H 3m by W 3m)
Lagerstoemia indica Acoma(H3m by W 3m)

Viburnum (Snowball Tree)
Viburnum opulus Sterile (Snowball Tree/ Guelder Rose) (H 3/4m by W 3m)

Olea (Olive )
Olea europaea Tollys Upright (H 6m by W 4m)
Olea europaea Bambilina(H 4m by W 3m)

Cydonia (Quince)
Cydonia oblonga (Common Quince ) (H 4m by W 3m)
Pseudocydonia sinensis (Chinese Quince ) (H 6m by W 4m)

Elaeocarpus (Blueberry Ash)
Elaeocarpus reticulatis Prima Donna (H 6m by W 4m)
Acer palmatum (Japanese Maples)
Many species available but will need protection from hot northerly winds

Pyrus (Ornamental Pear)
Pyrus fauriei Westwood , Korean Sun , Fantasy (H 4m by W 4m)

Cercis (Redbud)
Avoid hot northerly winds and exposure – needs fertile soil
Cercis chinensis Avondale (H 4m by W 2.5m)
Cercis canadensis Aurelian (H 5/6m by W 4/5m)

   Standard trees   

(Can walk under – trees with lateral upright growth)
Standard Malus floribunda (5m accross)
Standard Crataegus pyracanthifolia Horizontalis (5m accross)

   Hedging plants   

Feature Acmena
(A small selection of many possibilities)
Acmena smithii Cherry Suprise (to 3m)
Acmena smithii Green Screen (to 4/5m)
Acmena smithii Goodbye Neighbours ( to 6m)
Acmena smithii Firescreen ( to 6m)
Acmena smithii Sublime (to 5m)

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.
Sunday, October 31
Lobethal Gardening Festival.
10 am - 4.30 pm. Starts at Bushland Park. More details »

Sunday, October 31
Herb Society of SA - Spring Salvia Sale
Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Rd, Fullarton, 8:30am – 12 noon  
For all those Salvia lovers and anyone who is looking for an economic & colourful way to add to your garden, come down and choose from a large selection of Salvia’s but be quick we do sell out!
More details »

Open Gardens SA

Five open gardens this weekend, Saturday & Sunday:
Open Gardens
Ashgrove Iris Garden
53-55 Albert Street (cnr Randell Terrace), Gumeracha
125 Howard Avenue, Boston (Port Lincoln)
Kenton Park
437 Torrens Valley Road, Gumeracha
1 Waller Drive, Clare
43 Happy Valley Rd, Port Lincoln

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.

SA camellia and azalea authority Jon Hall considers what needs to happen once your plants have stopped flowering, particularly those growing in containers.

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
Have your indoor friends gone WILD? Are they trying to escape their pots?
A repot or an upsizing might be in order? We have you covered with a great range of pots which just landed!!!
Along with some great plant care products to keep them happy and thriving.

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
Tomato, tomato, tomato. We have them to the rafters. Get them in the ground or pots and reap the rewards! Pair it with our beautiful sweet basil and some crusty bread sprinkled with some parmesan cheese, ricotta, caramelised onions topped with drizzled  balsamic vinegar. Yumm.
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
Have fun with Munns at Barrow & Bench this Saturday, October 30, with a putting competition, coffees, and great lawn advice from Kim Syrus and the team from Munns (instore between 11 am-1 pm). 
Up for grabs is a Tour Golf Bag valued at $650.  A special guest appearance by all-round lawn lover, Kenny the wonder-dog between 11am-1pm

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

Coming soon

Saturday to Monday, November 6-8
Sophie's Patch spring open garden
Sophie Thomson's Adelaide Hills garden emerged from a cow paddock just over 10 years ago and many visitors visit annually, finding further inspiration as it develops into a beautiful, productive and sustainable garden to enjoy.
Prior bookings required under Covid-safe regulations. Book here »
More information »

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 is a fundraising committee that holds events to raise money for domestic violence causes.
More information »

Sunday, November 7,
The Heritage Garden open day & book launch
Walter & Kay Duncan’s rose garden at Sevenhill, 12 McCord Lane, Gillentown, via Clare. 10 am - 5 pm. $10 admission, children under 15 free. Proceeds to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Book launch "A Tapestry of Shared Passions" at 11 am.
Tickets »  |   More information »

Sunday, November 7
Herb Society of SA – Herb Day Market
Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Rd, Fullarton, 10am – 3pm  
Our biggest event for the year. The largest selection of potted herbs for sale, this is an event not to miss if you love gardening! Great selection of herb seeds and books. Herb identification – bring your plant sample along and let our experts help you to identify.
More details »

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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