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Winter garden guide download
June 7, 2019

More frosts likely this winter

SA gardeners can expect more frosty nights this winter.
Below average rainfall and warmer days (forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology) will produce less cloud at night, significantly increasing the likelihood of frost.
According to the Bureau, South Australia’s expected below average winter rainfall and warmer temperatures are now likely to extend well into spring.

Try these frost protection measures

In areas where frosts are relatively mild or only occur occasionally, it’s worth considering a number of frost protection strategies. 
Soil that is bare, damp and compact will give you your greatest protection. 
Bare soil, particularly on sloping ground, will allow cold air to flow away from your plants. 
This air flow will be accelerated if the soil is also compact. 
On the other hand, soil that is uneven, ridged or mulched impedes air flow, increasing the likelihood of plants growing in the area being affected.

. . .  and for the record

This week’s run of extremely cold nights saw topsoil temperatures drop to around 8°C (Kent Town) – that’s a 4°C drop on last week and a staggering 10°C fall in the past six weeks.
Ironically, 1 m below the surface temperatures are sitting comfortably at 16.6°C.
Feature plant

Sunsatias deliver outstanding winter colour

Sunsatias are just what you need to provide eye-catching courtyard colour right through winter and well beyond.
Sunsatias are a new style of perennial nemesia providing more flowers and larger blooms over a longer period, on plants that are more vigorous than traditional nemesias.
In courtyard containers, including hanging baskets, they look quite stunning as the flowers come in a range of previously unavailable colours. Some are quite vivid – almost luminescent –others feature soft pastel shades.
Sunsatias perform best in full sun in winter but will benefit from light shading through the warmer months. The plants are easy to grow (avoid wet feet) and produce a compact (25 x 30 cm) canopy. The flowers are self-cleaning and will continue to bloom over an extended period.

Sunsatias are available from leading garden centres.
More information »

Pruning time – are you ready?

Late June and early July are the preferred times for pruning a range of deciduous fruiting and ornamental trees and shrubs. 
However, with a three-day weekend ahead, it might be a good time to check the state of your pruning tools and maybe replace old with new.
Be aware, cost is a very good guide to quality.
If you only have a few tasks to perform, tools in the medium price range are far preferable to poorly designed but budget priced equipment that is likely to bend or buckle under strain.
Pruning tools that are not ergonomically designed often cause muscle strain or chaffing.

Pruning pointers next week

Confused about how and when to prune your trees and shrubs?
Next week Good Gardening will feature the first in a short series of practical pruning pointers.
Raised garden bed

Maintaining a productive raised veggie garden

Raised vegetable garden beds have become very popular over time – possibly because gardens are getting smaller or simply for the convenience raised beds offer, as you don’t have to bend over to tend to them, or worry about the lawn or other plants encroaching into the veggie patch.
Raised beds can be extremely productive, but people often find that the yield reduces within three years due to the type of soil most people use in these beds.
It is often a sandy loam which may be organically enriched, and although it’s great to dig and plant into, not only is the nutrient and water-holding capacity limited, but the biological activity of this type of soil is also limited, especially once the organic material has been used up by the plants.
To overcome this problem, you need to stimulate the biology in the soil and replenish lost nutrients on a regular basis.
What occurs over time is that the nutrients get used up by the plants.
We then harvest the fruits, herbs or vegetables, but often don’t think about replacing all of those nutrients that have been transferred into the harvest.

Read the full article here  »
More information on Neutrog's  Gyganic for Veggies, Fruit and Citrus »
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Now's a good time to get your onions going

If you have the room, seedlings of early onion varieties such as White Globe can be established now. 
Wait until July before planting out late-maturing varieties (white or brown) as these are more suitable for long term storage. 
Before planting, trim the roots and a third of the top growth. 
Don’t place the seedling bulbs too deep in the ground.

Broad beans – sow now 

Broad beans are one of the easiest winter crops to grow – simply plant the seeds and walk away. 
The seeds should be sown 5 cm deep and 20 to 25 cm apart, but in rows only 30 cm apart. (Wider spacing makes it easier for bees to pollinate plants while they are flowering.)
Broad beans can be picked when seeds inside immature pods are still small and sliced like a French bean.
Alternatively, let the pods mature with the seeds (only) being eaten. 
Over-mature pods produce seeds with a very strong flavour. 
Incidentally broad bean plants have an ability to absorb nitrogen from the air – storing this in their roots, stems and pods.
Digging spent bushes into the top soil will help improve soil quality. 
Spent bushes are also very valuable when added to the compost heap.

Espaliering – great for training fruit trees

For those who like a challenge or who may have a fence line they would like to grow some of fruit trees along, espaliering can be a great way to grow and enjoy your fruit trees.
While there are many ways to train fruit trees on wires or trellises, we recommend keeping it simple.
We support growing one horizontal level at a time to concentrate the trees energy into one area of growth. This helps ensure a full and even bud burst along each “cordon” or lateral branch.
The benefits of fruit tree espaliering:
  • the trees are easily netted
  • fruit is grown within easy reach for picking
  • it allows fruit to be grown in a limited area’s
  • provides great sunlight for the fruit
  • can be used to cover an unsightly fence or tank
More information »

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.

Compost now will add summer life to the soil

It’s an old trick but a good one – and if you like growing great vegetables, during summer the following advice works every time. 
Simply cover the vegetable patch over the next few weeks with a thick layer of compost.
If you don’t have compost, try aged animal manure or chicken manure pellets blended with soggy autumn leaves.
Early in spring simply incorporate the material into the top 5 to 10 cm of soil.
Composts and manures are readily available, by the bag, from your local garden centre.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm

Constant traffic a challenge for winter lawns

The challenge for many gardeners is to keep their lawn green through winter.
In last week’s lawn blog turf advisor Stefan Palm indicated most lawn grasses across Adelaide have now stopped growing – thanks to our recent run of cold weather.
Whether we like it or not, summer-active grasses will remain dormant until temperatures begin to rise in spring.
In this week’s lawn blog Stefan continues his “Keeping lawns green through winter” theme and looks at the problems caused when dormant grasses are subjected to constant traffic.

Read the blog here »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Gypsum – a natural soil improver

Another natural way of improving garden soils during winter involves the use of gypsum, a natural rock that is mined and crushed into very fine particles. 
Gypsum is not a fertiliser but a soil conditioner for use in clay soils i.e. where the soil sets hard during summer and often becomes sticky or is poorly drained during winter. 
Simply spread the material over the ground and let the rain wash it into the top soil, or alternatively, it can be dug into the top few centimetres – it doesn’t really matter. 
Use a kilogram to the square metre.
Gypsum reacts with the clay particles, bonding them together into large aggregates or crumbs, producing a similar effect to that achieved through the use of humus.
Again, all you have to do is spread it over the ground – nature will do the rest.

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  – Linda Neiman, garden horticulturalist and practical Adelaide Hills gardener.
Topic – Frosts: what you can do to protect the plants in your garden along with advice on plants with frost tolerance.
Weekend gardening weather

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 »

Sunday, June 23
Urrbrae Wetland Open Day
Cross Road, between Harrow Tce and Fullarton Rd. Illustrated talks, guided walks, self-guided visits and special children’s learning activities.  Gold coin entrance. 1.30 - 4 pm

Saturday & Sunday, July 6, 7
Orchid Club of South Australia's winter show
Enfield Community Centre, 540 Regency Road, Enfield. Orchid culture demonstrations 3 times daily. Plants and accessories for sale and expert advice from the growers. tea, coffee and food available. Entry $5.

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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