From Jon Lamb Communications
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October 15, 2021

Where are you sunshine?

If you are wondering what has happened to the sunshine this spring you are not alone.
The Bureau of Meteorology has yet to record a cloudless day this month at its West Beach cloud recording centre.
During September it only recorded four cloudless mornings at its 9 am reading.
Although showers during October have been constant, many suburbs across Adelaide have yet to record 20 mm of rain. (Adelaide October average 44 mm).

Garden soils still need warming

Garden soil temperatures reached 16°C (at 20 cm) at the beginning of October. Since then they have remained at this level.
16°C is the temperature summer vegetables, particularly tomatoes, need to sustain steady growth.
Early feedback indicates advanced tomato seedlings and other summer vegetables planted in protected areas are producing steady growth.
However, small seedlings, particularly those in open garden beds exposed to the wind, are struggling to make early growth.

Apply wasp sprays this weekend

Gardeners wanting to control citrus gall wasps should begin spraying their trees with kaolin clay before next weekend.
The wasps are expected to begin emerging from their overwintering galls next Sunday, October 24, reach a peak three weeks later, with the final wasps emerging mid-November.
Within three days of emerging, female wasps will mate and begin laying hundreds of eggs into the soft bark on citrus trees.
Spraying with kaolin clay, sold as Vasilis Citrus Gall Wasp Spray, will prevent emerging wasps from re-invading and laying eggs.
A second spray is recommended and should be applied two weeks later.
Spraying with horticultural oil (eco-oil or Pest Oil) can also be used but it is not as effective and requires three sprays spaced two weeks apart.

Red scale a problem in many gardens         

It appears populations of red scale, a small sap-sucking insect ,are on the increase in many gardens.
Red scale can often be found on branches and leaves of ornamental trees and shrubs as well as fruit trees – particularly citrus.
They live hidden beneath thin, round papery-like shields. 
These are the adult female scales and they are quite sedentary. 
However, during spring they give birth to young “crawlers “and these are often moved from one part of a tree to another by ants.
Over time, large numbers can cause serious damage.

Oil sprays are effective

Red Scale is effectively controlled by spraying the trees with a horticultural oil (eco-oil or Pest Oil) during spring.
Where infestations are serious, apply two sprays four weeks apart.

Don’t forget the ants

At the same time, it is also important to implement a strategy that prevents ants from climbing your citrus tree and moving young scale from one branch to another.
Horticultural glues (Trappit and Tanglefoot) that are applied as a trunk band are very effective.

New tomato plants need protecting

Tomato seedlings planted recently in a sunny location should be producing slow but steady growth.
However, while temperatures remain cool and showery they are very susceptible to fungal diseases.
Keep them disease-free by spraying with wettable sulphur or Mancozeb Plus as soon as possible. Repeat in two weeks.
Protection now will help prevent damaging fungal diseases from becoming a problem later in the season.
It will also prevent an early build-up of sap sucking mites.

Remove the lower leaves

Removing the two lower leaves soon after planting is a very effective method of reducing rain splash from soil born fungal diseases – particularly target spot.

. . . and add some gypsum

Before (or soon after) planting out your tomato seedlings, consider blending half a cupful of gypsum per plant into the topsoil.
Gypsum contains calcium and sulphur.
When these elements are added to the soil while the plants are still developing, they are very effective in preventing Blossom End Rot, a disorder that causes the bottom half of the fruits to turn black.
Grass Hair Kits are a fun way to introduce kids to gardening.

Giving the gift of growing

When it comes to giving a gift – it’s the thought that counts.
So, what could be better than giving something that starts out as a loving thought but grows into tasty herbs, vegetables or flowers?
It’s a simple idea put together by Mr Fothergill’s under the title “all-in-one" kits.
These are fun, decorative, educational, at times quite quirky and also quite affordable.
As the name suggests each gift involves a colourful all-in-one kit that is ready to grow.
For example, Grass Hair Kits are designed as a fun way to introduce people, particularly children, to gardening.
Each kit comes complete with a decorative pot, soil and seeds. All you need to do is add water. Within a few days a tuft of fast-growing (grass) hair appears.
The range of decorative ”hair pots” is quite incredible, with a focus on animals and insects.
Other good examples include:
  • Bee and butterfly houses designed to accommodate native bees and includes beneficial insect-attracting flower seeds to sow in your garden.
  • Grow and brew tea kits containing all you need to grow and enjoy a range of teas including peppermint, lemon balm, chamomile and bergamot.
More information and online ordering »
Watering can kits
Mr Fothergill'sMr Fothergill's offers a huge range of packet seeds plus garden gifts, kits and propagation products, tested for Australian conditions, to inspire the home gardener.
Full range here »

Raspberries, blackberries need room       

Raspberries and “home garden” blackberries are very easy to grow and unlike blueberries are happy to produce fruit in most SA soils, providing they are not highly alkaline. 
However, the soils must drain freely and contain large quantities of organic material i.e., well made compost.
Late spring and early summer are ideal times for planting.
Best results are achieved if you can shade your plants during the hottest months.
Feature plantsof the week
Cote d'Azur

Garden roses looking magnificent

If you like looking at roses, take a leisurely walk around your neighbourhood. This year’s display of spring-flowering garden roses is quite magnificent.
Meanwhile, for gardeners thinking about roses they would like to grow in their garden next year, Wagner’s Rose Nursery is taking pre-orders (at 2021 prices) for varieties to be delivered (bare rooted) during the 2022 planting season.
Potted roses will also be back online, Monday, October 25.
This week Brian Wagner has selected to beautiful French Delbard roses.

Cote d’Azur

This rose features blooms of bright sparkling yellow – reminiscent of the sun shining on the famous French coastline.
However, it is an ideal rose for Australian climates as it thrives in hot summer weather.
This is a long-stemmed rose with wonderful heady fragrance of citrus and spice, making it perfect for cut flower arrangements.
The bushes flower repeatedly from late October to May. It is hardy and has medium disease resistance. Height to 120 cm.

Souvenir de Louise Amade

A beautiful rose full of old world charm. It features large, old world double cup blooms with a rich fragrance.
Large, graceful lavender-pink buds open up into clean and clear bright pink blooms – with golden stamens showing through.
This is a healthy bushy rose that produces its blooms to the ground. Height to 120 cm.
Souvenir de Louise Amade
Wagners Rose Nursery
One of the largest and longest-running
rose nurseries in Australia »
Eggplant Patio Baby

Eggplant Patio Baby ideal for small spaces

When time and space are not on your side, but the urge to grow and harvest vegetables from your own garden becomes irresistible, look for the Patio Patch label at your local garden centre.
Eggplant Patio Baby is the first in a series of Patio Patch vegetables grown in South Australia at Living Colour Nursery.
Patio Baby is a fully grown eggplant, ready to produce fruit in a 175 mm wide container.
This is an ideal fruiting vegetable to grow on a patio, balcony or veranda, maybe in a raised garden bed or even a traditional garden bed.
As an eggfruit, plant Patio Baby is very compact, easy to grow, early to fruit and very productive.
It is also a great choice for those not confident in growing vegetables from seedlings.
Start picking the fruits when they are 5 to 7 cm long.
Patio Baby grows best in a well-drained sunny position.
Fertilise and water regularly and enjoy the harvest.

Living ColourEggplant Patio Baby 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.

Lithodora Grace Ward – hardy, easy-care

Small mounding groundcover plants with bright blue flowers that are also hardy and easy to grow are always in demand.
Lithodora Grace Ward produces masses of intense blue flowers through spring and early summer.
The foliage is deep green, quite dense and, although matt-forming, it does not grow out of bounds.
This is the kind of plant that can be used as a groundcover, for under planting taller shrubs, used in a rockery or as an eye-catching feature plant in front of a perennial border.
Lithodora Grace Ward adapts well to most garden soils but grows best where the soil is well drained but remains moist.
A light pruning after flowering will help maintain a bushy compact shape if required.

Lithodora Grace Ward 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.

Hedging – a great space saver for citrus

When space for a citrus tree (or two) is at a premium, consider growing your favourite fruits as a hedge – along a boundary fence or wall.
Citrus trees lend themselves to hedging, particularly if the training begins soon after planting. 
Standard size trees should be positioned at least 30 cm from a wall with at least two metres between them.
Branches that grow away from the wall should initially be tip pruned often – through spring, summer and early autumn.
Once the trees have formed a hedge, clipping should only be carried out every two to three years, as annual clipping is likely to produce excess vigour and limit fruit production).
Dwarf citrus can also be hedged although the canopy will be lower (1.5-2.0 m). 
In this case, the trees should be spaced 1.25-1.5 m apart.
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Citrus grow well in containers

When it comes to selecting a container for growing citrus, go for size. 
Citrus will survive for a short time in a pot 40cm wide and 40cm deep – but after one or two years the plants will become root-bound and start to decline. 
For large citrus like oranges and lemons, wine barrel size is ideal. 
However, make sure you have a number of large holes, about the size of a 10 cent piece, drilled in the bottom to allow good drainage.
Citrus hate wet feet, either in the garden or in a pot.

Matching micro irrigation systems

If you stand in the aisle of your local hardware store or irrigation outlet you will be amazed at the amount of watering bits available.
Micro irrigation by nature is made up of lots of small bits and pieces from fittings to watering devices.
Matching the right product to do the job means you will maximise the water-saving opportunities.
Typical garden applications are:
  • Pot plant watering
  • Garden beds and vegetables
  • Natives and drought-tolerant gardens
  • Micro spray on garden beds
To simplify this process, Antelco has developed a guide to match particular products to suit different garden applications.

More information »

Rhubarb is shallow rooted

Rhubarb crowns consist of fleshy rhizomes. 
However, they are supported by a relatively small network of roots that tend to be close to the surface.
While this is not a problem in cool regions, for much of SA the plants are vulnerable to heat stress during summer.

Benefits from afternoon shade

The way around this is to position your plants so they are shaded in the afternoon or even better, grow them in full sun, but provide temporary shade during the hot months. 
Fifty percent white shade cloth placed on a demountable frame is ideal.
Because of its shallow root system, rhubarb is very susceptible to root rots caused by poor drainage. 
In clay or heavy soils, consider growing your plants on a raised (10-15 cm) mound.

Good soil gives festive colour a headstart

Do you prefer cool, soft pastel colours in the garden or are you a lover of hot fiery reds and shades of orange?
Regardless, adding colourful annuals is one of the best ways to decorate your garden for special occasions and for the festive season it’s all about colour.
A cool hideaway with masses of pastel petunias, white vincas and soft pink begonias will create a tranquil feeling - away from the hustle and stresses of festivities.
Choosing cool colours will also make an area appear larger.
On the other hand, to produce excitement and energy use bedding salvias, red petunias and zinnias.
To achieve strong growth and masses of flowers don’t skip on improving the soil before planting.
And Seasol Garden Soil will do all the hard work for you. Its jam packed with all you need to improve the soil and get the best out of your annuals this summer.
Water in Seasol every couple of weeks.

More information »

Makeover for raised garden beds

Garden soils that support intensive vegetable production in raised beds slowly lose their structure, fertility and health – unless the organic matter they contain is replaced..

Action: Spread a 2 to 3 cm layer of quality compost (available from garden centres) over the surface of the beds and incorporate this into the top 10 cm of soil.
While spreading the compost consider adding either:
  • complete garden fertiliser (half a cup per square metre)
  • organic fertiliser (chicken manure pellets – 1 kg/m²)
If the beds are already planted, spread fertiliser between plants and water in. Use the compost as a mulch.

Roses bloom in waves          

Modern roses have been developed to produce their blooms in waves.
Removing spent flower heads – along with 2 or 3 sets of leaves – soon after the blooms have faded will stimulate the bushes into producing a new wave of flower buds.
While many gardeners are content to enjoy a flush of flowers in spring and again in autumn, if you are prepared to water and fertilise modern rose bushes regularly it is possible to enjoy 4 or more waves of blooms in a season.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

Have you fertilised the lawn yet?

While it is tradition to fertilise lawns in spring,  have you ever wondered why?
Of greater importance – is there a difference in the kind of fertiliser you use?
Turf consultant Stefan Palm believes timing of this spring application is important and the best time is in fact right now.
In this week’s lawn blog Stefan explains why lawns benefit from been fertilised in the middle of October.
He also explains why selecting the right kind of fertiliser is so important.

More information:
• Spring time fertlilising »
• The choice of fertilsers »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Overcoming iron deficiency in plants

Leaves on ornamental and fruiting plants that turn yellow while the veins remain green is a reliable indicator of an iron deficiency.
The most effective way of overcoming this problem is to spray the foliage with iron chelates, readily available from garden centres.
Iron in a chelated form, when mixed with water is readily absorbed into the leaves of plants.
However, if it is applied to the soil it is quickly immobilised because the surrounding soil is alkaline.
Keep in mind Iron does not move around the plant and as a result new growth will require spraying.

Alternative treatment                      

Try blending half a cup of iron chelates in a 10 L bucket of compost.
However, rather than spreading the compost on the soil, dig three holes under the canopy of your affected plants and bury 3 to 4 L of the compost and iron chelates mix into each hole.
The compost will hold onto the iron and it will not be immobilised by the surrounding alkaline soil.
This treatment should last for 2 to 3 years.

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.
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 »

Sunday, October 17
North Brighton Community Garden Spring Open Day/Plant Sale
Bowker Oval, 61 Bowker Street, North Brighton. 10am – 2pm. Parking at end of Brimble Street or off Bowker Street. Plant & bake sale, BBQ, coffee van, garden tours, wicking bed demo, children’s workshop. Free entry.

Sunday, October 17
Gamble Cottage and garden open day.
296 Main Road Blackwood, (cnr Dorham Road and Keith Road), 1 pm - 4 pm. Cottage open for viewing,  afternoon tea. The nursery will be open for sales by the Friends of Gamble Garden with lots of hardy, inexpensive plants to help boost your own collection. Free entry.

Open GardensOpen Gardens SA

Saturday & Sunday, October 16 &17
St Mary's Vineyard
63 V&A Lane, Penola
The delightful country garden at St Mary’s Vineyard with its hundreds of roses and dry-stone walls is a fitting location for the annual Limestone Coast Plant and Trade Fair.
More information on the garden and directions »

The Garden at Wilpena Street
41 Wilpena St, Eden Hills
This romantic English-style garden uses formal lines and multi-level terraced rooms to transform the sloping block. A woodland area with established trees provides shade for hydrangeas and camellias around an oval lawn.
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.

One of South Australia’s top landscapers, Jamie McIlwain from Hills Classic Gardens will come up with practical solutions for a range of typical landscaping problems.

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
Shout out to all the rose lovers!
Beautiful potted roses are available, in full bloom and putting on a show, so don’t miss out.

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
Thinking healthy happy citrus trees – think Barrow & Bench Mitre10 for all your citrus gall wasp control measures. 
Plenty of kaolin clay and horticultural glue available.

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

Coming soon

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 is a fundraising committee that holds 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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