From Jon Lamb Communications
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November 13, 2020

Good gardening weather set to continue

SA’s favourable spring weather should continue through early summer.
Independent climatologist, Darren Ray is expecting temperatures will remain mild to warm with occasional heat spikes mainly in the mid 30s rather than low 40s.
November and December rainfall is expected to be around average.
For gardeners it means the next 4 to 6 weeks will be ideal for planting and growing a wide range of vegetables flowers and herbs along with fruit trees and ornamentals.

Minor leaf burn during mini heat spike

Don’t be alarmed if a few leaves on healthy ornamentals were burnt during Wednesday’s mini heat spike.
In most cases the damage was confined to soft new spring growth.
However, as spring temperatures rise and exposure to sunlight increases, most plants will quickly develop a natural tolerance to heat.

Too late to hard prune ornamentals

Meanwhile, ornamental plants exposed to direct sun should not be hard-pruned during late November and December.
Hard pruning will result in vigorous soft new growth that will not have enough time to become heat-tolerant before being exposed to damaging heat spikes and, particularly, heat wave temperatures.
This advice particularly applies to topiary plants (English and Japanese box) and hedging shrubs (syzgium, ficus)

Look at me, eat me chillies   

A new wave of ornamental but very edible chillies is starting to appear in garden centres. 
These look great when the plants mature and are covered with red and often multi-coloured fruits.
Chilli bushes hold their fruits through summer and well into autumn, unless of course they disappear into a salsa or salad.

Hot chilli peppers

Those who like their chillies hot should look for the following varieties and types:
  • Habanero – one of the hottest – 10 on a scale out of 10. Can be used in salsas and sauces, as it combines both heat and flavour.
  • Thai chillies – these are not quite as hot (7-8 on a scale of 10) and are widely used in Asian and Mexican cooking.
  • Jalapeno – moderately hot (5-6 out of 10). Use fresh, green or red in salsas or sauces, also dips when a little spice is needed.
Feature plantsof the week

New Delbard French Rose collection released

If you love your rose garden and like to plan ahead, consider planting some Delbard French Roses next winter.
Wagner’s Rose Nursery has just released its 2021 collection of Delbard French Roses for pre-ordering and delivery next winter.
Delbard roses are modern French varieties, very vigorous and disease resistant, that perform so well in Australia.
They grow vigorously, are repeat-flowering and have bushy habits. .
You can view the entire collection here »

Meanwhile, Wagner’s Rose Nursery has a number of Delbard varieties available for delivery in pots right now.
Recommended varieties include:

Grimaldi (above)
Bright splashes of salmon and pink, striped with white, exuding with perfume.  Masses of loose double blooms. Dark glossy foliage. Makes an impressive display. Height 1 m.

Avignon (below)
New and quite beautiful with it’s dark buds opening into a stunning deep red colour. Delightful soft fragrance. Compact – 90 cm.
WAagners Rose Nursery

Look what they have done to Phlox

Phloxstar Red and Phlox Hot Pink have been developed to produce outstanding clusters of brilliantly coloured, heat-tolerant blooms on canopies of green foliage that are both compact and mounding.
Phloxstar is a true garden rock star with small, lance-shaped green foliage covered by clusters of bright, fragrant flowers.
Phlox Hot Pink features stunning bright pink star-shaped flowers that grow and spread into a thick carpet of vibrant colour.
Both have been bred for heat tolerance and an ability to withstand dry spells during the warmer months. (25 cm high and 30 cm wide).
These phlox look great in attractive pots, baskets and small garden beds.

Phlox are in stock at Heynes Garden Centre, Norwood , Semaphore Pets & Gardens and Barrow & Bench, Malvern and should be available at other good gardening centres.

Butterfly blooms in pink, rose or white

If you would like an endless supply of small pink, rose or white butterfly like blooms on a sun loving perennial that is also extremely hardy – look no further than the latest series of Elite Gauras.
Gaura Elite Pink is a little smaller than traditional varieties, featuring soft pink flowers on long arching stems.
With Gaura Elite Rose, the growth is more upright and the blooms a vibrant deep rose pink. 
New foliage is an attractive burgundy colour.
Gaura Elite White produces masses of long lasting pure white flowers.
All Elite Gauras withstand tough conditions, making them perfect for that hard to grow spot in your garden – as well as courtyard containers and garden beds.
Don’t be afraid to trim the stems after the blooms have faded and always fertilise after pruning.
Full sun is preferable but they will also tolerate part shade.

Elite seriesElite Gauras are in stock at Heynes Garden Centre, Norwood, Semaphore Pets & Gardens and Barrow & Bench, Malvern and should be available at other good gardening centres.

Tomatoes can do well in containers

So, you have a sunny courtyard but space for a vegetable garden, even tomatoes, is at a premium.
Why not grow one or two plants in large containers. These need to be at least 40 cm wide and hold a full bag of potting mix.
Consider buying well established plants in single containers. 
You pay a little more but, compared with small seedlings in punnets, you save yourself two or three weeks in growing time and minimise the risk of transplant shock if the tomatoes do hit hot weather in the first week of growth.
Cherry tomatoes are usually the quickest to begin bearing – but they will need room to grow and some form of trellis for support.
First Prize is a non-staking variety that only grows a metre or so high and is ideally suited to container growing.
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Organic spray for fungal diseases

The likelihood of increased shower activity and possibly high humidity through late spring and early summer has increased the potential for fungal diseases.
eco-fungicide provides an organic way to protect flowering plants and vegetables from a wide range of common fungal diseases, including rust, powdery mildew and black spot.
For best results spray thoroughly at the first sign of disease.
eco-fungicide is certified organic and has no withholding period, so you can spray and harvest the same day. Also safe for bees and other beneficial insects.           
More product information here »

OCP eco organic gardeneco-fungicide is available from hardware stores, nurseries and online»

Citrus fruit drop – maintain the moisture        

Citrus trees in many gardens are going through their final fruit shed or natural thinning. 
Make sure the trees are not stressed for moisture at this critical stage, as they may drop more young fruits than they should.

Keep the roses blooming                  

The first flush of this season’s magnificent flowering is coming to an end. 
Repeat flowering can be encouraged by removing flower heads as soon as they are spent. 
Encourage strong, new growth by removing at least one third of the stem carrying each spent flower.
Seasol potting mix booster

Pot plants may need boosting

Late spring is  a good time check on plants growing in pots, particularly if they have been neglected over winter.
The following action will soon have them looking good:
  • Check soil moisture daily. If it is dry or water is pooling on the surface or running down the inside of the container, apply a soil wetter such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner.
  • Prune back plants that are declining and remove any that have died.
  • Repot. Plants too large for their current pot or are root bound should be upgraded to a new pot, using fresh potting mix.
  • Check the potting mix. Top up where necessary and rejuvenate the mix by applying Seasol Potting Mix Booster to the top 2cm.
Seasol Potting Mix Booster brings new and existing potting mix to life with the addition of beneficial microbes.
It also helps to restore, revitalise and extend the life of existing potting mix, while maintaining and extending the life of new potting mix.
Simply apply to the top 2cm of mix and remember to water it in thoroughly after application.

More information »

Repotting – when is the right time?

Don’t wait until you see roots poking through drainage holes before repotting.
The trouble is any problems caused by plants becoming root-bound happens out of sight - within the container.
The first hint is likely to be slower than normal growth and the leaves will lose their dark green colour.

Other Important indicators
  • Is there still room for new roots to grow?
  • Is the potting mix old and starting to breaking down?
  • Does the water you apply run over the surface of the mix rather than soaking the plants root system?
If the answer to any of these is yes – it’s repotting time.

Repotting involves
  • Removing the plant and its root ball from its original container
  • Removing excess roots, i.e. those growing around and under the root ball
  • Removing some of the weathered potting mix from around and under the root ball
  • Restore the plant to its original (or larger) container using fresh potting mix to fill the space created around and under the root ball.
Irrigation Guide – Antelco

Potstream the pot plant problem solver

Potstream is a new and very innovative watering system developed in SA by Antelco.
Potstream solves the many problems of watering pot plants without wasting water, overwatering or simply making a mess.
It is particularly useful when you have plants of different sizes growing plants with different water needs.
Potstream has an adjustable flow device allowing you to apply gentle watering streams evenly across the pot at a light application rate.
Potstream is side mounted on your potted plants making it a neat and tidy installation compared to traditional irrigation methods.

More information »
Potstream can be purchased from authorised distributors here »

Are you using every drop?

There is considerable scope for most householders – particularly those with large gardens – to reduce the amount of water they use in the garden.
An efficient irrigation system can reduce your water use by up to 75%.  Tap-timers, drip systems or automated timer-systems will all help you limit your water use.
Micro-irrigation systems are very easy to install. 
They are inexpensive and certainly take the hard work out of watering hanging baskets and container plants on the patio or courtyard.

Tipping now is worth the effort

Summer-flowering shrubs such as fuchsias should be producing strong new growth. 
Bushes should be tip pruned lightly over the next few weeks to encourage plants to become bushy. 
Well-established dahlias and chrysanthemums should also be tipped regularly for the same reason.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm, Paul Munns

When lawn soils won’t absorb water

If you turned the sprinkler on this week to water the lawn and the water seemed to pool on the surface rather than soak into the topsoil – you are not alone.
The problem is non-wetting soil.
Turf consultant Stefan Palm believes non wetting soil has become one of the biggest problems facing Adelaide gardeners.
For those with a lawn it often results in unsightly brown or dead patches.
In this week’s lawn blog turf Stefan provides the reasons why soil in lawns become water repellent, explains how to identify the problem and, most important, how to treat it.
More information »


How to improve lawn water management

Providing your lawn with a deep soak every 7 to 10 days encourages deeper roots and increases their resilience.
Watering early in the morning will help avoid high evaporation while ensuring your lawn has access to water during the day – when it does its growing.
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Good guide to watering houseplants         

Rather than water houseplants on a regular basis (once a day or once a week) learn to use the finger and thumb smear test. 
Take a pinch of soil from 2 cm below the surface of a container and rub it between your fingers and thumb. 
If the soil leaves a visible smear on your finger, there is still moisture close to the surface and this means plenty of moisture at depth. 
Don't water. 
Wait until the smear test indicates the soil is completely dry. Then and only then is it time to water.

Managing orchids in warmer weather

 By Trevor Garrard, Orchid Club of SA
As the weather warms make sure you haven’t missed any orchids that need repotting or dividing.
It’s important that the growing medium you use retains water as hydrophobic mixes will setback or possibly kill your plants.
Check mounted plants for good root growth and reattach if needed.
It’s also time to clean the shade house and prepare for extra shade. I use the Melbourne cup and Anzac Day as the trigger for “add or remove”.
As major orchid shows have finished, it’s time to start preparing plants for next year’s monthly and major shows.

Details for next April’s Festival of Flowers »

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.

Open GardensOpen Gardens SA

Saturday & Sunday, November 14 & 15
166 Hawkins Rd, Mt Gambier East (cnr Wireless Rd East)
A beautiful romantic country garden with two acres of English style gardens and another acre of dry garden planted with Australian natives.
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 2020 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.

The Adelaide Botanic Gardens role in home gardening
Have your say when ABG director Dr Lucy Sutherland previews some of the changes planned for Adelaide’s much loved Botanic Gardens.

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
Sometimes choosing garden décor can be daunting – not anymore!
Check out our gorgeous new range of metal garden art, featuring detailed silhouettes of your favourite Australian native birds – there's something for everyone! See you this weekend.

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
We have an extensive range of indoor & outdoor pots and plants to get your home all dressed up for Christmas! Lots of mature indoor plants and stacks of yummy fruit trees to put a smile on your dial.
Always has a great selection of plants, pets and giftware – all under the one roof.
Facebook »

Barrow & Bench
Barrow & Bench Mitre 10
321 Unley Rd, Malvern. (08) 8272 8566
Getting in the festive mood this week with potted Christmas trees in store, poinsettia and a stunning selection of clipped box.
Specialises in providing quality plants and expert garden advice. Follow the Instagram feed »

Coming soon

Saturday & Sunday, November 21 & 22
Cactus and Succulent Society of SA Spring Sale
Noarlunga Leisure Centre - Court 3, David Witton Drive, Noarlunga Centre. Pre-purchased ticket event only. Details here »

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 »

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, 1pm and 3pm.
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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