From Jon Lamb Communications
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August 2, 2019

SA heading for an early spring

Warmer and drier than normal conditions in July are likely to continue through August and possibly beyond.
According to Bureau of Meteorology climatologist, Darren Ray, these are positive indicators for an early spring.
Darren will provide more information on spring weather for gardeners tomorrow morning on ABC Talkback Gardening.

Winter oils provide “soft” insect control

Spraying deciduous fruit trees and roses with a “winter oil” (also referred to as dormant oils) offers organic gardeners a “soft” alternative to the use of summer insecticides.
Winter oils are very effective in killing a range of “hard-to-control” garden pests such as mites, scale and aphids, while they over-winter on plants.
Winter oils are designed to be used on deciduous trees and shrubs while they are dormant – after leaf fall but before new season buds begin to open in spring.
They have no adverse effect on “beneficial” insects such as ladybird beetles, lacewings and hover flies as these insects are not usually present on dormant trees and shrubs during winter.
Feature plant

Double-flowering Rosalina kalanchoe

Dazzling colour from extremely long lasting double blooms is just the start when you grow one of the latest Rosalina Kalanchoes.
Kalanchoes are succulents. They are very easy to grow, adapt to a very wide range of gardening locations and in South Australia they will radiate their colour from late winter through to early summer.
Rosalina Kalanchoes have been selected for their vibrant double blooms. (Yellow, orange, red, and pink). The plants are perennial, compact (20 x 20 cm), need minimum watering and thrive in either full sun or semi shade.
Rosalina Kalanchoes grow best in very free-draining potting mix or garden soil.
They look great in feature containers, group planted in a rockery or maybe grown in an attractive planter bowl.
They will also perform well indoors providing the light is bright.

Rosalina Kalanchoe is available from leading garden centres.

Priorities for late winter pruning

After a series of wet weekends, the traditional task of pruning fruit trees and roses in many gardens is now well behind schedule.
In many districts, almonds are already in full bloom. 
At this stage, pruning almonds should be confined to removing (completely) any vigorous vertical branches growing in the tree’s centre. 
Aim at having other stone and pome fruits pruned before the end of August.
Summer and autumn flowering evergreens such as hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvilleas and mandevilleas should not be pruned until temperatures start to rise in spring.
More late winter tasks in my Advertiser gardening column, tomorrow.

Diversity and ethos in the soil

Many gardeners are aware of soil microbe diversity, but in recent years more of the large biotech and plant breeding companies are seeing the benefits of using soil microbes to improve production – we’ve essentially been doing this for years at Neutrog.
After speaking at countless garden clubs and other events, people are always surprised how critical these microbes are to a happy and healthy garden. 
Our approach at Neutrog has always been different to what some of the bigger companies do in the field of soil biologics – we use a holistic approach; in that we believe that you need a variety of microbes to get the best results. 
A number of companies use soil microbial additives - most of these contain only a limited number of microbes, which may not be suitable for all soil types or even different plant species.
A number of studies using a selected subset of bacterial or fungal species have shown that these have only limited effectiveness, and many of the inoculants disappear within a short period of time. 

Read the full article here »

Raspberries and blackberries are easy to grow

If you enjoy eating garden fresh berries why not grow your own raspberries or non invasive hybrid blackberries.
Both are very easy to grow and adapt to most SA soils, providing they drain freely and contain large quantities of organic material i.e. well made compost. 
Best results are achieved if you can shade your plants during the hottest months.

Plant asparagus deep

Asparagus crowns need to be planted quite deep i.e. 15-20 cm below the surface with 40 cm between plants. 
For the best results, place the crowns in a trench that is 40-50 cm deep, backfilled with animal manure enriched compost plus complete fertiliser (one cupful per metre of trench).
The plants should be well watered during spring and early summer while the beds should be mulched with aged animal manure during late autumn and receive potash boosted chicken manure pellets in late winter (half cup per crown).

Time to re-pot ferns   

Outdoor ferns in hanging baskets and containers should be making new growth. 
If the plants are starting to outgrow their containers, they will benefit considerably by re-potting as soon as possible.

Make sure your fruit trees are ready for spring

Deciduous trees are now getting ready to shoot. Have a close look – you will see the buds on many deciduous trees are well and truly starting to swell.  
This means it’s time to fertilise all your fruit trees, whilst there are still some rains on the way to water the nutrients into the soil.
It also means that NOW is the time to make sure you protect your deciduous stone fruit trees from leaf curl, pictured above on a peach tree.
This is an unsightly fungal disease which warps the young leaves as they emerge and stunts the new season’s growth.  
Leaf curl is controlled by applying a copper spray BEFORE bud burst. 
Liquid copper, copper hydroxide, copper oxychloride or lime sulphur are all good options.  
Ensure a thorough coverage is achieved.
If it rains heavily after you spray and the buds haven’t burst, a subsequent spray may be necessary as copper is easily washed off.
Looking forward – make a note to collect fallen leaves in autumn and compost them.
This will help remove the source of the over-wintering fungal spores. It’s good hygiene practice for your trees.

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.

Crab apples are firm favourites in SA

Crab apples (Malus species) produce masses of pink, white or red flowers in spring, followed by distinctive red ‘crabs’ or mini apples that hang on the trees well into winter. 
In autumn, the trees can also be relied on for a great display of colour.
Crab apples come in a large range of shapes and sizes and most of these are suitable for growing in smaller gardens.
The trees are generally problem free, although in the cooler wetter districts, black spot fungus can sometimes cause problems and a preventative fungicide spray at bud burst may be warranted.

Two favourites

M. Gorgeous – 3x3m
Popular because of its relatively small shape and size. In spring, you can expect a great display of pink buds opening to white flowers, followed by very attractive red fruits that are ideal for crab apple jelly.
M. Ioensis Plena (Bechtel Crab Apple) – 6x4.5m
This is the traditional home gardener favourite producing numerous slightly scented double light pink to white flowers in spring. 
Not so many crabs but the leaves are showy with serrated edges. One of the best for red and yellow autumn leaf tones.
Lawn Care – Stefan Palm

Soursobs – no simple solution

It’s soursob season again with bright yellow flowers suddenly appearing in gardens and many lawns.
Why are soursobs so persistent, when is the best time to carry out control and is eradication possible?
In this week’s lawn blog SA turf advisor Stefan Palm takes a practical look at the many methods being used to control this weed and explains why it is so persistent.
You may also like to consider some of the suggestions put forward this week in the “Stefan Palm guide to soursobs control”.

You can provide comments on your own experience here »
Paul Munns Instant Lawn

Tomato trenching time         

Experienced vegetable growers will tell you the best tomatoes in town are usually found growing alongside garden trenches that have been filled during late winter with all kinds of organic materials.
From a tomato’s point of view, organic matter, particularly if it contains plenty of animal manure, is like feeding all summer at a smorgasbord. 
The trick is to begin burying your organic material now as it takes six to eight weeks and possibly longer for the materials in your trench to be decomposed.

Why African violets stop flowering  

If your African violets have stopped flowering, it may be through lack of light. 
As they need very bright light for at least 10 hours a day, relocating closer to a window may help. 
Another common cause is a build up of acidity caused by regular fertilising. 
Try adding a half teaspoon of superphosphate to each plant and water it in well.

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.
Sunday, August 4
Northern Yorke Peninsula – Australian Plants Society
Community open day. Advice on plant selection, establishing a native garden.
10 am – 2 pm, 1866 South Terrace, Kadina. Free entry, free raffle, plant sales.

Unley Gardeners Plant Rescue winter sale
9.30 am to 11.30 am, rear of the Fullarton Park Community Centre (off Fisher Street). A huge variety of plants for sale. Proceeds to Cure 4 Cystic Fibrosis. More information »
Weekend gardening weather

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 – Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Darren Ray.
Topic – With a dry finish to winter now likely, what kind of weather can gardeners expect through spring?

Coming soon

Wednesday, August 7
Woodville Academy of Floral Design
Garden plants - what to grow for floral art. Meeting alternate Wednesdays, Kikenny Community Centre, cnr Wilpena Tce & Tarcowie St, Kilkenny.

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 & Sunday, September 7, 8
Enfield Horticultural Society Spring Show
Klemzig Community Hall, 242 North East Road, Klemzig. 12 - 5 pm Sat, 10 am - 4 pm Sun. Admission $2. More information 8251 2299.

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, October 19
Begonia and Fern Spring Show
Klemzig Community Hall, 242 North East Rd, Klemzig (enter from Wellington St). $2 admission. Morning and afternoon tea.

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 »

Saturday & Sunday, October 26, 27
Rose Society of SA Spring Rose Show – Roses are Red
Burnside Community Centre, corner of Portrush and Greenhill Roads Tusmore.
To be officially opened by the President of the World Federation of Rose Societies, Henrianne de Briey, 3 pm Saturday afternoon.
Competitive rose classes in Australian Championships and World Federation of Rose Societies classes, lectures, floral demonstration,trading tables - gifts, plants, rose growing information, including “Identify your rose”. Entry $5.
Full program here »

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 »

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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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