Here we are in November already, about to have another Christmas Pageant, albeit still at Adelaide Oval, but still signalling how close we are to Christmas. The weather has still been very typical spring weather, although Melbourne Cup Day gave us a taste of what we can expect.
Water Your Garden
I will remind everyone again to be mindful of their gardens water needs; I’m already giving my fruit trees a good soak once a week and keeping a close eye on the rest of my garden, especially my pots and hanging baskets. Treating your garden with a Wetting Agent and Seaweed Extracts could also be very beneficial. Wetting agents come in both granular and liquid form and can be applied to the whole garden including pots and hanging baskets. This product will help to hold moisture in the soil for longer periods cutting down on water usage. Seaweed extracts when used either as a foliar spray or as a soil application will also help make your plants more resilient and able to ride out stressful circumstances much more effectively.
Lawn Beetle Troubles
Lawn beetles can start to become a problem now and if your lawn develops irregular dead patches and birds are actively feeding on your lawn after watering, these are two signals that you may have this problem. There are granules and liquid preparations that can be used to control lawn beetles, both simple to use, but one of the best defences is to keep your lawn healthy and growing strongly. Regular feeding, a good watering regime and raising the mowing height a notch at this time of the year are all ways to keep your lawn looking good and pest free.
Another problem to keep an eye out for is fungal diseases. The warmer weather with a bit of moisture is perfect for problems like powdery mildew to show up on roses, hydrangeas, and other plants. Again, healthy strong plants are less likely to be affected badly, but dusts and sprays are available if you need them. There is quite a bit of Leaf Curl evident on Peaches and Nectarines at the moment and sadly there is nothing you can do about it at this time of the year. If you see this on your trees make a note to spray with a copper-based fungicide in autumn at leaf fall and again in late winter at the pink bud stage.
One of the all-time classic garden plants is the beautiful Hydrangea and they are now in stores in a range of sizes and colours. Very suitable for growing in pots as well as in the ground, all you need is a position facing south or east where they may get some early morning sun but are protected from hot sun and wind. Keep the water up as they like a drink, feed regularly, and look great when the flowers are past their best. Hydrangea also makes a wonderful gift, much cheaper and longer-lasting than a bunch of flowers!
Colour The Garden
There is still a riot of colour in the garden centres in South Australia, find your local store here. All the spring flowering shrubs like Osteospurmum (African daisies), Federation Daisies and so on are full of bloom, recently joined by the Bougainvillea which needs a little more warmth and sun to perform its best. If you are looking for some colour for a more shaded spot perhaps consider a Fuschia or some Impatiens as well as the Hydrangea as mentioned above.
Most people have made a good start on getting their vegetable patches going but don’t despair if you haven’t; there is still plenty of time to get your tomatoes, capsicum, chilli and cucumbers in the ground or pots. All the vegetables I mentioned need warm soil temperatures to do well, 16 degrees and above, so with that in mind you can still be harvesting fresh home-grown veggies in no time if you start now. The biggest problem is choosing what to grow…
Enjoy this time in your gardens as it is one of the best times of the year, but with more sunshine don’t forget to be “sun smart”. Wear protective clothing, apply sunscreen and hydrate well. Next month we’ll talk about getting your gardens ready for Christmas!
Watch our Facebook Live on Thursday 18 November where we will take you through our garden tips with horticulturalist Phil!
Unsure what to plant at the moment or just need some general help with your backyard? We will open the Facebook Live for a Q&A near the end ready to answer any of your garden questions.