HARGRAVES NURSERYLAND’S SEASONAL NEWSLETTER
Dear Garden Club Member, Wow that was rain! During February we had 365mm of rain at the nursery, 191.2mm in one night, which means this autumn will be one of the best for planting in a long time. I love autumn. As all you gardeners know, autumn is the best time to plant because trees and shrubs get established before the heat of the following summer, but because of the damp soils this year it is near perfect. Our autumn will turn into spring and our daffodils will flower overnight as we fly to Ireland to visit our new grandaughter Lucy who was born just before Christmas in Dublin. She looks beautiful on ‘Skype’ so we are looking forward to holding her and of course checking out some of the green Irish gardens, ‘Powerscourt’ is one of our favourites. The Irish connection leads me perfectly into St Patrick’s Day on March 17, which you all know is the best time to start planting your sweet peas. Plant in a sunny spot, climbing ones will need a trellis or some support but the new dwarf ones are quite happy to support themselves. Remember when you start to pick them, the more you pick the more you get. Autumn is also bulb time and we have thousands of bulk bulbs, so for the best price and selection in Sydney check us out. The cooler annuals also come into their own at this time of year, so look out for pansies, poppies, primulas and violas. Pop them into your garden or into a pot and have colour until next summer. Autumn wouldn’t be autumn without our . We want all you keen gardeners to come and visit us and get planting in these perfect conditions. Every plant over $14 is 50% off the marked price. So plant that camellia hedge and that magnolia in the front and lemon in the backyard and lilly pillys along the side. Do it now! See you in the nursery (if we’re not in Ireland). Good Gardening Sue and Ken
Powerscourt on our last visit (before Lucy)
Open Mon - Sat 8 - 6 Open everyday except Good Friday.
AUTUMN 2010 No. 62
AUTUMN IS FOR...................
PLANTING Autumn has long been considered the best time to do any new planting of trees and shrubs, the weather is a bit cooler but there is still enough warmth for the plants to start growing and establish before winter. Come spring, the plants shoot away and are strong enough to handle the summer. TRANSPLANTING If you need to move a tree or shrub for any reason, autumn is the time to do it. Water the tree to be moved thoroughly for a week or two beforehand. Choose the new spot and dig a hole large enough to accommodate the tree or shrub. Fill the hole with water and let it soak away. Dig around the transplantee getting as much of the rootball as you can comfortably move. Place a tarp or a piece of hessian under the rootball and drag it to its new spot or if it’s to go a distance the tarp may help to lift it onto a trailer or vehicle. Position the tree in its new hole and adjust to get the right position and depth. Fill the hole again with water and let soak away before starting to backfill. Water during the backfilling so as the soil around the tree is moist. Make sure you use the soil you dug out of the hole. Never use potting mix or other mixes because the plant has to get used to the soil it is to grow in. Add a cupful of ‘Plant Starter’ to a bucket of water and water into the rootball of the tree. Large trees may need double this. Water weekly for the first 2 months. When transplanting always choose a cool day or even better during or just before rain. TRIMMING AND TIDYING Some of our shrubs were badly burnt on those extremely hot days. Most affected were leaf edges and the tops of plants; camellias and viburnums were two that suffered more than most. Now is the time to trim off that damage and at the same time take the opportunity to do any shaping and pruning that may be needed. Hedges and topiaries can also be trimmed without fear of the new growth being burnt. Autumn is a good time to go around the whole garden and tidy up any plants that may have grown out over paths or have become a little untidy.
AUTUMN COLOUR Autumn is the time to choose the colourful deciduous trees. Japanese maples are among the best with colour ranging from yellows and oranges to brilliant red. Maples come in various shapes from upright varieties to magnificent weepers. We have a very large range to choose from in the nursery. Other great trees for autumn colour include Manchurian pears, claret ash, golden ash, sapium and the brilliant red tupelo. Deciduous trees apart from their fantastic colour are real air conditioning plants, they give shade and coolness in summer but allow the sun to shine through for winter warmth. Ken Sun & Public Hols 8.30 - 6 (After Daylight Saving-5pm)
Carnivorous plants are quite easy to grow in pots and they acquire most of their nutrients by trapping and consuming small insects and animals. They thrive mostly in damp to wet soil. I find it’s best to keep the pot in a saucer or dish filled with small river pebbles, this keeps up humidity around the plant and allows water to drain away as well. There are about 630 different species that trap prey and produce digestive enzymes and absorb the resulting nutrients. 100 of these species are indigenous to Australia, but most come from South America and Borneo. There are a few different ways used to attract and catch prey like flypaper traps used by the sundew genus or Drosera. This trap consists of many long leaves studded with a sticky substance called mucilage, these glands are borne at the end of long tentacles making them very effective flying insect catchers. Venus flytrap or Dionaea catches its prey with a snap trap almost like a mouse trap. The leaves of Venus’ Flytrap open wide and on them are short, stiff hairs. When anything touches these hairs enough to bend them, the two lobes of the leaves snap shut trapping whatever is inside. If the object isn’t food, e.g., a stone, or a nut, the trap will reopen in about 12 hours and spit it out. My favourite is the pitcher plant (Nepenthes Sarracenia). These plants use a rolled leaf, shaped like a jug, that contains a pool of digestive enzymes called a pitfall trap. These plants live in areas of high rainfall and catch insects like ants and mosquitoes. Nectar acts as an attractant and when the insects lose their footing they fall into the pool at the bottom and drown. Frogs often sit perched just below the surface of the lip waiting for a free meal, but if they lose their footing the carnivore will gobble them up as well. Kids love them, put one on your window sill and listen for the slurping and the burping! Danny
It’s that time of year when the camellias are starting to bud and flower. There are few better sights than wandering through an old garden and seeing an established camellia in full bloom. The two main types of camellias are sasanquas and japonicas. As a general rule, sasanquas will grow in full sun to part shade whereas the japonicas prefer a shady spot. There are many different varieties of sasanquas, including the single white flower of Setsugekka, the single pink flower of Plantation Pink, the cerise flowering Hiryu or the stand out Yuletide with its red flower and prominent yellow stamens in the centre. Another favourite is Pure Silk, with its lovely white semi-double flowers with highlights of pink. There is an incredible range of varieties in Camellia japonicas with colours from white through varying pinks to the darkest reds. The flowers can be semi-double, double and the exquisite formal doubles. Camellias can make a great screen or formal hedge or can be planted as a stunning feature in the garden. Emmett
BULBS BULBS BULBS
Autumn is bulb planting time. We have bulk bulbs; 25,000 daffodils, 12,000 freesias, 10,000 jonquils, 3,000 tulips and 5,000 hyacinths. We have 2,000 assorted packets of allium, anemone, baby gladioli, crocus, daffodil, dutch iris, freesia, hyacinth, ixia, jonquil, lachenalia, muscari, ornithogalum, ranunculus, scilla, snowflakes, tritonia, tulip, watsonia, autumn raindrops, belladonna, nerine and autumn snowflakes. Our tulips are ‘Oz’ variety and no cooling is needed. Bulb gurus say hyacinths should spend a few weeks in the fridge, but the last couple of years we have planted the left over ones into pots with no cooling and they’ve done fine. Once you have selected your bulbs it’s time to plant. Your bulbs prefer to receive sun for at least half a day and must have well drained soil or they will rot. If this is a problem, raise the bed they are to be planted in or try planting in pots. Plant to a depth of one and a half times the height of the bulb, pointy end up except for ranunculus. Bulbs look great mass planted, big clumps look fantastic through a garden bed, as a thick border or even packed into a pot. Last year I crammed in 15 hyacinth bulbs in a 20cm round bowl. When they started to flower I brought the pot inside and the house smelt wonderful. This is how they look their best. Watering is also important. As I mentioned earlier, bulbs can rot in poorly drained soil and the same will happen if overwatered. They should be watered in well when planted, let the soil dry out in between watering until the shoots start to appear and then more regular watering will be needed. When you’re planting your bulbs in pots use ‘Premium Potting Mix’, it’s got everything your bulbs need. We used it last year for our hyacinths and tulips and they were perfect. See you in the nursery, whether you’re buying a packet or a 100 we’ve got the bulbs for you. Bec
P.S. Don’t forget our March Bulb Offer.
We are growing zinnia for the first time this year. The flowers looked impressive on the seed packet so I thought we should give them a try. We planted the seeds at the beginning of spring and after about a month we had a good display of their lush dreamy foliage. It was summer before they flowered but for 3 months they have produced enough to keep a good display in the garden and two vases a week inside. It looks like they will continue to power on through autumn. They come in an amazing array of colours and at the price of a packet of seeds or a few punnets of seedlings, you can have 6 months of joy inside and out of your home. I love zinnia. David
Niall’s garden shed must haves for AUTUMN.
Ah autumn, finally it has cooled down. A great time to plant and a great time to fill up that garden shed of yours. Here are some reminders and hints that I hope will be useful. For Orchids, I have briefly mentioned Campbell’s fertilizer in a previous newsletter. I would like to elaborate in regards to the Cymbidium orchid variety. Campbell’s A: This is an excellent feed to promote flowering because it has a higher potassium component. You can use this water-soluble feed fortnightly from January through to August and it is never too late to start. Campbell’s B: This has a greater nitrogen component for growth and it is applied fortnightly from September through to December. Regularly feeding your orchids with Campbell’s A and B will give you healthy strong plants and a wonderful show of flower spikes. Orchids can sometimes take a break from flowering. For instance if you had a heavy crop of flowers last year the same orchid may only produce one or two spikes this year. Then it should be back on track for a grand show next year. To avoid this, try to remove this year’s flower spikes before they begin to produce seedpods as this can drain a lot of energy from the orchid. Tip: Watch out for mealy bug, (they look like cotton wool) as they love to nestle in at the base of the cymbidium leaves. So have your Confidor on hand. Also snails and slugs have a penchant for the newly forming flower spikes, so have your snail bait in your shed too. New in store is the Wet & Forget product Shower Witch. This is an easy to use surface mould remover that uses biodegradable ingredients. It can be used on different surfaces such as marble, stone, porcelain, tiles, glass, stainless steel and many others. Simply apply Shower Witch to the mouldy surface wait 24 hours and then wash down the area. In tough grime situations, a further wipe down may be needed. It is that simple. We also carry Wet & Forget in 2ltr and 5ltr bottles. This product is used on most external surfaces to remove moss and mould. We use it on the nursery paths and it works a treat. Always read the instructions prior to use. Harry’s Gardenia Food is here. This product has a higher iron and magnesium content specifically to target those yellow leaves that we all get on our floridas and magnificas. Harry’s Gardenia Food is a slow release fertilizer that is applied every 3 months. I still recommend that you supplement Harry’s food with Phostrogen Acid Plant Food either fortnightly or monthly. With these two products in your shed, the gardenias won’t know what hit them. Tip: Every time you receive our newsletter, pop into the garden and apply a dose of Harry’s food... Ratter McRattus will be very active at this time of year and if you happen to have a problem with them, my product of choice is Bromakil. Not only does it target Broms, it will also tackle your vermin issue too. This is a grain-based rodenticide that can be used in the home or out in the dry or damp areas of your garden. Rats have poor sight and are creatures of habit. They tend to use the same track or run either inside or outside the home to seek out a food source. So if you have seen Ratter (or evidence of rat activity i.e. droppings, torn garbage bags or food sacks) in the home or garden then you can assume that he will appear in that same spot in future. Place a Bromakil bait on the track or in the vague vicinity. To ensure a good strike place several baits in the location. Mr and Mrs. McRattus are capable of producing up to 6 litters a year with up to 10 rats per litter so another way to spot them is the pile of baby naming books. Tip: Avoid leaving food scraps on your property whether it is from animal feed or simply fruit that has fallen to ground. Ratter also loves shelter, so remove old sheet metal or garden junk and where possible keep wood piles off the ground. Another pest active after the rains in February are our old favourite the rabbit. We carry Rabbait a Pindone Oat Bait just for them. It’s fast, effective and easy to use. Much like the Bromakil for rats, you need to place the ‘Rabbait’ at several intervals along the rabbits’ run. It is highly palatable to the rabbits and it will take a couple of feeds to get to work. We also carry the bait station which will keep the bait dry through wet weather. Read the leaflet for detailed instructions.
Q: How many rats does it take to change a light bulb? A: Why change it? The rats have already gnawed through all the house wiring, which is why the bulb wasn’t working in Niall the first place.
Don’t waste that beautiful autumn rain, collect and store it in your own water tank. Tanks come in all shapes and sizes to fit in any spot in your yard, there is also a great range of colours to suit your colour scheme. As the price of water increases you can save money, be independent and fill your pool or water your garden whenever you like. Go to www.hargravesnurseryland.com.au for prices, colours and sizes.
Early autumn is a great time to give all of your plants and lawn a feed. After all of the wonderful rain we have had and with the warmer weather hanging around a little bit longer, everything is growing rapidly so a good feed now will really help them. Just use a complete fertiliser like Organic Life, Dynamic Lifter, Garden Gold or spread some cow, sheep or fowl manure around your plants and they will jump away with new growth. Emmett
AUTUMN AND THE LAWN
Autumn is the best time to rejuvenate the lawn after a hot dry summer. It is also the best time to plant a new lawn. When planting a new lawn or patching an existing one, soil preparation is the most important part of the project. Cultivate the soil to a depth of 100 to 150mm either by hand or if it’s a large area hiring a rotary hoe is a much easier option. You may need to go over the area 2 or 3 times to get a friable soil texture. Levelling and raking are also important, making sure you end up with an even level without hills and hollows as these will be more obvious when the lawn grows. There are two options; either seeding or laying turf rolls. When seeding you need to spread the seed evenly over the soil and lightly rake in. Water regularly at least twice per day to keep the soil ‘dark moist’. Shoots should show in about 7 - 10 days. Laying turf rolls is a way to establish your lawn instantly. Simply roll out the turf making sure not to overlap the edges. Keep moist by watering daily. A light fertilising with ‘Grassmaster’ or ‘Turf Lifter’ a week or two after laying will help it on its way. Established lawns need fertilising in Autumn to ensure they look their best through winter. I like to fertilise my lawns at least 4 times a year, at the beginning of each season. Try and choose a day when rain is forecast and let the rain water it in. Otherwise give a good hosing to prevent the fertiliser from burning the grass. By fertilising and mowing regularly the lawn always looks good and weeds don’t get a chance to grow. Ken
RURAL FENCE MATERIALS We now stock a range of rural fencing materials. Steel posts, wire rabbit netting, hinged joint and ring lock fencing. We also stock farm gates and fittings and all the tools you need to do the job including fence post drivers and pullers, wire strainers and pliers. ELECTRIC FENCING ‘Gallagher’ is an Australian company renowned for its quality and range of electric fence components. We stock a range of fence energizers for all applications from cattle and horse fences to pet and possum deterrents. These are supported with an extensive range of insulator posts and cable to suit all fencing needs. FENCING DEMONSTRATION DAY On Saturday 10th April from 9am - 12pm we will have in store David Page, an expert from ‘Gallaghers’ to demonstrate the most effective way to install electric fences. A chance for you to learn all the tricks of the trade and avoid the pitfalls. Please book your spot by emailing email@example.com or phone 9651 1833.
READY FOR AUTUMN VEGIES
The most important part of any garden is the soil preparation. Vegetables require a friable crumbly soil that will hold moisture and yet drains well in prolonged wet periods. Sandy soils drain well but don’t hold the moisture so the addition of compost plus cow, fowl or sheep manure will help with this. Clay soils go ‘lumpy’ when dug, they are also easily waterlogged. To remedy these problems dig in plenty of compost and animal manure as well as some coarse sand. Avoid root crops such as carrots in freshly dug clay soil as they will grow forked and out of shape. Start with crops such as peas, beans, cabbages or broccoli and when they finish dig in the leafy remains to add more compost. Potatoes are a good crop to grow in ‘new’ soil as they help break it up and make it more friable. These can be planted in late winter or spring. Vegetables to plant in autumn are; artichoke, beetroot, broad beans, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, leeks, lettuce, onions, shallots, peas, radish, spinach, swede and other turnip varieties.
If you don’t have the space to create a separate vegie garden why not mix your vegies in amongst the flowers and shrubs. Plants like rhubarb, beetroot, broccoli, brussel sprouts, lettuce, parsley, leeks and onions give an interesting leaf variation when scattered in amongst flowering plants. Ken
630 Old Northern Rd, Dural 2158. 96511833 www.hargravesnurseryland.com.au
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