Give your garden a blast! - Oct 27, 2010

Last year we trialled a new type of ground cover petunia called 'Raspberry Blast'. This petunia is not sold in punnets and you won't find it on the potted colour bench either. It costs $15.99 in a 180mm pot and if you're a senior you are probably having a heart attack right now. 'Raspberry Blast' looks nothing like the petunias that we have been growing in our gardens for 50 years. 

This new variety has thick stems like a shrub and it stays compact and bushy where other petunias grow wild and straggly. A single plant will grow 600mm wide and just 100mm high. It can be pruned if you want to keep it compact and the cuttings can be used to grow more plants.

The spectacular pink flowers edged in deep cerise, violet will make you say 'wow'. The plant is covered in these amazing flowers for 9 months then it has a rest in winter and comes back to life the following spring. Traditional petunias die in winter.
We pruned ours back in the garden at the start of spring and fed them with cow manure. Now they are covered in flowers again and they are looking sensational.
We have had great success growing Raspberry Blast in pots and gardens in sunny positions. If you are growing them in pots use the most expensive potting mix available. They are fast growing so they need lots of food. We use fastfood and they seem to love it.
Mulch around the base to conserve water and water twice a week for best results.

Grow them in pots or hanging baskets to add some colour around your decks for Christmas. Your friends will be impressed.

Tim Pickles is a CNP Horticulturist and Director of Tim's Garden Centre 2 Queen St Campbelltown 46267022.