Simons in love - Aug 03, 2012

Dear gardening friends,

I was driving through Glen Alpine this week and I was surprised to see how the lawns in this prestigious suburb have gone down hill. It wasn't that long ago when all the lawns in this suburb looked like bowling greens. Today many of these lawns look like pasture improved paddocks. Clover and other broad leaf weeds have taken over. Weeds in a lawn make the entire garden look untidy and unkept.

We let the standard slip during the drought and now we are more accepting of weeds. The problem is if you have a dog in the backyard you are obligated to kill the clover and bindii or life will be hell for your furry friend all summer long. When clover comes into flower it attracts thousands of bees and when your children or pets stand on them the bees react instinctively and sting them on the feet. Bindii is about to set seed and once this happens it is too late to spray.

If you are time poor, get our Tim's Gardening Service guys out to come and spray your lawn for you.I was speaking to Michael and Graham during the week and they have the backpack sprayers that do a really good job. Give us a ring at the nursery for the gardening service team closest to you.

I sprayed our lawn for the second time on thursday. I am using Richgro Bindii Killer for Buffalo lawns. This product is safe to use on all lawns not just Buffalo. The broadleaf weeds were already starting to go brown on the tips ( see photo) so the follow up spray will really finish these weeds off. To kill weeds like clover you really have to spray twice or they just come back.

Dont forget to add a squirt of dish washing liquid to the spray. This wetting agent makes the spray stick to the leaves. Don't mow your lawn for 5 days before or after spraying. If it rains within 24 hours you have to spray again. Use the 30 mls in 5 litres of water dosage over 50 square metres of lawn. ( 10 metres x 5 metres).

We have been filling up the nursery with Magnolias this week. They are starting to flower everywhere around Macarthur heralding the start of spring. 10 years ago I went to Victoria to buy plants for the nursery. We went to Monbulk to meet a Magnolia grower called Ron Boekel. As we drove into his nursery I saw the biggest Magnolias I have ever seen. They were huge trees covered in tulip shaped flowers. I asked Ron how he made these small trees grow so big?

He took me over to one of the biggest and showed me how they had mulched around the base of each plant with Dolomite lime. It was at least 1cm thick! When I scraped the Dolomite I found white roots from the Magnolia were growing into it. They loved it that much!

Ron also used Dolomite Lime on all his Buxus plants and it made the leaves go bright green.

If you have these plants growing in your garden come and get some Dolomite lime from us now and watch your plants take off!

Ron has imported a new Yellow Flowering Magnolia called "Yellow Bird". I managed to talk him into selling us 10 plants only.

They are a real collectors plant. Check out the photo. The canary yellow flowers are sensational. It flowers even after the leaves appear in spring. WOW…they arrived at the nursery today and they are 1.8 metres high, we are selling them for $96.99 each; usually plants this size would sell for well over $120.00 – hurry at these prices they sure won't last long!

We have heaps of other Magnolias and other colours available in smaller pots for around $30.00.

I caught Simon having a love fest with native tubes during the week. The native tube bench has been a bit sad ever since our specialist grower retired about 18 months ago. Simon has been trying to find another grower who just doesn't grow the basics like bottle brush and westringeas. Well he has found someone in Tenterfield who grows all the rarer stuff that simon loves!

It's freezing cold in winter and boiling hot in summer in Tenterfield so these plants have to be tough. The best news is these plants are super cheap! 5 for $20 that's crazy. Come and talk to Simon if you love natives. We may even get a visit from Don.

We have a Bikie customer who turns up almost every week. Maree is not your usual bikie. There is no leather! She has a motor scooter which she drives along the foot path. We loaded her up during the week with a fruit tree in the back, planting compost under her feet and a flowering paper daisy in the basket!

Talking about fruit trees I was in Woolies during the week and they had a pallet of Mango trees! Well it is fruit tree season.

The woolies buyer got a bit confused. These poor trees will be dropping dead in the gardens around Macarthur in the next couple of weeks. You plant tropical fruit trees around Christmas time.

Very sore back this week. Have been laying new pavers in the seedling area. Come and check out my work.

Happy gardening,