It's party time! - Oct 10, 2013

Dear gardening friends

It is going to be very hot today so I hope you have watered all your pot plants this morning. Have you noticed how we mulch our gardens but almost never mulch around our pots?

This is crazy because mulch stops up to 80% of the water we put on our plants from evaporating. If you mulch your pot plants with sugar cane the plants will survive the heat much better and they will also grow faster. If you have Citrus or Blueberries growing in pots, mulch around them this weekend.

All the staff has parked their cars under the shade of a tree today. It's funny because we rent the carpark next door so we can park our cars under our trees.

If you go to the local shopping centre you will be looking for a shady spot too. We all realize if we park our cars in the shade of a tree it will be much cooler when we return. We don't use this same logic when we are designing our gardens. We are terrified of leaves falling in gutters and roots getting in pipes.

I have heaps of hedges growing in my garden and they are a lot of work to keep them looking neat and tidy. Hedges look great in a garden because they provide privacy and they also give structure to your garden. The reason our nursery garden looks so good is because we have small hedges at the back and Karyn plants the flowers in front. The hedges are like a frame.

I am always looking for hedging plants that don't need to be pruned. There are very few available but I did find a great hedge of Nandina Moon Bay growing at McDonald's in Cooma on the weekend. This relatively new plant only grows 75cms high by about 60cms wide. It is very easy to grow and once established it will survive heat, cold and drought. Just remember though once you plant them in a pot or a window box they will need to be watered often.

Karyn has returned from Japan and she had a lovely time playing softball and looking at all the gardens. She did take pig with her but we missed out on getting the photos. We have a few now and I will share them with you next week. Before Karyn went away she constructed a vegetable garden in her backyard. Karyn can do anything so a construction job didn't worry her. She made a raised vegetable garden out of pine and filled it with Tim's Magic mix. She used about one cubic metre to fill the box. You may not realize we still deliver bulk garden mixes, topdressing, mulches and pebbles. If you need something give us a call.

Karyn improved the garden mix by digging in 2 bags of Greengold Planting Compost and some Tim's Fast Food.If you are making a vegetable garden you need to improve the soil with some cow manure or Planting compost prior to planting or the seedlings just won't grow. Karyn has been away for a couple of weeks but Brett kept the seedlings watered every day and the vegetables have gone berserk. If you are planning on making a veggie garden come and talk to Karyn.

You might remember we planted up our hanging baskets on the fence a few weeks ago with the Oasis Spreading Petunias. They have started to flower already and they are looking fantastic. We potted them up using our Tim's Best Potting Mix and only planted one plant per pot. We have them hooked up to a drip irrigation system that is controlled with a battery operated tap timer. These are great for watering plants because unlike us they never forget. Just a warning, if you buy one from the green shed, keep your receipt. I find that they only work for about 12 months before they die. I have tried many brands. Now when they die I just take them back and get a free replacement under warranty.

Talking about watering it is time to get out the sprinkler! You can use them anytime before 10am or after 4pm. I had a dry lawn area under a tree at my place that needed urgent attention this week. I have lightly topdressed the grass with Tim's Topdressing. I just took 4 bags home. The topdressing will make the soil hold more water so the grass will just grow better. I couldn't find a sprinkler any where it has been that long since I used one. So I bought a Pope Partner Sprinkler for $15.99 at Tims. This is the best sprinkler ever. There are no moving parts to break and it is so tough you could probably run over it with your car! Now I am watering this patch of lawn twice a week for 30 minutes. I have one of those 2 hour manual tap timers so I don't forget to turn it off.

I am seeing under stock shooting out from the base of deciduous trees where ever I go. Under stock is what they bud the trees onto. It shoots out below the graft and if you don't cut it off at the trunk it with take over. The top part of the tree stops growing. It just looks terrible. Inexperienced gardeners don't realize they have to cut this off. This often happens to Passion Fruit vines. The Nellie Kelly passion fruit vine is grafted onto a blue passion fruit called Passiflora caerulea. This understock often shoots out below the graft and just takes over. It has smaller leaves like a maple and will never produce passionfruit you can eat. We still stock this plant because it is so popular but I would plant a seedling passionfruit. They are cheaper to buy and they don't sucker. See Lisa in the seedling area if you need help.

Garry Logan from Park Central sent me some great photos of his Geraniums during the week. Garry grew these Ivy Geraniums from cuttings 2 years ago and he cuts them back at the end of winter and feeds them every 3 months. They flower non stop for 9 months! They certainly make his sunny entertaining area look great. Geraniums are hardy pot plants and they laugh at the drought.

We are having Pigs Birthday Sale this weekend. Pig is celebrating his 2nd birthday. To help celebrate we are taking 10% off anything pink this weekend.

If you come wearing something pink we will give you a piece of pigs pink cake and a drink. You may even like to get your photo taken with pig to put on facebook.

Pig will be in the shop signing autographs.

Pig is a remarkable success story, having arrived in Australia on a boat from Vietnam unable to speak English.

He is now more famous than the 3 little pigs (they really were little, and not very good builders).

Pig was the only member from Campbelltown invited to The Royal wedding (he did get stuck behind that hat!)

Julia recently knitted him a jumper but this weekend pig with be in his birthday suit as usual.

It's just a bit of fun so if you are in the area call in and see us.

Happy gardening