$4.00 Potting Mix? - Aug 14, 2014

Dear Gardening Friends,

We have had a busy week here with spring stock starting to arrive already. If you are looking for some colour in your garden then you should come and see us soon.

Poor Karyn has been having a terrible time in her garden at home. Her son Chris recently bought 2 Border Collies home. The family was so happy about this until one of the dogs discovered it loved digging! The back garden now looks like a war zone.

Karyn has been taking fencing materials home almost everyday as the dog has discovered new ways of getting into the garden. Karyn has now installed a sand pit just so the dog can have its own digging patch. There is a children’s book about a dog that loves digging. Karyn may need a hug.

Remember how I killed our Blueberry plant last year by putting too much cow manure around the base? Lisa has only just started talking to me again. She loved eating the fruit.

Well I am happy to say that the Blueberry Burst plant we potted up to replace it is covered in fruit again now and they taste delicious.

This variety has bigger fruit and it keeps its leaves in winter so you could easily grow this variety on your front veranda because it always looks good. Even the papery white flowers look pretty. Blueberries are easy to grow in pots but hopeless in the garden. Use our Tims Best Potting mix for best results.

I was in Masters the other day and I noticed they had potting mix out the front for just $4.00 a bag. I was thinking surely people wouldn’t expect plants to grow in potting mix that only costs $4.00 a bag?

So I thought I better buy a bag to see if plants did grow in it. Ryan planted lettuce seedlings in both bags on the 27th of July. You can see by the results.

Plants don’t grow well in $4.00 potting mix. The cheaper potting mixes don’t have wetting agents, water storing crystals or fertiliser so your plants will always struggle in these mixes.

It’s hard to get plants to survive in hanging baskets. We call them hanging coffins because when you plant something in them it almost always dies.

Hanging baskets are more exposed to the wind and the sun so they dry out faster than potted plants on the ground. Hanging baskets don’t hold much potting mix either so this also makes them dry out faster. You either have to water them daily or choose plants that are more suitable.

Kalanchoes are in the succulent family so they store water in their leaves. Simon has just found some beauties. A new grey leaf variety called Quick Silver. I love the mauve flowers too. This plant will thrive in full sun. If you buy any plant with grey leaves it will grow best in full sun. eg Lavenders.

One of the best hanging basket plants is another Kalanchoe called Freedom Bells. This one gets covered in orange bell like flowers for several months. It is so easy to grow.

We have both these plants in hanging baskets and in smaller pots if you already have the basket. Make sure you use our Tim’s Best Potting mix. If you are thinking about buying hanging baskets then choose big ones. The Yates Self Watering Tuscan baskets are the best. We use these.

While I am talking about succulent plants I saw an amazing garden outside the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney. It was mass planted with Aloes.

You may have seen Graham Ross talking about Aloes on Better Homes and Gardens a couple of weeks ago. These tough plants flower in winter. The birds love them too.

We have a few here in the nursery that have flowers on them now. Check them out. This plant will survive on rain water only once established.

My son Dan is in the bad books this morning after getting up in the middle of the night to watch television while the rest of us were sleeping.

But he was in the good books the night before after eating home grown Tuscan Kale. We had it for dinner with a little oyster sauce. Dan loved it.

We picked it fresh from the garden then micro waved it for about 4 minutes. This new/old vegetable is full of antioxidants and vitamin C. It is so easy to grow. It does get eaten by caterpillars so you have to dust the foliage with Yates Tomato and Vegetable dust every 4 weeks.

Getting a bit late to plant Kale now but worth growing next winter

I had a meeting with our Tims Gardening Service team on Tuesday. They have a window of opportunity available before spring kicks off so if you need your roses pruned or a hedge trimmed give us a ring and we will pass on your details.

They were telling me that many of their clients are older people who have decided to stay in their houses rather than moving into retirement villages.

These people love their houses but the gardens have just got too much for them to handle. They have worked out it is cheaper to pay Tim’s Gardening Service than to sell the house.

I will be staying in my house as long as I can too. Those retirement villages can be scary places and it is often one step closer to the cemetery.

We have a new Dianthus called “Memories” here at the nursery for you to sniff test.

Dianthus' are low spreading ground cover like plants that get small carnation like flowers which have a beautiful perfume. They have grey foliage so they grow best in a hot sunny position.

This new variety has been released to help raise money for Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation.

Plants won’t be available until September but we have a sample plant here now for you to see.

Poor Pig is suffering with The Blues today. If we get some rain over the weekend then I am sure the colour green will help him fight off this terrible condition.

We all feel so much better when the lawn turns green and our plants burst out with spring colour!

Happy Gardening