Have you got mites? - Nov 13, 2014

Dear Gardening Friends,

Christmas can’t be too far away now because our NSW Christmas bush is covered in red bracts.

These make popular Christmas Gifts because they are cheaper than a bunch of flowers and they can be brought inside the house for a week or so over Xmas.

Just be careful when you take them back outside that you put them in the shade for a few days until they acclimatize to the sun again. Plants can get sun burnt just like humans.

NSW Christmas Bush can be temperamental to grow but we have had great success planting them on a small mound of Native Potting Mix. They can also be grown in a big pot.

NSW Christmas bush loves to be pruned so when you cut off a big bunch of flowers as table decorations you are actually making it grow even better!

The cloudy days have made the flowers on the Jacaranda trees look even more spectacular.

There is a beautiful tree flowering just outside Campbelltown Court House. Every day young kids in ill fitting suits pass under this tree.

This tree is at least 20 years old but it is the perfect sized shade tree for this area.

I am a great believer in pruning the lower branches off trees so you can see the trunk. This allows people to walk under the tree and if it is growing in your lawn then this will let the sunshine in underneath so the grass keeps growing.

I had an interesting phone call with our turf farmer last week. We sold out of turf within minutes last Friday so I rang up and ordered more on Saturday morning.

I wanted Kikuyu and Buffalo but the grower said he couldn’t cut the Buffalo because he was watering it. Can’t you water it tomorrow I asked? “No way” he said “If I don’t water the Buffalo it turns yellow and looks terrible”. Do you have to water the kikuyu I inquired? “Half as much as the Buffalo” he said.

Now if you have listened to any of the marketing about Buffalo lawns you will have heard them banging on about how drought tolerant this grass is. Rubbish. Modern Buffalo lawns are not drought tolerant and like the grower said you have to water it twice as much as kikuyu.

The only saving grace is that Buffalo grass will grow in up to 80% shade while Kikuyu will not. So if you have a Buffalo lawn hit it with Wettasoil now and get the sprinkler out!

While I am winging about our industry if you are buying bulk soil to make a flower or vegetable garden be warned about so called Premium Garden Mixes.

These mixes are starter mixes at best and they are made from recycled green waste. If you don’t add a complete fertiliser or cow manure to the mix then your flower, herb or vegetable seedlings will never grow.

A friend of mines little boy got all excited this spring about growing home grown water melon and strawberries. The grandfather got called in to construct the vegetable garden then it was filled with premium garden mix.

The seedlings haven’t grown a new leaf in 6 weeks and the leaves have turned yellow. Jamie has lost interest in vegetable gardening because his plants didn’t grow.

I have spoken before about the numerous bags of inferior potting mix being sold in chain stores that will give similar results. If people don’t have success they stop gardening.

Cape Chestnut trees are flowering around the Macarthur district and one of the best specimens is in Mawson Park in Campbelltown.

This beautiful cloud shaped tree is covered in perfumed pink flowers leading up to Christmas. If you are driving along Queen Street make sure you stop to smell the flowers!

I love how many of the beautiful trees in this park are labeled. This tree is probably close to 100 years old and still looking great. We do have a couple of grafted plants here at Tims that are already flowering but you will have to be quick.

There are some real beauties growing in Menangle too.

If you have rose bushes then they are probably being attacked by Two Spotted Mites. These sap sucking insects live under the leaves and they suck the nutrients out of the plant.

Eventually the leaves turn yellow and the plant looses vigor. They can be controlled using Pest oil or Eco oil but you have to spray it under the leaves. When you turn one of those ready to use sprayers upside down they stop working. We have had better success with Yates Rose Shield.

This spray is absorbed or eaten by the mites and will kill Two Spotted Mites for several weeks.

Petunia plants growing close to buildings or under trees will be attacked by Two Spotted Mites too.

Last year even tomato plants got attacked by Two Spotted Mites. If your leaves start to turn grey and begin to curl then spray under the leaves with Eco oil.

You can’t spray on hot days with oil based sprays or you will burn your plants. You can’t use Yates Rose Shield on things you are going to eat.

We have some beautiful orchids in the shop just in time for Christmas.

These cost around the same price as a bunch of flowers from the florist but they will flower much longer plus you get to keep the plant.

We have a free gift wrapping service so it saves you having to buy paper and ribbon. We even have gift cards!

Fresh Cut Christmas trees will be available on the first weekend in December.

They make your house smell like Christmas so leave the tinsel tree in the box this year and smell the difference.

You still have time to make your garden beautiful for Christmas so come and see us if you need help

Happy Gardening