The Advertiser - - WEEKEND EXTRA - YOUR GUIDE -

Aus­tralian na­tives, camel­lias and other early spring-flow­er­ing ev­er­greens should be planted as soon as pos­si­ble. This will al­low them to es­tab­lish a strong, vig­or­ous root sys­tem well be­fore sum­mer. Be­ware of root-bound plants, they of­ten strug­gle to sur­vive. If you are in­ter­ested in grow­ing na­tive plants, make a note to visit the Aus­tralian Plant So­ci­ety’s Spring Sale and Show at the Wayville show­grounds next week­end. Ants have come out of hid­ing and are search­ing for food. They de­light in spread­ing in­sects such as scale and aphids from one plant to an­other. Find their nest and ap­ply one of the many in­sec­ti­cides pre­pared specif­i­cally for ant nest con­trol. Th­ese sun-lov­ing plants will pro­vide a blaze of colour dur­ing late sum­mer and au­tumn if planted dur­ing late Oc­to­ber, Novem­ber or early De­cem­ber. Mean­while, dig the ground; add plenty of or­ganic ma­te­rial and half a cup of com­plete fer­tiliser to each square me­tre of gar­den. A reg­u­lar light ap­pli­ca­tion of a com­plete fer­tiliser will pro­duce bet­ter blooms than a sin­gle large ap­pli­ca­tion early in the sea­son. Wat­tles and other win­ter­flow­er­ing Aus­tralian na­tive shrubs that have fin­ished flow­er­ing should be pruned lightly to stim­u­late new growth and main­tain a com­pact shape. Cym­bid­ium or­chids should be re-pot­ted as soon as flow­er­ing spikes have died down. If the plants did not flower, they should be re-pot­ted or di­vided in the next few weeks. Use a chunky bark for re­pot­ting. As soon as spring-flow­er­ing de­cid­u­ous trees have fin­ished bloom­ing, they should be trimmed lightly to en­cour­age new growth and in­crease the flow­er­ing po­ten­tial for next sea­son. Many couch and kikuyu lawns have large pop­u­la­tions of broad leafed weeds grow­ing in them. Th­ese should be con­trolled by spray­ing with a weed­i­cide con­tain­ing MCPA and Di­camba.

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