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Gardening – What to do when to get what?

By johnboy - 25 October 2008 30

By popular demand here’s a story about spring planting here in Canberra.

Over to you guys and girls.

What’s Your opinion?


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30 Responses to
Gardening – What to do when to get what?
aidan 9:38 am 27 Oct 08

That Eriostemon is actually a Philotheca (the name/classification changed a while back) but they are often still referred to as Eriostemon. Take a look here:

http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/gnp1/philotheca-myoporoides.html

The nurseries often sell a cultivar called “Profusion”, which has lots of flowers. They are pretty hardy and handily they wilt a little when they need a drink, rather than just karking it.

Correas are hard as. The Chopper Read of Australian gardening. We have a lovely one with red bells for alot of winter, but buggered if I can remember it’s name (starts with M, supposed to get to 2m …). We’ve had alot of success with Correa baeuerlenii:

http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/gnp10/correa-baeuerlenii.html

The flowers are interesting, but not at all prominent, but it has lovely glossy green foliage, which is unusual for Aus natives.

Westringia is also called native rosemary, but is different from an Eriostemon/Philotheca:

http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/gnp1/westringia-fruticosa.html

2604 11:06 pm 26 Oct 08

P.S. @ Tylersmayhem: the Gardening column in last week’s Chronicle was devoted to growing tomatoes and gave quite a few good tips in terms of what to feed, etc.

Good luck!

ant 10:38 pm 26 Oct 08

Cheap toms are good, although I’m a bit underwhelmed with the very cheap ones Bunnings had. I think they’re straight from a very hot glasshouse in Sydney.
I like the range at the nursery in Qbn, which is run by the Council and staffed by gardeners. They have everything from grafteds (waste of money) through to punnets. I like the advanceds at $4.50, and the odd punnet.

For a big normal tomato, I was impressed by the taste of Beefsteak last year and got a plant this year and it’s doing the best of all of them. For a little tomato, the Burkes Backyard one is apparently the tastiest. It’s not a cherry, but you dont’ want them anyway, they self-seed everywhere and become an annoying weed. It is a small tomato, so it’s kind-of a big cherry.

As to Astrojax’s shrub, here’s a link I hope works to a close-up shot of the Eristemon.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v105/EmuBobOz/26oct08020small.jpg

2604 9:05 pm 26 Oct 08

tylersmayhem said :

Hi all! Thanks for starting this thread JB – nice one!

Am am going to grow tomatoes this year for the first time. I want to grow one normal and one cherry tomato plant. There are SO many varieties, can anyone suggest the tastiest and hardiest tomatoes to plant and where a good lace is to buy them? I know you can buy tomatoes anywhere, but I’m also sure the quality may sometimes vary.

Cheers!

For mine, the best varieties are Grosse Lisse and Romas. Romas are great for cooking (eg on pizzas or in Spaghetti sauces) and GLs are great in salads.

As for where to get them, seedlings in all nurseries and other stores come from basically the same suppliers, so I’d go where they are cheapest. I get mine from Magnet Mart in Phillip.

tylersmayhem 3:52 pm 26 Oct 08

Hi all! Thanks for starting this thread JB – nice one!

Am am going to grow tomatoes this year for the first time. I want to grow one normal and one cherry tomato plant. There are SO many varieties, can anyone suggest the tastiest and hardiest tomatoes to plant and where a good lace is to buy them? I know you can buy tomatoes anywhere, but I’m also sure the quality may sometimes vary.

Cheers!

ant 10:23 am 26 Oct 08

Astrojax said “now, anyone got any suggestions for a nice looking small shrub to go beside the apricot tree on the eastern side of my house – ie not going to get a lot of direct sun, esp in summer – certainly none after midday in any season… would prefer a native. is the soil round an apricot likely to suffer too much or too little anything..?”

I’ve been very pleased with an Eristemon (westringia) that I got years ago. It’s on the eastern side, under the deck. So it’s a dry, shaded area. and it’s done great, even when now planted out with things in front of it (not my idea!). It is reaching out into the light, so it likes light, but is fine without much of it. So in an open spot it’d probably do even better. Has a long flowering season of small, delicate white/pink flowers, sort-of waxy ones.

I tried to find a picture of it but none looked like mine. If I get some shoes on I’ll go downstairs and take a shot and link to it later! I’ve seen these growing in public gardens around Canberra… there’s a lot in the bushland below parly house, and in the gallery sculpture gardens. And any decent nursery in Canberra.

dexi 6:35 am 26 Oct 08

Yes my tomatoes have been growing wild and surviving. The frosts have been mild. The rule of thumb is to plant after the Melbourne cup weekend.

Strawberries (in pots), spinach, peas and beans are good to plant now. Last night we had garden spinach and chives with dinner. Haven’t had much luck with coriander. It does make a lot of seed. I might try the weekly grow idea. I am experimenting with cabbage this year. I just planted four leaf seedlings and they seem to be happy.

We have also had our first crop of compost from the lawn.

ant 10:37 pm 25 Oct 08

Coriander is a pain to grow. Doesn’t like the cold, but the minute it warms up, it bolts ot seed! I hear that crafty asian gardeners just keep planting seeds every week or so, to have new plants coming on to replace the one that just went to seed. They are like ferns, they like light, food and water. I grow mine in a Waterwell pot inside during winter and actually end up with too much of the stuff.

Basil and Coriander seem to do better in pots. Unless you grow those perennial woody basils (that aren’t very perennial in Canberra).

I’m happy for mint to go mad. It’s a tad dry and windy where I am, but I have one trying desperately to go mad. Can never have enough mint. I like to get a few stalks of it, and stuff it into the teapot on top of the tea (and put in a bit of rock sugar) to make Moroccan tea.

Has anyone got the tomatoes in yet? I put mine in first week of September, just afer it warmed up. The wind has been brutal but the frosts haven’t been enough to cause damage.

also have in some chillis (they hate the wind though, the next lot are going into pots), a zucchini, a punnet of red onions around the edges of the garden, a punnet of leeks in lines, soem chives and nasturiums (good companions for tomatoes, apparently), a line of corns (hating the wind), and some seeds I hope will come up of beetroots, carrots, basil, salsify, various leaves and some clumps of parsley.

these are new raised garden beds, 2 about the size and shape of Graves! Full of cow and chook pooh, and so-far about half-planted each.

sepi 9:27 pm 25 Oct 08

Perhaps too much water? I’ve grown great coriander before and I am a slack gardener.
(Which is why I want to be able to water when I actually remember…)

Rosemary grows like a dream in Canberra. Heaps of old houses have a huge one. It grows really easily from cuttings too.

bigfeet 8:44 pm 25 Oct 08

What about coriander? I have three pots with coriander in them, one in full sun, one in partial sun, and one in full shade. (because I have no idea which is best)

And none of them are doing very well. I used the best potting mix available from nursery, they are well drained, not kept wet, but watered every other day?

Any suggestions?

But on the plus side, my sage, rosemary, parsely and cherry tomatoes are going great guns.

And there appears to be lots of small fruit appearing on my peach tree.

But the bloody coriander…I have never, ever, ever been able to grow it.

sepi 8:32 pm 25 Oct 08

Shrubs for shady spots – Correa (Native fuschia) is great – the ACT garden assessment put me onto it.
My last garden had dry shade galore, but I’ve forgotten what I tried.

Now I have a great big vegie patch in full sun…a totally different story.

dexi 7:40 pm 25 Oct 08

Basil goes really well in a big pot with Premium Herb Mix. Crowd a punnet in and pick the tops off when you need some. I planted two weeks ago and had basil on toast today. The basil in the ground haven’t done much yet.

captainwhorebags 6:52 pm 25 Oct 08

Word of warning on planting mint: keep it in a container. If you plant it direct in to the ground and turn your back for five minutes, you’ll have mint everywhere.

I’ve got an infestation along the back fence from the previous neighbours who put mint along their fence. It’s very hard to get rid of completely.

astrojax 6:16 pm 25 Oct 08

put it in where it isn’t too hot, keep it slightly sheltered and damp often – mulch is good of course; and it is the best companion plant for tomatoes, so plant them together and you’ll find the tomatoes love you and they keep ya basil sheltered and lush…

trick with mint, i learned last year, is to also keep it pretty damp and it will go gangbusters.

this time of year citrus needs a good feed – lots of iron, some blood and bone and in any case something every fortnight.

now, anyone got any suggestions for a nice looking small shrub to go beside the apricot tree on the eastern side of my house – ie not going to get a lot of direct sun, esp in summer – certainly none after midday in any season… would prefer a native. is the soil round an apricot likely to suffer too much or too little anything..?

and ta johnboy, for starting this! how does your garden grow?

jessieduck 5:58 pm 25 Oct 08

When do I put in basil? I always get it wrong and it lives for a week if I’m lucky.

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