Home' Smart Farmer : March 2010 Contents MARCH, 2010
Thrips cause the most
devastation, and are particularly
common during the region's
cereal harvest when they are
blown in from cropping
Providing the right climate
and not overwatering were the
keys to growing gerberas, Colin
"A lot of people overwater,
but that is the biggest no-no
with gerberas.Too much water
will kill them as quickly as not
Willunga Plains Flowers sells
wholesale at the Adelaide
Flower Market and Adelaide
Central Market and supplies
several grocers, delivering to
the city every two days. Colin
also sells his produce at farmers
markets at Willunga and
Although the recent global
financial crisis has put a
dampener on sales over the
past 6-9 months, Colin said
gerberas have retained their
popularity over many years.
"It's pretty much stayed the
number-one flower here in
Adelaide. Its popularity is still
strong because it's bright and
universal. It's easy to use in
arrangements or bunches and is
FLOURISHING: It has taken years of dedication and labour-intensive work,
but Colin Carpenter's gerbera nursery is now a thriving enterprise.
• from previous page
Autumn: time for starting up again in garden
AUTUMN is the time your garden
begins to recover from summer's
heat and the ground is able to
retain a bit more moisture. It is the
ideal time to start thinking about
planting your veggie patch.
Silverbeet is a great vegetable to
grow for the kitchen.
It's also a good one for beginners
because it's easy to grow from
seed and has relatively few
Sow the seeds into well-prepared,
moist soil, water again and firm
down. If planting seedlings, first
soak the pot or punnet in a solution
such as Yates Nature's Way
Seaweed Booster, which contains
hormones. Then after planting,
water with a half-strength solution
of Thrive or Aquasol. The seaweed
will assist root development and the
seedlings will benefit from the fast-
acting liquid fertiliser.
Peas are also easy to grow and
this is the time to put them in.
They like an open sunny spot with
well-dug soil, preferably an area
which has been used to grow an
unrelated crop such as sweet corn
One packet of seeds will produce
enough peas to feed the family.
This is also the best time to think of
planting your root veggies such as
carrots, beetroot, parsnip, swedes
and turnips, and most of these
items grow best from seeds as they
don't enjoy being transplanted as
Choose a sunny position, once
again, preferably one which has
been planted previously with an
Add organic compost and mix well
with the soil so it is blended right
through -- lumps of manure or
fertiliser can cause crooked and
Dig in a small amount of
superphosphate for strength, and
you can sprinkle some general
purpose fertiliser beside the
Water well and keep damp -- a light
mulch such as grass clippings will
help keep the soil moist. Some
gardeners choose to lie a light
wooden plank along the top of the
planted row, checking daily for
germination and then removing the
plank as soon as the seedlings
appear. This helps to keep the
seeds moist and is particularly
useful if the weather heats up
Remember to be patient, the cool
weather slows down the plants'
Other veggies which can go in as
seeds now are cabbages, broccoli,
winter lettuce and broad beans.
Your herb garden can also be
replanted with a few seeds at this
time of year.
March is a good month for parsley,
a fairly slow grower. Other herbs
which can be started now from
seeds are chives, thyme, mint (be
careful it doesn't take over your
garden), sage and rocket. Basil and
dill are not cold-weather herbs, so
this is not the best time for them.
Unfortunately the garden pests also
enjoy this time of year, and fruit fly
is a particular danger about now.
Yates put out a Fruit Fly Control
which does not have to be sprayed
directly onto the fruit, and there is
also the old reliable Lebaycid. Do
take particular care to follow the
instructions for use carefully.
There are a number of low-toxic,
ready-to-use dusts for controlling
the common pests such as
caterpillars, thrips and aphids on
your leafy vegetables.
EASY-PEASY: Great for beginners in the garden and there's nothing to
touch them for taste. This is the right time to plant peas as seeds.
14 Adelaide Rd, Victor Harbor • Ph: 8552 3601 • Fax: 8552 8233
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