January 2021

Today’s meeting: All COVID regulations will be maintained, i.e. social distancing, sanitising and face masks must be worn. Unfortunately, there are no exhibits or competition and we are unable to offer tea or coffee.

Today’s guest speakers are Di and John Dalton who will give a Power-Point presentation on the gardens and flower markets of the Netherlands and the magnificent Butchart Gardens in Canada.

 

A message from our President:

 

Dear Fellow Gardeners,

 

Welcome back!  I hope that this year will be a better year for us all. The Gardening Club have planned some great speakers, trips, and activities for 2021 and let’s cross our fingers and toes and pray that it will all come to fruition.

 

Included in this newsletter is the proposed plan for the year but, as I have said in the past, we as gardeners are like the willow and bend when the wind changes.

 

As you are already aware, we sadly are unable to hold the regular exhibits and competitions as we are following COVID regulations which require social distancing and thorough sanitizing of tables etc. We hope that we will be able to return to these in March but, we will wait and see. As well, we regret that we will not be able to offer morning tea, again due to strict hygiene regulations.

 

This is a wonderful time in the garden. Although perhaps it is a little bit cooler than usual I am really enjoying the beautiful summer colours in the gardens as I go for my daily walk as well as harvesting lots of fresh veggies and fruit from my small patch. I have an enormous crop of purple beans and silver beet.

Ralph has lots of tips in this newsletter to keep you busy this month in preparation for Winter, although during the last week we had a reminder of winter days as the jumpers and coats came back out of the wardrobe.

 

President’s recommendation:

For those of you who enjoy a good read after working hard in the garden may I suggest “The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart” by Holly Ringland. Beautifully written it tells the story of a young girl who goes to live on an Australian native flower farm and later in the outback. The story very cleverly tells of the Victorian tradition where flowers had meaning. Remarkably interesting!

 

Happy Gardening!   Joy

 

Things to do in the garden in February

 

Flower Garden

Plant seeds of Winter flowering annuals such as Pansy, Violas, Phlox, Alyssum, Primula etc so that they become established while the soil is still warm. Complete the division of Irises and tidy up plants, removing dead leaves. Do not put mulch around Irises and spray leaves with Liquid Copper if they show signs of fungus die-back. Buy spring bulbs as they appear in the stores & catalogues.

Cut back roses 55-65 days before Easter, providing another dose of fertiliser and a good watering so that they look great at Easter. Keep up the spraying for Aphids, Black Spot, and Downy Mildew.

 

Vegetable Garden

Plant seeds of Winter vegetables such as Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Leeks and Lettuce. Spring onions, Parsnips, Beetroot and Shallots can also be planted. Trim lower leaves from Tomatoes to allow quicker ripening and pinch out the tops of the plants before they get too high. Feed late crops of beans with a liquid fertiliser such as ‘Harvest’.

 

Home Orchard

Net trees to protect fruit from birds. Carry out summer pruning of stone fruit. Watch for infestations of ‘Pear Slug’ and treat with a pyrethroid such as Maverick. Remove any weeds around Citrus trees. Cut out old raspberry canes and tie up new ones that will provide next year’s fruit.

 

Lawns

Keep the mower blades high during the hot days of Summer. Provide water where necessary and a dressing of lawn fertiliser to keep the grass green and growing. Start to prepare ground for new lawns to be sown in March and April.

 

Handy hint:  To make a cheap easy greenhouse, cover a tub or large pot with a clear umbrella (from discount shops).  Remove part of the handle so it fits flush over your pots.

 

A few gardening one liners:

  • How do you stop rabbits digging in your garden?  You hide their shovels.
  • My neighbours don’t like it when I talk to my plants.  I use a megaphone.
  • My biologist friend tells me that constantly developing new plant varieties can be a strain.
  • How do gardeners learn their craft? By trowel and error.

 

Where do the Cabbage white butterflies go during winter?   What can you do to keep them off your plants?

 

To survive a period of cold weather, such as over winter, the pupae of the butterfly goes into a state of hibernation which means any further development is delayed until the weather warms up.  It can survive temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees so well able to survive our winters.

There are a few ways to deal with the moths in the warmer weather.  Firstly, block their access to your plants by covering with a net.  Secondly, they can be attracted elsewhere using egg shells (no need to crush them up – just leave them in halves – the moth will lay its eggs on the egg shells instead of your plants.  Remove and replace the shells frequently before the caterpillars emerge.  The butterflies are territorial so making white plastic cut-outs of butterflies (from ice-cream containers or similar) which you attach to bamboo stakes and place at varying heights around your plants will help to deter them.   A density of four to five per square metre will be needed.  This method can be used in addition to the egg shells.

 

Please support our Club sponsors:  This is especially relevant now, as many businesses have suffered during the Covid lockdown. 

 

  • Rowes nursery, ture of peet moss and top soil. The potatoes keep the stems moist and help develop the root systems. It's a perfectly simple way to multiply your rose garden without spending lots of $$$.Landsborough Road, Warragul.  They have a large range of plants for sale, a wealth of garden knowledge and ask about receiving their regular email newsletters. Rowe’s currently have white heavy duty bird netting for sale. 10 metres wide and cut to length at $9.95 per metre.
  • Drouin Home Hardware, Princes Way, Drouin. (On the Melbourne side of Drouin) Check their hardware, gardening products and plants.
  • Kurinda Roses, Warragul-Lardner Road, Warragul.  Select from their huge range of roses at reasonable prices.  They also have a lovely range of garden related gifts for sale in their shop.  They also have plants for sale at several markets including Rokeby and Longwarry.
  • Mattz Mowing and Garden Services. Lawn mowing, garden edges, hedge trimming, weed control, pruning, gutters cleaned etc.  Free quotes. Phone Matthew 0439 312 465

 

Printing of this newsletter courtesy Gary Blackwood MLA and staff, 3/24 Mason Street, Warragul.  5623 1960

December

A message from our President:

 

Dear Fellow Gardener,

I have just finished a basket of ironing - winter and summer clothes. Crazy weather! My children tell me that no one irons these days, but I am afraid that I still like my pillowcases, tea towels and clothes ironed, and I enjoy the time to reflect about ‘things’. So now, after ruminating about the last couple of weeks I can share with you my ‘reflections’.

This will be the last edition of our newsletter for 2020 and as everyone says, “What a year it has been”. We started the year with so many plans for our club, with various speakers and trips, and as Robert Burns said “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. We were particularly disappointed that our annual August Plant Auction was unable to be held but what a fabulous success our substitute Plant Sale proved to be.

Gardeners are like the willow tree, strong and flexible, and even though the day was very windy and grey, 48 members gathered (according to COVID regulations) at the Eastern Park Community Garden to purchase plants and re unite with fellow friends from the club. It was equally wonderful to have 10 non-members join us and consequentially we have 5 new members.

Special thank you must go to our fabulous committee who organised this event which, after proving to be so successful, will now become an annual event and replace the auction.

To Mary and Ruth, who did such a great job at greeting everyone at the gate and selling raffle tickets for the Planter Box which had been created by Henry and Zelma, thank you. With your efforts $165.00 was raised, a terrific result. Congratulations to Jill Davey who was the incredibly happy winner.

To Ralph, who was kept busy helping people to price their plants, and to Rob, who happily collected the money, thank you! The result was $830.00 made on the day. A fantastic result.

To Janice and Marj who worked under such terribly windy conditions to display the Irises for the George Lowe Memorial Iris competition and then collated the peoples votes, thank you. The Irises were magnificent and congratulations to June Dineen who won First, Second and Third place for her Irises.  Thank you to everyone who displayed Irises on the day, they were all beautiful.

Finally, to the volunteers from the Eastern Park Community Garden a HUGE THANKYOU for allowing us to use the gardens to hold our function and we look forward to working together more in the future.

The day was successful on many levels but one of the most important benefits of the day was coming back together as gardeners and catching up after not being able to meet for 7 months and, now that restrictions are beginning to ease, we feel that we can confidently meet for our last meeting for the year on Monday 23rd November at 11.00am.

Our plan is to hold a Christmas get together in Rotary Park, 11 Latrobe St, Warragul in the rotunda. The rotunda is a large area with 7 tables, each seating approximately 8 people, and bench chairs, a BBQ and a fire pit in the centre. Parking is easy and plentiful with easy access to toilets. Bring your own food and drinks and join in the fun as Santa Claus has promised to visit and bring everyone a little reward for being so good this year and staying home!

At our November Christmas luncheon it has been the tradition to hand out the awards for best exhibitors of the year however this year, having been quite out of the normal, it has been decided to carry over the results into 2021.

 I look forward to seeing you at the park but if you are unable to attend, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and, most importantly, stay safe, healthy and keep up the gardening.

Finally, do not forget to mark in your diary our first meeting for 2021, Monday 25th January.

 

All the Best, Joy

Things to do in the garden in December & January:

 

Most activities in the garden at this time of year relate to the need to provide sufficient water to plants. As soon as temperatures over 30C arrive sprinklers and soaker hoses need to be put into position. Drippers are the best way to water roses. Try to provide 4 litres per plant at least twice a week. Mulching with pea straw, sugar cane mulch or lucerne will be beneficial for both flowers and vegetables. Bark and wood shavings will work but take a lot of nitrogen from the soil as they break down so there will be a need to add a relevant fertiliser to overcome this potential problem. When using sprinklers, position them so that plants do not finish up in a ‘water shadow’.

 

In the vegetable garden - Sow seeds of Radish, Beans, Parsnips, Zucchini, Squash, Pumpkin and Beetroot.  Plant seedlings of Spring Onions and Silver beet. Plant more Sweet corn.  Plant tomatoes for a late crop also Capsicum and Chilli & Beans

 

In the flower garden - Plant seedlings of Petunias, Impatiens, Lobelia, Alyssum, Dianthus, Lupins, Madeira Daisies, Marigolds, Candytuft and Cleome.  Most of the above are also available as potted colour. Sow seeds of a whole range of summer loving flowers such as Salvias, Petunias, Dianthus, Ageratum, Alyssum, Lobelia and Wild Flower Mix. Apply the next dose of Sudden Impact for Roses when dead-heading in early December.

 

Lawns – Mow regularly. Keep the blades high to prevent early drying of the soil underneath. Apply water where necessary especially new lawns which will not yet have deep roots. As with all plants, it is better to give one big soaking once or twice a week rather than small amounts daily. With light watering rootlets come up to find the water and then get burned when the soil dries out.

 

Fruit trees - Keep the base of all fruit trees free of weeds. Treat any Scale on Citrus trees. Their presence is often indicated by Sooty Mould or ants running up into the trees. Prepare nets for plums, apricots and early peaches.

 

How many of us ‘accidentally’ stand on snails travelling across footpaths when out walking?  Is it only me???

 

Bits and pieces

As we know – tomatoes are officially a fruit.  The confusion arose after the 1890’s when the US Supreme Court named them a vegetable for taxation purposes.

Potatoes were the first food to be grown in space.  In 1996 potato plants were taken into space by the space shuttle, Columbia.

Dying your hair with beetroots is a way to add a temporary reddish tint to your hair.

Eggplant is known as ‘crazy apple’ in Italy due to widespread belief that a diet rich with Melazana (egg plant) leads to madness.

 

Please support our Club sponsors:  This is especially relevant now, as many businesses have suffered during the Covid lockdown.  Our Rose specialist sponsor, Kurinda Roses, now has an abundance of potted roses in flower.  As well as sales at their Warragul-Lardner Road property Roses are also available at several markets including Rokeby and Longwarry.

 

  • Rowes nursery, ture of peet moss and top soil. The potatoes keep the stems moist and help develop the root systems. It's a perfectly simple way to multiply your rose garden without spending lots of $$$.Landsborough Road, Warragul.  They have a large range of plants for sale, a wealth of garden knowledge and ask about receiving their regular email newsletters.
  • Drouin Home Hardware, Princes Way, Drouin. (On the Melbourne side of Drouin) Check their hardware, gardening products and plants.
  • Kurinda Roses, Warragul-Lardner Road, Warragul.  Select from their huge range of roses at reasonable prices.  They also have a lovely range of garden related gifts for sale in their shop.
  • Mattz Mowing and Garden Services. Lawn mowing, garden edges, hedge trimming, weed control, pruning, gutters cleaned etc.  Free quotes. Phone Matthew 0439 312 465

 

Printing of this newsletter courtesy Gary Blackwood MLA and staff, 3/24 Mason Street, Warragul.  5623 1960

November


A message from our President:

Dear Fellow Gardener,

What a magnificent morning it is today and it promises to be a great day and what a ‘great day’ we are hoping to have at our plant sale on Monday 26th October. The Committee had a Zoom meeting yesterday and we have “A Plan” and I think the only thing that we couldn’t organise is the weather but…it is Victoria and who knows what the day will be?

We are very grateful to the Warragul Community Garden people who have very kindly offered us their facilities for the day, in particular Glenda T who is equally excited to get to meet our club members on the day.
The garden will be open for you to deliver your plants between 9.30 and 10.00 and the selling of plants will commence at 10.00 and finish at 12.00.
We will be maintaining all COVID regulations.
• Masks must be worn,
• Social distancing must be adhered to,
• Sanitizer will be available as you enter and exit the garden,
• There will be one gate to enter through and an exit gate,
• You must sign in as you enter the garden and include your phone number and time of arrival.
I have heard from some of our members that they do not know what price to place on their plants and so Ralph will assist on the day as you enter the garden. However we would very much appreciate it if you could price your plant yourself prior to arrival to limit congestion. It would be handy if you could label the plant with a name and any other relevant detail.

Rob will be at a desk to collect your money as you exit the garden, unfortunately we do not have EFTPOS facilities but he will be taking all precautions as we have heard that money is one of the surfaces that the virus can live upon for quite a long time.

Are you excited? It will be wonderful to see so many of you on the day but even more exciting is the fact that we will be having our annual October George Lowe Memorial Iris Competition at the plant sale. I have some beautiful Irises at the moment and I hope that I will be able to exhibit one on the day. We cannot have the usual judges as the day is not as per our regular garden club meeting and so we want YOU to be the JUDGE! Our wonderful Marj and Jan will be manning the exhibition table. More will be explained on the day. There will be a $50.00 prize for the winning entry. Second place getter will receive $20 and third place will win $10. We look forward to seeing some beautiful entries. We will provide a $50 prize for the member who gets all 3 correct. This will be divided if there is more than one correct answer.

There will be a raffle for a magnificent Planter Box that Henry and Zelma have prepared. Tickets are $2.00 each and they can be purchased upon entry to the garden from Mary and Ruth who will be there to greet you upon arrival. This could be a great Christmas present for someone if not for yourself.
I for one am looking forward to seeing many of you on the day and I am certain you will enjoy being able to be amongst your fellow gardening enthusiasts and so many of your friends. Equally exciting for me, as I am certain it is for you, is to have the opportunity to add to our gardens some of our members plants that have been so lovingly cared for over these unprecedented months in anticipation of this terrific event.
Cheers for now and see you on Monday 26th. Joy Please remember: We can only accept CASH.

Things to do in the garden in November:

This is the month when temperatures begin rising fast, so make sure mulch is in place to conserve water and have watering systems ready for use.
In the vegetable garden - Sow seed of Beans, Zucchini, Squash, Pumpkin, Radish, Sweetcorn and Beetroot. Plant seedlings of, Tomatoes, Spring Onions, Shallots, Tomatoes, Egg Plant, Chillies, Peppers. Spinach and Silver beet. Plant more potatoes. Apply Slug bait. Apply Mulch. Provide water and support for peas. Use a liquid fertiliser such as ‘Harvest’ to give all vegetables a useful feed. Spray Tomatoes and potatoes with Liquid Copper to prevent Early Blight.
In the flower garden - Plant seedlings of Petunias, Lobelia, Alyssum, Dianthus, Lupins, Marigolds, Candytuft and Cleome. Apply fertiliser (‘Kahuna, is ideal) to Camellias, Azaleas and Rhododendrons. For Natives, ‘Bush Tucker’ from Neutrog is now available and very good. Dead-head roses regularly to obtain repeat blooms. Spray at 14-day intervals to prevent Blackspot.
Lawns Control weeds with a broad leaf lawn weeder. Mow regularly but not too low now that warmer days are here. Set sprinklers at strategic positions if there are signs of water stress, especially new lawns.
Fruit trees Keep the base of all fruit trees free of weeds. Citrus & Fruit Tree fertiliser should have been applied to the drip line of all fruit trees in September, but application now will improve the size of the fruit. Watch for aphids on Plums, Peaches & Nectarines. Thin the fruit where necessary, treat any scale that appears on citrus with white oil.
A bit of history
For the more recent members of our Club: George Lowe, who the Iris competition is named after was one of the founding members of our Club, being one of the twenty one people who attended our first meeting on 28th March 1979. He was our first Treasurer. George lived on a farm at Lillico and was an avid grower and breeder of Irises. Members were invited to visit his garden on occasions. When George found the farm and large garden too much he moved into Warragul, taking some of his treasured plants with him to his new back yard in Clifford Street. (When I used to deliver Meals on Wheels to him, I noticed he had many items in his home adorned with Iris pictures – place mats, ornaments, vases, pictures on the wall etc). He lived and breathed Irises! When George passed away, he left a bequest to the Garden Club and it was decided to have an annual competition with cash prizes for the winners. In honour of George the competition was named “The George Lowe Memorial Iris competition”. George is pictured (right) showing us how to plant an Iris.

Please support our Club sponsors:
 Rowes nursery, Landsborough Road, Warragul. They have a large range of plants for sale, a wealth of garden knowledge and ask about receiving their regular email newsletters.
 Drouin Home Hardware, Princes Way, Drouin. (On the Melbourne side of Drouin) Check their hardware, gardening products and plants.
 Kurinda Roses, Warragul-Lardner Road, Warragul. Select from their huge range of roses at reasonable prices. They also have a lovely range of garden related gifts for sale in their shop.
 Mattz Mowing and Garden Services. Lawn mowing, garden edges, hedge trimming, weed control, pruning, gutters cleaned etc. Free quotes. Phone Matthew 0439 312 465

Printing of this newsletter courtesy Gary Blackwood MLA and staff, 3/24 Mason Street, Warragul. 5623 1960