Top five garden performers
Every year we see new and exciting developments entering the garden world. Some of them are destined for failure, some are of such poor quality you wouldn’t bother and others are a total joy to behold. Here are five of the best that I have come across of late.
1. SOIL IMPROVERS
This is the International Year of Soils so one of the most exciting products to hit our gardens is a range of aged compost by WA company C-Wise that will inject life into our nutrient-depleted, hydrophobic soils.
Organic carbon is essential to the proper function of soils and C-Wise soil improvers are designed to improve soil health by providing high-maturity, complex carbon to soils. Soil biology has roles in soil structure, water storage, humus formation, plant root growth, nutrient supply, disease control and much more.
Soil organic carbon both acts like a sponge, holding moisture in the root zone, and also helps to transform the soil to hold more water itself. This combination reduces loss of water through seepage and evaporation, giving plants greater resilience during heat stress and long periods without rain or irrigation. Compost is a vehicle for beneficial microscopic soil fungi and bacteria which has the ability to combat diseases caused by harmful organisms.
C-Wise Humiclay is a concentrated soil builder with organic carbon and bentonite clay and zeolite that permanently transforms sandy soil into a high-performance soil.
C-Wise Humicarb is a premium grade soil builder enhancing the establishment of beneficial microbes that drive nutrient uptake and provide a natural suppression of pests and disease.
Turf Perfect is a superfine top-dress treatment for lawn that penetrates the root zone with humus-rich carbon.
C-Wise Turf Perfect. Picture:cwise.com.au
C-Wise products can be found at Hamiltons in Mandurah, Mandurah Rock and Loam, Soils Ain’t Soils, Slab and Garden City, Supasoils and The Landscape Yard, or visit cwise.com.au.
2. CUTTING EDGE
Secateurs are the most important tool that a gardener will use on a daily basis and Fiskars has come up with a new funky range of secateurs that will appeal to newer and younger gardeners.
The Fiskars Inspiration range is durable, lightweight and good quality, with two new blue or pink colours, named Lucy and Ruby respectively.
I find these secateurs perfect for women because they are a bit smaller and fit in your hand much better. That’s what my daughter Lucy got in her Christmas stocking. They will probably still be looking like new in five years.
Fiskars Ruby pruners. Picture: fiskars.com
The range is available from most nurseries, Bunnings and Masters stores.
3. SOIL WETTERS
A new wetting agent, Aquaforce, and a moisture retaining agent, Bi-Agra, have been developed in conjunction with the Turf Growers Association of WA for use in sands and hydrophobic soils found here in WA.
They were developed as a result of discussions between the Turf Growers Association WA and Globe Australia (WA supplier) to effectively retain moisture in the soils after they become wettable.
Both Aquaforce and Bi-Agra come in a two-litre spray-on pack for easy application and can be used on lawn, vegie beds, fruit trees, native gardens and ornamentals.
Always remember to water any wetting agents in after application to activate the surfactants.
Bi-Agra. Pictures: Sabrina Hahn
Both products are available from all turf farms and Stratco stores throughout WA from April.
4. NUTRIENT BOOSTER
Yates has released a new range of nine liquid Garden Health Packs to deal with nutrient deficiencies in plants, a common problem that is found in Perth due to our poor soils.
They are designed to be used as a foliar spray directly on leaf tissue. Foliar sprays can be far more efficient in delivering nutrients to plants and the results will be seen within a couple of weeks.
The range consists of the most commonly known nutrient deficiencies of magnesium, manganese, iron and zinc.
Yates Garden Health Packs. Pictures: Sabrina Hahn
It is available from most nurseries, Bunnings and Masters stores.
5. CLEVER MOWER
You have heard of robot vacuum cleaners — now we have a robot lawnmower. No longer is mowing the lawn an excuse for not taking your loved one out for breakfast or cleaning the bathroom.
The Worx Landroid is a battery-operated, robotic, grass-cutting machine. Capable of cutting areas of up to 1000sqm on a single charge, the Landroid will make men quiver in their boots. No more nagging — the robot can be pre-programmed to mow at a time of your choosing.
Personally I would miss the thrill of dodging high-speed dog bones and getting that much-needed workout pulling the rope 500 times to get it to start.
Worx Landroid lawnmower. Picture: worx.com
The Landroid is priced at $1199 and is available from Home Timber & Hardware, Masters Home Improvement, Mitre 10 and Stratco stores. Find your nearest stockist at worx.com.
Three new-release plants
A beautiful new variety of grevillea has been bred by Kings Park and Botanic Gardens to commemorate the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces at Gallipoli. The RSL Spirit of Anzac grevillea was selected for its lush, bird-attracting red flowers that appear from autumn to summer. This variety will thrive in well-drained soils and is very drought tolerant, growing to 2m high and 1.5m wide. To be officially launched by Kings Park on March 17, the RSL Spirit of Anzac grevillea will be available from nurseries and Bunnings stores.
RSL Spirit of Anzac grevillea. Picture: grevilleanursery.com.au
Scaevola Blue Print is ideal for containers and hanging baskets, with a showy display of lavender/blue fan flowers from spring to autumn. It is both heat and drought tolerant. A small grower at only 15-25cm high and 45-60cm wide, Blue Print is available from most nurseries, Bunnings and Masters Home Improvement stores.
Scaevola Blue Print. Picture: tesselaar.net.au
Mariana Bicolour is a little local beauty that has been difficult for gardeners to access. The painted Marianthus (formerly Billardiera) bicolor is a local plant to the Perth Hills, the South West of WA and some dry inland areas. This tough native plant grows in different soil types and weather conditions as either a sprawling climber or a small shrub. A late summer flowerer, it has attractive white flowers with painted stripes. Zanthorrea Nursery in Maida Vale is now propagating this lovely delicate native.
Marianthus bicolor. Picture: australianseed.com
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