Advice for Growers

Late winter/early spring
Troubles you may encounter during this time are:

Birds
Doves and parrots love to pick seed from pots, or snip off new green shoots. To scare them you can hang up empty wine bladders, wind chimes, scarecrows or eagle shaped decoys. Or protect your pots with mesh such as wire mesh or mosquito netting. Acacias are particularly susceptible.

No germination
This could be due to a number of factors:

  • Many seeds need a soil temperature over 25C, so move your pots to a sunnier site.
  • Your pots may be drying out too much – the top 1cm of soil needs to remain moist while the
  • seedlings are very small.
  • Birds or rats might be getting to your seed.
  • The seed you were given may have poor viability.

Don’t leave it too late. If your seed hasn’t come up in the allotted time ask your coordinator for some more seed.

Late Summer Early Autumn
Troubles you may encounter during this time are:

Mildew and fungus
Watch out for your grey leaf eucalypts!

Prevention is better than cure:

  • Reduce your seedling congestion by thinning to one or two seedlings per pot as soon as possible.
  • Don’t water after mid-afternoon.
  • Maximise air circulation by spacing pots in racks.
  • Remove shadecloth as soon as the very hot weather has passed.

If fungus does occur chemical sprays can be used. See your local garden nursery and explain the problem.

Aphids
Watch your Calothamnus, Callistemons, Melaleucas and Agonis Flexuosa!

  • Control ants in your greenhouse as they ‘farm’ aphids and spread them from pot to pot.
  • Retain Ladybirds, as the adults and larvae help control aphids.

Alternatively, see your local garden nursery and explain your problem.

Autumn
Troubles you may encounter during this time are:

Slow growth

Some seedlings may be growing so slowly that they will not be ready for winter.To increase their growth rate you can:

  • Increase the sun and heat the seedlings are exposed to.
  • Apply liquid fertiliser (use a solution twice as dilute as what is recommended on the product).
  • Apply a top dressing of slow release ‘Osmocote for natives’. This will not be suitable closer to winter as the rate of fertiliser release slows down in cold weather.

Fungus
Watch out for your grey leaf eucalypts!

  • Adjust watering to suit the colder temperatures.