Now is the time we should be out in the garden preparing the soil, planting new plants and protecting our gardens from pests.
This was the advice well-known ABC gardening guru, Sophie Thomson, gave to an enthralled crowd of around 90 at the Two Wells Bowling Club on Wednesday, April 30.
Speaking frankly and humorously for nearly an hour, Sophie’s knowledge of the plant world was seemingly unlimited, and her advice for keen gardeners in the area was to the point, educational and helpful, right down to what specific pests we should be on the look out for and how to deal with them.
“Autumn action, that’s what we need,” Sophie told those gathered.
“The most important time of the year in our summer climate is autumn.
“If ever there’s a time that we should be out in the garden for action, it is now.”
Soil preparation was a key factor to success in the garden, Sophie said, with keen gardeners needing to make the effort to improve soil quality if they wanted to see their garden flourish.
“In the gardening world I talk about putting a $1 plant in a $10 hole,” she said. “If you can just prepare the soil you’ll have great success.”
Sophie talked at length about the common garden pest aphids and how to deal with them, saying many gardeners all too quickly turned to the nearest pesticide they could find without seeing what controls nature itself could provide.
She said many forms of wildlife and insects were great at keeping pests under control in the garden including micro bats, wasps, birds, ladybugs, dragonflies and lizards.
“What’s the one good insecticide you should have in your cupboard?,” Sophie queried. “Well, I’d say you should have a magnifying glass.
“If you don’t know what you’re spraying you will kill all the good guys too (but) if you know what bugs you have got in your garden you can then deal with them.”
One of the highlights was the give away of a range of gardening tools and products for those lucky few who were quick enough to answer Sophie’s quiz questions correctly based on her talk.
District Council of Mallala mayor, Duncan Kennington, attended the afternoon and presented Sophie with a basket of locally-made produce. The event was organised by Two Wells Public Library, which has hosted a number of engaging author events in the past 18 months.