May 2 - 8, 2021: Issue 492


Mother's Day 2021 Ideas: Grow Her Some Lemons Or Avocadoes Or Get A Pink Step Ladder So She Can Safely Reach The Top Shelf Indoors + JBH Celebrates Upgrade Of Avalon Beach Store

Tumbledown RFB at JBH in Avalon yesterday, May 1, 2021 to help celebrate the completion of store refurbishments.  A J Guesdon photo
Johnson Brothers Hardware staff on Saturday May 1, 2021 - Friendly Trained staff on hand to help you with your DIY Ideas.
With Mother's Day just a week away, Sunday May 9th 2021, here's an idea that will grow on her - literally. If your mum remarks on the wonderful lemons and avocadoes that have been available lately, growing some of these from the seeds may be a way to give her that taste permanently. Our mum loves lemons and avocadoes and those are what we've chosen for this project - which is also great for little hands to get involved in as a science and education journey which will bear fruit. There are some other ideas listed below for something really personal for mum this Mother's Day, including Mother's Day 2018: DIY Rose Garden or Painted Pots, so think about what you'd like to give mum to let her know how much you appreciate here and how this gift will remind her all day everyday every time she sees it in the garden or in the home.  We've also scoured the JBH stores this week to find some perfect pink gifts (and other colours) for mums this year for those who want to give something she will love and find useful - everything from pink step ladders for reaching that top shelf of he pantry or linen closet to pink spades and fork for the garden is available. 

Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 launched the completion of their brand new store upgrade at Avalon Beach on Saturday May 1st, 2021. Commenced before Christmas 2020, the store is set out and loaded up with everything you will need so you don't have to go around the bends. With a great range of garden and DIY products available, and the April 2021 launched  Johnson Brothers Design Centre, everything else you may need to make Mother's Day 2021 a great day for mum is within reach and within our community. 

How You Grow Your Own Lemon Tree

The origin of the lemon is unknown, though lemons are thought to have first grown in Assam (a region in northeast India), northern Burma or China. A genomic study of the lemon indicated it was a hybrid between bitter orange (sour orange) and citron, an old and original citrus species. The Egyptologist and archaeologist Victor Loret claimed to have identified it depicted on the walls of the botanical garden at the Karnak Temple, which dates back to the time of Thutmosis III, approximately 3,500 years ago. Citron was also cultivated in Sumer as early as the 3rd millennium BC. The citron has been cultivated since ancient times, predating the cultivation of other citrus species.

We first grew lemons from seed around 20 years ago and each time we find a wonderful fruit we keep a few seeds and start again with these so they can replace the old ones in time for more fresh fruit - a great way to have lots of lemons for all kinds of dishes and drinks - Lemon Butter and Lemon Meringue pies being favourites here.

Firstly you will need:

  1. An organic lemon since non-organic lemons often contain non-germinating seeds; those we're growing 
  2. Fertile potting soil, and natural fertilisers like compost
  3. A seedling pot that is about 60 centimetres wide by  30 centimetres deep
  4. A planting pot that is six inches wide and six inches deep (this comes in handy further down the track)
  5. A sunny, indoor growing location

How to:

  • Moisten the potting soil so that it is damp, but not soaked, all the way through.
  • Fill the smaller pot with soil, all the way up to an inch below the rim.
  • Cut open your lemon and remove a seed. Remove all of the pulp from its surface.
  • Do not delay to plant. The seed must still be moist when it is buried into the soil in the smaller pot. Plant the seed about half an inch deep in the middle of the pot.
  • Spray the soil that is directly above the seed gently with water from a spray bottle.
  • Place the pot in a warm, sunny location.
  • Spray on more water occasionally, not allowing the soil to dry out. Do not cause water to puddle though. Just keep the soil moist.
  • After about two weeks, the sprout emerges. If you need additional light for your lemon plant, you can use a grow light to supplement the sun's light.
  • Take care of the young plant by keeping the soil damp, by making sure it gets at least eight full hours of light per day, and by giving it moderate doses of organic fertiliser like compost.
  • Watch over your plant to ensure it is not attacked by bugs or diseases. Prune off brown, dead leaves when necessary.
  • When the plant outgrows its small pot, put it in the larger pot. You will go through much the same procedure when you re-plant it as when you first planted. Younger plants need more water than older plants, but they all do need adequate water. 
  • Don't starve your poor plant after all that work of growing it. Citrus plants are hungry while growing and even once grown. 
  • It’s easy to give citrus the nutrition they need with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food or Yates Thrive Natural Citrus & Fruit Organic Based Pelletised Plant Food. They’re both complete citrus fertilisers that contain a specially formulated blend of nitrogen to promote green leaf growth, phosphorus for strong root development and potassium to encourage flowering, healthy plants and quality fruit. For liquid feeding: Mix 2 capfuls of Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food into a 9 L watering can and apply over the root zone each week.
  • For pelletised feeding: apply Yates Thrive Natural Citrus & Fruit Organic Based Pelletised Plant Food around the root zone every 8 weeks. It contains more than 50% natural ingredients and both feeds citrus plants and helps improve the quality of the soil.
  • Tender new citrus foliage is susceptible to attack from citrus leaf miner, which causes silvery trails and curled and distorted leaves. It ruins the look of the tree and in severe cases affects plant health by reducing the potential for photosynthesis (capturing energy from the sun). New growth needs to be protected by spraying with Yates Nature’s Way Citrus & Ornamental Spray. It deters the citrus leaf miner moth from laying her eggs on the foliage, which hatch into the larvae that tunnel into the leaves. This is a pest that needs to be prevented, as the damage is irreversible. Spray citrus trees every 5 – 14 days from when the new foliage is around 4 cm long. Yates Nature’s Way Citrus & Ornamental Spray is based on natural pyrethrin and vegetable oil and is certified for use in organic gardening, so is ideal for gardeners wanting to use organic methods of citrus leaf miner prevention.

If you care for your lemon tree with fertiliser, moist soil, and keeping it in direct sun, it will bear fruit in at least 3 years (although that depends on how much hours of sun your tree gets). If you want to make sure you get the same fruit from a tree, the tree must be grafted (not the seedling, but the graft scion of the variety you chose), or the tree can come from a cutting, sometimes seeds don't get you the variety you want (you can assume that a Meyer lemon tree from seed doesn't give you the same fruit you wanted, but the store bought lemons (usually Eureka or Lisbon will give you the same fruit).

Yates Thrive Fertiliser 1.5kg Citrus: $11.40 - Organic based pelletised plant food for all fruiting plants. Combination of organic ingredients boosted with fast acting fertiliser, with natural trace elements.

Amgrow Citrus & Fruit Granular Plant Food 3kg: $10.20 - For citrus and fruiting trees. Rich in Nitrogen and Potassium. Granular form.

Planter Box with Seat Charcoal: $159.00 - Planter Seat with 2 planters. Charcoal powder coated steel. 1200mm in width. Oak composite slats.

Mulch for your gardening weekend; remember the extra layer protects the underlying soil from erosion by wind, sunlight, and rain.

How To Grow An Avocado From Seed

Remove and clean the pit

Most gardening experts will tell you this plant is not going to produce fruit, and if it does, you will be waiting a long time for it to arrive. These seeds to produce attractive plants that can be placed indoors or outdoors though. Avocados grow best in tropical and subtropical climates, but they will also grow in warm and cool areas too, provided there is protection from frost.

This project is perfect for youngsters though and they will end up with an attractive plant. If you want to have a tree you can harvest, perhaps invest in a tree you can plant alongside your seedlings so those young scientists can see both growing.

You'll need to start by removing the pit from the avocado carefully (without cutting it), and then washing it clean of all the avocado fruit (often it helps to soak the pit in some water for a few minutes and then scrub all the remaining fruit off). Be careful not to remove the brown skin on the pit – that's the seed cover.

Determine which end is up and which is down

Some avocado pits are slightly oblong, whereas others are shaped almost like perfect spheres – but all avocado pits have a 'bottom' (from where the roots will grow), and a 'top' (from which the sprout will grow). The slightly pointier end is the top, and the flat end is the bottom.

In order to get your pit to sprout, you will need to place the bottom root end in water, so it's very important to figure out which end is the 'top' and which is the 'bottom' before you go piercing it with toothpicks.

Pierce with toothpicks or safety pins

Take three toothpicks and stick them at a slight downward angle into the avocado seed, spaced evenly around the circumference of the avocado. These toothpicks are your avocado scaffolding, which will allow you to rest the bottom half of the avocado in water, so therefore the toothpicks need to be wedged in there firmly. Place the seed so it's half-submerged in water

Then set on a quiet windowsill with sunlight. Using a clear glass enables you to easily see when roots start to grow, and also when the water needs to be changed. Many guides recommend to change the water every day, but we found it is better to change the water every five days to a week or so.

Make sure you change the water regularly, to prevent mould, bacteria and fungus growth, which can doom your little avocado sprout.

Wait for the seed to sprout

Many guides say sprouting can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks, but in my experience, it usually takes at least 8 weeks to get a sprout, so be patient. Here is the process you will witness:

The top of the avocado pit will dry out and form a crack, and the outer brown seed skin will slough off.

The crack will extend all the way to the bottom of the avocado pit, and through the crack at the bottom, a tiny taproot will begin to emerge.

The taproot will grow longer and longer (and may branch), and eventually a small sprout will peek through the top of the avocado pit.

Do not allow your taproot to ever dry out unsubmerged, doing so will be the death of your plant.

Pot in soil when steady growth occurs

When the stem is about 15 centimetres long, cut it back to about 8cm, this will encourage new growth. If the pit was growing in water, transfer it to a pot filled with sandy soil no longer than three weeks after pruning it. Pull out the toothpicks or break them off, and place the seedling in the soil so that it's buried to one-third of its depth, taking care not to damage the roots.

Water an avocado seedling with tepid water when the soil is dry to a depth of 1.27 cm. If the lower leaves grow small, the plant may need fertiliser. Dilute and apply a houseplant fertiliser according to the instructions on the label. Avocados prefer soil to be slightly more on the acidic side, with a pH of 5.5. Check your soil pH first and if needed, adjust with Yates Soil Acidifier Liquid Sulfur. If planting in pots, use a quality well-draining potting mix, like Yates Premium Potting Mix.

Water and watch it grow

Avocados love sun – the more sun the better. Choose a spot in your garden where it will get the most sun year round and that's sheltered from wind.

Give it frequent watering and an occasional deep soak. The soil should always be moist, but not saturated. Yellowing leaves are a sign of over-watering; let the plant dry out for a few days if this happens.

Pinch out top leaves to promote growth

When the stem reaches 30 centimetres tall, pinch out the top two sets of leaves. This will encourage the plant to grow side shoots and more leaves, making it bushy. Each time the plant grows another 15 centimetres pinch out the 2 newest sets of leaves on top.

If you have purchased and planted a tree, you can probably expect to see your first fruit three to four years after planting. If you are growing from a seed, it can take anywhere from five to 13 years before the tree is mature enough to set fruit - but it will be worth it - you will have those brilliant avocadoes that are scrumptious every time without fail. 

To harvest, look for slightly shrivelled fruit with a dull appearance. If unsure, pick a couple and allow to ripen indoors at room temperature. If mature, it will ripen within 7-14 days without shrivelling, have a creamy texture and delicious flavour. After this time, the avocados on the tree should be ready to harvest.

Once fruiting has finished, lightly prune back branches to remove any dead or dying twigs and branches to help maintain an open vase shape. If needed, a major prune can be carried out in autumn or winter. If growing in a pot, you can cut back one major limb to help it remain compact.

Nourish the soil after pruning by spreading a Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser around the base of the tree. Water in well.

Outdoor Storage Box 270L: $89.00 - Easy assembly. Lockable. Weatherproof & UV resistant.

JBH Design Centre 

JBH Design Centre is a tool for builders and DIY'ers to assist in the fit out of houses. It has displays of kitchens, Bathrooms, Doors and Storage as well as knowledgeable staff to assist in making house fit out painless.


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Perfect Pink Gifts For Mother's Day 2021 From Johnson Brothers Mitre 10

Faulkner™ 2 Step Euro Ladder 100kg Domestic Pink: $69.00 - Slim and lightweight aluminium. Folds flat to 6.5cm. Powder coated. Non-slip feet.

Spear & Jackson Colours Spade or Fork Pink: $42.00 each - 2mm carbon steel head. Fibre glass handle. Soft grip D handle. Pink.

Gardenmaster Hand Fork Soft Grip, Gardenmaster Hand Cultivator, Gardenmaster Hand Trowel Soft Grip: All $6.30 each- Ideal for weeding and light cultivation between small plants with shallow roots. Heat treated carbon steel blade.

Garden Trend Metal Watering Can Rose Gold 1L: $39.00 - Metal watering can. 1 litre capacity. Rose gold finish. Functional and stylish. Contemporary design. For indoor use. 

Holman Watering Can Green 9L: $24.99 - Two handles for easy balance and pouring. Durable and robust metal construction. A galvanised rose enable the even distribution of water droplets. Watering can materials have been developed to suit the harsh Australian conditions.

We want to thank all of you for supporting and trusting us through this 2020, without you we could not be receiving these two important awards.

Thank you for being our customer and thanks to all our great staff for making this possible especially though this full of surprises year.

Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Update: Shop Online Options

Intending to keep our customers and staff safe, we present some additional ways for both our retail and trade customers to do business with us.

Trade and Retail Pick Up

Express Pick up Mona Vale

- Call Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale, and we will pick & pack your order and have it ready for you to pick up in 2 hours. (Stocked Lines Only)

- Drive into our undercover Trade Drive-Thru area at 73 Bassett St Mona Vale, and your order will be ready for pick-up.

- Our team members will help you with your load and finalise payment/paperwork

Express Pick up Avalon

- Call Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Avalon, and we will pick & pack your order and have it ready for you to pick up in 2 hours. (Stocked Lines Only)

- Drive into our back lane off Bellevue Avenue, and your order will be ready for pick-up.

- Our team members will help you with your load and finalise payment/paperwork

Online Retail Stores Go Live

We’ve launched two eCommerce sites offering 2hr pick up in-store and flat rate delivery options on the northern beaches*. (Mona Vale) (Avalon)

With the ability to leave the product on your doorstep, this provides an option of an entirely contactless transaction.

*Flat rate delivery is not available to trade sales, building supplies and trade quantities

** The stock availability is updated nightly, which may mean the stock is unavailable when the order is placed

Trade Delivery to Site

Maybe not new, but certainly worth a mention again!

We can get almost anything delivered quickly onto site!

As always ring the trade desk direct on 9999 0333 and let them know what you need!

Final Thought

Like everyone, we have found ourselves in a new and uncertain environment, but we’re setting up (and digging in) for the long haul!

We want to acknowledge that the decision to retain over 120 staff and meet any future challenges head-on, could not have happened without the continued support you provide us as customers.

Thank you and stay safe,

The Johnson Family

Green Life Garden Centre at Johnson Brothers Mona Vale has a great stock of seedlings, native and other plants and all you need to get gardening in brilliant Autumn weather

Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Trade Centre at Mona Vale - everything you need under one roof.

Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Store
73 Bassett Street
Mona Vale - Online Store: Jbhmv.Com.Au

Products advice is available from the trained friendly staff at Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Avalon Johnson Brothers Mitre 10. 

Click on logo to visit Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 website

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Avalon            (02) 9918 3315

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale     (02) 9999 3340

JBH Timber & Building Supplies          (02) 9999 0333

JBH Fencing & Landscape Supplies    (02) 9970 6333 Online store:

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John and Bob Johnson - The Johnson Brothers Profile  John William Alfred Johnson - The Eulogies for those who could not attend Mass

Australia's Prime Minister Visits Mackellar - Informal Afternoon Tea with Hon. Malcolm Turnbull October 2016

JBH Win Awards August 2018 Trifecta - 2018 Free Trade Day supporters, Mitre 10 Heritage Advert features JBH Mona Vale Store, Hardware Australia’s 2018 NSW Hardware Store of the Year over 2500sqm.

Front Page Issue 294: 2018 Winners Of National Hardware Store Of The Year - Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale !!!

National Garden Week's 2019 Focus Is On Children(Oct 13-19): School Holiday Garden Ideas (to get started on) & Congratulations Award Winning Johnson Brothers Mitre10 At Mona Vale - 2019 NSW Store Of the Year2019 NSW Trade Centre Of the Year and 2019 Village Garden Centre of the Year

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 were awarded as the best Trade Store in the country: February 2020

Family Hardware Store Wins Best In Australia: Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale Crowned ‘National Trade Store Of The Year’ - Celebrating 65th Year in 2020

Anzac Day In Pittwater 2020: Candles, Crosses and Online Commemorative Services: Johnson Brothers Family Donates 20 Thousand Candles to Community Light Up The Dawn Initiativ

Front Page Issue 447ANZAC DAY 2020

John, Bob and Robert Johnson, 2013 - photo by A J Guesdon.
Decembver 2020 
All information and tips in this publication are of a general nature only and neither Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 or Pittwater Online News does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information and tips in this publication. This publication is not intended to be a substitute for expert advice. Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 advises you to always consult an experienced and qualified person when undertaking jobs of this kind (including consulting a qualified tradesperson such as an electrician or plumber where relevant expert services are required). 

You should also consider any safety precautions that may be necessary when undertaking the work described in this publication (including wearing any necessary safety equipment such as safety glasses, goggles or ear protectors or hard hats). The information and tips in this publication are provided on the basis that Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 and Pittwater Online News excludes all liability for any loss or damage which is suffered or incurred (including, but not limited to, indirect and consequential loss or damage and whether or not such loss or damage could have been foreseen) for any personal injury or damage to property whatsoever resulting from the use of the information and tips in this publication. 

Pittwater Online News and Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 also advises there may be laws, regulations or by-laws with which you must comply when undertaking the work described in this publication. You should obtain all necessary permissions and permits from council and/or any other relevant statutory body or authority before carrying out any work. Major projects published in this publication always list these and/orlinks to where you may research what your own project requires to meet regulations.