Jan 012015
 

January is here! Wondering what to do in the garden? What vegetables and herbs should you plant? It’s the start of the New Year and whether it’s time for a little rest and relaxation after a manic December; or you have a New Year’s resolution to spend some quality time with your garden; it’s  time to get out in your patch!  While we have been distracted with festive things, our patches have probably suffered a little and are in need of some serious loving right now. We have loads of  tips that will encourage your garden to flourish in the sunshine of Summer. Continue reading »

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Jan 012015
 

If you are a gardener who tries to reduce your impacts on the natural environment, you will be using methods which avoid manufactured fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides and which minimize waste. So you’re into composting and worm farming and mixing the resulting solid material into the soil. However, at many times of the year a liquid fertilizer in the form of a “tea” may give plants, especially vegetables and fruit trees, a boost that is quicker than applying the manure, worm castings or compost which release their nutrients much more slowly. Such teas can be made from compost, weeds and other greenery and manures. How do you make and use them? What are their pros and cons? Continue reading »

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Jan 012015
 

If you like avoiding waste, being practical and saving money, then upcycling is for you. With a little imagination and a keen eye you can make interesting substitutes for pots in the garden. If you rent rather than own your garden, container growing is practical, avoids discussion with the landlord and allows you to take your garden with you when you move. Here are some examples, including those sent by our readers as part of a recycling photo competition earlier in 2013. Continue reading »

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Nov 292014
 

Life really start ramping up festive wise at this time of year, and things are certainly starting to bear fruit in your patch, its December! Hopefully you’ve already put in loads of produce plants but it’s not too late to get some more growing, especially if you’ve had the pleasure of already harvesting some plants.  Keep up the good work in the garden –  despite the rising heat there’s still plenty to do this month in your patch.

And if you’re heading off on a trip this break, read our tips on preventing “holiday-itis” in the garden.  It’s an all too common occurrence that can turn the most beautiful backyard into a garden grave in a matter of weeks! Give your garden the gift of a bit of your time this December… you’ll be so pleased you did! Continue reading »

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Nov 292014
 

Melbourne XXXIX - Trafalgar - 373.2008 089Messages about addressing climate change mostly focus on decreasing carbon dioxide emissions by reducing use of electricity and gas and increasing renewable energy. While these are extremely important, there also strategies for removing carbon from the atmosphere. We all know that planting trees and just growing more “green stuff” is a popular way of fixing carbon dioxide, but getting carbon into the soil itself is another approach that is now thought to lock it up for longer than can be achieved by tree planting. So who wouldn’t want to do that? Many “old” garden practices actually cause more carbon dioxide to be released, so what can gardeners do to reverse this? The good news is that more carbon in the soil also means more fertility.

Continue reading »

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Nov 292014
 

Weeds (invasive plant species) can have significant impacts, such as the reduction of biodiversity, loss of habitat, increased fire risk and the costs associated with control. So what can we do about them? Is it enough to rely on governments through environmental legislation to control or eradicate them? Or can actions of home gardeners contribute to protecting natural areas? Continue reading »

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Nov 292014
 

The movement called “guerrilla gardening” has taken off around the world. It is usually gardening on an unused piece of public land to produce food or to add some beauty to a barren area. Frequently carried out at night to avoid detection, it has sometimes been done as a protest against land misuse or neglect. We tell here a story of turning a piece of private land into a vibrant, productive garden with permission of the owner. Continue reading »

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Nov 022014
 


We’re always being told to eat more fruit and vegies and get more exercise with this diet or that exercise program. If the thought of donning the Lycra and heading to the gym has you reaching for the chocolate cake, what about green gym? Get out into your sustainable garden for your daily workout. Sustainable gardening is not only good for the planet; it’s good for your health. There are more and more people using their gardens and growing fruit and vegies to help manage chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Think about all the weeding, digging, mulching, planting, and raking you can do in your garden. Wow, what a workout. Not only that, your sustainable garden is a great mood booster, so it’s good for your mental health as well.

Make November your month to start your green gym in your patch! Continue reading »

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Nov 022014
 

CharcoalBiochar has been hailed as a useful contributor to reducing the world’s increasing carbon emissions since it stores carbon in the soil1 . It has also been recommended as an alternative to chemical fertilisers, since it remains in the soil to increase productivity for a very long time2. We review what is known about biochar and its use and one of SGA’s supporters, Keith Laker, shares with us his experience of making and using it in his garden. Continue reading »

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Neem

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Nov 022014
 

neemtreepictureNeem products are sold for a variety of uses. In the garden, some people hail neem oil spray as a wonder pesticide. It has also found its way into toothpastes, medicines and herbal health preparations. Continue reading »

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