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ABC Organic Gardener Magazine

ABC Organic Gardener Magazine Nr. 114

Organic Gardener Magazine is a guide to organic gardening, providing informative and inspirational stories on everything you need to know to grow your own fruit and vegetables- without the use of harmful chemicals. Each issue includes practical tips and advice from leading organic gardening experts.

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8 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
keep fighting

This is our final issue of 2019 and the final of our 20th anniversary year of publishing Organic Gardener. I’ve been here for all but two issues, and it’s been a privilege as well as a great pleasure to be editor for that amount of time. When I was offered the job by Helen Cushing, then ABC Magazines coordinator, I had no idea I’d see out 20 years. It is amazingly fulfilling to work with the editorial team to come up with the stories and ideas for each issue, to cover the practical how-to of organic gardening, as well as the big environmental issues that affect us all. Thank you to all our readers and subscribers, it has been a wonderful journey, and one that continues with more urgency than ever.…

3 min.

FIG PEST PROBLEMS This year I have a new pest on my figs. I am not sure if it’s ants that are the problem or the small 1cm moth-like critters. The infestation came virtually overnight. Can you help? Carolyn Willadsen, Maleny (QLD) Hi Carolyn, I actually think you have two problems, or three, if you include the ants. The white fluffy insects in the first photo (above left), I’m pretty sure are mealy bugs. Hard to be 100 per cent sure as they are a bit out of focus. You’ve got both nymphs and adults. If you’ve also had winged insects, they are probably the males. The males don’t feed on the leaves, they just mate and die. The females and larvae feed on the leaves. The other picture (above right) I believe shows a scale…

5 min.
award-winning organics

In a market that is becoming increasingly discerning, more and more consumers are choosing organically produced products that care for the earth and people. And of those products there are many stand-out performers. Australian Organic Ltd (AOL) is the biggest industry body representing the interests of Australian certifiers and operators. According to their Australian Organic Market Report 2019, 65 per cent of Australian households are now buying some sort of organic product or produce yearly. “Australian Organic is 32 years old this year, and along with many of our members, we have seen organics grow from a fringe cottage industry to one of the fastest growing mainstream categories and a significant export earner” says Martin Meek, chairman of Australian Organic. Their annual awards help raise awareness and emphasise the importance of certification.…

3 min.
gifts that will keep on giving well into the new year.

Smart watering Gardena’s new Flex Water Computer provides just the right amount of water for your plants, at just the right time. Connected to a garden tap, the Flex Computer controls the irrigation of your garden automatically with ease, allowing watering to be started within specified hours on particular days for areas with water restrictions or permanent water saving rules. Programming is uncomplicated thanks to the step-by-step menu, simple controls and easy-to-read energy-saving LCD display. Manual watering can be done at anytime when needed. Available at Bunnings for $89.99. Visit gardena.com/au. Holiday-proof your house plants Keeping your plants healthy can be a challenge while you’re on holidays, but with Blumat at least the watering will be taken care of. The system supplies plants with water directly through porous clay cones – the surrounding…

2 min.
salad time!

NASTURTIUM ‘JEWEL’ TROPAEOLUM MAJUS Bush forms of nasturtiums, such as ‘Jewel’ and ‘Jewel Double’, are a game changer if you’ve wrangled trailing types in the past. Plants seem to last longer, and don’t take over your whole garden. ‘Jewel’ is an attractive, coloured mix of yellow, red and orange flowers. They provide food for beneficial insects and also for us, adding a peppery highlight to summer salads. The young leaves are also a tasty and peppery addition. Chickens love them as well. Plant as seeds or seedlings, and watch for snails and slugs until they get going. Plant near tomatoes, beans and brassicas as a companion plant. Minimal watering needed. In tropics and frost-free subtropics nasturtiums grow best autumn to spring and then tend to die back in summer heat. LETTUCE ‘LOLLO ROSSA’ LACTUCA…

6 min.
build a garden not a bunker

When it was suggested I write an article under the title ‘survival foods’, I immediately conjured up an image of an underground bunker stacked floor to ceiling with provisions: tinned food, dehydrated meals, grain and nut-filled storage bins and nutrient-dense muesli bars. There’s a classic scene in Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road, in which an unnamed man and his young son travel through an apocalyptic landscape in search of food, warmth and a better future. Starving, they come across an abandoned homestead, and find a secret hatch: “The man lifts the door and beneath he finds stairs that descend into a bunker full of canned goods, blankets, cots to sleep on, water, soap, ammunition (but no gun), and various other supplies. The abundance astonishes both the man and the boy, and…