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ABC Organic Gardener Magazine

ABC Organic Gardener Magazine Nr. 109

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

1 min.

Dr Reese Halter Reese Halter is a forensic naturalist, specialising in Earth’s life support systems. He recently gave up LA’s concrete jungle for California’s exquisite far north rainforests – home to the tallest trees on the face of the planet, the stupendous redwoods. Life in his off-grid tiny home (12 square metres) with goats as neighbours, and an organic garden and mini orchard, not to mention a bracing outdoor shower, is heavenly. This issue, Reese writes about the crisis facing insect populations and what we can do (see p.48). Lentil Purbrick Lentil Purbrick is co-founder of Grown & Gathered, a creative writer, author, photographer and creative thinker. She is the co-author of two published books – Grown & Gathered: Traditional Living Made Modern and The Village. Through Grown & Gathered she has been…

2 min.
twenty years on

You may be thinking this issue of OG has arrived a little earlier than usual – and you would be right. Thanks to your support, we have moved to eight issues a year at regular intervals of six weeks. In recent years we have been publishing seven issues, with an extra spring issue, but it’s satisfying to now get into a more even flow – good for our busy editorial team and good for readers as you will have more clarity about when your magazine is due to arrive. It also means we can have a couple of issues of practical garden advice per season: acknowledging of course that our seasons are changing as the climate changes, so the gardening advice always needs to be taken in the context of individual…

5 min.

AIRPORT LUCERNE TAKES OFF A trial project planting lucerne on vacant land at Adelaide Airport has proven to reduce ambient air temperatures by more than 3°C on warm days, potentially leading to big fuel reductions for aircraft and other benefits. “For me, organic farming was more than an innovation. It was a 180-degree shift in the character of agriculture: from an extractive activity that mined the value of the soil, to a regenerative activity that could sustain that value for millennia.”Dr Bob Quinn, Grain by Grain (see review p.86) During the three-year study, between 12 and 15mm of recycled suburban storm water was applied up to three evenings a week to a 4-hectare trial site 600m south of the airport’s main runway. A number of grass species were tried, including tall fescue, couch…

3 min.
eco-living inside and out

Get that steely edge FormBoss steel garden edging is strong and durable so it will stand up to Australia’s harsh climate. Available in a range of heights, thicknesses and finishes, this innovative edging is flexible enough to allow you to create whatever shape you require. The edging can also be used for footpaths, driveways, retaining walls, garden beds, planter beds and more. FormBoss also has a range of raised planter rings and tiered planter beds, starting from $258, and all products are Australian made. Farewell plastic! See formboss.com.au or call 13 11 37. Power your home Converting to solar power is a great way to reduce your energy bills and environmental footprint. The Rainbow Power Company has been offering renewable energy solutions since 1987, including everything from solar power for homes, caravans and…

2 min.

CORN COB MYSTERY Here are some photos of my corn cobs which look unusual. Can you tell me what has happened? Ron Goudie, Horsham (VIC) Hi Ron, Fortunately, there is an explanation for the strange cobs. These are known as tassel ears, and are the common name for a corn tassel (the male flower) that develops a limited number of kernels. A corn plant is monoecious, which means that both the female and male flowers are on the one plant. The tassel is the male flower and the female flower is the ‘ear shoot’ (the part that develops the corn cob). The thing that I hadn’t realised is that early on in development both the male and female flowers start as a single flower that contains both the male and female reproductive parts. During…

3 min.
a splash of colour

CALLA LILY ZANTEDESCHIA ELLIOTTIANA AND Z.REHMANNII AND HYBRIDS These South African natives grow well in most parts of Australia and are perfect for adding bright blocks of colour. The species and their hybrids have beautiful, vibrantly coloured trumpet flowers that grow in dense clumps (like the Zantedeschia ‘Black Star’ pictured here). They are long lasting as cut flowers. Plant rhizomes 10cm below the soil. Each should produce 3-7 flowers in their first year. In warmer regions plant from late autumn to early winter; in cooler regions protect from frost by growing in a pot in a warm position, or don’t plant out until August/September. Plant into humus rich, well-drained soil, and water well during the heat of summer. Feed every month or so when in flower. Z. aethiopica, more commonly known as…