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ABC Organic Gardener Magazine

ABC Organic Gardener Magazine Nr. 110

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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Nextmedia Pty Ltd
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8 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
ridding the world of chemicals

The latest case against chemical and GM giant Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) brings the human effects of chemical use in agriculture and gardening into stark reality. In the US, there are thousands of plaintiffs queued up to take Monsanto to court for deceiving them over the supposedly benign nature of the company’s number one herbicide Roundup and the risks it posed to their health. Three cases have now been determined (although Bayer is appealing), all finding that Roundup contributed to the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of the plaintiffs. In May, the third case saw Alva and Alberta Pilliod, who had used Roundup extensively over 30 years on their properties, awarded billions in compensation (see ‘News’ p.11). It was particularly telling that for the first time, lawyers for the plaintiffs were able…

3 min.

BOTANICAL WORLD GOES ONLINE The digital age may have its downsides but for researchers around the world, who are looking at better habitat protection and conservation, it is proving to be a game-changer. Programs, such as the project at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney (RGBS) to transform over 1.4 million botanical specimens to digital, will unlock botanical treasures for the whole world to use. The RGBS project is the largest herbarium digitisation undertaking in the southern hemisphere. The first in the RGBS collection to be digitised recently was the bryophytes, a group of small plants made up of mosses, liverworts and hornworts, and the first that went digital was Anthoceros dichotomus Raddi, a hornwort species discovered 120 years ago. “These resources have always been made available to visiting scientists,” explains OG horticultural editor…

1 min.

BYRON WRITERS FESTIVAL Featured guests at this year’s Byron Writers Festival in August include the ‘Gourmet Farmer’ Matthew Evans (On Eating Meat), award-winning writer Bruce Pascoe (Dark Emu), passionate advocate for health and the environment Damon Gameau (2040: Join the Regeneration and That Sugar Film) and Sophie Cunningham with her new book City Of Trees, which considers the meaning of trees and our love for them. The festival is three days of storytelling, literature, and big ideas in one of the world’s most beautiful coastal settings. WHERE: Elements of Byron Resort, Byron Bay WHEN: August 2-4 DETAILS: byronwritersfestival.com GOLD COAST FESTIVAL The Gold Coast’s largest garden festival, Botanical Bazaar, is on again in August and will cater to all levels of garden enthusiast, focusing on organic and native gardening, permaculture and sustainable living concepts. There will be…

3 min.

Spraying naturally Hozelock has launched the new Pure Sprayer specifically with the organic gardener in mind. It has been designed for use with natural and organic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and homemade solutions, including nettle tea and white vinegar. The Pure Sprayer has a filter that stops the nozzle from blocking and materials that won’t corrode due to acidic liquids. It comes with a three-year guarantee. Available in either five-litre ($59) or two-litre sizes ($19.98) from Bunnings stores. For more information visit: hozelock.com.au. A new kind of support FlexiGardenFrames are a unique Australian-made modular frame designed to make gardening easier and more productive by supporting plants. They are perfect for throwing protective netting over to keep out pests and birds or harsh sun. These innovative frames sit on the ground (they don’t need to…

2 min.

FUNNEL ANT REMEDY Has anybody got any good ideas on how to get rid of funnel ants? They are a real pest here on the Gold Coast, and the usual remedies (ant sand etc) don’t have much effect. I am reluctant to go for the nuclear option and would welcome any environmentally friendly alternatives. Malcolm Shepherd, Gold Coast (Qld) Hi Malcolm, Funnel ants (Aphaenogaster species) are not a problem where I live in Victoria. They are a native ant, not an introduced pest, and like other ants play an important role in controlling pests in the garden and the environment more generally. So it’s best to encourage them to move out, and do them as little harm as possible. Funnel ants love sandy soils, and are less likely to be a problem where they are…

2 min.
bright sparks

LINARIA LINARIA MAROCCANA These diminutive snapdragon-like flowers are closely related to the herb toadflax (Linaria vulgaris), which has yellow flowers and a spreading habit. Look for the Linaria Fairy Bouquet seed of this fast-growing annual, which comes in shades of purple, red, white and yellow, many with two colours in one flower. In warmer regions, sow seeds directly into pots or in the garden in any reasonable soil with some added compost. Sow seed 5mm deep, in clumps or as a border to give bright splashes of colour. In colder regions, sow seed or plant seedlings into pots in a warmer sheltered position. Feed with a pelletised organic fertiliser once plants are growing strongly. Cut flowers last well in water. PANSIES VIOLA X WITTROCKIANA These well-known heart-shaped flowers with appealing ‘faces’ come in a wide…