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Good Organic Gardening Issue#9.3 - 2018

Gardening with goodness at its heart — fresh, organic and fun. This magazine is 100% real. We are unashamedly earthy, reflecting the spirit and culture of people who just love to get their hands dirty. Our emphasis is on productive gardening. We just love the satisfaction of growing your own and finding new ways to bring produce to the table. The magazine includes features such as Amazing Gardens, Celebrity Chefs, Celebrity Gardeners, Clever Crops, Flavours of the month, Garden solutions, Kids Corner, Living Organics, Weekend Gardening, What’s New and a guide to What’s on Where. Purchase includes the Digital Edition and News Service. Please stay in touch via our Facebook Page.

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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
this issue

We’ve always been big fans of seaweed and fish products for the garden, but we have noticed there’s a bit of confusion around what their purposes are and whether they’re the same or different. So we asked horticulturist, agriculturist and permaculturist Steve McGrane to give us an in-depth explanation of what these products are, how they’re derived and how they work on soil and plants — separately and together. Something else we wanted explained, this time by Megg Miller, is what factors affect our chooks’ egg output. My chickens, which are all about five to six years old now, temporarily stopped laying for the first time ever at the end of summer/early autumn. I knew it was normal, but the timing seemed a bit off, plus I’ve been lucky in that…

4 min
the grapevine

EU BANS OUTDOOR USE OF BEE-HARMING PESTICIDES The EU announced in April this year that it will expand measures, first put in place in 2013, to further protect honeybees and other pollinators from exposure to the neonicotinoid pesticides, or neonics, such as imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. All outdoor use of these three pesticides will be banned under the new measure and the neonics in question will be permitted for use only inside permanent greenhouses where no contact with bees is expected. European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said the protection of bees was vital “since it concerns biodiversity, food production and our environment”. In 2013, in the wake of the devastating epidemic of bee colony collapse disorder, the commission severely restricted the use of neonic plant protection products and seed treatments to protect honeybees. The scientific…

4 min
what’s hot   right now

DIANTHUS ‘PINBALL WIZARD’ & ‘POP STAR’ The plant: The Dianthus ‘Scent First’ Collection is known for its beautiful flowers and exquisite fragrance, and now there are two more exciting forms to choose from. Dianthus ‘Pinball Wizard’ stands out from the crowd, with unique flowers with multi-shades of pink forming a speckled pattern on the petals. ‘Pop Star’ also takes centre stage with spiky mid-pink blooms with striking dark-maroon centres. They’re compact-growing plants up to 30cm tall and 40cm wide with an impressive display of beautifully perfumed flowers in spring. Growing: ‘Pinball Wizard’ and ‘Pop Star’ both enjoy a sunny or partly shaded spot. They are low-maintenance, easy-care plants that, once established, require little water, although they will benefit from deep watering through hot periods. You don’t have to prune them, but I…

2 min
cool climate performer

Babaco label Common names: Babaco, champagne fruit, mountain papaya Botanical name: Carica pentagona (Vasconcellea × heibornii) Family: Caricaceae Aspect & soil: Full sun to part shade; well-drained soil Best climate: Subtropics, temperate, Mediterranean, cold (with shelter) Habit: Herbaceous shrub Propagation: Potted plants Difficulty: Easy Babaco is often called the cold climate pawpaw and is a member of the pawpaw genus Carica. It originates at high-altitude zones of subtropical Ecuador, which is why this clever pawpaw can thrive in the temperate zones of southern Australia. Its fruit, like pawpaw, is cylindrical, ridged and yellow, but it has a flavour and texture more like a melon. The fruit is around 20–25cm long and colours from green to yellow as it ripens. Unlike most pawpaw, the babaco fruit has no seed. It can be eaten as fresh fruit, added to fruit smoothies or…

2 min
holy herb

Sacred basil label Common names: Holy basil, queen of herbs, sacred basil, tulsi Botanical name: Ocimum tenuiflorum var. sanctum Family: Lamiaceae Aspect & soil: Full sun; well-drained soil Best climate: Tropics, subtropics, temperate, Mediterranean Habit: Perennial Propagation: Seed Difficulty: Easy Sacred or holy basil is a plant that’s held in great reverence by many cultures and religions (particularly Hindu) and has many medicinal benefits. It’s also an easy-to-grow addition to the herb garden and a highly fragrant plant that’s edible and tasty. Flavourwise, it has a more aniseed taste than traditional sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum), which is the most popular of all the basils. The leaf is also slightly smaller and a little tougher than sweet basil, with a slightly hairy purple stem. The olive-green leaves of sacred basil are also tinged with purple. It grows to around 30-90cm high. This…

5 min
rocket science

Rocket label Common name: Rocket, arugula Botanical name: Eruca sativa Botanical name of wild rocket: Diplotaxis tenuifolia Family: Brassicaceae Aspect & soil: Sun; welldrained soil Best climate: All Habit: Annual salad vegetable (wild rocket is a short-lived perennial) Propagation: Seed, seedling Difficulty: Easy Like basil, there’s something about rocket that speaks fluent Italian. Sprinkled on top of a pizza or tossed in a salad with pear, Parmesan, lemon juice and olive oil, its zesty taste is enough to transport you instantly to the Mediterranean. Which is, of course, exactly where it comes from and it has been enjoyed there since at least Roman times when it was known as eruca. Somewhere between a herb and a weed, it was foraged from the wild by the poor and enjoyed with bread as a simple peasant meal. ROCKET WAS POPULAR AMONG THE ELIZABETHANS BUT…