ABC Organic Gardener Magazine Issue 129 - Early Summer 2021

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 期号


simple summer inspiration

I haven’t grown a luffa before, but I’m planning to this summer. It’s a plant that makes me think, “What have I been doing with my gardening life”. Lots of gardeners will know it – Luffa aegyptiaca – and the fact you can not only eat it, but you can also use it as a sponge. It’s been grown for thousands of years so I’m a little slow off the mark. I should at least have gotten on the luffa (or loofah) bandwagon back in 2006, when I read about them in Linda Cockburn’s book Living the Good Life, which was all about living as sustainably as possible, and growing and making as much as you can yourself. The fruits are similar to zucchini, and tasty if picked fairly young. But if…


WEED BARRIERS Can any type of cardboard, newspaper or other types of paper be used in the garden to kill weeds and grass and then planted over with vegies? I have a heap of cardboard and am really keen to put it to good use. Jennifer Barthelot, Melbourne Hi Jennifer, Pretty much any un-coloured cardboard can be used but it’s good to remove most of the sticky tape as it takes much longer to break down. Avoid any cardboard with a shiny, plastic layer as it will repel water and take too long to break down. Newspaper is also fine but glossy coloured magazines are better avoided, because you don’t know what dyes or plastics have been incorporated. First water the soil deeply and add some organic fertiliser, compost or manure. Then put the…


BIODIVERSITY BLUEPRINT A new report by a coalition of scientists and experts has set out a blueprint for protecting Earth’s biodiversity and stabilising our climate. The ‘Global Safety Net’ report, published in Science Advances, provides a global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience. The authors say that by preserving and protecting approximately 50 per cent of the Earth’s land, we could reverse further biodiversity loss. “The Global Safety Net shows a way forward to conserve wild places and ensure that nature isn’t something left in a few remote, far-off places,” said co-author Carly Vynne, PhD. “All of humanity deserve access to nature and the myriad of benefits it provides to our mental, physical, and spiritual health.” More on this soon. Reference: content/6/36/eabb2824 TOP BIRD! THE SUPERB FAIRYWREN HAS BEEN VOTED…

marvellous melons

There’s a huge array of heirloom melons that can be planted now. All you need is rich soil with lots of organic matter, full sun and warmth. In all regions, except tropical, plant from spring to summer. Plant in autumn in the tropics. In colder regions, plant into a pot in a warm position or a greenhouse and only plant in the garden when the weather warms up. Once planted out, temporarily cover young plants with a mini-greenhouse if you can. In warmer regions sow seeds or plant seedlings directly into the garden. Create small mounds with your soil, adding a bucket of compost to each mound to plant into. Cover with worm castings if you have them, and a thin layer of mulch. Feed with a handful of pelletised manure every…

summer beauties

Late spring and early summer is such an exciting time in the garden – the soil and weather are warming, the days are lengthening towards the summer solstice, and all of the flowering annual and perennials are racing to get blooming for summer. I’ve chosen four that are easy to grow and maintain, and perfect to plant now for a lovely summer display: rudbeckia (black-eyed susan), salvia, cornflower and zinnia. They will add a diverse range of colour and texture to your yard or balcony that can easily be brought inside as cut flowers. All four are garden workhorses that will bloom profusely, keeping beneficial insects happy. Annual varieties will need to be replaced each year (you can save their seed to plant in spring), while perennials will die back in winter but…

squash time

If your idea of squash is limited to little yellow round fruits with scalloped edges, you’re in for a treat! Squashes are a cornucopia of intriguing shapes, beautiful colours and flavours, with varieties for all climates, so there’s plenty to enjoy. Like many other heirloom vegetables, squash often have common names relating to their rich history or origins, but names in Australia can be different to other countries. Here, the word squash is a broad term describing a range of Cucurbit family plants, of various species and genera. As always, learning the botanical name of a plant gives clarity and helps to understand its needs, especially when it comes to seed saving to preserve unusual and special varieties. In Australia, squashes can be listed as squash, pumpkin, zucchini and gourd, with…