Organic Food Gardens

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The main focus for our blog is to pass on information and tips about growing food using Permaculture methods, to help vegetable garden owners take responsibility for their garden and their own backyards allowing them to supplement their diet with real whole foods grown by themselves in a fully supported and natural way.


Autumn Tasks - Vegie Gardens


Vegie patch - If your home vegie patch has been overrun by weeds, there are a few ways of renewing it.

Green Manure MixOption one

Pull out all the weeds and plant a winter green manure crop. Green manure crop is made up of a mixture of seeds like oats ,lupins, rye corn and dun peas. Green manure will grow over winter, it will crowd out weeds and when dug back into the soil in early spring will provide nutrient to the earth. Green manure can be purchased on line, see Green Patch if you live in NSW or the ACT or see Green harvest if you live in Queensland.

Option two

Either pullout all the weeds or leave the weeds and cover with sheets of damp newspaper. If you leave the weeds in the patch use extra sheets of newspaper. The paper acts as a weed mat. Then place down a layer of mulch this can be Lucerne or sugar cane mulch. You can allow the patch to rest over winter or plant winter vegetables and winter annuals. If it’s to be the latter place soil over the layer of mulch / Lucerne and mix soil with compost, cow manure, blood and bone, and chicken pellets. Then place another layer of Lucerne over the top of the soil mix. When planting vegies and flowers make a hole in the Lucerne, drop some soil into the hole and plant your seedlings. Then spread Lucerne around the base of plantings. This is called a No dig garden.
for more information on  No dig gardens .

laydown newspaper to cover the garden Cover with lucernRest the garden till spring

Shady vegetable garden

Let them rest over winter, you could try green manure or just mulch with newspaper and Lucerne. In summer try leafy greens like Asian greens, all types of lettuce, Spinach, Silverbeet, some chillies and bananas.

For more information on Winter vegetables and flowers.

Finger limes and Bananas

Finger limes and a finger!

Finger Limes

Finger limes are small leafed evergreen shrubs that produce a fruit in summer. The fruit is in the shape of a finger and is a native lime. The fruits skins can be red, yellow or green and contain acidic juice and tiny beads. Finger limes can be used in salads, stir fry, drinks like iced water and gin and tonic or even spread on top of vanilla ice cream.

Finger limes naturally grow in the sub topics and topics of Australia. Can be grown in temperate areas. They can grow to about 2 or 3 metres and are prickly bushes.


Bananas

Bananas are naturally an understorey plant. That means they grow naturally in the shade. Bananas are good in water logged areas of a garden as they will suck up water. In temperate and cool temperate zones lady finger bananas are best as they are the only bananas that will tolerate the cold.

Bananas can be grown from a sucker and from the time of planting to the time of harvest it will be about 18 months. Once the banana fruit has been harvested cut the stalk back to ground level and the process will begin again. Usually bananas are planted in what’s called a banana circle.  Each section of the large circle should only contain 3 or 4 stalks with each stalk at a different stage of development. Otherwise you can just have a couple of stalks growing in the corner of the garden.

Bananas like organic fertiliser, apply monthly and water during dry periods. When a bunch of bananas form, a bell flower will develop at the front of the bunch. Over time that flower will grow away from the fruit, when this occurs cut the flower off, that will then result in the plant putting its energy into developing the fruit.

grown by Ben and Jamie

grown by Ben and Jamie @ Eco Garden - Fagan Park

Any questions on Finger limes or Bananas just email


Early Autumn
The hot summer days are now fading away and cooler darker morning and evening are slowly beginning.

Time to harvest the last of the summer fruits and vegetables. Lots of autumn jobs to undertake. After the last of the summer vegies have been harvested it’s time to add organic matter to the soil. Compost, blood and bone, organic pellets will improve soils, remember to rotate the new autumn crops. Where legumes ( plants with pods ) pea’s / beans were grown in summer plant leafy greens like lettuce and spinach in autumn. The leafy greens will use the nitrogen that the legumes released into the soil during the summer growing period which helps to produce foliage. Add organic liquid fertiliser when planting new seedlings.

In the citrus garden the fruit trees will have lots of green fruit which will start to ripen in May. Continue to apply organic fertiliser every 4 to 6 weeks till the first harvest. Add around the citrus trees chicken pellets, blood and bone with liquid fertiliser. If there is mulch or Lucerne around trees lift up or rake to the edge of tree drip line then place down fertiliser, water in and place back mulch / lucerne around tree.

In the orchard it’s time to prune the spring fruiting trees. Generally prune trees into a V or vase shaped tree removing any cross branches that are growing across the centre of the tree. Keeping the centre of the tree free of branches allows for better air flow and allows sunlight into the centre of the tree. Add organic fertiliser and mulch to the base and around the drip lines of the trees.

As the deciduous leaves start to fall rake up and add to compost. Leaves, grass clippings and garden waste can be added to outdoor composts and should be turned with a garden fork each week. Food  can only be added to enclosed composts and worm farms. Composts provide a great source of fertile soil and worm farms will provide liquid compost. If you live in a unit or town house a worm farm will suit as it is a contained clean compost.

Autumn is a good time to apply organic fertiliser to all garden beds and lawns. If you live in a cool climate zone plant out garlic now straight into the earth. Also consider planting a plum tree, there are some low chill varieties. If you live in a temperate zone place garlic in the fridge for a couple of weeks, this will give it the chill it requires and then plant out into the garden. Garlic will take about 6 months, when the leaves begin to die back that’s an indication that its ready for harvest.

Summer Harvest
Summer Harvest


For additional information on autumn plantings .

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