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.


Growing Potatoes
Potatoes can be grown from spring to autumn. They can be grown straight into ground soil or in planter boxes.

Potatoes garden bed lined with newspaperhealthy soild added to the bed

Always use good healthy soil which can be a mix of premium potting mix and compost. Seed potatoes can be purchased from garden nurseries or if the potatoes in the cupboard at home start to seed then plant them.

Potatoes added onto the soilPotatoes then covered with more soil and lucerne

Once potatoes are in soil cover them with additional soil followed by lucerne or sugar cane mulch and then water. After a while the green stems will appear with leaves. As the stems grow cover with extra soil and mulch just leaving the very top of the stem / leaves exposed to the sunshine. Continue to add mulch during the growing period of 3 to 4 months. Then once the stems begin to go brown / yellow and die back, it’s time to harvest the potatoes.


Companion Planting

Companion Planting

Companion planting is growing vegetables, flowers and herbs together to create a healthy garden. Companion planting can provide nutrients to the soil.

Colourful flowers attract pollinators and beneficial insects to the garden. Bees and insects that are attracted by colour and will pollinate flowers and this increases the chances of fruit.

Flowers attract lady beetles who eat aphids, water in ponds attracts dragonflies who prey on pest insects and ponds also attract lizards who eat snails and slugs.

Dill attracts beneficial wasps.

Good companions like the legumes ( vegies that grow pods ) like beans and peas release nitrogen from their roots which benefits leaf growing vegies like lettuce.

Other good companions include:

  • Basil that repels flies and mosquitoes,
  • Chives that have a strong smell that confuses thrips, chives are often planted with roses.
  • Lots of herbs planted together create a combination of smells which confuse and deter pests.
  • Celery repels white cabbage butterflies,
  • Nasturtium will deter aphids and bugs,
  • Marigolds will keep soil free of nematodes
  • Petunias will repel tomato worm.

Comfrey

 Comfrey

Blue Salivia

Blue Salivia 

Mexican Purple Sage

Mexican Purple Sage 

Ornamental Garlic

Ornamental Garlic

Pineapple Sage

Pineapple Sage 

The use of natural vegetables, herbs and flowers in combination together will decrease the need for using chemicals in the garden. It’s working with nature.

See under Seasonal Task Spring and Summer for companion planting combinations and always remember to practice crop rotation.

Top Images: Pineapple Sage (left) Nasturtiums (right) 


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


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