Real World Gardener Crop Rotation with the Veggie Lady

September 18th, 2020

 CROP ROTATION with The Veggie Lady

You may have heard of crop rotation but perhaps relegated it to the basket where moon planting and biodynamics reside.
But did you know that crop rotation isn’t something that gardeners should scoff at because of it’s importance in the life-cycle of plants and insects.

Crop-rotation.jpg

In fact it’s a really important strategy that organic gardeners use. 
Let’s find out.. 
I'm talking withToni Salter the veggie lady of www.theveggielady.com 
Toni only changes crops once every 12 months but uses a 4 bed rotation system. Changeover is usually spring.

Group 4 groups together so you're planting the same thing in the same place only every 4 years.
You can do it based on the plants families.
Toni likes to put it into whether it's a leaf crop, a flowering crop or a root crop.
  • This system divides per type of vegetable
Root crops-onions and garlic.
Leaf  and legumes together-leeks and spring onions, brassicas,
Flowering crops are split further into two beds
Backyard%2Bveggies.jpg

 

Bed 1 is tomato, capscium and chilli plants
Bed 2-cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkin and corn
Bed 3 root crops-carrots, parsnips, beetroot, onions and garlic
Bed 4 leafy crops-beans, lettuces.
  • Start with a 4 bed rotation.
  • That means you’re only planting the same thing in the same place every four years. 
  • So you will be growing four different types of crops in each garden bed. 
  • Toni divides it into leaf and legumes in one bed, then, flowering crops are split into two beds-tomato family in one, and all the rest into the other. 
  • Finally root crops like carrots, beetroots, onions and garlic. 

If you have questions for Toni about crop rotation or have information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write 

PO 2rrr PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Creating You Own Madras Curry in Spice It Up

August 19th, 2020

 SPICE IT UP

Making your own Madras Curry

During winter our favourite foods are those slow cooked casseroles, but you may not have realised that curries, are in fact a form of slow cooked casserole. 
The main difference is that they’re usually got a lot more spices in them and they aren’t necessarily spicey hot. 

chili-collection-colors-curry.jpg
Ian says " a lot of people forget that in effect, a curry is a casserole with a distinct number and type of spices."
If you think about it, that's perfectly true, because curries tend to have cheaper cuts of meat that need simmering for a couple of hours, just as you would a casserole.
But because curries hail from countries where the spice trade was high in importance, those countries cuisine, reflect  the spices that they produced.
I'm talking with herb and spice guru, Ian Hemphill from www.herbies.com.au 
Let’s find out.. 

PLAY: Madras curries pt 1_5th August 2020 
Curries need not always be hot as in 
Ian’s tip is “You can actually start to make a curry by making a sweet spice blend.” 

  • Start with cinnamon, add, allspice, cloves, ground coriander seed.
  • Then add turmeric and cummin, paprika, some chilli (a little or a lot).
  • And this is basically a madras style curry.
  • When all these are blended together, you can't go wrong.
  • If you're wondering what proportions, first smell the individual spices. 
  • If they smell strong, such as ground cloves, then add only a small portion.
  • You can also add some dried curry leaves from your curry tree-fry some until they're crispy and save to use as a garnish after cooking.1-Curry%2BLeaf%2Btree.jpgMurraya koenigii
If they smell mild, add more, such as coriander, up to 1 tablespoon, and cummin, about 2 teaspoons.
The trick is balance of flavours. One thing is to not overdo the cloves, pepper and chilli.
  • Another tip is roasting spices is not always necessary, particularly if you’re making a vegetable curry.
  • If you'r curry blend is a little too hot for your liking, you can tone it down by stirring some greek yoghurt through it.

If you have any for Ian about spices or herbs or have information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write 

O 2rrr PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Australian Mint Bush in Plant of the Week

June 26th, 2020

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Prostanthera lasianthos and other species. Australian Mint Bush

It smells like mint but is it? The leaves are round or sometimes oval or even pointy. 

It’s even in the same family as common mint: Lamiaceae
Australia does have a wide variety of endemic mint bushes.

There are 90 species all of which originate somewhere in the bush,  but how well does it do in your garden? 
I'm talking with Adrian O’Malley, qualified horticulturist and native plant expert. 

Prostanthera comes from the Greek for an appendage because inside the flowers are small spur-like appendages on the anthers. 
These minty plants are bushy, evergreen shrubs, usually with strongly aromatic leaves.

Heaps of purple flowers covers the soft leaves all through spring and early summer, attracting butterflies and small insect-eating birds. 

did you know?

  • Mint bushes often wilt when they badly need a water, particular in the summer months.Because of this, they are excellent "indicator" plant for the rest of the garden.
 
Prostanthera lasianthos


Some of the varieties available are:

Prostanthera lasianthos is quick growing and in good conditions may reach 8-10 metres. Tolerates heavy shade as well as full sun.

  1. ovalifoliahas very aromatic foliage. Quick growing and spectacular in flower. Prune back by about one third to keep that bushy habit. Suitable for full sun or semi shade.
  2. rotundifolia- Very aromatic foliage. Quick growing and spectacular in flower. Needs pruning back by about one third every year to keep a bushy habit. Can grow in sun or semi shade. Prostanthera_lasianthos_flowers.jpg

The leaves are round while growing as a compact shrub that reaches a height of one and a half metres in our garden.  The flowers are over one centimetre wide and mauve to purple

Plant it along a pathway so you get the benefit of brushing past the fragrant leaves. 

Good pot plant also. Feed with a good native fertiliser, watering in afterwards to avoid leaf or root burn. 

If you have any questions of course, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Talking with Josh Byrne on Gardening beyond Isolation

June 26th, 2020

GARDENING IN ISOLATION AND BEYOND

 

Australians are turning to gardening in droves during the pandemic but there are pitfalls for new gardeners.

Help is at hand of course, and there are ways to keep gardening evening when things return to normal and gardeners may have less time to devote to their plants.

Let’s find out all about what to do.1.2_Josh_Byrne_A4_Print.jpg

I'm talking with Josh Byrne, presenter for Gardening Australia TV presenterand environmental scientist.

PLAY: Josh Byrne & Plant Pals_17th June 2020

 

I asked Josh these questions:-

Q1. What are the benefits of gardening? (it’s good to get another voice to mention these-often say it already on my radio show.)

A: Good fun, a great hobby that makes you feel good and great for mental health.

Q2. How much space do you really need to have a garden?

A:All depends on what you want to grow.

 All you need is a balcony with a bit of sun.

Urban block gardens can grow a fair percentage of the fruits and vegetables that you can consume.

Q3. Who are the new, novice and emerging gardeners of 2020?

A:People in the 25-35 age group, the millenials, who are spending more time at home.

Q4What are some of the common mistakes this new band of gardeners might make?  (eg, choosing the wrong plant for the location, sowing seed in the wrong season-I noticed the one nursery chain had out summer seedlings only last week).

A: Novice gardeners might put a plant in the wrong spot, or buy annual vegetables, either seeds or seedlings for growing at the wrong time of year. Overwatering or underwatering might cause plant death early.

Q5. It’s easy to get disheartened after a couple of failures, for example seed raising, plants getting eaten by bugs. What’s your advice?

Josh suggests, read the back of the seed packet or the instructions on the plant label.

Ask horticulturists at your local garden centre. There is also plenty of gardening blogs and gardening websites that can help with your gardening question.

Q6. When things get back to more like they used to be, what are the tips/suggestions to keep on gardening?

Don't forget about your plants just because your routine gets back to normal. Keep going now that you have a taste for it. If you hit a bit of a snag, don't worry, keep going and not be disheartened.

Q7. Tell me about Plant Pals. How did it come about?

Greenlife Industry Australia, the peak body for the production, supply and retail of greenlife has launched Plant Pals, an initiative designed to connect new, novice and emerging gardeners with greenlife experts.Plant Pals is a new campaign to keep Australians engaged in gardening as life slowly returns to normal following COVID-19 lockdowns. It's really about making sure gardeners both new and old are getting plenty of support in their gardening journey. Linking gardeners with plant suppliers, expert advice, blogs and podcasts.  Click on the link PLANT PALS

Q8. For those who haven’t started gardening, how can we get them interested? (perhaps join a community garden?)

Perhaps join a community garden, because they're a great place to connect with other like people in the local community. Vist local parks and botanic gardens to get more exposure to plants in wonderful settings.

 

If you have any questions of course, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Tips and Mistakes When Starting A vegetable Garden

June 19th, 2020

COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID & TIPS TO MAKE IT BETTER part 2

I would imagine, most listeners Real World Gardener radio show would have a vegetable garden, but perhaps there’s also some new listeners new to gardening?

This next interview will take you through some of the most common mistakes that gardeners make when starting out and what to do to avoid them.

Wrong Fertiliser?

Compost is king says Toni. The  compost helps the plants take up any nutrients that are in the soil.

Synthetic fertiliser can 'dump' in one load if temperatures increase above their optimum level.

  • The right fertiliser is dependant on the plants that you're growingVegetable%2BgardenLynn%2BWood%2BTasmania

Leafy crops like high nitrogen fertiliser such as pelleted chicken manure.

Tomatoes and other fruiting crops, especially beans and peas, won't do so well with producing fruit if you only add nitrogenous fertilisers.

Keep up the liquid feeding of your vegetable garden.

  • Planting in the Wrong Season?

Bear in mind there are different climatic zones in Australia so you need to look at the right climate for where you're living.

Why is your Basil dying at the end of Autumn? That's what it's meant to do.

Cool season planting: peas, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks lettuce,

Warm season planting: tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplants, okra, pumpkin, beans, lettuce, chillies, basil

  • Crop Rotation

Failing to observe crop rotation will mean a build up pests and disease that attack that crop.

I am talking with Toni Salter Toni Salter who is The Veggie Lady. She has a passion to see organic principles adopted by everyone, encouraging people everywhere to grow organic produce in their own backyard. As a qualified horticulturist, Toni has been teaching community education classes both privately, at her home, as well as through various community colleges and local councils around Sydney since 2003. Catch her on www.theveggielady.com

Real World Gardener Common Mistakes in Starting a Vegetable Garden part 1

June 19th, 2020

VEGETABLE GARDENING: Growing Your Own

COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID & TIPS TO MAKE IT BETTER

I would imagine, most listeners to this show would have a vegetable garden, but perhaps there’s also some new listeners new to gardening? 
This next interview will take you through some of the most common mistakes that gardeners make when starting out and what to do to avoid them.

Henley%2BGreen%2BCommunity%2Bgarden.jpg

  • Amount of sun: plants need the sun to photosynthesise in order to grow into healthy plants
Veggies will take 6 hours of sun to grow really well. Whether it's morning or afternoon sun doesn't matter so much.
In cities and built up areas, sun may be insufficient to grow all of the range of vegetables.
  • Less than 6 hours?
Stick with leafy crops such as celery, cabbage family-broccoli, kale, lettuce.
  • Inconsistent watering
Vegetables need to consume plenty of water because they're consuming a lot of nutrients as they are expanding lots of energy in growing.
Increase the amount of water holding capacity in your soil by adding compost, heaps and heaps of it.
Adding compost and worm castings will improve the structure of the soil which will also help with drainage.
I am talking with Toni Salter Toni Salter who is The Veggie Lady

Real World Gardener Creating Edible Gardens part 5 in Design Elements

June 19th, 2020

Edible Gardens part 5

Ongoing Maintenance
So what’s on the list? Mulching, fertilising, pruning, weeding but what else?
I'm talking wiht Glenice Buck, landscape designer and consulting arborist. 
Let’s find out… Brukale%2Bgrowing%2Bin%2Bvegetable%2Bpat

Top of the list is watering your garden, especially the veggie garden. 
Glenice recommends hand watering so you can monitor the needs of the veggies. 
Fertilising is not far behind as well as using seaweed liquid every 10 days to 2 weeks. 

  • Once the plants are in and growing, you need to be aware of the soil moisture conditions. Autumn showers are always beneficial for the vegetable garden, there is nothing like rain to push along the garden. 
  • You will need to supplement this rain with hand watering. Whenever possible, I would encourage gardeners to water their vegetable garden by hand as you can assess the water needs of plants individually, however if this is not possible an irrigation system which is monitored regularly is fine but make sure in times of rain it is switched off. 
  • The biggest destroyer of vegetables through the winter months is over watering, which can cause fungal diseases.

 After the plantings have been in for about a week or so, I would recommend fortnightly applications of seaweed emulsions such as Eco – Seaweed from organic crop protectants. This is not a fertiliser as such, it is a root revitaliser that will help stimulate good plant health and condition along with many other benefits.

 

Applying fertiliser to the vegetable garden is best completed with a liquid fertiliser such as Eco amino– Gro, Yates Nature’s Way or Amgrow’s Harvest. This can be done once a fortnight or as per packet directions. You can also use your home-made compost tea on your veggies whilst they are growing.

 

If you have any questions of course, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

Real World Gardener Edible Gardens part 4 in Design Elements

June 16th, 2020

Edible Gardens part 4 Companikon Planting

This series is about edible gardens from start to finish. 
So far we’ve covered, site selection, soil preparation and selection of plants or seeds for your garden Part 4 is about companion planting, 
So what is it? 
Let’s find out… 

I'm talking with  Glenice Buck, landscape designer and consulting arborist. 
If you’re dubious about companion planting at the very least, plant out some flowering annuals close to your veggie garden to attract pollinating insects. 
Sweet-Alyssum-and-Marigold.jpg
Marigolds and alyssum attract not only pollinators but beneficial insects as well. 

 

Some proven successful combinations of plant species are: 

  • Marigolds (Stinking Rogers) planted out in veggie beds will repel a number of bugs with their somewhat smelly foliage and are proven to kill nematodes in the soil.
  • Chives, thyme and catnip planted with roses will deter aphids and other typical rose diseases.
  • Basil works well with tomatoes by repelling flies and mosquitoes.
  • Dill, chervil and coriander growing in between carrots will help to deter insects.
  • Alternating leeks and carrots in rows will protect each other from insect attack. 
  • Beetroot, onions, silverbeet, lettuce, cabbage and dwarf beans all work in combination with each other to create a mini ecosystem and will battle through insect attack well together.
  • Chervil and coriander are good to plant amongst carrots.

Real World Gardener Creating Edible Gardens part 3 in Design Elements

June 11th, 2020

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Edible Gardens Series Part 3

Part 3 is selecting and buying the seeds and plants.
Probably the most enjoyable part of the edible garden process.
So which seeds or plants and where to buy and what about crop rotation?
Let’s find out…
I'm talking with Glenice Buck, landscape designer and consulting arborist. 

You don't have to go to a store, because every type of vegetable is available online, either as a seed, or seedlings.
You can buy advanced seedlings as an example, from a mail order company in Gippsland, Victoria if it‘s getting a bit late to sow or plant your winter crop. www.diggers.com.au 
They call them speedings, because they’re at least a month ahead of where you would be if you started them from seeds.

diggers%2Bspeeding%2Bcollection.jpg
Diggers seeds speeding collection

Seeds are of course much cheaper but they could be 6-8 weeks behind seedlings, especially cabbages and other brassicas which are quite slow growing.

The other issue if you plant out winter crops too late, so that when they're maturing, the season is too warm. Warm weather can bring with it more fungal problems and a horde of insects to infest your crop.

  • Crop Rotation Is Important

Crop rotation is important of course so that you don't have a build of pests of diseases with a particular crop.

If you understand which group the vegetable your growing belongs to, then you can understand what to plant next once a certain crop is finished. Never grow the same crop more than once in the same bed.

Fabacea or Legume family: peas, beans

Asteraceae or Daisy Family: Leafy crops: spinach, lettuces, chicory.

Solanaceae or Potato family:-tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, capsicum

Apiaceae or Carrot family-carrots, parsnip, parsley, dill, celeriac

Brassicaceae or Cabbage family: broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, radish

Amaranthaceae or beetroot family: beetroot, spinach, swiss chard

Cucurbitaceae or Marrow family-cucumber, zucchini, squash, marrow, melon

 

If you have any questions of course, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville 

Real World Gardener Creating Edible Gardens part 2 in Design Elements

May 27th, 2020

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Edible Gardens part 2

Soil preparation

Vegetable gardens can be any size or shape.

You can plant them out in purpose built raised beds, in pots, old fruit crates or even old corrugated iron tanks. 

1-1-Lyn%2BWoods%2BVegie%2BGarden3.jpg

Most veggie gardens need a good friable soil with good water holding capacity.

This is the time to invest in a compost bin and worm farm.

But what else you need to do?

Let’s find out more…

I'm talking with Glenice Buck, landscape designer and consulting arborist.

In any garden for vegetables you need to be able to work the soil to a 200mm depth.

Soil-Organic-Fertilizer-Compost-Garden-HMany root vegetables, such as parsnips and carrots, need this amount of friable soil so their roots can grow straight.

Local councils usually run composting and worm farm workshops, where not only do you learn how to do it, but you can purchase the worm farm and compost bin and greatly reduced prices.

This is a great idea because you're recycling your vegetable scraps into something that you can use for the garden, instead of them going to landfill and contributing to greenhouse emissions.

The worm wee or worm "woo," as Glenice calls it is also very beneficial to your plants.

Simply dilute until it looks like weak tea before applying to your veggies.

If you don't have enough compost to fill that vegetable bed, you can buy in one of the many different brands available, either by the truckload or by the bag.

Don't be in a rush to start planting.

Spend the time to prepare the soil properly, even taking 6 months.

Glenice recommends a bucket of organic fertiliser per square metre. You can use anything from spent mushroom compost, cow manure, to pelletised chook poo.

Vegetables themselves are quite beautiful in their own right, so they would be a lovely addition to other ornamental plants.

 

If you have any questions of course, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

- Older Posts »

Play this podcast on Podbean App