Blitzing with you in the summer rain
It’s been an incredibly wet start to summer – the rains came down and threatened to wash away seedlings and streets alike! That hasn’t dampened our spirits however, and we’ve been super-proud to see the Permablitz Design Guild members and all-round crazy kids in the Gnomes Farming Co-operative get out there and do a spot of guerilla gardening! We also saw designer’o’many’blitzes Kate (of Urban Pear) show off her a-MAZ-ing garden, and even saw Permablitz #145 host Fuchsia open her garden to the world – it’s enough to make our hearts burst!
To honour the frankly quite epic downpour, we’d like to give this month’s Song of the Month to none other than 80’s survivor Belinda Carlisle with her hit Summer Rain.
Permablitz #203 – Sunbury
Last month we blitzed Anne & Ian’s place, and it was an absolute joy. There was straw-bale action and garden-beds galore on a warm spring day – thanks to the many volunteers who made this day a blast!
Win a Bee Hamper!
Ho ho ho – we’re coming up to the season to be jolly! And thanks to the good folk at Ben’s Bees, we’ve got a ridiculously wholesome hamper to give away. To enter, just leave a comment on the page linked below and complete the following statement: “You know you’re a permie when…”
We want to know about your soil!
You know when you get some really good soil? The kind that seeds sink into before turning into prize-winning pumpkins? And it’s so soft and luscious that you just want to strip off and roll around in it? (Other people do that… right??)
We get to see a lot of gardens, with a lot of different soils and we got to thinking… Wouldn’t it be great to be able to tell people when they ask where to go for good soil… where they can go to get good soil! We’re very lucky already as the inner north-west is well covered by The Green Centre, and the inner-east is also well covered by Bulleen Art & Garden… but what about the rest of Melbourne?
So we’re putting together a spreadsheet – but we need your help putting it together…
Hero of the Month
Nasturtiums are our little rock-stars of the flower world, bringing masses of colour when spring hits, and loads of tasty flowers, leaves and seeds as they get closer to summer.
And they even scare off the aphids – how good is that?!? If you’ve got a veggie patch happening, get yourself some of this goodness around the edges – your plants will thank for it!
How To… Know your Soil Structure
In order to get the best out of your garden, it is important to learn as much as you can about your soil.
It is after all the medium you will be growing all of your plants in, so knowing what you have to work with can save you a lot of disappointment in the long term.
Bits and Pieces
Spare Harvest battles food waste by swapping, selling and sharing excess produce
When the ABC shared photos of tonnes of tomatoes left to rot in a field because they weren’t perfect enough to sell to supermarkets, there was an outcry from thousands of people, horrified by the waste.
A Queensland woman has urged those people to do something practical about it, with the help of her website.
Helen Andrew created Spare Harvest to connect farmers, gardeners and cooks in communities around the world — helping them swap, sell or share, what they have spare.
Her search for solutions began when she reluctantly buried much of a bumper crop of juicy sweet mandarins in her backyard, soon after moving to the Sunshine Coast.
“My immediate network also had an abundance of citrus and it just didn’t sit right with me that I had this beautiful produce but I didn’t know who to give it to or who would actually use it,” Ms Andrew said
“It was about connecting to strangers I didn’t know and I didn’t have a mechanism to allow me to do that, so after spending some time researching I created my own mechanism, and that’s when Spare Harvest was born.
The website contains a global map, that can be zoomed in to locations pinpointing buy, swap and sell postings from more than a thousand members including farmers, gardeners and householders.
Ms Andrew said the more people who join, the more potential there is to stop food and other items going to waste.
Heartwood – A Book Review
Our top science-nerd loved this book with the author’s broad perspective on land management and experimental mindset – if you’re interested in Agroforestry you should definitely check this out!
In the Garden
Now that summer is *finally* here, the days will continue to get longer as we head for the summer solstice – and of course it’s going to get hotter! Make sure you’ve got all your plants well mulched to protect the soils from the sun and the coming dry winds.
And as strange as it may seem, early summer is the time to sow some winter brassicas such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and swedes so they can be harvested in winter.
For more great tips on managing your summer crop, check out Deep Green Permaculture’s Gardening Guide for the temperate zone (that’s us Melbourne-types!)
Seeds you can plant in December include:
- Asparagus Pea
- Cape Gooseberry
- Climbing Beans
- Dwarf beans
- French Tarragon
- Mustard greens
- Sweet corn
Remember: some seeds do better starting off in punnets, some in pots and some in the ground. To get the best from your seedlings be sure to check the best methods first!