Just bees and things and flowers – blitzing in the sunshine
The last month or so has been very busy for we Permablitz types – the garden is bursting with new growth, and all around us the signs of spring continue to bring smiles to our faces. Whether it’s catching swarms of bees, picking strawberries, beans and snow peas, or watching the new growth on a kiwi fruit snake its way up a wall, there’s plenty to do and see at this time of year.
Of course, we’ve also been lucky enough to have had quite a bit of rain, which combined with warm weather has seen seedlings sprouting everywhere – even in the most unexpected places. I found myself having to explain to my son that no, I did not plant fennel in cracks of the concrete, but we’re happy to see it grow there anyway!
To honour this time of promised bounty, we’re dedicating the song of the month to Roy Ayers’ timeless classic Everyone Loves the Sunshine. Enjoy!
Permablitz #213 - Belgrave Heights
A few weekends ago a cheery band of volunteers helped transform the back of Tina and Kate’s place in the hills into a truly productive space. Swales on a steep incline were dug for fruit trees, a gentler incline was leveled to add four raised veggie beds, which will be gravity fed water by drip irrigation.
A massive thanks to Natalie and Sarah for the super design, as well as all the wonderful people (and new friends!) who made the day so much fun.
So... who wants to get blitzed?
Don’t be shy! If you’ve been to the odd permablitz and you think maybe you’d like to be blitzed yourself, let us know.
Usually we say you need to come to two or more permablitzes before you qualify. Sometimes this is a lot, especially given we know how hard it is to get into blitzes when they are booking out so quickly.
So to keep blitzes happening, we are bending the rules a bit. Til the end of the year, if you’ve been to a blitz and want one of your own – hit us up. We’re keen to make your part of the suburb edible for you!
Hero of the Month
Looking for a hedge that has edible fruit, serves as bee fodder, provides dense habitat for small birds, is a nitrogen fixer, has perfumed white flowers AND is a tough evergreen shrub? Thanks to Gill and John at Edible Forest Gardens, we’ve got the perfect plant for you.
If you want to find out what this plant can do for you, click here!
Beets and Pieces
Pastured eggs the new ‘free range’
When the label “free-range” actually means up to 10,000 chooks a hectare, farmers looking for a more ethical model are moving towards “pastured eggs”.
What does pastured eggs mean? It means chickens can chase insects and roam in open paddocks, laying and sleeping in a series of mobile sheds.The soils and pasture are managed, which means regular pasture rotation.
So where can you get them? Some supermarkets may stock them, but if you want to be certain that you’re supporting those that are doing the good work, then your best bet is to get them from the farms directly, or at farmers’ markets.
Read more in the original article by the ABC.
Identifying Plant Nutrient Deficiencies
Not all plant problems are caused by insects or diseases. Sometimes an unhealthy plant is suffering from a nutrient deficiency or even too much of any one nutrient. Plant nutrient deficiencies often manifest as foliage discoloration or distortion. The following chart outlines some possible problems. Unfortunately many problems have similar symptoms and sometimes it is a combination of problems.
This article was originally published in January 2016, and continues to be one of the most popular posts on the site.
Not seen it yet? Check it out here…
In the Garden
The end of Spring is near – make sure you mulch around your fruit trees and plants to retain moisture in the soil and prevent water loss from evaporation. Keep the mulch away from plant stems and trunks as this can cause stem or collar rot. You can also mulch your strawberries by placing straw or pine needles underneath to keep the berries off the soil. And apparently you can stop earwigs eating your strawberries by offering them orange halves instead!
And if you’ve not done so already, it’s definitely time to get your summer crops in! Tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumber, zucchini, capsicum, tomatoes, basil, chillies, corn.. and did we mention tomatoes?
Seeds you can plant in November include:
- Asparagus Pea
- Cape Gooseberry
- Chinese Cabbage
- Climbing beans
- Dwarf beans
- French tarragon
- Globe Artichokes
- Jerusalem Artichokes
- Lemon Balm
- Mustard Greens
- Summer Savory
- 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!