There's a feast of free carbon to use as mulch, compost, ground cover or a chicken's playground...
Free carbon – everywhere!
It’s June already! And the sound of pelting rain on the roof at night is a sure reminder that winter is well and truly here. So if you’ve got any frost-sensitive plants out there, it’s time to get them into shelter…

Lately we’ve been getting around the neighbourhood with big bags – the perfect size to fill with fallen leaves! There’s a feast  of free carbon to use as mulch out there, or to use as ground cover or even to create a chook’s version of Ikea’s ball room – you KNOW they’re going to love that! To celebrate this wonderful season of falling leaves, we’re once again giving the song of month to the White Stripes – this time with Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground.

Hero of the Month:
Bullhorn Capsicums
Bull’s Horn (or Cow Horn) Capsicum is an old Italian heirloom variety of sweet capsicum that produces curved fruits up to 20cm long. The fruits can be harvested green or red after 70-90 days – and they are very prolific.

And why do we like them so much – because they’re easy to grow and produce so much! Click here to find out how to get these in your garden!

How To:
Make a small-scale wicking bed
Wicking beds are well-known as a water-efficient way to grow your plants. Adrian has a number of them in his back yard – and has also made several smaller varieties. Recently he decided to lay out all the steps he typically uses to put one of the smaller ones together. And believe me –  if he can do it – anyone can!

See how easy they are to make here!

Beets and Pieces
Working with a Farmlette
One of the more positive side-effects of the current troubled times is that the volunteer ethos is undergoing something of a renaissance. More than ever, people are seeing the value of community engagement and participation – not just for personal benefit, but for the broader society as well.

One emerging volunteer organisation is making waves in the Macedon Ranges region – and it is the dawn of the Farmlette! The Farmlette doesn’t just preach to the already converted; they actively engage local youth to participate in the conversion of lawn to crop – proving that positive social change can happen!

A farmlette is a prior lawn that is converted into a food-producing plot at least 500 square feet in size, consisting of row crops grown directly in the ground. Farmlettes are home to a wide variety of veggies, but the main crops grown are an assortment of baby greens, from Siberian Kale to Bibb lettuce, which comprise the Fleet Green salad mixes. Wherever there is grass, sun and water, be it residential or commercial yards, there is a future farmlette!

We recently spoke to Paul Kooperman, mover and shaker of the Farmlette movement and he was good enough to share his thoughts with us. Check out the full story here!

PFAF – it’s the Permaculture Designer’s bounty of plant info
One of the truly great resources for Permaculture designers is the plant database of “Plants for a future” (PFAF). Based in Cornwall, England, PFAF have so far catalogued over 7000 edible, medicinal and generally useful plants and sorted them in a magnificent searchable database.

In our humble opinion, there is no single better source for designers to find the right plants for their designs. Whether you are a gardener hoping to discover amazing alternatives to the classic vegetables, or a plant lover excited to click through the more unusual and interesting plants from across the world, this site has something for everyone.

PFAF’s big project for 2017 is to extend their database by 700 new tropical plants to their database, and they are calling for donations to enable them to do just that.

Read all about this invaluable permie resource here!

Back in the Garden
Now that it’s getting colder, there’s a few jobs to get done around the garden! Any fallen leaves can become an excellent source of mulch – if you don’t have any in your own garden, don’t worry – many suburbs are literally covered in leaves right now! It’s also an excellent time to divide and plant perennials. Bare-root season is almost upon us, so have a think about where you can squeeze in another fruit tree – you know you can never have enough!

Seeds you can plant in June include:
Broad Beans  Radish
Garlic  Shallot bulbs
Lettuce  Snow Peas
Mustard Greens  Strawberry runners
Onions  Strawberry (seeds)
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!


permablitz melbourne
eating the suburbs, one backyard at a time

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