Emerging from a Deep Winter to embrace the Early Spring
We’ve been having a blitzin’ good time transforming gardens throughout the suburbs over the past few months, and now that Deep Winter has passed, the worst of the cold is over and we’re getting our own garden beds ready for some planting once the soil starts warming up.
A true sign of the arrival of Early Spring is the sight of blossoms in gardens all around. To celebrate this time of wonder, our hero of the month is Blossom by German folksters Milky Chance.
Permablitz #209 – Edithvale pt1
A few weeks ago we started a multi-date blitz at Tina’s place, and the first day of blitzing was a smash! A big thanks to everyone for helping install wicking beds, lasagna beds, espalier fruit trees and more.
Want to attend a free masterclass in fruit tree grafting?
John Pinniger of the Heritage Fruits Society and Transition Darebin will run a ‘masterclass’ in grafting for anyone who would like to improve their skills – or learn the basics of fruit tree grafting. This will be hands-on. It involves learning the reasons for, and the science of grafting, and then plenty of time to practice. Budding will also be discussed, but winter is not the best time to do it. Your questions answered. Bring a sharp knife if you have one.
You may not ever graft another tree, but they will discuss the reasons for grafting, when to graft and what to graft, so you understand why and when, and see examples of grafts. The class will concentrate on apples, but discuss a wide range of plants.
There is no cost, but the third hour of the three-hour session will be assistance with the grafting of Heritage Fruits Society’s trees, including potting, labelling, etc. (part learning, part application).
Sessions are planned for
Wed 22 Aug 9.30AM – Fairfield
Wed 22 Aug 1.00 PM – Fairfield
Sun 26 Aug 9.30 AM – Fairfield
Sun 9 Sept – Reservoir
Please reply directly to [email protected] with preferred date/time and subject line GRAFTING. Maximum 6 per session – more sessions if there is enough interest.
The location in Fairfield is accessible by public transport – address sent with acceptance.
Hero of the Month
Have you ever thought that you were possibly the worst gardener ever? Maybe that you believe you are the owner of a thumb so black, anything you plant is sure to wither and die? Maybe it’s time to try something easy – like radishes! If you haven’t ever tried to grow food for yourself then the humble radish is about to be your new best friend.
Beets and Pieces
Seasonal Calendars for the Melbourne area
All over Australia, Aborigines had their own local yearly calendars. Just as the climate in Kakadu is very different from that of Melbourne, so the Wurundjeri had their own way of marking the changing seasons. The division of the year into four seasons comes from Northern Europe, and does not fit Melbourne.
We still think of winter as an unfavourable season for plants, when northern European trees drop their leaves and become dormant, but for our native plants, especially the small tuberous herbs, winter is a season of growth. At this time the bush is green, and the temperatures are rarely low enough to stop growth. The unfavourable season is high summer, when water is scarce, and much of the ground flora becomes brown and dies off. Water-plants such as Cumbungi are usually green during the summer, they die off during the winter.
Dr. Beth Gott of the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University has compiled a great document on the traditional seasons – check it out!
5 Secrets to Raising Seedlings for Better Germination
Purchasing seedlings is easier and quicker than raising plants from seed, but planting seeds can be a satisfying way to take your gardening to the next level.
When you grow from seed, you have more plant varieties to choose from. You can plant and raise heirloom plant varieties and plants that aren’t currently ‘fashionable’ and therefore aren’t down at your local Bunnings store.
Raising plants from seed is also cheaper than buying seedlings each year, and if you collect and save the seeds from your crops, it’s even free!
The secret ingredients in this article are: timing, a good seed raising mix, the right soil temperature, moisture and planting with care.
Get all the good details in this article by Frugal and Thriving!
In The Garden
It may still be cold outside, but you can the good news is you can start thinking about what to plant for your summer crops! If you’ve got a greenhouse or somewhere warm, think about getting some seeds in to get a head-start on your summer planting. Angelo from Deep Green Permaculture has some great tips on starting your annual vegetables indoors – check it out!
Things you can plant in August include:
- Cape Gooseberry
- Globe Artichokes
- Mustard greens
- Shallot bulbs
- Snow Peas
- Spring Onions
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!