Warming up for the cold, cold nights
After what felt like the briefest autumn ever, we’re now hurled head-first into winter. And it’s getting cold. Like, REALLY cold. Frost is back, so if you’ve got plants that are sensitive to it such as avocados or bananas, then make sure you have your frost plans ready! It’s with this winter chill in mind that we award our song of the month to In the Cold, Cold Night by The White Stripes.
The blitzin' times of May!
Wow, May was CRAZY! Three official permablitzes, a secret-under-the-radar blitz and a seed dating/companion planting event saw some of the Permablitz Collective folk run off their soil-covered feet! As we ease into June we’re setting ourselves the exciting task of preparing for the 10-years-o-blitzing celebrations, as well as a social movie night for our beloved Designers Guild.
So when’s this event going to happen you ask? All we can say for now is keep the second half of October clear. Thinking of travelling overseas? Planning on getting married around then? You might just have to cancel it – because this is gonna be awesome!
Ahhhh… it’s a good time to be alive!
Permablitzin' in Altona
On Sunday 29th May we permablitzed Altona! Our lovely host Tarius is a skilled gardener and runs the lush kitchen garden at Altona Meadows, but sadly had little time for her own garden since they moved into the rental property. But with the blessing of her landlady and an excellent design from Very Edible Gardens, we were all set for some blitz magic!
An afternoon of S(p)eed Dating at POWer Plants
Start with some seedling propagation, then add some good food, kombucha making and… matchmaking. Welcome to the brave (and maybe a little shy, initially) new world of seed dating. After the success of its inaugural event earlier in the year, the seed dating roadshow headed out west past the Maribyrnong for an afternoon of garden propagation and kitchen chemistry.
Permablitz #181 – Kilsyth
We had two key zones to Blitz for this day in Kilsyth, designed by Adrian (the Rear/East yard) and Matt (the Front/West yard), both were first time designers. The extraordinary Seila ran the wicking beds workshop, and effortlessly delivered some fabulous knowledge across the whole day. The afternoon was marked by what might be the greatest large scale transformation in the history of permablitz. What was just a plain old lawn morphed into a orchard (with irrigation) literally in front of our eyes!
Permablitz #180 – Thornbury
First-time blitzer Pooja shares her experiences of getting down and dirty with a dozen or so other eager volunteers on a sunny day in Thornbury!
Permablitz #179 - Doncaster
The remit at this blitz was to make and install four wicking beds and renovate an existing wicking bed. As Seila is an expert wicking bed builder he was leading the day here at St Gregory the Great Primary School. Getting a group like this together means that, in one day, four wicking beds and some reno is achievable, fun and immensely satisfying for all concerned. Real social permaculture in action!
Hero of the month
The Lemon Myrtle is a tree that gives fragrance all year around. This Australian rain-forest species has lovely dark-green leaves which it carries from its top almost down to ground level.
The leaves from the Lemon Myrtle can also be used in cooking. Treat them like bay leaves and put the whole leaf into your culinary masterpiece. You can find some Lemon Myrtle recipes here.
To read more about this amazing plant, click here!
Bits and Pieces
Save Our Citrus Melbourne fights gall wasp with Prune in June how-to videos
A group of lemon-loving locals have stepped up their fight against the native gall wasp, launching a campaign asking Melbournians to Prune in June.
Save Our Citrus Melbourne was formed last year by two gardeners concerned about the spread of gall in Melbourne’s lemon trees.
Co-founder Kaye Roberts-Palmer said they were initially focused on their local council area of Darebin, but soon expanded their sights to the whole of Melbourne.
“We did a few talks and we were amazed by the interest — it’s just grown and grown,” she said.
Ms Roberts-Palmer said learning how to prune citrus correctly was crucial to maintaining a healthy tree.
The group’s instructional videos show viewers what a gall looks like and how to prune it off the tree.
Along with the videos, Save Our Citrus is conducting a series of how-to prune workshops throughout June.
Ms Roberts-Palmer said controlling the spread of gall in Melbourne would take several years of concerted effort.
“There’s no natural predator in Victoria that’s going to affect this gall wasp,” she said.
“It’s really about us all getting together and pruning.”
A list of workshops times and venues is available on the Save Our Citrus Melbourne Facebook page.
You can read the full article here.
Know Your Compost!
During May was International Compost Awareness Week and a perfect opportunity to “Give Back to the Earth” in the form of rich, healthy compost that will nourish it and your garden. Here’s an article with some do’s and don’ts to consider for backyard composting success.
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, and 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 that do well in June include…
- Broad Beans
- Mustard Greens
- Shallot bulbs
- Snow Peas
- Strawberry runners
- 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!
Huddling deep in our hidden burrow, from the team at Permablitz Melbourne decentral – over and out!