Good Organic Gardening

Issue #12.5 - 2021

Gardening with goodness at its heart — fresh, organic and fun. This magazine is 100% real. We are unashamedly earthy, reflecting the spirit and culture of people who just love to get their hands dirty. Our emphasis is on productive gardening. We just love the satisfaction of growing your own and finding new ways to bring produce to the table. The magazine includes features such as Amazing Gardens, Celebrity Chefs, Celebrity Gardeners, Clever Crops, Flavours of the month, Garden solutions, Kids Corner, Living Organics, Weekend Gardening, What’s New and a guide to What’s on Where. Purchase includes the Digital Edition and News Service. Please stay in touch via our Facebook Page.

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in this issue

2 min
this issue

I once knew someone who was seriously bothered by the sound of frogs. It’s the thing I remember most about this person. He claimed he couldn’t sleep through the noise of even one frog in his neighbourhood — and the problem was a few of the close neighbours had ponds in their gardens. By the way, this man lived under the main Sydney flight path! I love the croaking of frogs. I find it a happy sound; it can even be romantic if you’re a girl frog at night in summer. Mind you, our frogs don’t just croak — they also chirp, ribbit, peep, bark and whistle. We even have a frog that sounds like a motorbike roaring around, changing gears and all. Unsurprisingly, its common name is the motorbike frog. According…

4 min
the grapevine

RESEEDING DRYLANDS IS VITAL FOR SURVIVAL The United Nations has declared a Decade on Ecosystem Restoration as an urgent rallying cry to heal the planet. It’s a monumental undertaking aimed at preventing further damage and halting or reversing the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean. Under this umbrella the Global Arid Zone project aims to restore degraded drylands by reseeding them to help mitigate climate change, reverse desertification and secure livelihoods for the two billion people who live in these environments. Scientists leading the project recently examined the restoration seeding outcomes from 174 sites across six continents in order to learn lessons for ambitious future targets. Flinders University’s Dr Martin Breed is one of three Australian researchers who helped co-ordinate data collection for the live database. “Much of Australia is drylands…

3 min
what’s hot right now

METROSIDEROS ‘VELVET SKY’, METROSIDEROS COLLINA PBR* The plant: With eye-catching inky-blue stems and leaves year round, plus showy orange-red flowers in spring, this is a real showstopper! Growing: A medium to tall shrub, it works well as an accent plant or planted together for a great dense screen or hedge. It prefers a full-sun to part-shade spot in a general soil. With a reliable, dense growth habit, it will require pruning only once a year to maintain its shape. Ozbreed, ozbreed.com.au *PBR = Plant Breeders Rights ROMANCE YOUR PLANTS PLAYLIST BY JAMIE DURIE More and more people have taken to gardening in the past two years. With many of us hit by lockdowns and working from home, people are out planting and, as it turns out, they are often listening to music while they do so. You…

2 min
troublesome fern

If you’re struggling to clear land of this persistent native fern you may never have thought of it as having any value. Certainly, bracken has many downsides, particularly for agriculture and horticulture, as it’s poisonous to livestock and also competes with pasture growth, harbours other pests such as rabbits and ticks and is a fire risk, particularly when the fronds die back. Although a native plant, it’s on the weed list in all parts of Australia. Bracken is one of those universal plants clever enough to grow across most of the world’s temperate and subtropical zones. Until recently, all brackens were listed as the same species — Pteridium aquilinum — but the genus has now been subdivided into many species with the native one classified as P. esculentum. Due to its widespread distribution, it…

2 min
plum power

Kakadu plum is a bush food that’s showing lots of commercial promise. It is very high in vitamin C, possibly the highest known natural source of this important vitamin. One recent study showed it to have 900 times more vitamin C than blueberries. Its health benefits don’t stop there. It is also rich in antioxidants including phenolic compounds and anthocyanins. Researchers also believe it has potential to treat diseases and improve health. It has long been consumed and used as a bush medicine by First Nations people, who are now involved in its commercialisation. In parts of the Northern Territory it is being bush harvested to make jams, chutneys and pickles. To extend its commercial value, it is also freeze-dried and milled into a powder to be added to many foods, from smoothies…

3 min
bramble bush

Rubus, often collectively called bramble bushes, are distinguishable from other berries by their fruit composed of an aggregate of drupelets. In plain English, you’ll know a rubus berry because the small fruits look like shiny pearls clustered together to form one delicious mouthful of flavour. Blackberries and raspberries are the most widely known members of the Rubus genus but the list of relatives also includes marionberries, youngberries, loganberries, boysenberries, silvanberries and more. The Rubus genus likely originated from North America and Eastern Europe, where fossils have been found that date back several thousand years BCE. Raspberries and blackberries are referenced in ancient Roman, Greek and Egyptian texts for various medicinal uses including wound treatment and childbirth. CHOOSE A FULL-SUN SPOT WITH A RICH AND SLIGHTLY ACIDIC SOIL; ADD PLENTY OF COMPOST AND PELLETISED…