We've talked about wicking beds before, but what we haven't talked about is how important they are now. This year we are in a drought, so if you want to grow summer vegies, but don't want a huge bill, then this is the way to go, especially as it's likely we'll be facing water restrictions this year.
An earlier post explains how they work, and may sites offer information for making them.
The point I'm trying to make, is that not only do these beds make gardening easier, they are raised, they are also environmentally responsible, a huge bonus right now.
Two of our gardeners in Farrell Flat have got in early and built their beds, knowing that water is now a precious resource. They grow vegies and produce yummy home-made products for you to enjoy from the crop. However, no water, no crop, no income. Solution=Wicking Bed.
Take a look for yourself at Gally's Meeting House where there'll be a compost workshop 2pm Sunday Oct 21. Ask Garry and Sally how they made these, then make your own. Good luck.
This is a huge field, put simply it means you grow plants together to achieve a desired result.You may want your plants to grow more strongly, a classic example of this is growing tomatoes and basil together. To deter harmful insects you can plant tagetes-African marigolds.
In some countries where resources like water are few, people plant different types of vegies together to support each other. Corn and beans is a good example, the beans climb the corn, return nitrogen to the soil, both benefit. I've personally done this, not only did it look good, the results were very positive.
Over time we can explore more ideas for planting. Meanwhile think about th classic, roses and garlic, the roses benefit, and you get yo eat the garlic.
Remember companion plants act as deterrents, they don't kill kill harmful predators.
Have alot of seedlings or rooted cuttings, but not enough pots? Easy, you can make your own, plant them with your rootlings, and they break down. You can buy moulds or make your own using bottles, tins or any cylindrical object that fits the size you need. Follow the directions, you may need some practise, save money and reduce your plastic use.
Choose moulds of different sizes in order to make a range of pots suitable for all your seed sowing and plant raising activities.
Cut strips of newspaper wide enough to fold halfway across the mould base, and roll the paper round to make 4-6 layers per pot.
Wrap tightly to create firm pots, then start folding the paper over the base so there is no gap for any compost to fall through.
Wooden kits have a crimping block that helps create a crease to hold paper rigid, or just push the base firmly onto a flat surface.
Carefully slide the paper pot from the mould. Stand pots in a seed tray, ready for sowing.
Rest the pots in trays of damp compost. This ensures the paper always remains moist, allowing roots to grow through the sides. Make sure the pots are moist before planting, this aids the breaking down process.
Heavy use of glyphosate over the last few decades has created an emergence of glyphosate-resistant “super weeds,” of which roughly two dozen species have been discovered. These weeds are likely responsible for farmers, agricultural workers and others spraying more and more glyphosate, according to Science in Society.
Cristiano Peano, an associate professor of General Arboriculture and Arboreal Crops at Turin University and a consultant at Slow Food, recently spoke about how glyphosate use is harming soil.
The safety of Roundup and its key ingredient, however, have become controversial to say the least. Dozens of studies have correlated exposure to glyphosate to a number of different health issues, including ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, birth defects, cancer, Celiac disease, colitis, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disorder, kidney disease, liver disease, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Parkinson’s disease, among others.
The above is from-https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/time-to-stop-using-glyphosate/
Alternatives-some people use vinegar or similar acids, others use boiling water, and here's a novel idea, pulling out the weeds and composting them-making them work for you. Another way is a flame weeder using gas, simple and easy to use in larger areas. We have one, love it, but you can't beat hands on management.
Green harvest have on their website some very good and simple ways to manage codling moth, without resorting to chemical sprays. Try it and look for more information on their site.
Everyone knows the old joke: what is worse than finding a worm in your apple? Answer: Half a worm. The saying refers to the larva of the Codling Moth (Cydia pomonella), which originated in Europe but is now found in most countries that grow apples. It also attacks pears, nashi pears, quinces, and occasionally walnuts and stone fruits.
Suggested Organic Strategies:
Mealy bugs are small white and look harmless. Unfortunately they are not. The secondary problems caused by the sticky exudation are what cause plants to suffer. If you have them in large numbers, you need to treat the problem, otherwise they'll be back, sucking sap from the plants. For small numbers, spray with water and wipe off. Once the second stage, sooty mould, appears, the time has come to take stronger measures. Some plants can become very weakened, then not able to survive harsh conditions like our hot dry summers.
1. Make-your-own treatment: Spraying with diluted methylated spirits. Mix 1 part methylated spirits to 2 parts water. If mixed too strong, leaf burn can result. Soap flakes or even dish-washing liquid can also be added.
2. Treatment using oil sprays: Eco Oil or Neem Oil are fantastic producst that controls the infestation by smothering the insects. The oil also works as a protective covering on the plant to reduce the chances of re-infestation.
Tino Carnevale creates a mini greenhouse out of a plastic storage container.
Follow the link and watch the video.
Wicking beds are a unique and increasingly popular way to grow vegetables. They are self-contained raised beds with built-in reservoirs that supply water from the bottom up – changing how, and how much, you water your beds.
Wicking beds are about saving water, using water more efficiently especially for people where water is scarce or cost is at a premium. Plants stay cooler as the water moves upwards rather than down, they do not dry out so quickly, but may need shade cover in the hotter months.
Lots more inf on this site, have a reaad and decide what would work best for you.
Grass clippings also make an excellent nitrogen-rich fertilizer all by themselves. To make grass “tea” for your garden, fill a five-gallon bucket about two-thirds of the way with fresh clippings. Top off with water to within an inch or two from the lip. Let the mixture steep for about 72 hours, stirring at least once per day. Strain to remove grass clippings then dilute the finished product one part “tea” to one part fresh water. Apply this solution as a foliar spray or directly to the ground.
Don't waste those grass clippings-compost or turn into fertiliser.
This is such a simple and effective way to give plants a nitrogen boost. Used clippings can go back on the compost. Just think how much you've saved, and how few chemicals have been used. Well done.
Was chatting to one of our local gardeners the other day, who's mad keen on keeping the cost of gardening down. One idea for that is plant swaps, but there is another cost, that is to the environment. We don't think about the kilometres we travel to buy a plant, maybe we should. Perhaps we can consider looking differently at how we garden, rather than drive a long way to be seduced by something flowering in a pot. If we walked around our area at which plants thrive, especially with low water usage, our lives as gardeners may have fewer disappointments. The garden may not be as flashy, but it would be much more fun, rewarding and relaxing to live in a contented garden. Think about it next time, will this beauty be happy in your garden, or will it struggle. Save fuel, create local swaps and groups, be kind to the environment. Look at several gardens in Burra region, they're marked on the site. These gardens are lovely and their owners aren't slaves to them, nor have they been made using expensive plants. See the Burra Sculpture garden, where the soil is thin an poor but sustains a thriving garden because of good plant choices.