In a trial in subtropical Brisbane, I found that Queensland arrowroot (Canna edulis) requires 1/5th of the water to produce twice the biomass of comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum).
Anyone can buy compost in bulk. But these products are often highly variable and sometimes even unsuitable. The traditional alternative is to sow green manures and to make your own compost. If you need bulk compost, consider the sandwich mulching technique. You’ll need a soil pH Test kit and, ideally, get your soil laboratory tested to check for nutrient deficiencies and contaminants.
I planted bamboo because it is important in sustainable living: food, shade, privacy and for supporting vines. Pheasant coucals and possums gravitate towards the shelter of my bamboo which, now it is seventeen years old, has grown to become a landscape statement without outgrowing the allocated space…
If you’re watering plants with grey water, the type of detergent you use really makes a difference to both their health and the health of the soil.
Question: “Dear Jerry, In the last year, I have had a soil problem that looks normal on the surface, but when you dig into the mulch, it is grey and looks like a fungus has taken over. The soil smells mouldy, (maybe anaerobic?) and when I water, the water just runs off, not in. This problem…
Root knot nematodes can be a curse in warm, moist garden soils. Feeding by these minuscule, transparent, work-like creatures inside the root tissue of many crops causes the roots to develop tumour-like growths which retard the flow of water and nutrients through conducting vessels, weakening crops. What to do?
‘Bellis’, Brisbane’s sustainable house and garden, produces 4 metric tonnes of compost a year. Using low till, ecologically sustainable gardening techniques enables this property to sequester 0.638 metric tonnes of atmospheric CO2 gas each year. Doesn’t sound much, does it?
So there I was with Noel Burdette, in the pre-dawn darkness of Brisbane’s Cannon Hill. Groggy but organised, and with only a smartly dressed security guard as a witness, we got stuck in. Long ago we’d decided that the front garden at 4BC Radio, home to the voice of Brisbane’s gardeners, needed a little buffing up….
The most widespread recorded drought in Queensland’s history has meant most of my gardening effort continues to be spent on watering and soil improvement. At least I’m able to keep fruit trees productive and perennials alive. Beds which would normally be filled with seasonal annuals can remain dug, mulched and bare until useful rain arrives. But…
I like nettles, when they’re managed – and grown in full view.
“If they grow it, they will eat it”, that’s Leonie Shanahan’s positive message for parents and schools. But how to get an affordable school food garden started?
Question Hi Jerry, I have just moved to Byron Bay and have a Scrub Turkey (aka Australian Bush Turkey) problem. Do you have any clues as to what I should do to get my veggie garden going? Me and my veggie-head friend in Sydney love your work, Vicki