Which Trees To Plant At Inverell, NSW, To Cope With Predicted Climate Change?

How do you approach tree planting? “All life on Earth is now experimental. Thanks to a lack of Australian climate leadership, we grow crops and plant gardens in uncharted climate territory. If this is the future of gardening, then we must embrace experimental tree planting for shade, food, fodder and biodiversity”. Jerry Coleby-Williams, Founder of Bellis, Brisbane’s award-winning, affordable sustainable house and garden; Director, Seed Saver’s Network; Patron, National Toxics Network; Patron, Householder’s Options for Protecting the Environment, 2nd February 2019.

Protecting Pawpaw Plants Against Black Spot Disease

If you live in south eastern Queensland and grow pawpaw, it’s worth a quick health check right now. Mild, calm, showery, humid winter weather is perfect for observing outbreaks of pawpaw black spot disease. But how best to manage this common problem?

Mealybug: Kill! Kill! But How?

Question: “Hi Jerry, This year I have had the worst infestation of mealybug ever. My garden has never had them in the past, but this year everything including established Gordonia’s five metres high are white with them. I have lost quite a few hibiscus to them. Is this a bad year? Do you have one of your…

In Production Today: Subtropical Spring

“Over the spring to autumn growing season I hope to demonstrate which species – either Comfrey or Queensland Arrowroot – uses the least amount of water to grow successfully, and which produces the greatest amount of organic matter”.

Living With Mosquitoes In The Subtropics

Question: “Hey Jerry, we’ve found mosquitoes to be a real problem for us on the northside this year. An electronic device has been recommended, do you have any views on it?” Barnaby via Facebook Reply: Hi Barnaby, I’ve yet to see an electronic device tell the difference between beneficial mosquitoes (our allies) and the pest species. No device…

How Can ‘Dog’s Vomit’ Have A ‘Hive’ Mind? Enter The Kingdom Of The Slime Moulds

“Truly alien creatures…are all around us” Professor Christopher Reid, University of Sydney At dawn you could mistake them for vomited curry, something people find disturbing. They surface during the night, forming moist, sulphur-yellow pools and then tiny stalagmites emerge from them, forming miniature landscapes. As the sizzling Brisbane sun rises their colour quickly fades to…

Cyclone Near Miss And Food Production, February 2015

As Cyclone Marcia gets downgraded to a Tropical Low weather system, my soil and crops have had a good soaking: 236mm in the past 48 hours. No crop losses so far – 106 different edibles available. Lucky conditions for my ‘Red Aztec’ corn and Jerusalem artichoke ‘Dwarf Sunray’, they’re just days from harvest.

In Production Today, December 2014

Rain. Finally! At last the lawn has grown enough for me to cut it for the second time since autumn, my team of lawn mowing guinea pigs can’t eat it fast enough. The hot, humid – and recently wet – weather is bringing a fine crop of mangelwurzel, beetroot and silverbeet to a close, they just…

Elephant Foot Yam: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

The gift that keeps on giving: In 2013, Annette McFarlane gave me a young Elephant Yam, Amorphophallus paeoniifolius. This tropical, forest-dwelling, winter herbaceous perennial root crop is native to India, SE Asia, Papua New Guinea and Australia. It is recorded as one of the first crops cultivated by indigenous Australians, so it is of high cultural…

Extreme Fire Weather Warnings…And Gardening

The Bureau of Meteorology has just issued a Fire Weather Warning for southern Queensland, and the ABC’s Weather Reporter, Jenny Woodward, advises people to drink plenty of water. What can a gardener do?