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Usefull Websites

Seed Companies

  • Royston-Petrie Seeds P.O. Box 1152 Ph: (61) 2 6372 7800
  • Cornucopia Seed Cornucopia Seeds and Plants Ph (03) 5457 1230
  • Select Organic M.S 905, Lower Beechmont 4211 Organic Seeds
  • GreenHarvest 52 Crystal Waters, M.S. 16, MALENY 4552 Ph: (07) 5494 4676
  • Greenpatch PO Box 1285, TAREE, NSW 2430 (02) 6551 4240
  • The Italian Gardener Allsun Farm, PO Box 8050, Gundaroo, New South Wales, 2620 (02) 6236 8173 Italian vegetable seeds
  • Kings Seeds PO Box 2785, Bundaberg, QLD 4670, Australia Tel: 07 4159 4882
  • Phoenix Seeds PO Box 207 , Snug, TAS, Australia 03) 6267 9663 Only postal Very unusual seeds
  • Diggers Fantastic company become a member and help them in their work, they have two sites, St Erith (nr Daylesford) and Heronswood (Mornington Peninsula) and when you become a member you get sent out a free magazine / newsletter
  • Eden Seed M.S. 905, Lower Beechmont 4211 (07) 5533 1107 Lots of information botanical and taste
  • The Lost Seed The Lost Seed PO Box 321 SHEFFIELD TAS 7306 ph: 03 6491 1000 Has a selection of very rare vegetables, and a great free download of sow what when chart

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Autumn in the Garden

Firstly, I have left my job at Geelong Botanic Gardens, mostly to peruse my studies, (in my usually over achieving way I thought I might do a Masters in Urban Horticulture), with working full time and all the other demands on my time, it got increasingly obvious that something had to give, and the paid work was on the bottom of the list! I will start up my classes again and am going to be setting up a community garden at Cloverdale Community Centre. Seems that the universe is pulling me that way. Strange how long this summer has been, the hot days kept coming back, which means I was able to grow sweet corn for that little bit longer. The garden is starting to take shape, here and at home. It takes about a year in a garden before you can really start to see how things work, how that unique little micro climate is just slightly different from everyone else around you. Everyone at Geelong West was most impressed with my corn.

Have to keep reminding them that this is what I have done for my living for the past ten years so I should be pretty reasonable at it by now. The idea with this space is the paths of bricks and herbs mean I don’t have to step on the growing beds, keeping the soil light and friable. In front of the corn is some potatoes, not sure which type, I will find out in a few months.
Last week I added 2 enormous bags of sheep manure, the garden gets things like this and pea straw delivered and buying in bulk means we get a cheaper rate.
I poured it liberally over the garden, and other follow plotters were surprised at the amount I had used. I shrugged and replied that it doesn’t means it will work! The herbs seem to be working ok, put some snail bait down as with the rain, the hungry buggers decimated the French beans. Still enough pods on the two kinds for next year, Butter Bean and Brown Beauty both seem to do remarkably well in Geelong. The Brown Beauty is from saved seed, and unsurprisingly does so much better than the bought seed.

The broccoli seems to be taking a long time to head up, and that was from saved seed, so with Brassicas tendency to cross pollinate (they are the sluts of the vegetable world), I am a little bit concerned they might be something else….time will tell. I dug in so much compost and the benefits can be seen in the plant growth and unfortunately the weeds, still from the nettles and mallow I know this means my soil is fertile and high in iron and nitrogen.

In between the bricks can be seen growing thyme and oregano, two types the Greek and Wild oregano. The Greek has a much higher flavour and oil content or as I have been learning in my plant science class-the secondary metabolites-Terpenoids that give herbs their taste and aroma, it is a defence mechanism against insect pests, and is stored in glandular hairs (trichomes). The Greek oregano can be distinguished from the wild by the slightly hairy undersides of the leaves.
I guess now I will have more time for all things edible, and should be able to post more often.