Feb 182020
 

(Queensland fruit fly. Photo © Agriculture Victoria)

Queensland fruit fly is a significant pest that has been found in areas of Victoria for a few years now. Recently there is evidence the fly is establishing itself in Melbourne and surrounds. It feeds on a wide range of fruits and vegetables, and is understandably causing a great deal of anxiety for both home gardeners and commercial growers. Queensland fruit fly from the start of spring and through summer and autumn. They are able to survive mild winters as well.
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Jan 292020
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

As I write this in mid January, thunderstorms have hit Melbourne, lightning has started a fire in the Otways and floods and downed trees will be creating yet more work for the indefatigable SES volunteers. The firefighters in the CFA and MFB have been extraordinary in their bravery, dedication and skill, now aided by the military. The bush fires started in NSW in September, QLD followed shortly after and fires hit eastern Victoria, SA and WA in late December.  It has been a hellish summer.  We are only half way through. If you want to donate to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, 100% will go directly to the affected communities.

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Jan 202020
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

As the temperature begins to rise and water conservation continues to impact on gardeners, people are watering less and are looking to find alternatives for vegetation. But by using some simple planting techniques you can help to decrease the heat around your home and in turn reduce energy consumption.

In response to global warming and water restrictions across the country, politicians are suggesting quick fix strategies to combat climate change. The latest suggestion to come out of Western Australia is that we need to get rid of lawns because they are impractical. But as members of the gardening and landscape industry what we really need is long-term solutions.

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Dec 012019
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Long summer evenings, friends over for dinner, weekends reading outside in the shade, gardening with the radio on…..finally summer is here.

I love Christmas because I don’t stress over it. I can always grab a plant from work for a last minute gift, and the current preoccupation with indoor plants and decorator pots has made it soooo easy. You can tailor the choice to the person’s personality: sleek modern, folksy rustic, quirky handmade, its all available. Just slip a plant into the appropriate pot – job done.

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Oct 312019
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

This is probably the busiest month of the year for gardeners. Warmer temperatures and the recent rains make for perfect planting conditions. As you can see from the pic above, it is also Tomato Time! Cup Weekend is traditionally the ideal time in Melbourne to get your tomatoes into the ground. In the rest of your garden, plants are either busily flowering or pushing out new growth. Birds, spiders, lizards and ladybirds are feasting on aphids, whiteflies and other sap sucking insects that love to feed on new spring growth. Allow predators to thrive in your garden by reducing or eliminating spraying, planting lots of flowers and creating a diverse and nature friendly garden.

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Cucumbers

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Oct 012019
 

When selecting the right cucumber for you there are a few things to consider. Regular or burpless, small or large, long or round. The regular cucumbers generally have a bitter skin that requires peeling, whereas you can eat the skin of a burpless and remain indigestion-free (probably best in front of the Queen). The skin is very good for you!

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Basil

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Oct 012019
 

Basil (Photograph by Bulleen Art & Garden)

Basil is one of the best known herbs in the world, and with good reason. It’s tasty, attractive and very easy to grow. With over 100 different species to choose from, Basil is never faulty!
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Sep 302019
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

The soil is warming, and plants are loving it. Enjoy spring with its  blossoms and fresh new leaves, and go out and get your hands dirty. The nursery is now fully stocked with plants for every situation, and as far as months go, they don’t come much more ideal than October for getting into the garden.

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Tomatoes

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Sep 242019
 

Tomatoes pic taken at a market in Italy by Maria Ciavarella

Who doesn’t love a tomato? Delicious home grown tomatoes are easy to grow, taste great, and you control what gets sprayed on them, if anything at all. Many different varieties are available including heritage varieties, from which you can collect your own seed to sow next season, and dwarf varieties suitable for growing in pots. Tomatoes are great for kids to grow, as they grow fast and produce lots of delicious fruit, especially cherry tomatoes. So even if you only have a balcony for a garden, you can grow delicious fresh tomatoes. You can raise tomatoes from seed or as seedlings, however to grow from seed you will need to have planted them by mid-September.

Please be aware that we stock tomatoes from late September due to customer demand for them, however late October to early November is the perfect time to plant your tomato seedlings. Tomato seedlings planted before this will need to be protected from cold temperatures and frosts.

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Sep 102019
 

Vegepod Raised Garden Bed Kits give you the best of both worlds and more. You get the size of a raised garden bed with all the benefits of container gardening. Not only that, you also get the benefit of an Raised Garden Bed Cover that extends growing seasons and accelerates plant growth.

Garden maintenance is minimal and watering is only required during the early stages of plant growth. Vegepod Raised Garden Bed Kits are simply the easiest way to grow your own vegetables.

Aug 062019
 

Soil… most people just think of it as dirt, something to grow a few plants in, and maybe something to play in when you are young. However, (healthy) soil is a living, breathing organism, vital for the health and well-being of our precious plants out in the garden. And just as we feed and nurture our plants, so must we feed and nurture our soils. But what determines a healthy soil, how do we achieve it, and how will it benefit us as gardeners?

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Aug 032019
 

Companion Planting (Photograph by Bulleen Art & Garden)

Many vegetables grow well with other plants in the garden and, using a few basic principles, organic gardeners can really have nature on their side in the biological control of pests.

The most commonly documented companion plants help to repel pests when planted alongside vegetables. Other plants attract pest predators to the vegetable patch. Some plant roots secrete substances that repel pests or provide nutrients to the plants around them. These plant interactions can work in specific ways between two or three types of plants or species.
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