PLANT OF THE WEEK
Not a rhyme but a riddle about which herb that grows by the coast, and is used by herbalists and naturopaths.
Let’s find out more. I'm talking with Simone Jeffries, herbalist and naturopath. www.simonejeffriesnaturopath.com.au
The herb rosemary, is pretty hardy in any climate zone and most soils.
Rosemary is regarded as a memory herb, probably because it helps your blood to circulate.
Good for tension headaches and energises you if you drink it as a tea
Steep a large bunch in hot water for 10 minutes in this case.
Use it scones and orange cake or saute rosemary and fresh mushrooms with some butter.
If you have any questions either for me or for Simone drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675
- If you want to improve your soil structure and at the same time add nitrogen to the soil, consider a green manure crop in an overworked vegetable patch.
- Green manure crops are called that because the crop or plants are not for eating but when they are nearly mature, and before they set seed, the oats, or wheat or whatever are slashed and then turned into the soil. This adds nutrients to the soil especially if you use legume type crops.
- Legumes – These add nitrogen (critical for food crops) to the soil, such as cow pea, mung bean, woolly pod vetch, lablab, broad bean, fenugreek and soybean;
- Grains and grasses - These add organic substance to the soil, such as millet, buckwheat and oats.
Try faba bean, field pea, oats and wheat.
- This will improve your soil incredibly, and, for a bit of forward planning, you’ll find it well worth the effort.
- Rake the garden smooth to prepare the seed bed.
- Plant seeds that sprout and grow quickly for your green manure crop. Use what's popular in your area or choose from alfalfa, white clover or wheat or oats.
- Or, recycle any kind of seeds for green manure - leftover flowers, outdated or extra veggies. You can add any out-of-date vegetable seeds you have left over from last season as well. Legumes like beans and peas are especially good, since they’ll fix nitrogen in the soil, but anything else you have will help.
- Just scatter the seed around your garden bed, about two handfuls per square meter. Then lightly rake it over to get the seeds into the dirt, and water it in well. You may need to cover the bed with a net if the birds discover the free feast you’ve laid out for them.
- Fertilize once with organic nitrogen if it seems slow to get growing.
- Let the green manure crop grow 7-10 cm tall. Leave the green manure on the garden until it matures to control erosion and existing weeds in the bed - call it a cover crop.
- Don't let it seed – With legume crops, when the plant begins to seed after flowering, the nitrogen fixing potential of the crop becomes less because the nitrogen is partly used up in seed the forming process.
- With grain/grass crops, they will seed without flowering so if you let them seed, you will have lots of seeds falling into the bed and this will make it hard for you to stop the seeds sprouting of the green manure crop instead o the one you want.
- Cutting it down – When it has reached a good height (half a metre) and is not seeding, cut it down to the ground.
- If it is a small bed, use shears. If it is a large space, use a mower.
- Place all the green matter back on the bed and it will cover the bed and the roots of all the plants will remain in the soil.
- Leave the bed for about a month and don't dig up the crop, let it rot in the bed. It should not grow back because you haven’t let it seed.
- Cover the newly dug bed with a blanket of organic mulch until planting time.
- Use green manure crops in every unplanted vegetable, herb and flower bed.
- Plant also in compacted areas - such as under trees - and newly graded lots.
- Allow little roots to break up the soil, which will aerate and renew its structure, before you plant a new lawn.
Last week was part 1 of cool sub-tropics which is a zoning not mentioned before by any gardening book I know.
I'm talking with Peter Nixon, garden Designer & project Manager from Paradisus Garden design.
Cool sub-tropics is not a zone you would normally think of but there it is.
Peter mentioned plants for shade:
Lobelia laxiflora 1.2m height with orange/yellow flowers;
Plants for semi-shade:
Plectranthus ecklonii and P. grandis with blue flowers
If you have any questions for Peter or for me, you know what to do..
THE GOOD EARTH
Soft plastics such as what you use for wrapping your sandwiches are just as much of a problem as the bags because, it doesn’t break down ever.
So what else can you wrap your sandwiches in other than putting it in a plastic container?
So let’s find out.
|Beeswax wraps for food storage|
You can spend the dollars and buy the ready-made beeswax wraps, or you can do it yourself quite cheaply.
So go on, kick the plastic habit and make some beeswax wraps yourself