Grow Your Green Thumb With A Greenhouse

Posted on 24 April 2017
Grow Your Green Thumb With A Greenhouse

Experts give some of their top tips and advantages of using a Glasshouse... including one from our very own Jaime Turner.

Covering tips like:

  • What would you use it for?
  • How Greenhouses can help with your health
  • Great for friendships
  • Helps protect your plants in seasons

 

Click here to read more

Posted in: Gardening Tips  

The Importance of Mulch

Posted on 21 April 2017
The Importance of Mulch

Mulching is so beneficial for plants, it is an essential part of good garden management. A good organic mulch conserves moisture, prevents weeds, improves water infiltration, protects the soil and adds organic matter as it decomposes.


Materials which decompose more rapidly (eg. hay, straw, immature compost, soft leaves, seaweed) are suitable for annual beds such as vegetables. Materials that decompose more slowly (eg. pine bark, wood chips, tough leaf and twig litter) are more suitable for perennial beds and under permanent plantings such as fruit trees. Synthetic materials such as 'weed mats' inhibit water infiltration and air circulation and are a barrier to the entry of organic materials and access to the surface by worms. They are therefore of no benefit to plants and are not recommended.

Mulch can be applied after sowing seed but it should barely cover the surface so as not to inhibit the emerging seedlings. With established annual and perennial plantings, shrubs and trees, apply a layer of mulch in spring before the hot weather arrives. Maintain this at 5-8 cm depth. Do not over mulch as this can inhibit the entry of water and air into the soil and trap moisture during cold weather. Maintain minimum or no mulch during the winter, particularly in frost prone locations.

Posted in: Gardening Tips  

Grow Your Own Medicinal Herbs

Posted on 15 February 2017
Grow Your Own Medicinal Herbs

When starting out on a gardening venture, many tend to flock toward growing herbs as the first step toward gaining their green thumb initiation.

At Urban Food Garden we believe in the idea of food being medicine. So with the growing season around the corner, we have set about in giving you the knowledge to establish your own medicinal herb garden.

Medicinal herb gardens are edible, ornamental, and will flourish in pots making them great for small spaces. Most medicinal herbs enjoy full sun, which is fantastic in more temperate or dry areas of Australia, however, some are quite happy in partial shade or even indoors. Planting them in a range of small moveable beds and pots makes it easy for you to rearrange from season to season.

There are thousands of different herbs that possess medicinal properties, so we've picked our top 5 that will grow well throughout our harsh Australian Summer to help you get on your way.

Lavender

The mother of floral herbs, lavender has a strong scent and is commonly used as an essential oil either diffused or applied topically. Lavender flowers look beautiful in a garden and can also be dried and infused as a tea.

Benefits: Treatment of anxiety and depression, relaxation, antifungal, antiseptic, settles digestive issues and stomach upsets.

Grow: Plant cutting or seeds in early Spring into a well-drained pot and water weekly. Once established lavender is drought tolerant and flourishes best in full sunlight.

Chamomile

The most common types of Chamomile are Roman and German. Chamomile flowers are perfect in an ornamental garden, or on its own in a pot. To utilise, harvested flower heads can be dehydrated naturally and infused as a tea or applied topically to soothe skin irritations.

Benefits: Holds powerful healing and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Encourages sleep, treatment for colds and fevers helps relieve stomach cramps or digestive issues and soothes skin irritations such as eczema and itchy scalp.

Grow: Sow seeds in a pot in early spring or let flowers seed in a garden bed and transplant accordingly. Grows best in full sun.

Echinacea

A household name for its immune boosting properties, Echinacea is often overlooked in its botanical form and favoured as a store bought medicine or tincture. Not only much more potent in its natural state, Echinacea is easy to grow and manage, while its attractive flowers draw a diverse range of pollinators benefiting the growth of your garden.

Benefits: Anti-inflammatory and immune boosting used to combat viruses and soothe upper respiratory inflammations. Antimicrobial and antibacterial for healing skin wounds and insect bites.

Grow: Perfect for the harsh Australian sun, once established, Echinacea flourishes in hot weather due to their deep tap roots, which allow long-term water storage during drought. Unless controlled in a deep pot, Echinacea is best grown with ample room within the garden, herb or veggie patch.

Peppermint

Like blue jeans and dad jokes, peppermint is a classic amongst any household. Both culinary and medicinal, peppermint can be brewed and drunk as a tea added to summer juices and salads or applied topically as an oil or wash.

Benefits: Antimicrobial, aids in reducing digestive issues such as flatulence, gas and nausea. Reduces headaches, increases alertness relaxes muscles and cools the irritated skin.

Grow: Peppermint grows best in pots as it can become invasive and easily spread throughout a garden bed. Plant in full sun or part shade, ensuring regular water during dry periods.

Sage

Both a medicinal and culinary herb, Sage's genus name, Salvia, means 'to heal' and was first used by the Ancient Egyptians as a fertility drug. Sage is used in cooking to enhance culinary flavour and is still commonly used throughout Chinese medicine as a medicinal herb.

Benefits: Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial commonly used to soothe mouth and throat infections, as well as aid in combating fungal infections such as staphylococcus and candida. Sage can be ingested or applied topically as a therapeutic oil and acts as a digestive and nervous system stimulant when drank as a tonic or tea.

Grow: When plants are small keep soil moist and mist with water. As Sage plants prefer a drier environment, once fully established water only when soil is dry to touch. This tough plant can be grown in pots and prefers full sun.

Posted in: Gardening Tips  

HOW TO SAVE YOUR SEEDS

Posted on 14 February 2017
HOW TO SAVE YOUR SEEDS
Saving seeds is an essential part of you maintaining self-sustainability in your Urban Food Garden. In this short blog we'll give you some quick tips on seed-saving measures to keep you up to speed!

Choose wisely

If you've a parsley plant that is proving large, luscious parsley leaves, then save it's seeds. The genetics of any given plant will be passed on through the seed. If you've a plant which has rushed to seed & is not providing much usable material allow it to finish its cycle & compost it.

Start with easy plants

Sunflowers, lettuces, broccoli. parsley, marigolds & chamomile are great plants to start with as they have easy to harvest seeds. Chamomile & marigolds will naturally drop their seeds very readily, so if you're a green thumb who likes to be in control, catch them early.

Allow the seeds to dry out as the plant dies

As the plant dies off, that's when the seeds are ripe for the picking. To avoid mould & other storage problems, ensure the seeds you harvest are dry! By cutting off the parsley flower when the plant is on its way out, leaving it in the dry air (out of the sun is probably best) & then placing it in a brown paper bag you'll have a higher success rate with re-sowing your seeds.

Storage

Store your seeds in a brown paper bag & make sure you label them with the plant & date you harvested the seeds. This will prevent you from having to open the bags constantly.

Good luck! If you're in need of some more gardening help, give us a call on 1300 799 568.

Posted in: Gardening Tips  

Growing the Community: An Urban Oasis

Posted on 1 February 2017
Growing the Community: An Urban Oasis

Community gardening or 'City Farming' is a term we have seen popping up more regularly of late.

According to the Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network directory,  there is currently 579 'urban garden' efforts in Australia, this includes community gardens, school gardens, verge gardens, urban cooperative farms, and community-supported agriculture efforts.

At Urban food garden, we love nothing more than seeing how gardening can bring people from all races and demographics together. So what exactly are these urban oasis' all about?

Urban gardening is the responsible and creative repurposing of private or public land for food or pleasure.  They create safe spaces to encourage social interaction, bringing together like-minded people, sparking not only friendships but also creating positive movements amongst a community.

Get Creative:

There's no denying it, green is gold when it comes to livening up a drab or dead space.  Community gardens bring soul and interest to an otherwise boring street corner or paved town square. The colour green in nature has also been linked to an increase in innovative and creative thinking.

Gardens can be much more than beds dug into the ground. You can grow them up walls, recycle old wine barrels, or even utilise dead roof space get creative, you may even like to propose your local council make a community event around it.

Waste not, want not:

Urban Gardens can also act as an educational tool to demonstrate how we can live more sustainable lifestyles and contribute to climate change solutions.

Encourage sustainable waste management solutions by installing a compost system that can be used to discard of weeds and plant waste appropriately. This can then be fed back into the garden to encourage new growth and zero waste.

G et back to basics:

It is common for urban dwellers to loose their connection with food, this is especially true for kids that have grown up in the age where supermarkets and fast food haunts reign supreme. Urban gardens help people reconnect with their food and where it comes from by re-establishing a connection with nature.

Build positive relationships between your kids and their food by getting them involved in community urban gardening efforts. If you don't have a local garden already, enquire about building your own city farm, or encourage your kid's school to incorporate one into their curriculum.

If you would like to collaborate with Urban Food Garden on a community garden project get in contact with us on 1300 799 568.

Posted in: Philosophy  

Urban Food Garden, Your Way To A Healthy Future

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