aprogram that will help you grow food, shelter your home from the sun  and windcreate homes   for local wildlife, use water wiselyand recycle waste

 

Featured Resource

Planting seedlings

Spring is a great time to plant your summer seedlings! In this My Smart Garden video Horticulturist Kat Lavers shows us how to plant our seedlings and provides some great advice on pests, watering and avoiding extreme sunlight to keep them happy and healthy.

resources

Food

Ideas tips and tricks on what to grow and when.

Shelter

Use trees and vines to make your home more comfortable all year round.

Water

Be water wise! Learn about ways to be a water warrior.

Habitat

Birds and the bees. How do you make sure they have a happy home?

Waste

Your waste is another worm's treasure.

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Connect with us for seasonal advice, tips and tricks. Get your questions answered and share garden pics with our community.

Now that most trees have set their crop, it’s a good time to think about thinning aka removing some fruit. It feels a bit counterintuitive but this practice has a few advantages: larger and tastier fruit, reducing pests and disease hiding in tight fruit clusters, reducing risk of branch breakage and more consistent fruit production from year to year. If you decide to do it, think about how much weight each branch can hold, and generally space out the best fruits to a handspan apart. Thinning now = best quality fruit and better fruit trees later 👍🍎🌳 Or leave it alone If you prefer! ...

Zebra beans going strong! 💪 I’ll be putting in a few seeds every month until December and a mix of varieties to spread out the harvest 🌱 ...

Now is a great time to prepare a veggie bed for summer! Watch and learn from our gardening expert, Kat Lavers, as she shows you how to clear a garden bed so it's ready for new seedlings! Check out the full video on our Youtube channel. Want more DIY gardening tips? Check the My Smart Garden website for upcoming workshops and sign up for our newsletter (link in profile) ...

Thanks to Kate and Millie who are the winners of our latest photo comp! 📸 Here’s more from Kate: My first ever cauliflower! Due to tiny backyard has been heavily shaded in winter. But goes to show that anything is possible! 🥦🥬🥕
Thanks for the opportunity to enter! Kate & Millie
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Is your soil safe for growing food? For years we’ve been recommending the VegeSafe program as a way for home gardeners to access affordable testing of heavy metal contaminants like lead. Great news is EPA VIC are starting their own program, and it’s going to be free (except sample postage costs). Find out more at this Wed 21 Sept: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/whats-in-your-soil-find-out-with-gardensafe-tickets-399343054827 🌱🌱🌱 ...

Nagami cumquats are a friendly snack-size citrus, with a sweet skin and sour flesh that you can eat whole and straight off the tree. Love their distinctive oval shape! Look out for these ripening now around the city, including here at the Newport Community Hub. 🍊 PS. Citrus trees often get a bit yellow at this time of year, but they usually green up when the soil warms up again. ...

Months of slug and snail vigilance has paid off and we’re approaching peak sauerkraut season! Simply cabbage massaged with approx 2% of its weight in salt, stuffed into a jar with a punch or two of spices and boom! 👊 ...

Finally got around to stringing up these chillies to dry. Love edible house ornaments! 🌶🌶🌶 ...

Gardens are so helpful during financially stressful times, and you don’t have to miss out if you’re renting a small space. 🌱 It’s a good time to revisit Rabea and Steve’s rental unit garden, where they were growing nearly all their herbs and greens in about 4 square meters! Check out their Resourceful Renters segment on Gardening Australia and find out how they make portable wicking pots and a sensational bucket compost system from waste materials. 🪴 Tip: while you can set up the wicking pots this way, just drilling a hole about 10cm from the base and filling the entire bucket with sandy soil/potting mix and compost also does the trick.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dlNpf3O_MsE
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The weather is cold but brassicas are… so hot right now. 🔥😁 Especially love the dew and rain drops settling on the leaves. 💧Amazingly your kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, broccoli and cauliflowers are all the same species (Brassica oleracea). The downside is they can all cross with each other if you’re seed saving. The upside is that if you’re growing cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts, the leaves are basically kale. So don’t miss out on that bonus harvest! 🥦 ...

In our latest case study, meet local gardening legend Shotaro from Altona. He’s a master at making the most of small spaces and setting up gardens on a tiny budget. When he’s not growing much loved Japanese vegetables like edamame, mitsuba, sansho and ashitaba, you’ll find him building incredible compost down at the Altona Community Gardens site in Somers Pde Altona (near Westona train station). Check out the case study on our website (link in profile ☝️🌱) ...

Sure, you could grow lettuce. But if you’re wishing you planted lettuce a few months ago to beat the record prices, here’s an easy alternative.. Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a common garden weed that was once a popular salad green before lettuce stole the spotlight. It is gloriously lush at this time of year, and maybe you already have a crop ready to pick? Boom! The flavour is mild and pleasantly ‘healthy’. Throw it in a salad mix and I bet no one will notice. Obviously make sure you’ve identified it correctly as there are non-edible lookalikes. Some quick ID tips to get you started are white flowers, clear sap and a small spine of hairs down the stem. ...

Bananas in Naarm/Melbourne? Yes you can! Here’s Peter’s epic banana bunch on a Dwarf Cavendish banana in Seaholme. Take note of the position – a north facing spot surrounded by brick and concrete to ward off the winter chills. You’ll need lots of water, compost and nitrogen-rich fertiliser (eg. chook poo), plus a bit of patience as it can take three years to fruit this far south. ...

Trying to balance growing food and looking out for wildlife? 🍎🌳🦇Join us for a free online workshop 7 – 8:30pm on Monday 27 June, introducing you to approaches to combining food and wildlife gardening. It will cover Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and low impact pest management strategies, reducing reliance on synthetic garden chemicals and provide some ideas to help reduce crop losses to wildlife.

Book your free place via our website, link in profile 🌱☝️
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Join us for a free online workshop 12:30-1:30pm this Wed 22 June. In this session on the Gardeners Role in Urban Greening and Cooling, we’ll be looking at climate change and the role vegetation plays in cooling our urban environments. Imagine living, working, playing in green spaces as we go about our daily lives. We all have a role to play in creating an urban forest and this session will explain how you can contribute in your own garden. 🌳🌱☀️

Book your free place via our website, link in profile ☝️
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"Thank you for such an excellent resource. I have learnt to pickle veggies from my garden, how to better care for my worms, and have met a lot of people in my street through chatting about gardening"