aprogram that will help you grow food, shelter your home from the

sunand windcreate homes  for local wildlife, use water wiselyand recycle wastes.

 

COVID-19 - we're here for you

My Smart Garden partner Councils (Hobsons Bay City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Moonee Valley City Council, Brimbank City Council and Wyndham City Council) are taking a precautionary approach to the coronavirus (COVID 19) spread and we have cancelled all non-essential face-to-face external programs. The health and safety of our community members is our number one priority.

While our face-to-face events have ceased during the pandemic, we are stepping up our online support and offering free online workshops and our newsletters will continue so you can still access reliable, free sustainable gardening advice tailored to Melbourne, and to connect with other local gardeners.

Missed a recent online event?

No worries, you can check out our past online events HERE.

"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"

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.

instagram

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

The weather’s still chilly to be sure, but spring is is very much upon us according to the plum tree. Feels a little earlier this year. What’s happening at your place? 🌷🌺🌼🌹🌸 ...

Tomato seeds are up! If you’re in the warmer built up parts of Melbourne you can get away with planting tomato seeds now. Trick is to germinate them in a warm indoor microclimate and once they’ve sprouted take them outside for little day trips in the sunshine. Back indoors at night until the warmer weather arrives. Early planting means an extra month of tomatoes for the indeterminate types. That’s heaps more tomato salad, bruschetta, sauces.. aka tomato bliss! 🍅🥰🍅 ...

Sorrel (Rumex scutatus) is a fantastic year-round perennial vegetable, but it especially shines in spring when the leaves are most tender and when there is less ready to pick in the patch. It has lemony leaves that can be used as a herb, finely sliced in salad, or can be cooked as a green like spinach. It also benefits neighbouring plants by catching nutrients that have leached into the subsoil with it’s deep roots and bringing them back to the surface where they can be accessed by other plants. 🌱🌱🌱 ...

A backyard flock is great company during lockdown. 🐔🐔🐔 Wanna learn how to keep chooks? We have you covered with our next online workshop! Chicken expert Ella Boyen from Chooktopia (@farmer_ella) will cover the essentials of setting up a safe place for chickens, selecting varieties and caring for healthy, happy chooks in the suburbs. 🐣

Register through our website - link in profile 👆
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Citrus heaven! 🍊🍋🍊🍋🍊This family are one of the few to ripen fruit in winter and spring - if you choose the right varieties, that is.. Always worth planning your fruiting calendar for a consistent year round harvest rather than dealing with a massive surplus all at once. This double grafted Imperial/Emporer mandarin was selected to produce fruit from June to July and certainty brightens up the winter garden 👍 🌦🌞🌳☔️ ...

Division is an easy method of propagating clumping plants like this French Sorrel. Dig up the clump and gently pull apart, using secateurs or scissors to sever connecting roots, and trim leaves and any damaged roots. Replant or pot up and water in. Here one clump has become four new plants 👍🌱 ...

Been on any night patrols of your patch lately? You might be surprised how many critters are active when their predators (ie. birds) are asleep! Earwigs, slugs, snails and some caterpillars will be making their presence known at this time of year, and knowing who is responsible for the damage will help you plan a safe and effective response. ...

Here’s a clever trick for small space gardening from My Smart Garden participant @danbreves. This tiny walled courtyard garden is getting a little extra sunshine thanks to sneaky mirror placement! Mirrors and light coloured walls or temporary panels really boost plant growth over the darker months. Silverbeet, mustards, rocket, parsley, mint and Lebanese land cress are all good choices for shadier spaces. Thanks for sharing this tip Daniel! 🌱💡🌱💡🌱 ...

What is an heirloom vegetable anyway? Heirlooms are things of value handed down from one generation to the next, so heirloom vegetables are valuable, local varieties passed between gardeners and farmers. This gorgeous ‘Green Macerata Cauliflower is an Italian heirloom (now growing happily in a Melbourne suburban garden). There are still a few places in our Heirloom Seed Saving workshop this Saturday - book via our website (link in profile 👆). Thanks for the question @dianafvidovic! 🥦🥕🥒🥬🌽🍅 ...

Want edible olives even faster? Now this is fun! Get yourself an empty beer stubby (or other bottle with a concave base) and use it to smash the olives. Not smash them to smithereens, but squash just to split them open a bit. You’re loosening the stone which will make the curing process even faster.
This is the final in our olive preserving posts from @mygreengarden - check back through the feed for other low-effort options and advice on how to put them under brine to cure 👍
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Biodiversity is the theme for this year’s World Environment Day, and to mark the occasion we’re putting on a workshop to help you safeguard our agricultural biodiversity through seed saving. It’s an online event 10 - 11:30 am Saturday 6 June. Head on over to our website to book your place (link in profile 👆)
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Downside of cabbage white butterfly-proof netting is finding predators like this preying mantis looking for a way in! You can never do just one thing in a garden ecosystem 🌱🐛🦋🐌🐞🐜🕷🕸🌱 ...

Did you catch these local legends on Gardening Australia? Rabea and Steve from Altona are growing all their greens and herbal teas in a garden that is totally portable in only 4 square meters! Check out the Resourceful Renter story (Series 31 Episode 11) to find out how you can do the same! 🌱🌱🌱 https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/resourceful-renter/12155080 ...

Here’s another way to cure your #olives. If you make a slit (or two!), this helps the bitter components leach out more quickly. Basically the more effort you put into prepping the olives, the faster they will cure and be ready for you to eat! Thanks to @mygreengardenau for this video, produced as part of our recent Backyard Olives event. There’s a link to the recording in our May eNewsletter if you missed it! 🌳 ...

Wanna design your own edible oasis? A thoughtful garden design means better results with less effort. Join us this Saturday 16 May as we explore the process of permaculture design in a typical suburban garden. We’ll work out our host's goals and wishlist, learn how to do a site analysis, talk about design considerations like sun, wind, water, access and plants and sketch up a design for a low maintenance productive garden.​ This is a free online event for Melbourne gardeners, bookings essential (link in profile ☝️) 🐓🌱🍇🌞💧🌳🍅🥑 ...