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, Wyndham City Council and Stonnington 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.

events

Upcoming Events

instagram

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

Now is the time to prep your veggie beds for spring plantings. Every gardener has a slightly different method - here’s our version: 1) Remove old plants by either cutting at soil level or pulling out at roots. You can either haul these off to the compost pile or chop them up and use as mulch for the next veg crop. 2) Spread a 3-5cm layer of something rich in organic matter (eg. compost, worm castings, mushroom compost, aged cow/horse/sheep manure) across the surface of the bed, along with a handful per square meter of a richer fertiliser like poultry manure or blood and bone. 3) Aerate the soil and gently mix the amendments into the surface by levering the soil with a garden fork. Level the bed with a rake. 4) Water until the whole bed feels like a damp sponge when you poke your finger in. 5) Add a layer of soft mulch like straw, those spent vegies or autumn leaves. 6) Plant your seedlings - or rake away mulch temporarily for seeds - and water them in. How are you preparing your beds this spring? Thanks for the question @cfkristy! 🌱🌱🌱 ...

Are you spotting hoverflies in your garden? These native insects are fabulous garden allies whose young feed on aphids and other small pests in the veggie patch. Attract them with lots of small flowers. Thanks @franceslourey for allowing us to share your pic!

Repost from @franceslourey: Look at these 😃 happy hoverflies in my garden. The front yard is full of hoverflies.
#mysmartgarden #beneficialinsects #inmygarden #innerwestmelbourne #hobsonsbay #springtimejoy #theconscientiouscook #flowersattractbeneficialinsects
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Are your pets looking out for you during lockdown? Mary’s chooks certainly are 😍 A reminder that we’re still here for you too, with places available in our free Soils and Propagation workshops this Sunday and recordings of all previous events (including Backyard Chooks) online! 🐔🌱🐔🌱🐔 ...

Peas, finally! Must remember to put these in a bed that doesn’t need to be reset for spring plantings 🙄 What have you learned in your garden this winter that you want to remember next year? 🌱 ...

We love watching seeds cycle around our community! @localseedsau picked up some cherry tomatoes at one of our seed swaps and this year he’s sharing the ones he saved with others! Nice 👍

Repost @localseedsau: Just shipped some of my own seeds using @meghamfarms tip: reusing @whogivesacraptp packaging. I had only 3 of these heirloom tommy toe plants on my home veggie patch and it produced more than enough cherry tomatoes for my wife and I for the entire season. And so delicious! 🍅
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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! 🥦🥕🥒🥬🌽🍅 ...