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

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

 

COVID-19 - we're here for you

My Smart Garden partner Councils 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.

Featured Resource

Urban quail keeping

Would you like fresh, golden-yoked eggs and feathered company in your tiny urban backyard or courtyard? Most people have only ever used chicken eggs in the kitchen, but many other birds have been domesticated for egg production. Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) are a fantastic alternative in urban areas where space and noise constraints preclude a backyard chicken flock. Join Kat Lavers as she discusses the joys of keeping quails in the city.

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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

Small space big harvest

Small space big harvest

Climate Emergency Talk

Climate Emergency Talk

instagram

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

Summer pruning is here but usually best to wait til after harvest or you risk sunburn on fruit (like this persimmon)! When your fruit trees are at the maximum height you want, pruning in summer helps to control growth and prioritise fruit over branch production. Cuts also heal faster and are less prone to fungal infection. Do try to keep leafy shade over the branch framework though - fruit isn’t the only part of a tree that gets sunburn! 🌳🌞😎 ...

Wild strawberries are the lollies of the home garden 🥰 They crop over a long season, they’re great under fruit trees as a living mulch and the flowers are a valuable attractor for pollinating and predatory insects too! There are well-behaved clumping varieties, and rare plant nurseries also have some running varieties that create a weed-suppressing blanket 👍 ...

The largest seeds saved from the best snow pea crop yet! A small but precious harvest that will go along way towards another bumper crop next spring. ‘Keep the best and eat the rest’ 🌱 ...

Tomato lateral shoots - stay or go? 🌱🍅🌱 This gardener (growing the tall, ‘indeterminate’ varieties) pinches them out for the first month or two so there’s good airflow around the base of the plants, but tends to get lazy as the festive season approaches and lets the vines do as they please later in the year. Do you have a strategy for laterals? 🍅 ...

Baby preying mantids are easy to spot on nets at this time of year. They start off about 1cm long but by the end of the season they’ll be 10 times that size and a terrifying predator for your garden pests 💪 ...

Lovely pic here from @nessiegretski showing productive pear grafts onto an ornamental pear rootstock. Congrats! 👏

So happy with how this is going. I did 2 rounds of grafts with my ornamental pear (I thought I was buying a Josephine - I don't think the seller realised). One in mid/late winter (all failed) and one in early spring just before the buds started bursting (about 40% successful). I use both electrical tape and parafilm to graft, d2p2nding what I have on hand. Slightly prefer the parafilm as it breaks as the graft site swells and easier to work with and get off. But as you can see here, electrical tape has working just fine. I'll leave the tapes on a bit longer for support. Thanks @mysmartgarden for your guidance

Comfrey growing underneath my fruit trees for nutrients, protection in summer and weed control
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Keeping weeds under control in the veggie patch is a pleasure when they are edible 😋 This garden bed has been carefully curated over several years so that non-edible weeds have been unable to set seed and are now rare. Today the regular volunteers are rocket, cress, chickweed and amaranth. At this time of year they make the most tender and delicious spring salad. This is the last little patch to eat through before the carrots close over the rows and suppress further germination 🥗 ...

Broad bean season in full swing! A great crop to plant around deciduous fruit trees to make maximum use of all that winter sun ☀️🌱 ...

Grafting is a brilliant way to pack more diversity into your home orchard as well as improving pollination and spreading out your harvest. This one is Bramley’s Seedling - one of England’s favourite cooking apples, growing on a Rome Beauty apple. The red is a bit of wax (reused cheese wax) used to prevent moisture loss 👍🌱🌳 ...

Carrots after first thinning to about an inch apart. This’ll be a good spacing for the early baby ones, and the rest will be thinned again to 5cm apart once they get a little bigger. Young carrot tops make delish pesto too 🌱 ...

Nothing more delicious in spring than a handful of snow peas ☺️ These are growing on the southern edge of my veggie bed, politely minding their own business while the rest of the bed was reset and seeded to carrots. Not a heavy yielder but worth it for the transitional crop between plantings. Eating the shoots as well to bump up the harvest! 👍🌱 ...

🌱 Win $100 of free plants! 🌱
We are working to improve the My Smart Garden and we want to hear from you! You could win one of 10 vouchers to a local nursery to the value of $100 just by taking our survey. Your feedback will provide us with valuable insights, help us improve your experience of My Smart Garden and shape our future events and programs. Terms and Conditions apply. Link in profile 🐝
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Quail lending a helping hand getting the veggie beds ready for spring plantings. They’re doing a great job vacuuming up earwigs, slugs and snails as well as fertilising the soil. Also pecking at weeds and last season’s crops.. all while having a rather lovely day out - lots of sunbaking and dust bathing going on too ☺️🐦🐣 ...

Tomatoes only a few weeks away from planting out! 🍅 These will be thinned down to the strongest in each punnet. Growing Tommy Toe, Black Cherry, Juane Flamme, Red Fig, Black Beauty and Broad Ripple Yellow Currant. What are your fav varieties for Melbourne? ...

Sprouting broccoli just keeps going after you’ve picked the central head. That is.. as long as you keep harvesting and don’t let it flower. So broc is definitely on the menu today and we’ll be eating these tender leaves and stems as well. Got any favourite recipes? 🥦🥦🥦 ...

Oh hello little tomatoes! 🌱🍅 These babies have germinated indoors and will now get outdoor daytime excursions in the sunshine while keeping cosy indoors at night 🌞 In warm inner-city Melbourne you’ll get a month of extra tomatoes if you start them early in a warm microclimate, plus they are more robust by the time summer pests take hold 👍 (NB: this is for indeterminate, continuously fruiting types rather than determinate that crop all at once) ...

"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"