Composting - The Phases
             

By Lockyer Organic Group
Images
Dave Grubb

 

 

   

Continuing on from last issue, this article investigates the problems that may occur in the compost heap and the implications for the soil and plants where poor or ‘immature’ compost is produced. This may often resemble mulch rather than a soil-conditioning compost.

The Three Phases of Composting
Three distinct phases can be identified during the composting process. Distinct composting factors can be identified at each phase.

The most critical is the steady increase in temperature to a maximum during the active phase after which the temperature will stabilise and finally drop.

The three phases are:

  • Consolidation Phase
  • Active Phase
  • Curing Phase
 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty One
 
 
Note worm activity.
 
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Climbing Vegetables
             


 

 

   

Every garden needs to have a spot for climbing vegetables. Arno King takes a look at some of the hardiest summer garden vegetables that are the most productive per square metre of soil – particularly relevant to today’s smaller gardens.

One of the most important elements is the provision of a support on which to climb. There are many options and selection should be based on the type of vegetables you intend to grow, the space you have available and your budget.

Many support structures can be highly ornamental, and make the vegetable garden an area of great beauty. Consider using bamboo, timber and old branches rather than some of the less aesthetic options such as chicken wire.

Also covered are:

  • Stakes
  • Teepees
  • Frames and Trellis
  • Horizontal Trellis
  • Cylinders
  • Arches
  • Pergolas
  • Dunny, Watertank or Garden Shed
 
From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty One
 
 
Freeform teepee in Woodbridge garden.
 
Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia)
 
New Guinea Bean/Wild Bottle Gourd (Lagenaria siceraria)
 
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Calamondins & cumquats
             

Paul Plant

 

 

   

Cherished in small gardens and a necessity for anyone interested in self-sufficiency are these two types of citrus with small fruits, the calamondins and the cumquats, also spelt as kumquat. A lover of these mini-citrus trees, Paul Plant looks into their differences, how to grow them and how to use them in the kitchen.

Big is not always the best, nor necessarily the easiest to grow. Think
about tomatoes – big fleshed varieties such as ‘Ox Heart’ seem to be much harder to grow than the small sized Cherry Tomatoes. Likewise, the smaller fruiting citrus of calamondins and cumquats seem to be easier for the majority of gardeners, having less problems and yet more prolific in production.

  • Calamondin (x Citrofortunella microcarpa)
  • Cumquat
  • Culture
  • Problems
  • Recipe
 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty One
 
 
Variegated calamondin
 
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Native Mints - Mentha species
             

By the Queensland Bushfood Association
Lead Image
Graeme White

Download the Bushfood Recipe as found on p.59 of STG Issue 20.

Bushfood 20

   
 

 

   

Native mints, that is true mints of the genus Mentha in the Lamiaceae family, are not often seen in cultivation and can be difficult to source in most garden centres.

Native Mentha species are worth growing as they are useful in sunny or shady, moist situations in the garden and can be used as a culinary herb.

Species mentioned are:

  • River Mint (Mentha australis)
  • Slender Mint (Mentha diemenica)
 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty One
 
 
Bittersweet Chocolate Torte with Native mint
 
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