Acidified Bleach

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Dr David Bromwich is a retired occupational hygienist who dabbles with gardening.


I dislike using chemicals in the garden, but when I find there is a safer, better way to use a chemical, then my interest is piqued. It is common to use dilute bleach as a disinfectant to kill a range of micro-organisms, but the effectiveness of bleach can be safely enhanced. Much of the recent research into enhanced bleach has come from studies into remediation after anthrax bioterrorism incidents.

When bleach is used to kill moulds, it tends to just discolour the melanin pigment in the mould but may not kill it. Instead, the mould retaliates forming a protective membrane and uses external enzymes (exoenzymes) to neutralise the bleach – and use it as food. Several weeks later, the mould is again visible and very much alive.


From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Five
Acidified Bleach
Acidified Bleach
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A Poly Tunnel


Keen plant collector Carol Evans from Bundaberg was in need of a new structure to protect her cherished bromeliads. Solution?

Build a cost effective shade tunnel approx 9m x 3m!

This tunnel shape was reportedly far less prone to damage by strong winds – as proven on the 25th-26th of January 2013 when subject to high winds from Cyclone Oswald.

Cost – $400.


From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Five
A Poly Tunnel
A Poly Tunnel
A Poly Tunnel
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Mt Molloy State School

Text and Images
supplied by the School



Mt Molloy State School students have had a small food garden on and off for many years. Since 2008 it has grown into a tropical oasis where all who visit can find something new and different to touch, smell and taste.

The lushness is ephemeral and comes and goes with the seasons – wet and dry – each year bringing new experiences and lessons in the art of food gardening. After joining one of the national Garden programs in 2011 the benefits of incorporating garden activities into the curriculum have opened the garden gate to learning opportunities. Each week our 29 students enjoy gardening, harvesting, cooking and sharing a meal together. Students also keep journals for both kitchen and garden which go on display in the school’s foyer.

Our garden is one big experiment – students, staff, parents and community members all benefit from the learning opportunities the garden offers.


From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Five
Harvest table display.
Winter harvest table in the garden.
Harvest on display in our kitchen.
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Garden Calendar
Arno King


Late summer rains that seem to have continued into early autumn have inspired many gardeners into a frenzy of buying plants and planting them in the garden. This is great news as they will establish well before the brunt of winter and race off swiftly once the warmth of spring comes.

The coming months in much of Australia’s north are generally dry with clear sunny days and occasional light showers. This is when your rainwater tanks will be important. The rain you collected over summer and autumn will be used over the coming 2-6 months (depending on the size of your tank and garden). If you need to buy in extra water... buy water! Those who rely on rain water recognise the importance and value of water more than city gardeners who have access to unlimited potable water on tap.

Information is given for what to do in each of the months:

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August

Special information is also provided for:

  • Vegetable planting schedule for May, June, July and August for subtropics and tropics.
  • Annual planting schedule for May through August.

The full Vegetables and Annuals Planting Schedule for this months is also available.


From a 5 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Five
Check the worm farm in May.
Apply liquid seaweed to tropical plants such as Globba winitii ‘White Dragon’ to minimise stress from cold.
Mixed annuals in display.
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