Composting - Good Management or Good Luck?

By Lockyer Organic
Growers Inc.




The role of organic matter in soils was explained in Issue 18 (page 55), as were the key ingredients needed to produce that black (or dark-brown) ‘gold’: compost. These key ingredients include temperature, volume, containment, the appropriate mix of material (brown and green), and the need for WATER. In this article we shall look at that composting process. If we understand the process we will remove the element of ‘luck’.

Conditions for the Creatures

  • Beetle larvae, cockroaches and slaters will prefer warm and
    drier conditions.
  • Soldier fly maggots and compost worms prefer warm and moist conditions, but NOT sodden.
  • Fungi prefer drier conditions.
  • Bacteria prefer warm and moist conditions.
  • All will tolerate moderate variations, but NOT extremes.
  • Very dry conditions will encourage ants and these will tend to
    deter other (beneficial) critters.

Carbon:Nitrogen Ratio
Issue 18 recommended the basic ratio of 1:6 i.e. one measure (e.g. bucket) of green material to six measures of brown material.

From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Nineteen
These modified, recycled, containers maintain optimum moisture levels during the composting process.
Numerous creatures including soldier fly larvae are important to the composting process.  Do not kill them when you see them.
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Cherry Tomato




Continuing the series on hardy vegetables that we should all be growing in our warm climate gardens, this issue Arno King investigates the humble Cherry Tomato.

Everyone is familiar with the Cherry Tomato – we see it in packs at the
grocers and supermarkets, it sometimes appears all on its own in the garden, and if we are sensible we have a few plants growing in our vegetable gardens. A well grown plant will provide the gardener with more fruit than they can ever eat. But do not worry, these tomatoes make great sauces, preserves or can be given away to grateful friends.
Unlike the standard tomato, which judging by the questions on radio talkback and in gardening magazines must be one of the hardest vegetables to grow well, the Cherry Tomato is fairly undemanding. It is a great vegetable (scientifically a fruit, legally a vegetable) to grow if you are new to gardening.

Cherry Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum var. cerasiforme syn. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme) is a variety of the common Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum syn. Solanum lycopersicum). The other popularly grown species is the Currant Tomato (Lycopersicon pimpellifolium syn. Solanum pimpellifolium). This last species has tiny acid fruit in attractive bunches.

From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Nineteen
Cherry Tomato
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Fruit in Small Gardens

Paul Plant




With limited space anyone can grow edible vegetables in pots, hanging baskets and even on roof tops. What about fruit? Are fruit trees
just restricted to orchards and extensive properties?

With the right selection of smaller growing plants it is possible to grow a harvestable crop of luscious fruit. The following suggestions are just a sample of the diverse range of fruiting plants suitable for warm climates.

Fruiting Shrubs for Pots

  • Acerola (Malpighia glabra)
  • Camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia)
  • Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana)
  • Ceylon Hill Gooseberry (Rhodomyrtus tomentosa)
  • Citrus – Calamondin, Lemons, Limes, Native Finger Limes, etc.
    (Citrus spp.)
  • Grumichama (Eugenia brasiliensis)
  • Midgen Berry (Austromyrtus dulcis)
  • Miracle Fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum)
  • Natal Plum (Carissa macrocarpa)
  • Pitanga/Brazilian Cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
  • Strawberry Guava (Psidium cattleianum var. cattleianum)

Small Fruit Trees for the Warm Climate Garden

  • Babaco (Vasconcellea × heilbornii prev. Carica × heilbornii notho var. pentagona)
  • Banana (Musa spp.)
  • Carambola (Averrhoa carambola)
  • Cherry of the Rio Grande (Eugenia cerasiflora prev. Eugenia aggregata)
  • Jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora)
  • Kei Apple (Dovyalis caffra)
  • Pawpaw (Carica papaya)
  • Riberry (Syzygium leuhmannii)
  • Tamarillo (Solanum betaceum prev. Cyphomandra betacea)
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Nineteen
Kei Apple
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Creating a bushfood rainforest garden - Part 2

By the Queensland Bushfood Association

Download the Bushfood Recipe as found on p.61 of STG Issue 19.

Bushfood 18




In STG Issue 18 we addressed the need to take certain elements
into consideration when planning the layout of your bushfood garden and considering such things as existing vegetation and underground services.

It is a good idea to commit your thoughts to paper and draw up a plan of the site. This will not only aid with the initial positioning of plants, it will prove useful in keeping a record of your planting. By marking the position and canopy coverage of any existing trees, you can determine whether they may have a detrimental effect on the growth and vigor of your bushfood plants. Depending on the species, they may affect light penetration, causing spindly growth and poor fruiting or they may compete heavily for available nutrients and water.

Growing tropical or subtropical bushfood plants is not much different from growing any rainforest species, except that their requirements are more
like those for fruit trees, that is if you want a consistent and reliable harvest.

From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Nineteen
Bushfood Garden
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Claire Bickle




Claire Bickle continues with her series of articles on domesticated birds, this time looking at ducks and geese.

There is something remarkably intelligent about waterfowl, especially ducks. It’s a certain look in their eyes, a sort of knowing. They can be quite
tame and over the years I have had many a special relationship with particular geese and ducks I have owned.

One of the great things about waterfowl is that they are nowhere near as destructive as chickens and therefore much better to have free-ranging in the garden. Be aware however, both have runny droppings which can smell and attract flies if good husbandry is not maintained.

Topics cover:

  • Benefits
    • Keeping Waterfowl
    • Water
    • Feed
    • Housing
    • Health
  • Breeds of Ducks
  • Breeds of Geese
  • Where to find
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Nineteen
Khaki Campbell duck.
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