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Posts Tagged ‘plants’

Growing Pigeon Peas

Lets talk about Pigeon Peas (Cajanus cajan)

They are small trees or shrubs. We have one growing in the garden. Pigeon peas are nitrogen fixers, deep rooted , very edible and easy to grow short lived plants.
The pigeon pea is a perennial legume from the family Fabaceae. Since its domestication in India at least 3,500 years ago, its seeds have become a common food grain in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Wikipedia
 It is very high in protein, potassium, dietary fibre and  contains calcium, iron, Vit B6 and magnesium.
 You can find out all about this versatile plant at this website.
Growing Pigeon Peas, An Incredibly Versatile Permaculture Plant
Image result for pigeon pea plant

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Seed Raising

Here is the original post by Anne-Marie from June 2011. We miss you. Hope you are having a wow of a time in your mobile home.

Hi everyone,

Let’s get seed-raising for our First Birthday Spring Fair celebration so we can have spectacular flowers, vegetables and herbs growing throughout the garden.

Here’s how to start your seeds growing in winter, for spring planting, by making up a seed protection box using one of those foam boxes you can pick for free from a green grocery shop/fruit market (they usually throw them out so just make sure the boxes are without holes in the bottom or sides).

What you need to get the seeds growing:

  • 1 protection foam box
  • Either single cell punnets or multi cell punnets (clean with warm soapy water and dry before adding growing mixture
  • Seeds (one variety per punnet; if you have enough seed then one variety per box)
  • Seed growing mix
  • Masking tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Plastic spray bottle  filled with water
  • Clear plastic (enough to cover top of box to keep seeds & young seedlings warm)
  • 4 sticks for box (sticks should be the height of box plus 6”)
  • Seeds
  • A couple of bricks or something to hold the 4th side down

What to do:

  1. Cut the foam box down to 2” above height of seed punnets.
  2. Use the masking tape to tape a stick to each inside corner of the foam box
  3. Label each punnet using masking tape (or paddle pop sticks). If you have the same seeds for the whole box just write the name of the seed etc on the outside of the box.
  4. Add a very thin layer of water to bottom of foam box.
  5. Fill punnets with prepared plant raising mix
  6. If the seeds are very small put about 2 to 3 seeds per cell for multi-cell punnets. Larger seeds put 2 in each cell.
  7. Very lightly spray the punnets with water using the plastic spray bottle.
  8. Use the clear plastic to cover the box.  Take it over the top of the sticks and down over the 4th side of the box. Tape plastic to 3 sides on the box but leave the 4th side loose.  Don’t tape this side down as you need to be able to water the seeds with the spray bottle.  Just tuck the plastic under a couple of bricks to hold it down over the box and to keep the seeds from the weather.
  9. Put the box in a sheltered place but with plenty of light.  Once the seedlings are up you can gradually bring them out into the sun and when there are stronger you can take the plastic off and they should be ready for transplanting into the community garden.
  10. Make sure that the seeds do not dry out but also make sure that you don’t have them swimming in water.  When the seeds come up watere regularly and don’t let them dry out.
  11. Once the seedlings are growing strongly we can start planting them.

Here’s a list of plants that will grow well at the community garden:

Edible flowers:

  • Pansies
  • Johnny-Jump-ups Viola tricolor
  • Small Snapdragons Antirrhinum majus
  • Yellow gem marigolds
  • Calendula
  • Cornflowers Centaurea cynaus
  • Sundews Portulacas   (these can also be grown from small plant cuttings)
  • Carnations Dianthus caryophyllus
  • Pinks Dianthus
  • Impatiens Impatiens wallerana
  • Native Violets & Violets

Salad greens :

  • Migunette lettuce (Red and green)
  • Butter lettuce

Veggies:

  • Tomatoes
  •  Rainbow Chard
  • English Spinach & Spinach

Herbs:

  • Coriander or Cilantro
  • Bee Balm Monarda didyma
  • French Lavender
  • Dill
  • Angelica Angelica archangelica
  • Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum 
  • Borage Borago officinalis
  • Burnet Sanquisorba minor
  • Chevil
  • Marjoram (will grow by cuttings)
  • Sage (any different species would be great) we already have the common Sage and Pineapple Sage (will grow by cuttings)
  • Ground cover rosemary (will also grow by cutting)
  • Lemon thyme
  • Ground cover thyme
  • Common thyme
  • Savoury
  • Chives and garlic chives
  • French Tarragon

If you have any other herbs to spare that would be great as we will start up a herb garden

Another homemade small greenhouse can be made using a large plastic soft drink bottle.

  1. Take the lid off and keep for use after you have completed your greenhouse
  2. Cut the plastic bottle in half (lengthways) using a knife
  3. Put growing soil in one half of the container and sow tomato seeds in this
  4. Spray with water
  5. Use masking tape to seal up the two sides of the bottle
  6. You can put the lid back on
  7. Water through the lid as needed (keep the soil moist but not wet
  8. Put near a window but not too close (keep it warm but not hot)
  9. Watch your seeds grow and when they are near the top of the little greenhouse then they are ready to plant.

Some other plant growing containers

You can also use a foam box (this time with holes) and plant tomato seeds in there (use a good soil mix with plenty of old manure for this one)

Use a very large clear plastic bag over the whole box and water as necessary (again keep the soil moist but not wet).  You should get a lot of seeds come up this way.

The same method can be used with an ordinary pot to grow cuttings or seeds.  Use a small pot for seeds and larger one for cuttings.

You also need some sticks to hold the plastic bag up and masking tape to hold the bag down around the pot.  Same deal water as needed.

Happy potting

Anne-Marie McArdle

MVCG’s Roving Gardener

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You know when I was a kid, more than 50years ago, the Sydney region climate was classed as temperate. Now we are definitely sub-tropical.

The good thing about growing your own, is that you can create micro-climates in your gardens and grow plants with different climate requirements at the same time.

So this list is for sub-tropical Sydney from Gardenate http://www.gardenate.com/plants

Broad beans; Fava beans, Beetroot, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Chives, Collards, Endive, Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard greens, Onion, Parsnip, Peas, Radish, Rocket, Shallots; Eschalots, Silverbeet; Swiss Chard, Snow Peas; Sugar Peas.

You can also click onto this blog’s planting guide pages for more information.

Happy Gardening

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Nasturtium is known for its warm cheerful flowers which are often used as a culinary garnish. All parts of the plant are edible, and have a peppery taste similar to watercress. Sow nasturtiums around the base of fruit trees to deter codling moth, woody aphids and borers. Alternatively, make an insect controlling spray by infusing nasturtium leaves in boiling water. Nasturtium is also grown as a companion plant to vegetables to improve pest resistance.

nastursium

 

from Northey St City Farm News – JUNE 2014

(more…)

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Kirsten extolls the benefits of azolla.

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No need to rewrite this. Kirsten says it all. A quick summary:
Now’s the time to sow these seeds direct into the garden:
•Arugula (rocket)•Beetroot•Bok choy•Corn salad•Florence fennel•Kohlrabi•Lettuce•Mizuna•Mustard Greens•Pak Choy•Spinach•Swiss chard (silverbeet)•Tat soi
Transplant seedlings into garden beds now for:
•Brocolli•Brusselsprouts•Cabbage•Cauliflower•Collards•Endive•Kale•Leeks•Lettuce

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And some interesting  plant information from Dan from Permaculture Northern Beaches.

Here are the 10 most common Aboriginal traditional bush medicines:

1) Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Bundjalung Aboriginal people from the coast of New South Wales crushed tea-tree (or paper bark) leaves and applied the paste to wounds as well as brewing it to a kind of tea for throat ailments. In the 1920s, scientific experiments proved that the tea-tree oil’s antiseptic potency was far stronger than the commonly used antiseptic of the time. Since then, the oil has been used to treat everything from fungal infections of the toenails to acne.

2) Eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus sp.)
Eucalyptus leaves can be infused for body pains and fevers and chills. Today the oil is used commercially in mouthwash, throat lozenges and cough suppressants.

3) Billy goat plum/Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana)
The world’s richest source of Vitamin C is found in this native fruit from the woodlands of the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The plum has 50 times the Vitamin C of oranges, and was a major source of food for tribes in the areas where it grows.

4) Desert mushrooms (Pycnoporus sp.)
Some Aboriginal people suck on the bright orange desert mushroom to cure a sore mouth or lips. It has been known to be a kind of natural teething ring, and is also useful for babies with oral thrush.

5) Emu bush (Eremophila sp.)  
Concoctions of emu bush leaves were used by Northern Territory Aboriginal tribes to wash sores and cuts; occasionally it was gargled. In the last decade, leaves from the plant were found to have the same strength as some established antibiotics. South Australian scientists want to use the plant for sterilising implants, such as artificial hips.

6) Witchetty grub (Endoxyla leucomochla)
Witchetty grubs also a good source of bush tucker were crushed into a paste, placed on burns and covered with a bandage to seal and soothe the skin by some people in Central Australia.

7) Snake vine (Tinospora smilacina)
Communities in Central Australia used to crush sections of the vine to treat headaches, rhumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory-related ailments. The sap and leaves were sometimes used to treat sores and wounds.

8) Sandpaper Fig (Ficus opposita) and Stinking Passion Flower (Passiflora foetida)
The combination the two plants were used in northern coastal communities to relieve itching. The rough leaves of the sandpaper fig were crushed and soaked in water, the rubbed on the itch until it bled. The pulped fruit of the stinking passion flower was then smeared on to the affected area. Sandpaper fig leaves have also been used to treat fungal skin infections such as ringworm, sometimes in combination with the milky sap.

9) Kangaroo apple (Solanum laciniatum and Solanum aviculare)
The fruit was used as a poultice on swollen joints. The plant contains a steroid which is important to the production of cortisone.

10) Goat’s foot (Ipomoea pes-caprae)
For pain relief from sting ray and stone fish stings, mobs from northern Australia and parts of New South Wales, crushed and heated the leaves of the plant, then applied them directly to the skin. Goat’s foot is common near sandy shorelines across Australia.

For the full article with illustrations go to:

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/features/2011/02/top-10-aboriginal-bush-medicines/

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