Gardening Australia episode 6 2022: Costa Georgiadis explores Sydney’s edible garden trail, Josh Byrne unpacks some native plant myths, Hannah Moloney shows how to plan a productive patch, and Clarence Slockee creates a seating circle.
Inspiring, entertaining and full of practical advice, join Costa Georgiadis and the team as they unearth gardening ideas, meet avid gardeners and look at some of the most inspiring gardens from across the country.
Gardening Australia episode 6 2022
Meet & Greet
Costa explores one of the gardens that is open as part of Sydney’s edible garden trail and gets a taste for the good life. Christine wanted to be able to grow enough food to try and keep them fed all year. The garden was a blank slate when they moved in. Now it’s full of flowers herbs, fruit trees and vegies – with an important corner set aside for bees to boost pollination.
They have cleverly built four enclosures off a central corridor so that chickens can be allowed to free range in different sections. The corridor provides the vertical space to grow climbers. Christine likes salads and Michael likes cooked veg, so Christine plans to have both available – the vegies make up half of each meal.
FAQs – Formal garden natives | Harvesting & storing pumpkins | Vernalisation
Gardening Australia presenters answer commonly asked gardening questions.
Josh unpacks some myths about growing Australian native plants and suggests some options for different conditions. Gardening is an ongoing experiment that brings joy as well as frustration when things don’t work out! Paying attention at the plant selection stage can boost your chance of success. Choosing Australian natives is a good strategy as there will always be something to suit your climate and soils. However not all natives grow everywhere – you need to find those that fit your region.
There isn’t one native plant to suit every space, so find out what plants are suited to your specific area. Josh lives on the coastal plains near Fremantle, WA, so he’s chosen plants that are predisposed to the sandy, alkaline soils including Pimelea ferruginea ‘Magenta Mist’, Leucophyta brownii and Eremophila glabra ‘Kalbarri Carpet’. Once established, these plants won’t require much care, which is a sure sign you’ve chosen the right plants for the area.
Waterlogged Soil – Gardening Australia episode 6 2022
Jerry Coleby-Williams explains why plants can die in waterlogged soil but grow roots in a jar of water. Jerry says most plants have to get their oxygen directly from the soil. Even plants that like moisture still require freely draining soil to keep oxygen available at the roots, so they can respire and grow. Some plants like mangroves and swamp cypress have developed pneumatophores, special adaptations that come out of the sodden ground to allow oxygen to enter their root system. Water lilies will use their pads to take in atmospheric oxygen, while the stalks channel the oxygen down to the roots.
Some plants can physiologically adapt their roots to growing purely in water. Jerry’s rice paddy herb (Limnophila aromatica) which is native to Australia and parts of Asia, can root directly into water, forming “water roots”. To condition these roots to growing in soil. You must do so gradually. Jerry adds a little bit of a soil to the container every single day. Then when it’s time to plant it out into the ground, it will thrive.
Plan the Plot
Hannah explores the benefits of planning before you plant in a productive garden. Creating a garden from scratch can be daunting. No matter what size or shape your space is, it’s worth considering a few key aspects before you start planting to get on the right path. Hannah takes us through the layout of a new suburban garden that makes the most of its limitations and resources.
Mint Refresher – Gardening Australia episode 6 2022
Sophie looks at the range of different mint plants, how best to grow them, and their uses. Many plants are called mints, including the ‘mint bushes’ (prostantheras), and ‘peppermints’ (eucalypt species). Sophie examines herbs in the Mentha genus, which has over a dozen or more species and hundreds of cultivars. Some of the most culinary useful and wonderfully aromatic herbs in the garden are in this genus.
River Mint or Wild Mint (Mentha australis) is a widespread native mint in Australia and is strongly aromatic, pungent and minty. Common Mint or Garden Mint (Mentha spicata) has a spearmint flavour and is less spicey and peppery in flavour. It’s the mint you’re most likely to find in traditional mint sauce. Chocolate Mint (Mentha xpiperita cv.) has the flavour of mint chocolate – perfect for making teas. Mints are perennial and fast-growing, so they should be divided and re-potted every couple of years. They thrive in organic and rich soils.
It’s best to grow mints in large containers as they can take over a garden bed very easily! If you do plant them in the ground, put down a deep barrier so they can’t spread. They like plenty of sun but will still grow in part shade (a little more slowly). Mints thrive in moisture, so keep them moist in hot, dry summers. In cool weather, they can die right down – so it’s a good time to cut them back.