8 December 2008

Urban and Small Space Vegetable Gardens - help from the Environment Centre

| HannahB
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The Canberra Environment and Sustainability Resource Centre has developed “edible garden starter kits” designed specifically to suit Canberra’s climate and urban spaces.

Growing some of your own food reduces “food miles” and the environmental impacts of conventional agriculture. It also provides you with delicious fresh food that is generally more nutritious than what is available from the supermarket.

If you are interested in gardening, but feel that you lack the knowledge or time, consider purchasing an “edible garden starter kit” this summer. For $12.00 the kit provides you with seed for basil, parsley, mini pumpkin, cucumber, climbing beans, lettuce, and two varieties of tomato, along with plenty of easy to read information to get you started. The kits also make excellent eco-friendly holiday gifts for anyone interested in cooking, gardening, or outdoor recreation.

The edible garden starter kits are available from the Canberra Environment and Sustainability Resource Centre and the ANU Food Co-operative. For more information phone 02 6248 0885 or visit www.ecoaction.com.au

Along with starter kits the Environment Centre offers regular courses on organic backyard gardening, free consultations and information regarding gardening in urban and small spaces, and houses demonstration gardens for practical and inspirational gardening ideas. For more information about how our “Food For Life” program can benefit you or your organisation, please feel free to contact us.

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yea….good idea….yea prob waste of time starting now……..but buy one now an plant next year….12 bucks is naff all and seeds will still be fine in 9 months time…..

$12 sounds like great value to me, especially with Christmas just around the corner. Seedlings are easier to start a garden with, no doubt, but there is something wonderful about growing your own plants from seed.

As you point out Ant, about half of these seed types can be planted right now. If you have a decent greenhouse (or even one of those $29 Magnet Mart jobbies) you can plant the rest in 6-8 months’ time.

Instant Mash6:00 pm 08 Dec 08

I like it!

Sounds like an excellent idea!

These starter packs were developed with the assistance of the Environment Centre’s resident gardener with over 20 years experience in botany, permaculture and gardening. They are designed specifically for Canberra conditions with much consideration.

I agree that the timing is late in the season, however, these packs were available in early October and have unfortunately had slow sales. The seeds will, however, be viable for a number of years. The most valuable part of the starter kits is not the seeds but the well researched, practical information specific to Canberra and the follow up support that the Environment Centre provides.

Nice idea BUT it’s a bit late for most of those, from seed.

Basil will be OK, you can keep sowing seed for that until late summer or later in pots.

Parsley is horrendous to grow from seed, it takes forever and is quite fussy, you’re better starting with seedlings and then letting them set seed for next year’s self-sown plants.

Pumpkins, hmmm. Maybe but you’d be pushing it. Your seedlings should already be in the garden and moving along well by now.
Ditto Cucumbers, it’s too late for seeds, unless you have those fancy window frame things in your garden.

Beans, dunno, maybe. They can go into winter. Never done beans! I put out a new Okra seedling yesterday, a big adventure. That’s kind-of a bean.

Lettuce, yep, you can keep sowing seeds every few weeks to keep new ones coming on. Get Cos in late summer into autumn, and they might struggle through winter.

Tomatoes, don’t even think about it. You shoudl have had your seeds in pots in late winter, and seedlings/advanced plants out as soon as the frosts seemed over, Melbourne Cup day is a popular marker. You can still be putting in advanced plants now, and push them along, but beware the frosts of April. People in Qld etc can put seeds straight in the garden, but for Canberra, I guess it’s do-able but you need to be on your game. Self-sown cherry tomatoes seem to do well though.

I guess they’re trying to get people interested so it’s a good idea, timing’s a bit out though.

Great present for someone unsure about how to grow food in Canberra, get the excellent Canberra Gardener, put out every few years by the ACT Horticultural Society (all bookshops). The current edition has pictures!

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