Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Environmentality, 20 March 2013

Today Smokey and Ahmed spoke to Christina from Landcare Australia and our resident gardener, Jodie

Christina came in today to let us know about the Live Grow Explore Community Day at the Woodlands National Park on Sunday the 24th March. A free event open to the whole community, it is to celebrate the start of a 3 year revegetation project Jemma is undertaking along the Moonee Ponds Creek. You’ll be sure to have a great day with activates such as face painting, petting live reptiles, BQQ by the Glenroy Lions Club, nature walk, bike tour, planting native grass revegetation, painting a mural using natural materials and live music by local band Cold Snap.   

Click here to learn more about the Woodlands Historical Park 

Autumn is the ideal time for planting new plants. With good moisture in the soil, you’re more likely to have better luck planting in this season, particular with evergreen plants like citrus and natives. It is the perfect time to be planting autumn or winter crops such as amaranth, beetroot, broccoli, carrot and cabbage.      
Amaranth, courtesy of  
Thinking about what to feed your citrus? Jodie recommends natural alternatives such as chook manure, blood and bones, compost, pot ash, mulch or wood ash.  Citrus are prone to scale (black and brown dots). So if you see ants roaming up and down the plant, it is likely that you have scale as the ants like to feed off the sugary sap.

Do you have Gall wasp? August is when the wasp hatch so the best time to get rid of them is before then. If you see holes in the gall, then the wasp are already gone. To get rid of the wasp, cut 5-10 cm from the gall and put it into the fire or in a plastic bag in the sun.    

Courtesy of
Why should we prune? Just like a haircut, pruning will prepare the tree for new spring growth so that more energy is used to make new leaves and fruit or flowers. When pruning good airflow is needed, so look for crisscrossing branches.  Pruning can be put into 2 categories: winter pruners and late summer autumn pruning. Stone fruit pruning needs to be done in warmer weather after taking the fruit to prevent the plant from getting sick. For deciduous fruits trees, wait until it losses all of leaves. Prune 1/3 of the previous year’s growth.

Upcoming events this weekend:
Edible suburban gardens
The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (Wednesday 20th – Sunday 24th at the Royal Exhibition Building Melbourne)
Earth Hour

To learn more about the Lemon Tree Project, click here 

Don't forget to listen to the podcast as well!

Tracks Played:
Dog on Wheels- Belle and Sebastian
Ace of Spades- Motorhead
Race for the Prize- The Flaming Lips
Treasure- Po

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Environmentality, 13 March 2013

Kate Lawrence from Green Renters visited the show again to chat about what we can do around the home to be green. Green Renters is a non-for-profit organisation that who works with renters to help them live more sustainably within the limitations of being a renter.

Courtesy of Green Renters

What is the main barrier of living green in rental homes? Kate has found that a lot of owners are very interest in what they can do, however the problem of shortage of renter properties means that there are no real financial incentives for the landlords to put in green incentives. In light of these barriers, Kate focuses on changing our behaviour and participating in local initiatives.   

Kate’s Top 5 tips:
1. Turning off energy when not in use as standby power can still use up to 20% of power. Kate’s recommendation: turning off the power at the power point.    
2. Draft proofing and insulation:  blinds on outside of windows or coating and door snakes
3. Hot water issues: check water leaks, washing clothes in hot water, setting hot water to reasonable temperature and insulate pipe. 
4. Think about the composition of your household, what kind of standards do you have, what are your deal breakers, ways to negotiate things and what things will make it easier to be green?
5. Get involved with people who are doing similar things and meet likeminded people

Following all top 5 tips can save 20-30% of energy use in homes!

To hear Smokey’s editorial on Melbourne’s unprecedented weather and to listen to more of Kate’s tips, tune into the podcast. 

Get the podcast here!

Tracked Played:
Waitin’ for a Superman- Flaming Lips
Centrefold- J Geils Band
My Mother The War- 10,000 Maniacs
Silver Machine- Hawkwind
Let’s Make the Water Turn Black- Frank Zappa 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Environmentality, 6 March 2013

Kevin Mahon, land-management officer at the Hume City Council dropped by today to chat about the war against weeds and pest.

A competitor of native grasses, the serrated tussock is of most concern due to its miss-identification with native grasses. The serrated tussock pushed out native grasses from areas; grazing animals eat native grasses, helping the serrated tussock grow. Nothing else will grow in areas covered in serrated tussocks.  What can we do? Kevin’s first tip is to start learning about it! Chemicals can be very effective; however people tend to use the wrong chemicals which will worsen the situation.
Courtesy of
What is one of the most concerning pest in Hume? Rabbits! What’s the magnitude of the problem? It’s big. Kevin recommends first counting the rabbits over a couple of nights if you do find any on your property. Then seeking further advice about what can be done. Short term program such as baiting can be effective. A long term solution is fencing. Kevin advises a combination of strategies and to stay away from trapping and shooting.

Can you harvest rabbits? Yes! But we need to be careful about commercial harvest due to legalisation that prevents the spread of rabbits.

To find out more about foxes, frogs, feral cats, blackberries and garden species: listen to our podcast!

For more information and resources about pest and weeds, see the Hume City Council’s website

Tune into the Podcast!

Tracks played:
Flaming lips- Race for prize (Sacrifice of the New Scientists)
Nick Cave- Push the Sky Away
Patti Smith

Raining treasure- The Traffic
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