Information to support Gold ‘Choose Your Own Garden Adventure’The information provided in this document is to help you cho...
GF1 - Save and Reuse Your Seed On Site   What is it?   Collecting the seeds from your fruit and vegetables to store and us...
GF4 - Create Your Own Mulch On-Site   What is it?   Mulch is usually made up of coarse particles of organic material like ...
GF7 - Keep Bees   What are they?   Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants. There are nearly 20,000 know...
The benefits of pruning your fruit tree include:-    A tree with a strong frame, capable of supporting a good crop    A ...
GH1 - Go 100% Organic – Eliminate Pesticide Use   What is it?   Organic gardening means growing in harmony with the enviro...
GH3 - Plant Nectar Plants   What is it?   Nectar plants are plants, such as grevilleas, bottlebrush, fruit trees and clove...
GW2 – Make Your Paving Permeable   What is it?   Traditional paving does not allow rainwater to reach the soil below, inst...
Where can I get more information?   Sustainable Gardening Australia or your local nursery (see the links tab on this websi...
GO3 - Share Your Smart Gardening Story   What is this?   Inspire others with your smart gardening experiences by speaking ...
Why should I do it?   Landshare is for people who:      Want to grow vegetables but dont have anywhere to do it      Hav...
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the My Smart Garden Project Officer                  on 9932 1142...
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My Smart Garden - Victoria, Australia

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Transcript of "My Smart Garden - Victoria, Australia"

  1. 1. Information to support Gold ‘Choose Your Own Garden Adventure’The information provided in this document is to help you choose, and undertake, theactions from the ‘Choose Your Own Garden Adventure’ checklist. Food actions to earn Gold GF1 - Save and Reuse Your Seed On Site GF2 - Increase your Area of Food Growing Space GF3 - Organise a Local Food Swap GF4 - Create Your Own Mulch On-Site GF5 - Plant Nitrogen Fixing Vegetables GF6 - Keep Chickens GF7 - Keep Bees GF8 - Build Your Own Hothouse GF9 - Preserve / Bottle Your Own Produce GF10 - Prune Your Fruit Trees Shade actions to earn Gold GS1 - Plant House Shading Trees GS2 - Install a Pergola for Shading Habitat actions to earn Gold GH1 - Go 100% Organic – Eliminate Pesticide Use GH2 - Protect Mature Trees with Hollows GH3 - Plant Nectar Plants GH4 - Plant Dense Shrubs Water actions to earn Gold GW1 - Plumb a Rainwater Tank To Your Toilet GW2 - Make Your Paving Permeable GW3 - Install a Raingarden GW4 - Create Your Own Wicking Garden Bed GW5 - Install a Pond for Frogs, Birds and other Wildlife Other actions to earn Gold GO1 - Use Sustainable Garden Materials GO2 - Share Smart Gardening with Two More Households GO3 - Share Your Smart Gardening Story GO4 - Organise a Garden Working Bee GO5 - Host a My Smart Garden Workshop GO6 - Offer Your Land at landshareaustralia.com.au Suggest your own action GSO1 - Suggest Your Own www.mysmartgarden.org.au 1
  2. 2. GF1 - Save and Reuse Your Seed On Site What is it? Collecting the seeds from your fruit and vegetables to store and use for growing more food. A seed is the small embryo of a plant enclosed in a coating to protect it and contain the stored food and nutrients required for germination. Why should I do it? Saving and reusing your own seeds reduces the need for you to buy seed, plus your plants will be better adapted to your local garden conditions. This will mean they are more likely to germinate and be healthy plants than any seed propagated elsewhere. Saving and reusing your own seed guarantees the quality of your seed (especially if the plant from which the seed was collected was grown organically). Growing seeds at home means you reduce transport and emissions, and really helps your backyard become more self-sufficient. Where can I get more information? Sustainable Gardening Australia, your local nursery (see the advice section on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search on growing vegetables from seed. http://www.urbanfoodgarden.org/main/seed-saving/seed-saving.htm http://backyardfarmer.com.au/organic-gardening/how-to-save-seeds/GF2 - Increase your Area of Food Growing Space What is this? Increase the area you have set aside for growing fruit and vegetables. This is also known as ‘productive space’ Why should I do it? Increasing you area of productive garden will allow you to grow more fruit and vegetables thereby reducing your food bills and lowering your food miles associated with the transport of food. ‘Food miles’ refers to the distance our food travels from the farm gate to our homes; sometimes this can be many thousands of kilometres. Growing more of your own food at home means you reduce your food miles even lower because there are fewer cars, trucks, ships and even aeroplanes required to transport food to your home. As our population grows, more people build houses on the edge of cities. This was previously farming land used to provide the food we need daily. Now that our cities are rapidly changing shape we need to find new, smaller areas to ‘farm’ our food. This means our backyards and our local community gardens. This is a more localised way to make sure we have food security in the future. Where can I get more information? Your local nursery (see the advice section on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search on growing vegies. http://www.ehow.com/how_4810498_plant-large-vegetable-garden.html http://www.urbanfoodgarden.org/main/vegetable-patch-design/vegetable-patch-design--size.htm http://www.aselfsufficientlife.com/how-big-should-the-vegetable-garden-be.htmlGF3 - Organise a Local Food Swap What is it? Local gatherings that are generally non-commercial events (meaning no money changes hands), where items swapped can include fruit, vegetables, herbs, seeds, seedlings, flowers, jams, chutneys, sauces, eggs, cuttings, recipes, compost and gardening tips. Why should I do it? Local food swaps provide an opportunity for gardeners to meet once a month, share their extra produce with people who will appreciate it, and swap their bounty of broccoli for another grower’s excess of eggplants. A great opportunity to swap lots of anecdotes and advice too! Where can I get more information? Your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search on local food swaps. www.transitionshb.groupsite.com http://transitiontownmelbourne.org/ http://www.pow.org.au/2011/02/24/spotswood-food-garden-swap-first-saturday-of-the-month/ www.mysmartgarden.org.au 2
  3. 3. GF4 - Create Your Own Mulch On-Site What is it? Mulch is usually made up of coarse particles of organic material like leaves, woodchips, hay or compost. Its added straight onto the soil surface in a layer about seven centimetres thick. Using mulch is one of the best ways to save water in your garden. It helps the soil retain water and is also great for keeping out weeds Why should I do it? Mulch is a terrific water and garden saver. It prevents evaporation of water from soil by up to 70% by shielding the soil from the sun. Mulch will also prevent water run-off during rain or watering. Mulch will stop most weeds from growing and youll find it easier to remove those that do. It will also cut down on the time you spend watering. Most importantly, mulch will improve sandy and clay soils by adding organic matter and encouraging earthworms. Mulch can also be great in some areas of the garden as an alternative to a high water using lawn. To make your own mulch, you can buy or hire a chipper and all the branches and twigs that your garden generates from pruning can be chipped down to create your own mulch. The mulch is not as pretty as bought mulch but it is a great filler and soil improver for different areas of the garden. Contact your local Council for assistance in loaning a small chipper one weekend. Where can I get more information? Your local nursery, hardware store or water retailer - City West Water (see the links tab on this website for links to local businesses), your local library or do an internet search on mulch. http://www.ourwater.vic.gov.au/saving/home/gardening/mulch http://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/uploadedFiles/moretonbay/environment/education/mulch.pdfGF5 - Plant Nitrogen Fixing Vegetables What is it? Of all the mineral nutrients in the soil, nitrogen is generally the most difficult for plants to acquire. Even though nitrogen is easily the most abundant element in the air, most organisms are unable to obtain the nitrogen they need from the air and instead these plants depend on mineral forms of nitrogen in the soil. It is up to a few plants to convert atmospheric nitrogen to soil based nitrogen for the good of all nearby plants. These ‘nitrogen fixing’ plants are known as legumes and include peas, beans and clover. Why should I do it? By planting nitrogen fixing vegetables such as peas, beans and clover next to any leafy vegetables (lettuce, silverbeet, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, etc) you will eliminate or reduce the need to add fertilisers to the surrounding plants. This is especially important next to leafy vegetables as they’re known to require a lot of nitrogen. This is a natural, cost effective way of ensuring a bountiful harvest. Where can I get more information? Sustainable Gardening Australia, your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search on nitrogen fixing plants.GF6 - Keep Chickens What are they? Chickens are a domesticated fowl that can be kept in urban backyards to provide food, fertiliser and company for householders. Why should I do it? Chickens can help make your garden more sustainable by:  Providing rich chicken manure to use on your garden  Providing healthy eggs and reducing your reliance on troubling poultry welfare standards  Reusing your food scraps from the kitchen to reduce waste to landfill  Great company for children and adults, particularly when they welcome you home with great clucking fanfare. Standard chickens will need to be kept away from vegetable gardens as they will eat your food before you do. Create a run for them along one of your fences to keep them in, of put some fencing around your vegie patch. Alternatively buy small bantam hens that can roam in your garden without digging it all up and are generally a better match for urban gardens and kids. Bantams lay smaller eggs, but they don’t need a chicken run, just a small coop that they will enter themselves each evening when the sun goes down. There are options to rent chooks for a month to see whether they suit your lifestyle and garden. Where can I get more information? Very Edible Gardens, Sustainable Gardening Australia, you local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search on keeping chickens. http://www.veryediblegardens.com/products/backyard-chickens http://www.keepingchickens.com.au/ http://www2.acfonline.org.au/category/green-garden/blog/keeping-chickens-put-your-eggs-one-basket http://www.bookachook.com/ www.mysmartgarden.org.au 3
  4. 4. GF7 - Keep Bees What are they? Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants. There are nearly 20,000 known species across the world including native species in Australia. Bees are adapted for feeding on nectar and pollen the former primarily as an energy source and the latter primarily for protein and other nutrients. Most pollen is used as food for larvae. Why should I do it? Having a bee hive in your backyard makes your productive garden even more prolific as about 65 per cent of the crops we grow in Australia depend on bee pollination. One of the reasons to keep bees is to improve the fruit setting on your own fruit and vegetables; especially plants such as pumpkins. A single bee in a colony of 10,000-60,000 can travel anywhere up to 10km away to gather pollen and nectar. A bees pollination services extends way beyond your own backyard garden with a single bee foraging up to 500 flowers in a round trip. Bees can provide you with a great, local and sustainable honey source. There are useful guides about how to keep bees in a way that does not cause danger to local children and adults. Where can I get more information? Sustainable Gardening Australia or you local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search on keeping bees. http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s2688801.htm http://www.organicgardener.com.au/articles/backyard-beekeepingGF8 - Build Your Own Hothouse What is it? A hothouse is a building normally with glass walls and roof; for the cultivation and exhibition of plants under controlled conditions. It is also known as a greenhouse. Why should I do it? This can help you to extend the growing seasons for many fruits and vegetables when the open air climate is no longer suitable. Your own hothouse will allow you to have more fresh seasonal produce all year round. You can also build a mini hothouse / greenhouse for germinating seedlings using recycled materials such as yoghurt containers or drink bottles. Where can I get more information? Sustainable Gardening Australia or your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search on build a garden hothouse / greenhouse. http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/better-homes-gardens/gardening/plants/article/-/7891744/greenhouse/ http://landscaping.mygarden.net.au/garden-how-to/the-basics-of-building-your-own-greenhouse/9856/1GF9 - Preserve / Bottle Your Own Produce What is this? Preserving is the act of preventing fresh food from decaying or spoiling by preparing it for future use. Why should I do it? The point of preserving your own fruits and vegetables is so that you can use it later when the fruit is no longer in season. Whether you have an orchard, or your neighbours gave you their surplus fresh fruit, the bountiful harvest will only last for a short time unless you preserve it. There are three basic ways of preserving fruits and vegetables for an extended time; these are freezing, bottling, or drying. This action is about advancing your preserving skills beyond that of simply making jams and / or chutneys and trying something like bottling of sauces and fruits. Just about any fresh produce can be preserved. The most common fruits and vegetables preserved including tomatoes into tomato sauce, olives in vinegar, apricots into jam and lemons into lemon butter. Where can I get more information? Your local library will have many, many books on how to preserve all sorts of fruits and vegetables, or you can do an internet search on how to preserve / bottle fruit. http://www.preserving-australia.com.au/ http://sustainfood.com.au/index.php?page=conserve-and-preserve#preserving http://www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au//Files/Fowlers_Vacola_unit_pdf.pdfGF10 - Prune Your Fruit Trees What is it? Pruning is the cutting or removing of crowded and rubbing branches for improving the shape or growth. Why should I do it? Fruit trees are generally pruned to improve the fruit harvest for each year and to keep the fruit within ladder height for hungry gardeners to more easily enjoy the bounty. Trees that are properly pruned and trained will yield high quality fruit much earlier and live significantly longer. www.mysmartgarden.org.au 4
  5. 5. The benefits of pruning your fruit tree include:-  A tree with a strong frame, capable of supporting a good crop  A tree that will continually renew itself with the best, healthiest fruiting branches  It will allow light and air into your tree to maximise photosynthesis and prevent shading  It will allow you improved access for thinning and harvesting your fruit Different fruit trees have different pruning requirements. For example, peach trees provide fruit on the second year of a branch so make sure you keep these branches past their first year. And citrus trees need minimal pruning, but may need some of the budding fruit thinned so there will not be an overload of fruit for the branch once they continue to grow. Where can I get more information? Sustainable Gardening Australia, your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search on how to prune fruit trees. http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s1386719.htm http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/objtwr/imported_assets/content/hort/fn/cp/pruning.pdfGS1 - Plant House Shading Trees What are they? Trees are tall perennial woody plants with a main trunk and branches. Trees come in all shapes and sizes with very different patterns that will suit different household needs. Why should I do it? Trees can be fantastic at providing shade for buildings and outdoor areas if carefully located. Many species grow to become very significant in size and may very positively affect your house and garden. Ideally trees will shade buildings and gardens in summer and allow sun through in winter. We used to think that trees near houses posed too much risk of damage; and too much maintenance with dropped leaves and seeds onto gutters and gardens. But we now know that these inconveniences can be reduced by planting the right type of tree in the right location. And we know much more about the financial benefits of these trees in your garden. Studies in the US have shown that a well- positioned tree can reduce air-conditioning use by 2-4% (and with the climate warming and the price of energy increasing this will only increase in time). The even greater financial benefit is the increase in house value with a recent US study showing that street trees growing in front of a house added US$8,870 to its sale price. Apartment dwellers and renters can earn this point by requesting their landlord, building manager or body corporate to plant shading trees. Remember to advocate about the improved value to the property and the improved well-being and stewardship it will create amongst residents. Where can I get more information? Your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local businesses), your local library or do an internet search on house shading trees. http://www.yourhome.gov.au/technical/fs442.html#daylightGS2 - Install a Pergola for Shading What are they? Pergolas are shade providers typically fixed open lattice structures upon which vines are often trained. It may be an extension of a building or serve as protection for a walkway or an open terrace. Why should I do it? Well placed pergolas help keep your house cooler in summer by shading walls and windows. Where the pergolas shade windows, glare inside the house can be much reduced. They also provide shaded outdoor areas which can be very pleasant areas for some outdoor recreation. Children can use the area as an outdoor play area out of the sun. Using deciduous vine on the pergola tends to let in sunlight in winter and keep it out in summer. This avoids the costs of retractable awnings and can make an attractive and productive addition to your smart garden. Apartment dwellers and renters can earn this point by requesting their landlord, building manager or body corporate to install a pergola, and helping to coordinate its implementation. Remember to advocate about the improved value to the property and the improved well-being and stewardship it will create amongst residents. Where can I get more information? Your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local businesses), your local library or do an internet search on installing a pergola. http://www.yourhome.gov.au/technical/fs442.html#daylight www.mysmartgarden.org.au 5
  6. 6. GH1 - Go 100% Organic – Eliminate Pesticide Use What is it? Organic gardening means growing in harmony with the environment without resorting to chemical fertilisers and pest controls. Pesticides are any substance used to destroy, suppress or alter the life cycle of any pest. Pesticide can be a naturally derived or synthetically produced substance. Many plants can be used in the same way as pesticides which deter or suppress unwanted pests such as pyrethrum, garlic, tea-tree and eucalyptus trees. Birds, bandicoots, lizards, frogs and insects (such as Soldier beetles, lacewings and ladybird beetles) are excellent natural pest controllers - they feed on insects and help maintain a healthy balance. Why should I do it? By avoiding pesticides in your garden you will maintain or enhance the biodiversity of wildlife species and the overall health of your garden plants. Pesticides can harm or kill insect-feeding wildlife when they feed on the poisoned insects. The loss of insect-feeding wildlife in your garden can affect plant health – without control, leaf-eating insects may increase in numbers and severely impact the health of your plants. Growing organic food is higher in vitamin, mineral and nutrient content, plus missing the harmful herbicide, fungicide, pesticide and artificial fertilizer chemicals that are present in non-organic produce. Organic foods are especially higher in antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, and lower in nitrates, and pesticide residues. Some of the benefits of organic gardening include:-  Organic produce has superior taste and smell  Organic uses no synthetic chemicals and therefore doesnt pollute the environment  Organic is good for the soil. Organic farming is based on an understanding of soil science and ecology, and on traditional knowledge of crop rotations  Organic places emphasis on animal welfare. Organic does not use synthetic growth hormones or drugs  Organic aims to reduce dependence on non-renewable resources and aims to ensure sustainability Where can I get more information? Sustainable Gardening Australia, your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local businesses), your local library or do an internet search on organic gardening. http://www.veryediblegardens.com/iveg/companion-planting-vegies http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s1063743.htm http://cityfoodgrowers.com.au/ http://www.ofa.org.au/papers//The%20Benefits%20of%20Organic%20Food%20paper.htm http://growingorganicfood.org/about-organic-foodGH2 - Protect Mature Trees with Hollows What are they? Mature trees with hollows are older trees with naturally occurring hollows within their trunks which are homes for local wildlife such as birds, bats and possums. Why should I do it? The clearing of original bushland to develop our cities and suburbs has resulted in mass habitat loss including natural nesting hollows in old trees which many bird and mammal species rely on for nesting and shelter. This is especially important given that Australian wildlife has the highest rate of hollow dependency in the world. In our suburbs there is a great shortage of natural nesting hollows, with little likelihood of new ones being created due to the long time frame (80+ years) required for even small hollows to form. However, we can protect the hollows that still exist by retaining mature trees, and if possible even dead trees, within our suburbs to help provide homes for birds, bats and possums. Doing this helps local wildlife to maintain their populations and together with providing native food plants and retaining vegetation corridors you are helping to support the habitat of your local wildlife. Apartment dwellers can earn this point by ringing Council to find out which parks in the region have the most significant mature habitat trees and raise the importance of protecting mature trees with hollows. Go for a walk and check it out. Once people know the value of their local habitat they are able to share this with others and keep an eye out for its future protection. Where can I get more information? Sustainable Gardening Australia, your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search on protecting mature trees. http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/nature/Factsheet5TreeHollows.pdf http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/CA256F310024B628/0/BE2695FA150D5FDCCA2570ED001CB618/$File/192+Loss+of+hollow- bearing+trees+2003.pdf www.mysmartgarden.org.au 6
  7. 7. GH3 - Plant Nectar Plants What is it? Nectar plants are plants, such as grevilleas, bottlebrush, fruit trees and clover, which flower abundantly and provide rich sources of food for birds and insects. Why should I do it? By planting a variety of different nectar producing plants (shrubs and trees) flowers will be produced at different times of the year thereby attracting many species of nectar feeding birds, bees and butterflies to your garden all year. Bees also provide us with an extra benefit as any nectar they don’t use for food they convert to honey. Shrubs like Correas that produce flowers all over their branches are particularly attractive to small honeyeaters as delving into the foliage offers protection while feeding. Planting nectar plants will also help keep the birds and the bees in your garden beds, vital in helping to pollinate your apple trees, pumpkin and cucumbers! Where can I get more information? Sustainable Gardening Australia, your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search planting nectar plants. http://www.knox.vic.gov.au/Page/Page.asp?Page_Id=909&h=1 http://www.thebutterflysite.com/butterfly-food.shtml http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s2195321.htmGH4 - Plant Dense Shrubs What are they? Dense shrubs are small woody plants that are smaller than a tree and no more than 3m tall with lots of foliage together and preferably with prickles on the branches. Why should I do it? Birds use a range of plants for different reasons, such as shelter, nesting material and food. A garden with dense plantings (thickets), particularly if it is prickly foliage, will be more likely to attract and provide habitat for small birds. This way birds can enjoy your garden and still dart into the shrubs when they sense danger from cats, dogs and people. Where can I get more information? Sustainable Gardening Australia, your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search on planting dense shrubs. http://birdsinbackyards.net/spaces/bird-attracting-plants.cfm http://www.knox.vic.gov.au/Page/Page.asp?Page_Id=908&h=1GW1 - Plumb a Rainwater Tank To Your Toilet What is it? A rainwater tank collects and stores rainwater runoff, typically from rooftops which can then be connected directly to your toilet by a plumber. Why should I do it? Using some of your valuable garden space for a rainwater tank is a great way to save water. Ideally, this tank water is best used for your toilet because:  consistent household use of water in the toilet is a better match for the rainfall patterns for temperate areas such as Melbourne. If the tank were just connected to the garden then often it is not used in winter. This then means the tank stays full of water – and then it cannot catch the next rainfall!  in times of drought, gardens would ideally love kilolitres of water, which means the biggest possible rainwater tank is needed. Tanks that are too big can use valuable garden space, its better to have tanks a little smaller and preferably located in little used parts of the garden  by connecting your tank to flush the toilet you’re making more space available in your tank for the next rainfall, thereby catching more rainfall which in turns prevents more stormwater going down the drain causing damage to our waterways. If located in the upper areas of a catchment, the gentle flow of treated stormwater is welcomed as an environmental flow. When located in urban downstream areas though, there needs to be less flow into waterways as there is already too much water gushing into them from multiple stormwater pipes. Apartment dwellers and renters can earn this point by requesting their landlord, building manager or body corporate to install a rainwater tank plumbed to the toilet. Where can I get more information? Sustainable Gardening Australia or your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search installing a rainwater tank. http://www.savewater.com.au/how-to-save-water/in-the-home/rainwater/rainwater-tank-installation http://www.veryediblegardens.com/iveg/water-tanks http://mvcc.vic.gov.au/planning-and-building/making-your-home-sustainable/rainwater-tanks.aspx http://www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/Page/page.asp?Page_Id=220&h=1 www.mysmartgarden.org.au 7
  8. 8. GW2 – Make Your Paving Permeable What is it? Traditional paving does not allow rainwater to reach the soil below, instead diverting it all to the nearest stormwater drain. Permeable paving has gaps between pavers, or uses porous material to allow water to slow down and penetrate the ground. Permeable paving is made of permeable concrete, porous asphalt, porous paving stones, and even traditional pavers and bricks laid out with soil gaps beneath them. Why should I do it? Permeable paving has a number of benefits including allowing water to seep into the ground which maintains healthy soils to improve soil health and organisms; to water trees and surrounding garden beds and even to hold more carbon (its better to have the carbon in soils than in the atmosphere to reduce the impact on climate change). Permeable paving also stop pollutants washing downstream into our waterways by allowing them to infiltrate through into the soil (which captures small particles of nitrogen, phosphorus and other solids instead of letting them go down the drain). It also benefits our groundwater by allowing water to seep deep into the soil and below. Apartment dwellers and renters can earn this point by requesting their landlord, building manager or body corporate to install permeable paving, and helping to coordinate its implementation. Where can I get more information? Sustainable Gardening Australia or your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local businesses), your local library or do an internet search on permeable / porous paving. http://wsud.melbournewater.com.au/content/treatment_measures/porous_paving.asp http://www.hccrems.com.au/hccrems/media/RESOURCES/Water/HCCREMS-WaterSmart-PracticeNote6_Paving.pdf http://www.homeimprovementpages.com.au/article/Permeable_PavingGW3 - Install a Raingarden What is it? A raingarden resembles a regular garden bed with special features to make it water-sensitive. A residential raingarden can receive stormwater from hard surfaces such as a downpipe from a roof, paved areas or driveways. The stormwater is then filtered naturally to remove fine pollutants, simply through layering gravel and sand (as set out in the design guides) so that only the water makes its way to the bottom leaving pollutants such as nitrogen, dirt and phosphorus behind. After it passes through these ‘filter layers’, the treated water will enter a pipe (via slots in its side) which will then send it into the stormwater system. Why should I do it? Raingardens can filter out litter, oil, excess nutrients, chemicals and sediment that are found on hard surfaces such as roofs and driveways. This way, raingardens help to improve the quality and quantity of stormwater before it enters our waterways by slowing it down and removing the pollutants before it flows into drains and on to rivers, creeks and bays. Not only this, but raingardens are a way of establishing a low maintenance, water saving garden. And if located well, they can shelter your house from sun or wind to reduce costs and emissions from air-conditioning or heating. Apartment dwellers and renters can earn this point by requesting their landlord, building manager or body corporate to install a raingarden, and helping to coordinate its implementation. Where can I get more information? Melbourne Water can provide information and design guides to assist in building raingardens in your backyard http://raingardens.melbournewater.com.au/GW4 - Create Your Own Wicking Garden Bed What is it? A wicking bed is a garden designed to be watered from underneath. It has an alcove under the soil filled with organic waste and water and an inlet pipe that you can pour water into (instead of on the topsoil). This underground reservoir of water is then drawn up to the roots of the plants by a natural capillary action (known as wicking). This leaves the soil moist, but not saturated, giving increased food production. Why should I do it? Wicking beds are a highly productive growing system which produces more food with significantly less water because plants have a continuous supply of water and nutrients through the recycling of organic waste to provide plants with their essential nutrients. Wicking beds also reduce chemical run off into our rivers and sequester carbon into the soil, helping to reduce climate change. Not only this, but similar to raingardens, wicking beds are a way of establishing a water saving garden. And if located well, they can shelter your house from sun or wind to reduce costs and emissions from air-conditioning or heating. www.mysmartgarden.org.au 8
  9. 9. Where can I get more information? Sustainable Gardening Australia or your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search on wicking beds. http://www.sgaonline.org.au/?p=3526GW5 - Install a Pond for Frogs, Birds and other Wildlife What is it? A pond is a body of standing water, either natural or artificial. Why should I do it? Many species are declining as their habitats are being destroyed by human activities. Ponds in the urban environment are an important part of creating a vital wildlife garden as they attract many different species of frogs, birds and other wildlife to visit gardens and access water, especially during the summer and drought periods. Ponds provide a reliable, safe source of water year round. In particular ponds are great for frogs as they provide an environment for them to breed, find food and stay moist. A pond is provides a wonderful opportunity to observe nature in action. Design your pond to be water wise by filling it with rainwater, keeping it partially shaded and ensuring it is sealed (as naturally as possible). Lay out rock edging (and ideally an island) to provide habitat alcoves, ledges, and gradual descents into the water. Plant with indigenous species and fence out other pets that may damage native wildlife. Apartment dwellers can earn this point by requesting their building manager or body corporate to install a pond in the common garden, and helping to coordinate its implementation. Where can I get more information? Your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search on habitat ponds. http://www.ozwatergardens.com.au/pond-health http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s2246709.htmGO1 - Use Sustainable Garden Materials What are they? Sustainable garden materials can be found all around us. Just follow the advice of avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle:  Avoid the purchase of new products. For example borrow a ladder or mower from a friend instead of buying your own. Also propagate your own seeds.  Reduce the amount of materials. For example, buy products made from recycled materials such as pavers, seating and compost bins from recycled plastic.  Reuse things in your garden. For example, reuse pots, and lay old bricks as pavers.  Recycle your materials. For example, any containers that can’t be reused are put into recycling instead of into landfill. And buy environmentally friendly materials. For example, rocks in your garden should not come from natural riverbeds, and if mined, from an environmentally-accredited company. It would be best to find old rocks and rubble that someone else doesn’t want anymore. Why should I do it? Using sustainable materials in the garden is smart because it keeps materials out of landfill and prevents the use of electricity, water, oil and resources needed to manufacture new products. It also sends a message to business that customers want to see better environmental performance from their products. Where can I get more information? Your local nursery (see the links tab on this website for links to local nurseries), your local library or do an internet search on sustainable garden materials. http://www.improvemyhome.com.au/how-to-guides/garden-and-outdoor/reduce-garden-waste-and-recycle-your-greens http://www.livinggreener.gov.au/waste/re-used-recyclable-products/buy-re-used-recycled http://www.salvagebazaar.com.au/GO2 – Share Smart Gardening with Two More Households What is it? A means of communicating and promoting smart gardening with more people! Why should I do it? The benefit of a program like My Smart Garden is engaging with a wide range of people who can each undertake some small actions that will result in substantial change on a larger scale. It’s great to create a community of smart gardeners and widen the network of people who can teach each other and learn new and different ways of adapting to our changing climate. Maybe you can create a new relationship with a neighbour and in turn exchange produce, share stories or look out for each other; the opportunities are endless! Where can I get more information? Speak with the My Smart Garden project officer by calling 9243 1033 or emailing contactus@mysmartgarden.org.au www.mysmartgarden.org.au 9
  10. 10. GO3 - Share Your Smart Gardening Story What is this? Inspire others with your smart gardening experiences by speaking a workshop, or sending us an anecdote preferably with photos! Why should I do it? This is an opportunity for you to share with others what you’ve learnt, describe to people what you’ve done in your own space, ask questions of other people, show photos, describe the process you’ve gone through and teach others what you know from your unique perspective. It’s a chance to support the broader growth of smart gardening to develop further from your experience. It’s also a great way to meet other people involved in the program. Where can I get more information? Speak with the My Smart Garden project officer by calling 9243 1033 or emailing contactus@mysmartgarden.org.auGO4 - Organise a Garden Working Bee What is it? A working bee is an occasion when a group of people come together to complete a task or solve a problem. Garden working bees are fun, friendly and very rewarding (not just for the owner!) Why should I do it? A garden working bee is a great way of getting things done quickly with the help of many people. In a group it’s possible to tackle projects you simply couldn’t do on your own such as clear large areas of grass or weeds in one go or build a chicken run. Having a group of a people will also mean you have more skills to draw on and more heads to solve problems too, plus it can be a good excuse for a party! Like the old saying goes; more hands makes light work. Apartment dwellers can earn this point by being linked to another nearby garden working bee and helping them prepare. Where can I get more information? http://www.thesharehood.org/working-beesGO5 - Host a My Smart Garden Workshop What is it? This is an opportunity for you to seek the support, ideas and advice of others by making your garden available as a venue for an upcoming workshop. People in the program would gather at your home to learn more about an aspect of gardening, and would likely share ideas that will benefit you. Why should I do it? To meet other people involved in the program; and learn some specific information related directly to your garden, Workshops can be held during the day or in the evening but are subject to the availability of the presenter who will be from either Sustainable Gardening Australia or Very Edible Gardens. Council will organise, fund, promote and work with you to ensure your venue is suitable for the occasion. All workshops will be two hours. You will be suitable to host a workshop if:  you are a participant in the My Smart Garden program within Moonee Valley City council or Hobsons Bay City Council  have a venue and seating for the desired number of attendees  have access to tea and coffee facilities  have a screen or wall suitable for projecting images and access to a data projector if possible, and  are comfortable to open your workshop to interested members of the My Smart Garden program (your workshop would be exclusive to participants in the My Smart Garden program). Apartment dwellers can earn this point by requesting their building manager or body corporate to host the workshop. Where can I get more information? Speak with the My Smart Garden project officer by calling 9243 1033 or emailing contactus@mysmartgarden.org.auGO6 - Offer Your Land at landshareaustralia.com.au What is it? Landshare Australia brings together people who have a passion for home-grown food, connecting those who have land to share with those who need land for cultivating food. For people with little access to gardening space, they are hoping others have some room to share. www.mysmartgarden.org.au 10
  11. 11. Why should I do it? Landshare is for people who:  Want to grow vegetables but dont have anywhere to do it  Have a spare bit of land theyre prepared to share  Can help in some way – from sharing knowledge and lending tools to helping out on the plot itself  Support the idea of freeing up more land for growing  Are already growing and want to join in the community Where can I get more information? http://www.landshareaustralia.com.au/index/GSO1 - Suggest Your Own What is it? An opportunity to create your own action and personalise your experience in the program Why should I do it? Perhaps you feel there’s something we’ve missed in the list above or that’s location specific to your garden or area. This is your opportunity to be creative and propose an action to complete as part of your My Smart Garden adventure. Where can I get more information? Speak with the My Smart Garden project officer by calling 9243 1033 or emailing contactus@mysmartgarden.org.auGSO2 - Suggest Your Own What is it? An opportunity to create your own action and personalise your experience in the program Why should I do it? Perhaps you feel there’s something we’ve missed in the list above or that’s location specific to your garden or area. This is your opportunity to be creative and propose an action to complete as part of your My Smart Garden adventure. Where can I get more information? Speak with the My Smart Garden project officer by calling 9243 1033 or emailing contactus@mysmartgarden.org.au www.mysmartgarden.org.au 11
  12. 12. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the My Smart Garden Project Officer on 9932 1142 or email contactus@mysmartgarden.org.au www.mysmartgarden.org.au Moonee Valley and Hobsons Bay City Councils are pleased to offer this program, which is supported by the Victorian Government Sustainability Fund, managed by Sustainability Victoria.www.mysmartgarden.org.au 12

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