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Warm Earth Publishing. ABN 67 346 176 220 EDITOR; Liz Sinnamon

Front cover Photograph: The Editors vegetable garden.

WARM EARTH is Australia's 'down to earth' organic gardening magazine—written by organic gardeners for organic gardeners. It's all about growing fruit, vegetables, and herbs organically in the home garden or on small acreage.

Learn how to manage poultry and animals, grow native trees and shrubs, ground covers and ornamentals. Find information on health issues and how we can achieve a healthier, happier lifestyle.

WARM EARTH is available from newsagencies throughout Australia.

The middle pages are a liftout section for subscriptions, ordering back issues and seeds, plus WARM EARTH books.

Contributions to WARM EARTH are welcome. Please accompany copy with suitable illustrations and/or photographs.

It is not the policy of WARM EARTH to use any information or articles provided for the purpose of promoting any individual or business.


Please contact us by telephone, fax or email for our advertising rates and deadlines.

ILLUSTRATED BY: Jeff Douwes / SPECIALIST WRITERS: Lindsay Smail, Wendy Bartlett,, Barry Lyon, Ros Kumar, Warwick Tidswell. Printed by: Beaudesert Times, Beaudesert, Qld. Distributed to newsagencies by Gordon & Gotch.

WARM EARTH is published by: Warm Earth Publishing,

M.S. 379, 110 Sunnybrae Circuit, Childers, Qld. 4660 ISSN No 1320 3940

E-mail address: [email protected] Please note our Website address: www.warmearth.com.au

Telephone: (07) 4126 8465 Fax: (07) 4126 8130

Office Hours: 8.30am until 4.30pm. Mon. to Thurs.

Days in a Country Life 2

Letters from our readers 3

Organic Gardening...The Basics 4

Past, Present and Future...The Pioneers 6

Soil—The Root of it All 8

Organic Weed Control 11

Organic Fertilisers 12

Whats Wrong with Chemical Fertilisers? 14

Compost—the Cornerstone of Organic Gardening 16

Brewing your own Liquid Fertilisers 19

Is a La Nina Event on it's Way? 20

From our weather writer Lindsay Smail

The Importance of Micro-nutrients 22

Middle—four page lift-out section 23/26

Gardening by the Moon 27

The Importance of Mulching 28

Seeds—Embryos of New Life 30

Saving your own Seed 34

Companion Planting and Crop Rotation 36

Understanding the Processes of Infection and Disease 38

Non-Toxic control of Insects 42

Growing Organically—The Only Way Forward 46

New Books available from Warm Earth 48

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Dear Readers,

A warm welcome to this special edition of Warm Earth. In this issue we cover all the basic practices of organic growing which we know will help you all with your organic gardening.

It was 1982 when I decided to grow my food organically. This decision led me to undertake a lengthy and in-depth study about the subject—reading every book and magazine available at that time.

Then I put theory into practice and initially was rather surprised when the plants I grew were very healthy and extremely productive. As I continued to grow organically I learnt a great deal by trial and error, and would often experiment with different growing techniques. Some worked, some didn't. Now I can't envisage gardening any other way and have always grown as much of my own food as possible. It is so rewarding to harvest fresh nutritious food straight from the garden.

Here at home, after 12 weeks of very dry weather, the skies opened in early June, and we received over 60 ml of beautiful rain. Rain definitely 1ms a different ¡effect on plants than any other sort of water and the veggies literally jumped out of the ground with joy.

We've had mixed success in the vegetable patch since planting up in early March.

Temperatures during May were above normal with 30 degrees C occurring on a daily basis. The cabbages, caulis, broccoli and silverbeet didn't enjoy the heat at all. Every day their leaves would wilt and they certainly didn't look happy.

The snow peas, beans and lettuce have all grown well, and arc producing a good harvest. The Grosse Lisse tomatoes are thriving, and are already loaded with fruit.

Warwick surprised me recently with an unexpected present. He bought me a food drier. I'd often mentioned that I'd like to start drying some of our excess crops, especially the tomatoes. Eve never dried food before, so it will be an interesting experience.

The potatoes I planted in early April are growing well and look very healthy. I planted three different varieties putting a thick layer of compost in the bottom of the trench before planting the tubers. The photo on the left was taken four weeks later. Eve been hilling them up every week or two and eventually used up all the soil from the original garden bed.

I had a gentle peek in late May to check on the development of the tubers. I discovered plenty of beautiful new potatoes and couldn't resist harvesting a few for dinner. They w ere absolutely delicious served with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of fresh mint.

I wanted to mulch the strawberries with silver plastic sheeting. This keeps the fruit clean and deters fruit tly. I needed about 4 metres but after try ing several suppliers could only buy a roll of 40 metres!

I decided to try black weed matting. After a few weeks I noticed that the strawberries were obviously unhappy, so I pulled it up and mulched them with wood shavings. This seemed to suit them better as they are now thriving and setting their first fruits.

The seedling fruit trees have all established well with the lychee bursting out with sprays of new leaves and the two avocados showing new growth. Have a great winter in the garden Liz

Tell us your story

If you have a story to tell about how the recent drought-breaking rains affected your garden or property please write and share it with us. If we receive it before the 20th July, we'll publish it in the September edition.

'piom owi 'ReacteM

TiJe Cove %eceuK*ty iettent fiiecMe unite <n wuzci

Dear Warm Earth,

Enclosed please find a cheque for two, 2 year subscriptions. One is a renewal and the other for my mother who is 90 this year, but still in very good health. I know she will enjoy your magazine. Yours faithfully, Harold Green, Beaudesert, Qld.

Dear Liz and Warw ick,

Just want to congratulate you on such a great magazine. You have inspired us to get off our backsides and get back into the garden.

With five children to feed, and veggie prices going through the roof, it's about time to take action.

So far we have planted lots of seeds. We don't know where the kids planted everything and it's fun to find beetroot coming up next to the corn.

The kids arc enjoying being/ away from the TV in the afternoon and we're all enjoying playing in the dirt. Keep up the good work, Ken and Natalie Hatch, North Rockhampton, Qld.


I would like to subscribe for 12 months. I am an organic fanner and find the magazine very helpful. Keep up the great work. R. Pollifrone, Gosford, NSW.

Dear Warm Earth magazine,

I am sending a cheque for a two year subscription.

I subscribed last year for the first time and loved getting my magazine in the mail.

I would like to thank you for such a great magazine. I have read a lot of magazines in my time and yours in the only one I read from start to finish and then read again. There is so much information I can use. Thanks, Jaync Bryant, Virginia, SA.

Dear Liz,

I'd like to order a new subscription plus back copies and planting guides.

I am so happy to have discovered your magazine. In the past friends and family have given me subscriptions to some of the other bigger and better known magazines, but 1 felt they were not quite attuned to my need for organic gardening information.

You have 're-inspired' me. I got a bit slack this summer due to the heat and water restrictions, although I tell everyone else I was leaving the veggie plot 'fallow'.

Lets hope there's plenty of rain on the way for every one. Thanks,

Joanne Sullivan, Preston West, Vic.

Dear Folk,

Renewal time again—an annual pleasure. Many thanks for your excellent down-to-earth magazine.

So pleased to see you mention Yacon in the May edition.

We were introduced to this excellent and versatile vegetable three years ago. It has to be the ultimate stir-fry veggie.

We would be happy to supply growing material for any interested reader.

Keep up the good work, Alan Luckman, 33 Richards Drive, Mophett Vale, SA, 5162.

Dear Liz and Co,

I have just found your magazine (I was looking for something to read in my lunch break).

You wouldn't believe how impressed I was. Thank you for allowing me to have the best lunch break in a long time.

Congratulations and every best wish for continued success with the magazine. Best wishes, Sally Koulouris, New Lamb ton, NSW.

Dear Warwick and Liz,

I'm really enjoying the back copies of Warm Earth.

After several years of not having a veggie garden, basically because of drought, heat etc., I have been inspired to start one again.

Thanks so much for all the great reading. Regards, Jan Seency, Monto, Qld.

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