Friday, October 22, 2010

Bat Houses for Urban Permaculture - Free Fertilizer and Pest Control

Bat House at University of North Florida
Bat houses are an excellent choice to add to any Urban Garden.

Bats are voracious devourers of pesky mosquitoes, gnats and other flying fierceities.

Guano's reputation for premier fertilizer ranks high among all the organic nitrogen and nutrient choices.

Bat houses need to be out in open fields.  A bat house nestled in a wooded area may never be used.

According to the USFWS, a colony of 100 bats can eat over 2,200 pounds of insects during a smmer feeding season - and make alot of good fertilizer!

Click here for a link to 22 Free Bat House Designs and

Happy Urban Gardening!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Exporting Urban Permaculture Technology as a Mission

Check out Echo Gardens in Ft. Myers, Florida.


You can view their website by clicking above.

ECHO stands for Educational Concerns for Hunger Organizations

When visiting or traveling through the Ft. Myers area, a visit to Echo is a must.

Well System at Echo
Growing Vegetables at Echo Inc in Ft. Myers
Urban Permaculture at its finest!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Growing Organic Kale in the City Garden

Fresh Organic Kale is easily grown in the backyard garden during the cooler seasons.

Growing your own winter vegetables ensures you get the organic quality you deserve.

Now is the time to plant!

Fresh October 2010 Organically Grown Kale from Judy's Urban Garden!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Urban Permaculture where? Roof Crops? COOL! Can't Wait...

Came across this cool site on Twitter this morning - check out,,,,   and then check out my Twitter page for more great Urban Greenery. 



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Urban Permaculture Pests - Nematodes in the Garden

Here in the hot, humid southeastern United States we have sandy soils in many places.

This combination of sandy soils and warm weather makes a perfect environment for nematodes to thrive.

Nematodes love warm sandy soils.  So here in Jacksonville we struggle to keep them at bay each year in the Urban Garden out back.

Their presence is not so bad in the raised beds filled with organic compost.

However in the garden beds tilled into the ground directly, they are a problem.

Jud pointed out yesterday the serious damage nematodes can cause a plant when she pulled up the peppers to make way for winter vegetables.

The following photos show one pepper plant only somewhat infested with nematodes and another badly infested with the parasite.

Pepper plant roots infested with root-knot nematodes.
Urban Permaculture - Organic Matter Reduces Nematode Impact

Judy is a master gardener and volunteers at the local agricultural extension agency.  Her training is important and she points out that the fungal associations in organic matter will strangle nematodes - and serve to keep the pests at bay.

Many times I think we look at a poorly preforming vegetable plant and wonder if we'd applied to correct fertilizers or not - because it may be doing so poorly - or maybe watered it enough or too much.

Check the roots!  The problem may be nematodes.

If you see swollen knots on your vegetables then add organic matter to the soil and practice crop rotation.

For more information on root-knot nematodes see -


Monday, October 11, 2010

Urban Permaculture - Cajanus cajun, Pigeon Peas - Amazing Plants

Judy bought a pack of Pigeon Peas at Echo in Ft. Myers earlier this year and planted them in our backyard garden.
I was not really aware  - or didn't pay any attention to the plants until recently.

Once I did a little research on the I found myself impressed.

Not only are they an excellent bulk food plant and medicinal herb, they are a superb nitrogen fixer - fixing up to 40kg per acre of N!  Good for soil.

They grow in the worst of soils and possess thick, strong roots so the species can be used for erosion control.

Some species are hardy to frost.

Grown in the islands, India and Africa - you can find a really delicious Bahamian recipe here -   

Urban Permaculture - Pigeon Peas 10' tall

Plant Pigeon Peas!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Growing Winter Vegetables in the City - Urban Food Permaculture

Winter vegetables, especially greens are special and are one of the reasons many gardeners look forward to cool weather gardening.

Turnip greens, collards, mustards, arugula, Swiss chard, sugar snap peas, onions, chives and more grow vigorously, adding color, taste and health to any meal.

Now is the time to make sure your cool weather garden is started. 

You can purchase winter vegetables seeds at all the home improvement stores and nurseries now.  Be sure to take home a bag of potting mix and within a few days of planting you will have hundreds of small vegetable starts.

Water the seedlings appropriately, thin when large enough and transplant into your backyard raised bed.

Enjoy the winter vegetables!

Winter garden - Judy's Urban Permaculture Garden - October 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Urban Permaculture - Growing Food in the City - Cranberry Hibiscus

Hibiscus acetosella, or Cranberry Hibiscus is an important plant for Florida Urban Permaculture.

Below are two photos of the shrubby and delicious plant in Judy's garden.

Florida Urban Permaculture, Hibiscus acetosella, Cranberry Hibiscus
Florida Urban Permaculture, Hibiscus acetosella, Cranberry Hibiscus 
University of Florida, IFAS recommends the Cranberry Hibiscus as a plant resilient to hurricanes and an excellent screening plant.  See 

Cranberry hibiscus makes great tea - use the leaves - and is a wonderful addition to any salad, including tuna salad.  Children love the sour taste.

Finally, the cranberry hibiscus is a beautiful addition to any landscape.

As always, email us with your questions here.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Community Gardens - Urban Permaculture Florida - University of North Florida

Over the past year or so the University of North Florida here in Jacksonville has been slowly transforming their parking registration and campus vehicle welcome center into a massive Urban Food Garden.

Using sustainable agriculture practices the students have created a beautiful vegetable patch.

Check out the pictures below!

Urban Community Garden University of North Florida, Jacksonville

Urban Community Garden University of North Florida, Jacksonville
Urban Community Garden University of North Florida, Jacksonville
Kudos to UNF!

For more information you can contact AyoLane -
AyoLane Halusky
Chief Ranger of the Wildlife Sanctuary
Eco-Adventure Coordinator
Eco-Camp Director
University of North Florida
Work: 904-620-1810

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Urban Permaculture - Harvest Time - Fall Gardens for the City

Tonight the predicted low is 53 degrees F.

Judy has begun removing many of the summer vegetables and food crops and planting cooler weather greens and vegetables.

The hot peppers are always beautiful - growing in our Urban Core garden, Hanging to dry on the porch or in a hot sauce container.

There is not limit to what you can grow in the Urban Core.....
Urban Core Crop - Hot Peppers Grown in Judy's Garden