BOGI Newsletter

The BOGI Newsletter is mailed out every month (with the exception of January). It is always a great read, packed full with heaps of great articles written by BOGI Members as well as containing additional BOGI contact information. Articles cover not only organic gardening, but all associated interesting articles, hints and information that makes a better, healthier, and sustainable lifestyle.

BOGI Members can place a free non-commercial advertisement on the Noticeboard page at the end of the Newsletter (subject to availability of space).

To submit an article for publication, send it to the Editor using:

As a BOGI Member you know that when you receive the BOGI Newsletter:

Now it is time to boil the jug, make a cuppa, sit down, put your feet up and read the Monthly Newsletter.

BOGI Books

BOGI Books stocks a wide range of titles related to organic growing and a sustainable way of living; most of the titles are listed below. These books are sold at discounted rates to BOGI Members and the prices are provided in the monthly newsletters. They have been chosen by the executive committee members and are available at meetings or by mail order (BOGI Books).

MAIL ORDER: Send mail orders to – BOGI Books, 102 McDonald Rd, Windsor, 4030 or via email to Please add $8 for each book ordered to cover postage and packaging, except for the Qld Planting Guide - in which case only add $1.50 for postage and packaging. Please make cheque payable to “Brisbane Organic Growers Inc”.

As we prefer to see members, save on postage by picking up your books at one of the monthly meetings.

If additional information is required, please contact BOGI Books via email (

BOGI Book prices subject to change without notice. The prices below are current as of 15 May 2016.


BOGI Books Listing - prices are for members only

2016 Astrological and Moon Planting Calendar     Zimmer   $ 10
Australian Stingless Bees: a Guide to Sugarbag Beekeeping   Klumpp   $ 25
Backyard Beekeeping        Smithers  $ 14
Backyard Poultry Naturally       Moore   $ 29
Backyard Self-Sufficiency       French   $ 15
Bug: the ultimate gardener’s guide to organic pest control   Marshall  $ 17
Citrus: A Guide to Organic Management , Propagation, Pruning,   Gilbert   $ 21
City Permaculture        Earth Garden  $ 14
Composting         Marshall  $ 20
Create More Butterflies        Jordan & Schwencke $ 21
Down to Earth Garden Design       Dudman  $ 25
Eat Your Garden        Shanahan   $ 32
Gardening Australia - Love Your Garden      McFarlane  $ 26
Gardening Down Under: A Guide to Healthier Soils and Plants   Handreck  $ 35
Grafting & Budding: A Practical Guide for Fruit and Nut Plants   Lewis & Alexander $ 24
Grasp the Nettle: Making Biodynamic Farming & Gardening Work   Proctor   $ 23
Habitat Garden: Attracting Wildlife to Your Garden    Grant   $ 20
Herbs for Australian Gardens       Woodward  $ 28
How Can I be Prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods?   Shipard   $ 26
How Can I Use Herbs in my Daily Life?      Shipard   $ 32
How I Grow & Use Sprouts as Living Food     Shipard   $ 26
Jackie French's Chook Book       French   $ 15
Jackie French's Guide to Companion Planting     French   $ 13
Moon Gardening Calendar       Scott   $ 11
Natural Control of Garden Pests       French   $ 15
New Plants from Old        French   $ 15
Organic Control of Common Weeds      French   $ 13
Organic Fruit Growing        McFarlane  $ 25
Organic Vegetable Gardening 2nd edn      McFarlane  $ 25
Outdoor Classrooms: a handbook for school gardens    Nuttall & Millington $ 20
Papaya (pawpaw) the Medicine Tree      Tietze   $ 10
Pruning for Flowers and Fruit       Varkulevicius  $ 28
* Queensland Planting Guide       BOGI Members  $   6
Seedsavers' Handbook        Fanton   $ 20
Share: a Permaculture Cookbook      Burnell-Jones  $ 14
Soil Food - 1372 ways to feed your garden     French   $ 13
Successful Gardening in Warm Climates      McFarlane  $ 21
The Garden Guardians        Davenport  $ 21
The Good Bug Book        Llewellyn  $ 27
Using and Saving the Surplus       BOGI Members  $   7
Weed: The Ultimate Gardener;s Guide to Organic pest Control   Marshall  $ 17
What Plant Pest or Disease is that?       McMaugh  $ 35
You Can Have Your Permaculture and Eat it too     Clayfield  $ 26

BOGI Library

The use of our lending library of books, magazines, tapes and DVDs relating to organic gardening is open to financial members only at General Meetings. Borrowing of books is subject to the ‘Rules of the BOGI Library’.

Items can be borrowed for 1 (One) month (except December and January) from one meeting to the next, if you are unable to return items by the due date, you must contact the Library Team as soon as possible. Loss of borrowing privileges and monetary fines can be applied to late returns. The library will open for the perusal of books, magazines, DVDs and cassettes only when the librarians are present, ½ hour before and ½ hour after each General Meeting.


Rules of the BOGI Library

  1. Members are permitted to borrow a total of 5 (Five) items at any one time (including books, magazines, newsletters, cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, videos).
  2. Items can be borrowed for 1 (One) month (except December and January) from one meeting to the next.
  3. Items being returned to the library must be returned directly to a member of the Library Team.
  4. If you are unable to return items by the due date, you must contact the Library Team as soon as possible.
  5. Borrowing privileges will be suspended while there are outstanding borrowings.
  6. If items are not returned by their due date it will be presumed you want to keep the item and we will invoice you for the replacement cost of the item.
  7. Should an item be lost, the members will need to recompense the BOGI Library for the full current cost of replacement, at the discretion of the Library Team.
  8. Damaged items will need to be repaired or replaced. The repair or replacement cost will need to be reimbursed, at the discretion of the Library Team.

BOGI Seeds

The BOGI Seed Bank is a collection of seeds donated by various members of BOGI or purchased from a reliable source.

Seeds are $1 a packet for Members and $1.50 for non-members (some bulk seed packets are available and priced accordingly). The number of seeds provided varies, but it is generally enough for a couple of harvests (i.e. just the right amount). Seeds are available for purchase at the General Meetings as well as certain special events (e.g. BOGI Fair). If you have any problems sprouting seeds brought from the BOGI Seed Bank please return them for exchange.


Donating Seeds

When donating seed, please make sure it is clean and ready for packaging, and that it is from plants which are organically grown and non hybrid varieties. We are currently accepting all types of seed, from insect attracting flowers to all vegetables and herbs. You can either bring your seed to seed bank during the monthly meetings or mail it to the BOGI Seed Bank.

When donating seeds you can ask to get some complementary seed packets as a thank you for your effort.



Our current seed list

- please note that although we try to keep this as up to date as possible, seeds are constantly being sold and added.



The BOGI Shop, situated in the shed adjacent to the main Peace Hall building, is for the exclusive use of members.

It is our aim to supply organic products to members at specially reduced rates as an encouragement to grow for their own requirements, organically.


Available Products

The products listed below are available for purchase at the General Meetings as well as some special events.

Note, while every effort is made to have the above items in stock, due to various factors (such as demand), the shop may run out of stock at any time. The goal is to have the item(s) restocked for the next General Meeting.

Reference the pages below for detailed information about some of the BOGI Shop's products.



Bring along your clean bottles so we can recycle them with Fish Emulsion or Seaweed Extract. Hand them in at the BOGI shop. Do not leave them outside as they cause litter and are dangerous if broken. Please remove the label first, it saves us work. Thanks!


Blood and Bone (Organic)

Queensland Organics is one of the few suppliers of PURE Blood and Bone. It is a rich, natural fertilizer that is suitable for the whole garden (an excellent fertiliser for all vegies and flowers including exotics and natives). Blood and Bone is a slow release fertiliser which contains Nitrogen (8%), Calcium (9%), Phosphorous (4.6%), and a small amount of Potassium (0.5%). The high protein level means that Blood and Bone is an excellent food for microbes in the soil, which helps them to multiply and keep a healthy soil. The low potash can be supplemented with Sulphate of Potash.

To use, spread 50 to 100 grams per square metre, depending on soil conditions and requirements.

In the words of Peter Cundall:

It's a wonderful fertiliser because it contains bone meal that contains calcium and phosphorus, which are marvellous for plants, and also in the meat meal and the blood meal, that's full of nitrogen that makes lovely plants leafy and lush.



Derived from crushed rock, dolomite and lime are similar in that they will increase the pH of the soil (sweeten the soil) and supply calcium, but dolomite also contains magnesium. Magnesium is necessary for the plants to produce chlorophyll, that allows them to produce energy.

A sticky soil that builds up on the bottom of shoes can indicate an excess of magnesium and therefore dolomite will only worsen the problem. If the soil is sticky, lime or gypsum should be applied. Dolomite and lime also help to break down clay soils. If the soil pH is 6.5 or higher (neutral to alkaline), use gypsum to breakdown clay soils.

Fish Emulsion

Fish emulsion, as its name suggests, is made from fish, it is organic and bio-degradable. Some varieties are made from the whole fish and some made with the rubbish from fish processors. Either way it is a natural source of nutrients for all plants and soil. For plants it can be used directly onto foliage or indirectly through soil. When applied through the soil it stimulates the soil microbes, therefore improving soil fertility and plant growth. The natural oils in Fish Emulsion make it a natural wetting agent, therefore we can add other fertilisers, pest, or fungicide spray with it. A diluted Fish Emulsion mix can prepare seedlings for transplant and also helps to avoid transplant shock after transplanting.

Fruit Fly Trap

The fruit Fly Traps are used for monitoring male populations of the Queensland fruit fly. The trap contains a wick impregnated with a sex attractant (cue lure) and an insecticide (maldison). Male fruit flies are attracted from up to 500 metres and are killed upon entering the trap.

Suspend traps between waist and head height within the tree canopy, free from twigs and leaves. Replace the wick every three months.


Gypsum is a crystal containing calcium and sulphur, with a pH about 6.5. Gypsum is used to break down clay in the soil through a simple chemical reaction. The calcium within the gypsum particle attaches itself to two clay particles to form a “crumb”. These crumbs stay separated, helping to improve drainage and aeration. More over, the sulphur part of gypsum (sulphate) can attach itself to sodium; combined the sodium sulphate is easily leached by water. Gypsum is used when the soil pH does not need to be altered from the ideal food growing pH of around 6.4. If the soil is too acidic, use lime (for clay soils) or dolomite.


More detailed information below is from the website

Gypsum is an excellent source of both Calcium and Sulphur - essential for both yield and grain quality (especially useful in combination with high analysis fertiliser) - but its benefits go much further. It also helps improve soil structure and balance the soil by both adding Calcium and displacing harmful Sodium.

When Gypsum is applied, the Calcium seeks out clay particles - sticking to them in much the same way that dust will stick to an old vinyl record (remember - before CDs). The value of calcium is that it can stick to two clay particles at once, causing them to clump together - improving soil structure.

One of the enemies of soil structure is Sodium and in soils with lots of this element (termed 'Sodic'), there may be little room left for Calcium on the clay particles. But Gypsum has another weapon - Sulphur. Gypsum is made up Of Calcium Sulphate, so when Calcium moves in to exchange places with Sodium, the Sulphate captures this Sodium and carries it away in the soil water.

Another problem with soil structure in Australian Soils is that many are high in Magnesium. This is a useful and important element, but with lots of Magnesium and little Calcium, soils set hard when dry, limiting root access and inhibiting crop establishment. Again, Gypsum can correct this situation - helping to restore the proper Calcium:Magnesium ratio.

Conditions that indicate the use of Gypsum include:

  • Low calcium or sulphur on a soil test (especially if Sodium or Magnesium levels are also high)
  • High soil pH
  • Signs of poor moisture infiltration or waterlogging
  • Soils that are very soft and sloppy when wet or very hard when dry (or both) . Crusting of the soil surface after rain that can cause poor germination
  • Burning of shoot and root tips caused by calcium deficiency.

Leaf Microbes

The leaf microbes are the red spot type of microbe. Leaf Microbes increase the resistance of plants to attack from harmful insects. It helps stop scale, mildew and fungus. Leaf Microbes also feed plants through their leaves. This is very effective against the heliothis caterpillar.

A normal application so Leaf Microbes is applied at 6 mls to 1 litre of water which should be repeated every 14 to 28 days until the problem is solved. In the case of severe infections the first application should be 20 mls to 1 litre of water then followed 7 days later with an application at the normal rate (6 mls to 1 litre)


Molasses is a thick dark liquid which comes from when sugar cane is being refined into sugar. It is mainly sugar but contains good amounts of vitamins and minerals. Molasses can be used as a foliar spray to deter chewing pests and caterpillars and as a soil drench to treat the soil for root nematodes. It will also increase the level of soil bacteria and fungi which will lift the pH and help make calcium more available to plants.


Molasses spray

Dissolve 1 tablespoon of molasses and 1 teaspoon of pure soap (Sunlight) in 1 litre of warm water. Spray as required.


Molasses Soil Drench

Dissolve 2 tablespoon of molasses in 1 litre of warm water and drench soil around susceptible crops.


Other Uses

Molasses can also be used to remove rust from iron by submersing the object in a solution of 1 part molasses to 9 parts water for about 2 weeks.

Organic Xtra

Organic Xtra is a premium organic fertilizer, certified by the Biological Farmers of Australia. It is a blend of composed poultry manure, blood & bone, feather and fish meal, natural minerals, seaweed and Sulphate of Potash.

It is designed to provide a balanced release of nutrients and trace elements. It has some nutrients in a water soluble form that releases quickly, while the remainder is in an organic, slow release form which will continue feeding the plants for up to 3 months.. Organic Xtra is a general purpose fertilizer, suitable for most plants in the garden. It is excellent for vegetables, fruit trees, roses, palms, flowering plants, shrubs, vines, and even natives.

This breakthrough blend contains scientifically balanced ratios of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and at least 13 essential trace elements (as verified in independent tests by Food and Agricultural Laboratories of Australia).

Because Organic Xtra is naturally composted, it delivers a slow release of essential nutrients and trace elements, without the risk of burning – even when applied at 133 times the recommended application rate!

You can also be safe in the knowledge that Organic Xtra is tested every year for harmful chemical residues by the Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA). No harmful residues have ever been detected. And, because Organic Xtra improves the health of the soil, your garden will be teeming with fat, healthy worms and will have literally billions of beneficial micro-organisms in just a few weeks.

You can also use this excellent fertiliser as a liquid boost for your garden. Simply drop a small handful of Organic Xtra into a bucket of water and leave for a few days until the pellets break down. Stir the mixture to re-suspend any remaining solids and water onto your plants.

Pestguard Bags

PESTGUARD BAGS are the the organic tomato solution! With this unique product, designed by Green Harvest, you will be able to protect your tomato bunches from many of the major pests including fruit fly & tomato grub. Slip the lightweight 30 cm x 30 cm bag on & close with the attached tie to protect the entire tomato bunch.

Soil Conditioner

Soil Conditioner is made from fully composted manure and Zeolite. It improves soil fertility by enhancing biological activity, increases moisture filtration and retention. Soil Conditioner contains many strains of soil beneficial micro-organisms, revives soil health thus improving the crop quality and resistance to pests and diseases.

Soil Microbes

The soil micro-organisms or bacteria play a crucial role in aeration, water pathogens and breaking down fertilisers, organic matter, harmful non-beneficial fungi or pathogens and minerals in the soil, into forms that can be more readily used by plants. Microbes must first digest all fertilisers, natural residues and other sources of nutrients. Therefore soil microbes should be one of the first considerations of every fertilisation program. The benefits of Soil Microbes include:

  • makes fertilisers more available to plant root systems
  • helps breakdown nitrogen containing compounds
  • helps plants develop better, deeper root systems
  • helps soil absorb and hold moisture better and drain excessive moisture
  • brings a balance back into the soil promoting the conversion of chemicals and nutrients into forms available to the plant
  • faster and more thorough decomposition of crop residue or other organic material
  • more friable soil which is easier to work with
  • improves flavour and texture of many fruits and vegetables

Wettable Sulphur

Wettable Sulphur (also spelled sulfur) is a fungicide and insecticide suitable to be used in organic gardens and has an exceptionally low level of toxicity. It is used to control mites and a range of fungal disorders including powdery mildew, rust, and brown rot. As an insecticide, wettable sulphur can be used to suppress mites especially the red spider mite and the erinose mite. It is safe to spray on vegetables, ornamentals, citrus, and vines in your home garden. Sulphur is acid and should be used for acid loving plants such as citrus and tomatoes, but not on soft and alkaline plants such as cucurbits. As well, apricots and raspberries should not have Wettable Sulphur applied to them

Wettable Sulphur is applied as a foliar spray. The mixture is 3 grams (approx 1 teaspoon) to a litre of water. This mixture should be sprayed on the upper and under side of foliage, giving it a good drenching. To avoid adverse effects on the important soil fungal activity, other agents such as weed tea (comfrey or stinging nettle) or milk spray should be used in rotation.

Do not apply Wettable Sulphur when the temperature is hot (over 24 degrees C). Also do not apply 21 days after or before using an oil based spray.


Zeolite is an amazing natural mineral which is termed "nature's blotter" because of its extraordinary ability to absorb, hold, release, and exchange different chemicals, nutrients, toxins, and ions according to need. Zeolite:

  • Enables better plant growth
  • Improves the value of fertiliser
  • Improves yield
  • Retains nutrients for use by plants
  • Improves long term soil quality
  • Reduces loss of nutrients in soil 

Zeolite is good for use in crops, pastures, horticulture, lawns, and vermiculture.

Buy-Sell-Swap Table

Members may sell, give away, or swap plants, produce, or other items at this table during General Meetings (free of charge). Space is limited, so if you have heaps to sell, it might be better to get a table.

Please label your items and don't forget a container for money if you are selling something.

Help Lines

BOGI Members can access help lines provided by club members with certain areas of expertise. The help lines which exist are:

Reference the BOGI Newsletter for the names and contact details of these help lines.

Online Forum

The bogioz Yahoo group ( is the online forum for the BOGI club. This group is only open to BOGI Members. Once you join the group, you can receive emails posted by members of the group, or post some yourself. This email group is a great way to ask the BOGI membership questions, as opposed to waiting for the next monthly get together. The history of all posts to the group can be accessed, as well as any files or photos stored within the group.


How to Join bogioz

These instructions assume that a person is not currently logged into Yahoo.

  1. Using a web brower go to the web page
  2. Click on the "Join This Group!" button.
  3. Either log with your Yahoo! ID, or, if you are not already a Yahoo user, sign up for a Yahoo! ID.
  4. Provide your full name and Yahoo! ID in the request to join the group.
  5. The "bogioz" Moderator will receive this request, check your name on the BOGI membership List, and send an email advising your acceptance.
  6. Access the web page to start using the group.


Posting Messages

Messages can be posted to the group via the following methods: