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Garden Pests and How to Control Them: Population Ecology

April 13 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Sciecne of Edible Gardening Workshop Melbourne

Come on a mini-beast safari and learn more about the creatures, who may call your garden home!

Pest control becomes easy when you change your perspective from having a garden to having an ecosystem. Develop understanding of population dynamics and pest predator interactions and how nature corrects imbalances.

using a magnifying glass on a bug safari as part of a pest control gardening class in Kyneton

Look at how common pests can be managed with minimal effort. Improve the resilience of your garden through making a few small changes or implementing a simple project or two. Explore how flowers can increase the resilience of your garden, as well as appreciating their aesthetics.


  • Good vs Bad Bugs
  • Population Ecology
  • Building Resilient Garden Ecosystems
  • Flowers for Attracting Beneficial Insects
  • Pest Control Methods

This workshop in the Science of Edible Gardening Series, looks at how you can enhance your garden so that it becomes a resilient ecosystem. It involves a combination of theory in a classroom setting, demonstrations and hands-on practical activities including:

  • Exploring our six acre property to discover and identify some of the wildlife and insects
  • A garden tour to look at some of the specific plants and methods used to increase garden ecosystem resilience
  • A hands on, practical activity to increase garden resilience (this activity will change from year to year as each new project is implemented)

Thank you Duncan for a very inspiring workshop. It’s great to see your passion and enthusiasm yet again. Who would have thought that garden pest control could be so easy ?! An amazing sunny day made the hunt for bugs in your vegetable garden even more enjoyable. I also loved the final take home project.

Michele G

Workshop participant

By the end of the class you will have a greater understanding of the ecology of your garden. This underpinning knowledge is important for all aspects of gardening. You’ll never look at ‘pests’ the same way again!

What to Bring:

  • Enthusiasm for learning
  • Your lunch
  • Water bottle
  • Notebook and pen
  • Closed toed, practical shoes (consider bringing gumboots)
  • Appropriate Clothing as Kyneton can be cold and wet in autumn
  • Any insects or bugs from your garden that you wish to identify or chat about (actual specimens in a jar, or photos of specimens)

The Science of Edible Gardening workshop series

This event is one in an eight-part series called the Science of Edible Gardening. You can book in for each workshop individually, but most attendees end up completing the entire series. There is no start or finish to the series – the workshops can be completed in any order and don’t need to be completed consecutively. If life gets busy, or you can’t make a particular session, then you can always come to the same session another year.

The series has been designed to give you an overview of how plants grow and interact with the environment. This understanding makes decision making, planning and garden maintenance straightforward. Observation and understanding of natural ecosystems and phenomena can help you to be a more successful and fulfilled gardener.

“Lots of ah-ha moments. I particularly enjoy the scientific framework that informs the workshops. Digestible and relevant information that is easy to apply in the home garden.”

Lynne F.

Workshop participant

Each workshop is based on themes that are common to the entire series. There is minimal repetition across the workshops, although certain important ideas will be revisited from time to time.

The eight workshop topics are:

  • Soil Testing and Fertilisers: Growing Nutrient-dense Foods (each March)
  • Garden Pests and How to Control Them: Population Ecology (each April)
  • Fruit Tree Grafting, Seed Saving and Pollination: Plant Propagation (each May)
  • Fruit Tree Pruning and Plant Manipulation (each June)
  • Garden Planning, Seasonality and Timing (each July)
  • The Art of Compost: Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles (each August)
  • Controlling Weeds: Ecological Succession and Soil (each September)
  • Garden Irrigation, Rainwater Tanks and Sunlight (each November)

More information about the Science of Edible Gardening workshop series can be found here:


About the facilitator

I’m Duncan Cocking and I’ve been growing fruit and vegetables since I was four years old. I support others to grow food and reconnect with nature through my business Leaf, Root & Fruit. I’m passionate about reconnecting you to nature via gardening. I write about growing food and living sustainably. I’m a cool-temperate gardener and permaculture educator with 10 years of experience hosting workshops.

Duncan Cocking Permaculture Educator Garden Workshops Kyneton

During my classes, I focus on the science behind how gardens grow. This gives you an understanding of the built-in resilience of plants. Rather than always finding problems to fix with sprays and other products, you will have a renewed focus on relaxing, observing your garden, and enjoying it. Understanding “why” minimises the amount of work you have to do in your garden.

“Fabulous workshop. You know your material so well and are able to deliver it in easily digestible form. I learned things I didn’t realise I needed to know. I loved having the science explained to counter some of the gardening folklore I’ve accepted without questioning…”

Wendy P.

Workshop participant

About the facilities

In 2019 my young family and I moved from Melbourne to make a tree change to Kyneton, a small town 80 km north-west of the city in Victoria, Australia. Since then, I have been busy developing a permaculture-inspired garden ecosystem.

The property has an onsite classroom, with heating supplied by a wood burner. A split system acts as a back-up source of heating and cooling. The light filled, colourful classroom is kitted out with a large screen for running presentations (I promise that these presentations are almost entirely pictures and rarely contain words). The classroom has basic tea and coffee making facilities, ample car parking and a dedicated toilet.

My demonstration orchard contained within a netted enclosure provides opportunities for workshop participants to explore all aspects of growing fruit trees, and contains many examples of espaliered trees. I have designed and planted an extensive berry patch, market garden beds and edible forest gardens. The kitchen garden demonstrates food growing in a more typical backyard setting.

Participants from all over the state attend our workshops. I look forward to hosting you at this exciting event.

To book tickets please head to my ticketing website: https://site.corsizio.com/c/652da83ab0d39f876f222b55



April 13
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Leaf, Root & Fruit
0423 003 764
View Organizer Website


Kyneton, Victoria

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