How To Prune and Train Blackberries and Their Hybrids

Blackberries and blackberry hybrids, such as thornless blackberries, loganberries, boysenberries, youngberries, taybberries, silvanberries, marionberries and lawtonberries all belong to the genus Rubus, along with raspberries. Unlike raspberries which have vertical growing canes, blackberries and their hybrids have long trailing horizontal canes, which are usually supported on trellises, or horizontal wires attached between fence posts. HowContinue reading “How To Prune and Train Blackberries and Their Hybrids”

Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – August

It’s August, the weather is still cold and windy, but the end of winter is draws near, the days begin to grow noticeably longer and the change of season is not too far away. This month is the last chance to complete the pruning of deciduous trees and shrubs, and for planting raspberries and brambleberriesContinue reading “Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – August”

Product Review – Seahawk Clone Station 24 Aeroponic Cloner

Plant propagation is the process of producing more plants from a single plant, is a very popular practice amongst many gardeners. Many plants self-propagate by seed, and some through runners or clumping, but there are also artificial propagation methods such as growing from cuttings, where a tip section of a branch is taken, prepared inContinue reading “Product Review – Seahawk Clone Station 24 Aeroponic Cloner”

Does Potash and Epsom Salts Really Make Citrus Fruit Sweeter? Garden Mythbusting!

Is the advice to “use potash and Epsom salts to grow sweeter citrus fruit” based on scientific fact, or is it just gardening folklore? Adding potash (potassium) is only helpful when citrus trees are suffering from potassium deficiency, which is rare in healthy soils, and can be diagnosed by observing the leaves and fruit. TooContinue reading “Does Potash and Epsom Salts Really Make Citrus Fruit Sweeter? Garden Mythbusting!”

Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – July

It’s July, Midwinter has arrived! As all of Nature’s energies turn inwards, and life comes to a standstill, we finally have a chance to rest and reflect too. This month temperatures will hit their lowest for the year, rain will fall for half the month, and the windiest time of the year in Melbourne begins.Continue reading “Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – July”

Plant Biology Basics – Guest Post by Daniel Fuller

Most gardeners get by knowing how much water and fertiliser to put on their tomatoes, and when. But someone that has basic plant biology knowledge just understands plants in a way that’s hard to describe to people that don’t have basic plant biology knowledge. It’s kind of like how some people really know cars. TheyContinue reading “Plant Biology Basics – Guest Post by Daniel Fuller”

How to Make an Earwig Bait Trap Using Oil, Water and Soy Sauce

  The European earwig (Forficula auricularia) is one of our most common earwigs found worldwide in gardens. These insects are scavengers, and they are omnivores –  they are voracious feeders on soft-bodied insects such as aphids and insect eggs, they also prey on mites, spiders, and various insects, so they do serve a role asContinue reading “How to Make an Earwig Bait Trap Using Oil, Water and Soy Sauce”

Book Review – Safer Gardens: Plant Flammability & Planning For Fire by Lesley Corbett

Safer Gardens: Plant Flammability & Planning For Fire by Lesley Corbett is one of the most reliable, comprehensive, and well-researched books published to date on the subject of fire-resistant plant and tree selection. This phenomenal text is a massive compilation of scientific research from around the world, covering more than 500 plants, detailing their flammability,Continue reading “Book Review – Safer Gardens: Plant Flammability & Planning For Fire by Lesley Corbett”

How to Plant Two or More Trees in the Same Hole for High Density Tree Planting

High density tree planting, where two or more trees can be planted in the same hole to form a single canopy with multiple trunks, is drawn from the system of Backyard Orchard Culture, developed by the Dave Wilson Nursery of Central California. In this system, fruit trees are kept small in size by planting themContinue reading “How to Plant Two or More Trees in the Same Hole for High Density Tree Planting”

Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – June

June brings us the start of winter, with colder, wetter weather, but there are still some sunny days to be had, winter vegies to harvest, and some tidying up to do around the garden. As deciduous trees and shrubs shed their leaves and become dormant, it’s a good time to both plant new ones andContinue reading “Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – June”

How Many Straw Bales Do I Need to Mulch My Garden?

Straw mulches such as hay, lucerne, pea straw and sugar cane mulch are popular for use in vegetable gardens because they’re easy to apply, and they work well to conserve water and effectively suppress weeds. These non-woody mulches breaks down very quickly, in around six months, adding carbon to the soil very quickly. They’re classifiedContinue reading “How Many Straw Bales Do I Need to Mulch My Garden?”

What Are the Real Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps?

Himalayan salt lamps have become very popular home decor accessories because of their aesthetic value and affordability. As natural crystals, they bring nature’s beauty into the home, and when crafted into lamps and illuminated, their warm pink, amber or orange glow creates a calming, tranquil and relaxing atmosphere within a room. Stunningly large pieces ofContinue reading “What Are the Real Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps?”

A Better Way to Stake Up and Support Vegetables in Pots

Many gardeners grow vegies in pots, tubs, planters, and self-watering pots. Container gardening is an excellent solution when space is limited or more growing area is required. When growing climbing vegetables such as beans and peas, indeterminate (vining) tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, and zucchini in pots, staking them up to support them in containers can beContinue reading “A Better Way to Stake Up and Support Vegetables in Pots”

Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – May

May is the last month of autumn, when the weather starts cooling down. This is a time for pruning, taking cuttings for propagation, divide perennials, and t put in new trees, shrubs and vines. The soil is also still warm enough for moving and relocating plants around the garden. It’s also the time to cleanContinue reading “Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – May”

Product Review – ViparSpectra VA600 Dimmable 600W LED Plant Grow Light

With the rapid advances in lighting technology in recent years, LED grow lights are set to become the next big thing in indoor garden lighting. Once upon a time, the only indoor growing lights around were used for specialist use only, either very expensive, complicated and hot-running High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights used by hydroponic growers,Continue reading “Product Review – ViparSpectra VA600 Dimmable 600W LED Plant Grow Light”

How to Neutralise Glyphosate (Roundup) Herbicide Contamination in Soil

Glyphosate (chemical compound N-phosphonomethyl glycine), also known by the trade name of Roundup, is a non-selective, post-emergence, broad-spectrum systemic organophosphate herbicide used for control of annual and perennial plants. This weedkiller is the largest selling herbicide chemical in the market today, and the most used herbicide in human history. From 1994 to 2014, 825.8 millionContinue reading “How to Neutralise Glyphosate (Roundup) Herbicide Contamination in Soil”

Product Review – Fiskars UPX82 PowerGear X Tree Pruner

Fiskars UPX82 PowerGear X Tree Pruner, a super-sturdy and lightweight, ergonomically-designed pole pruner for easy cutting in all directions Pole pruners are versatile pruning tools which provide extended reach, allowing gardeners to access tree canopies and dense bushes to trim overhead branches without needing a ladder, or to trim inaccessible dense growth at ground levelContinue reading “Product Review – Fiskars UPX82 PowerGear X Tree Pruner”

How to Get Multiple Mulberry Crops from One Tree in a Single Season

Mulberry trees are deciduous trees which are traditionally winter pruned when they’re dormant and have no leaves, with the pruning carried out in late winter. When spring arrives, the buds on the bare branches open to produce new leaves, as well as new branches which carry the mulberry fruit. Yes, I did say fruit. Botanically,Continue reading “How to Get Multiple Mulberry Crops from One Tree in a Single Season”

What is Osage Orange, and is it Edible?

Osage orange (Maclura pomifera), also known as Bois d’ arc, Hedge Apple or Horse Apple, is a member of the Moraceae family, to which figs, mulberries, breadfruit and jackfruit also belong, and is native to the south-central United States. This thorny, fast-growing, medium-sized tree or shrub which grows up to 20m (60′), tall, but isContinue reading “What is Osage Orange, and is it Edible?”

Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – April

April brings us well into autumn, and the days are now getting shorter. While the soil is still warm, it’s a good time to plant trees, shrubs, and herbs, as their roots will have a chance to take hold before winter. This is also the last chance to harvest fruit such as apples and pearsContinue reading “Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – April”