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”

What is Soil Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)?

The soil cation exchange capacity (CEC) is the ability of soils to bind and store a particular group of nutrients by electrical attraction, those that form positively charged cations, such as calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), potassium (K+), and nitrogen in the form of ammonium (NH4+). Soils are composed of a mixture of sand, silt, clayContinue reading “What is Soil Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)?”

Online Workshop 4 Aug 2022 – Grow Your Own Food, Organic Vegetable Gardening for Beginners

When: Thursday, 4 August 2022 7:00 – 9:30 PM AEST Learn how to grow tasty and nutritious vegetables all year round, without harmful chemicals, in whatever space you have! In this comprehensive, yet easy-to-follow organic gardening workshop for beginners, you’ll learn everything you need to know to confidently grow your own vegies at home. NoContinue reading “Online Workshop 4 Aug 2022 – Grow Your Own Food, Organic Vegetable Gardening for Beginners”

How Long Do Fruit Trees Live?

The life expectancy of fruit trees varies with the type of fruit tree, and the rootstock that they’re grafted onto (if they’re not growing on their own roots). Trees on dwarf rootstock tend to have a shorter life span than their larger counterparts because the way that the dwarfing effect is achieved is due toContinue reading “How Long Do Fruit Trees Live?”

Online Workshop 11 Aug 2022 – How to Control Queensland Fruit Fly in the Home Garden

When: Thursday, 11 August 2022 at 7:30 – 8:30 PM AEST Learn how to control and eradicate Queensland fruit fly in your garden using safe, effective and environmentally friendly methods. Queensland fruit fly is one of the most damaging pests of fruit, vegetables and berries in Australian gardens, affecting Queensland, New South Wales, the NorthernContinue reading “Online Workshop 11 Aug 2022 – How to Control Queensland Fruit Fly in the Home Garden”

Online Workshop 23 Jul 2022 – Soil Science for Gardeners, Working with Nature to Build Healthy Soils

When: Thursday, 18 August 2022 at 7:00 – 9:30 PM AEST Learn all about soils and how they function, how to assess them, and ways to build healthy soils using natural organic methods. In this informative workshop, you’ll learn about how soil functions as a living ecosystem to support plant growth, the properties of variousContinue reading “Online Workshop 23 Jul 2022 – Soil Science for Gardeners, Working with Nature to Build Healthy Soils”

Burr Knots, What Are the Root-Like Growths on Apple Trees Trunks and Branches?

Burr knots (burrs or burls) are masses of small root initials, plant cells that are dividing and transforming into root tips, which appears on the above-ground portion of a rootstock, or on the trunk and limbs of apple trees. This is an inherited disorder where root-producing structures develop on aerial parts of certain apple trees.Continue reading “Burr Knots, What Are the Root-Like Growths on Apple Trees Trunks and Branches?”

How to Grow, Prune and Propagate Goji Berry Plants

The goji berry plant (Lycium barbarum), also known as a wolfberry (gouqizi, 枸杞) in Chinese, is a scrambling deciduous shrub with long, sparsely spiny weeping branches. It’s a Lycium (boxthorn) species that is a member of the Solanaceae (nightshade or tomato) plant family, and is native to China. These plants crop on current year’s wood,Continue reading “How to Grow, Prune and Propagate Goji Berry Plants”

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”

Why Are My Tomatoes Cracking and Splitting?

Fruit cracking is a common problem in tomatoes when there is a wide fluctuation in soil moisture levels, which leads to inconsistent water content within the plant.  This is usually caused by huge temperature variations and/or inconsistent irrigation. The cracking or splitting of tomato fruit can take two forms: Radial cracking, where the cracks radiateContinue reading “Why Are My Tomatoes Cracking and Splitting?”

How To Make Safe and Effective Rat and Mouse Baits Using Baking Soda

Introduced, non-native, feral rodents, such as the Black Rat (Rattus rattus), Brown Rat, aka Ship Rat or Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus) and House Mouse (Mus musculus) are serious pests that need to be controlled. The danger with using commercial poison baits to control rats and mice is that pets or native wildlife (mammals and birds)Continue reading “How To Make Safe and Effective Rat and Mouse Baits Using Baking Soda”

How to Harvest Bananas and Ripen Them Indoors in Temperate Climates

Bananas are tropical plants that belong to the Musaceae (plantain and banana) family. The cultivated varieties of bananas available today originate from ancestral species native to the Malaysian peninsula, New Guinea and South-East Asia. Even though banana plants are mistakenly referred to as trees, they’re actually herbaceous plants (plants that have non-woody stems) because theirContinue reading “How to Harvest Bananas and Ripen Them Indoors in Temperate Climates”

Why Are Citrus Trees and Other Evergreens Planted in Spring?

The recommended time for planting all evergreen trees and plants, including citrus, is in spring, and the next best time to plant them is in early autumn. The question many new gardeners ask is why? Evergreen trees and plants retain their leaves all year round. They don’t drop their leaves in autumn and become bareContinue reading “Why Are Citrus Trees and Other Evergreens Planted in Spring?”

Plants Grow Here Podcast, Ep.107 Companion planting by veg family – Angelo Eliades (Deep Green Permaculture)

I was invited to talk on the Plants Grow Here podcast with Daniel Fuller once again, you can listen to Ep.107 Companion planting by veg family – Angelo Eliades (Deep Green Permaculture) here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6MWPemQs5NkOLrvjPiIr3f?si=e2R4emj2QoWxMQe4Adnaow Episode Description: Have you ever wondered which veggies to plant together, and which to keep apart? Angelo Eliades is back onContinue reading “Plants Grow Here Podcast, Ep.107 Companion planting by veg family – Angelo Eliades (Deep Green Permaculture)”

Three Useful Herbs Which Can Be Used as Natural Compost Activators and Much More

Comfrey, nettles and yarrow are herbs that are dynamic accumulators, plants capable of concentrating nutrients at much higher levels than the surrounding soil. When added to compost, these herbs break down, releasing their concentrated nutrients, helping initiate the composting process in a new compost pile, or restarting it in an existing pile that has slowedContinue reading “Three Useful Herbs Which Can Be Used as Natural Compost Activators and Much More”

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 to Make a Bottle Trap to Control European Wasps

The European wasp (Vespula germanica) is a social wasp that lives in large nest colonies. It’s native to Europe, North Africa and Asia, and has now spread throughout the world. In the US, these wasps are known as German yellowjackets. Why Are European Wasps Considered Pests? European wasps are a pest because they are anContinue reading “How to Make a Bottle Trap to Control European Wasps”

Why Are My Tomatoes Not Ripening?

Tomatoes require a sufficiently long growing season and suitable temperatures in order to ripen their fruit, otherwise the fruit may stay green and fail to ripen. When growing conditions are less than ideal, there are ways for gardeners to turn things in their favour, to ensure a successful tomato harvest at the end of theContinue reading “Why Are My Tomatoes Not Ripening?”

Which Indoor Plants Are Sensitive to Fluoride in Tap Water?

Some houseplants are sensitive to the fluoride that is added to municipal tap water for the purpose of preventing tooth decay in humans. The symptom of fluoride toxicity in plants is leaf necrosis (yellowing, then browning, leading to dead, scorched areas on the leaf), which appears mainly at the tips of the leaves and alongContinue reading “Which Indoor Plants Are Sensitive to Fluoride in Tap Water?”

How To Save Tomato Seeds For Planting Next Year

Tomatoes can be grown quite easily from seed, and you can use seeds collected from tomatoes you’ve grown yourself, or from ones you’ve purchase from the greengrocer! There are a few tricks to saving tomato seeds, as they are wet seeded crops, which have seeds embedded in the damp flesh of fruits. When tomato seedsContinue reading “How To Save Tomato Seeds For Planting Next Year”