Garden Pests – How to Control Snails and Slugs Without Toxic Chemicals

Snails and slugs are one of the most destructive garden pests, causing extensive damage to seeds, seedlings, leaves, fruit and tubers. They go about unseen because they only come out at night or on rainy days to feed, and hide during the day. The damage is usually discovered the next morning, but there’s usually noContinue reading “Garden Pests – How to Control Snails and Slugs Without Toxic Chemicals”

Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – October

October is the mid-spring period, flowers bloom in abundance, the warmer weather with rain bringing ideal conditions for lush plant growth. The cold weather hasn’t quite finished yet, cold nights and even frosts can still be expected, along with strong winds, so it’s important to protect tender plants and seedlings. Things to Do This Month:Continue reading “Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – October”

Why You Shouldn’t Fertilise Gardens in Winter in Cool and Temperate Climates

For adequate plant nutrition, gardens should be fed with fertiliser twice a year at the very minimum. Once at the start of spring (September in the southern hemisphere, March in the northern hemisphere) for warm season crops, and then again at the start of autumn (March in the southern hemisphere, September in the northern hemisphere)Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Fertilise Gardens in Winter in Cool and Temperate Climates”

Manure Application Rate, How Much Should We Use in the Garden?

When feeding the garden it’s best to use natural fertilisers, such as manures, blood & bone, fish emulsion or blended organic fertilisers. No matter what kind of fertiliser we choose to use, it’s important to apply the right amount, and no more! For plants, over-fertilising is as bad as under-fertilising, and for gardeners, using moreContinue reading “Manure Application Rate, How Much Should We Use in the Garden?”

What Happens If You Don’t Turn Your Compost?

Many gardeners compost their garden waste, but quite a few don’t make the regular effort to turn their compost! Composting is a process where microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and protozoa are utilised to break down plant matter and other biodegradable materials into a dark, crumbly, decomposed organic matter that resists further breakdown, known asContinue reading “What Happens If You Don’t Turn Your Compost?”

Are Rainbow Tomato Seeds Fake? Garden Mythbusting

Gardeners are usually enticed by the exotic, the more unusual something is, the more attractive it seems! There are a few online stores selling seeds for rainbow tomatoes, claiming they will produce many different vivid colours of tomatoes from the same plant. Have a look at the photo below, from a seller of such aContinue reading “Are Rainbow Tomato Seeds Fake? Garden Mythbusting”

How to Make an Outdoor Ant Trap to Protect Fruit Trees from Aphid and Scale Pests

Spring is the time when the weather warms up, and nature springs to life. Fruit trees flower and put out their new leaves ready for the growing season. Sugar rich sap rises from the roots of fruit trees to fuel the new season’s growth. Gardeners look forward to the beginnings of spring, but so doContinue reading “How to Make an Outdoor Ant Trap to Protect Fruit Trees from Aphid and Scale Pests”

Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – September

It’s September, the beginning of spring, the time of new life and renewal! The weather is starting to warm up, but there are still cold days, rainy weather and winds to contend with. Early spring is the best time to mulch garden beds, as the soil is still moist and is slowly warming up. ThisContinue reading “Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – September”

How Much Sun Do Vegetables and Herbs Need to Grow?

The amount of light that vegetables and herbs require varies, depending on the type of plant. We can make most of available garden spaces by observing which areas are in full sun and part shade, both during summer and winter, and then selecting the right plants that will grow best in the available light. SunContinue reading “How Much Sun Do Vegetables and Herbs Need to Grow?”

How Much Potting Mix Does a Garden Pot Hold?

Plastic garden pots come in a range of standard sizes. When filling a large pot, or a number of smaller pots, gardeners often have to estimate how much potting mix they will require. Bags of potting mix specify how many litres they hold, usually 25-30L for a standard bag, and 40L in the extra-large ones.Continue reading “How Much Potting Mix Does a Garden Pot Hold?”

What is the Ideal Soil Depth for Wicking Beds?

Wicking beds are self-watering raised garden beds, that operate on the principle of sub-irrigation. Water stored in a reservoir located at the bottom wicks water upwards to the soil above, watering the plants from below. When constructing wicking beds, it’s important to understand how they operate, and the needs of the plants that will beContinue reading “What is the Ideal Soil Depth for Wicking Beds?”

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”