Citrus Nutrient Deficiency – Yellow Leaves


If leaves are yellowing on a citrus tree, it may be a sign of nutrient deficiency, but it may not be, depending on which leaves are yellowing.

Older leaves yellowing are quite normal as long as it’s only happening to a very small number of the very oldest leaves. Evergreen trees such as citrus will drop their oldest leaves and replace them over time, but it happens with so few leaves it’s barely noticed. Before they drop their leaves, they extract all the mobile nutrients (the ones they can move out of the leaves) to redirect into new growth, causing the yellowing of the leaves. One of the mobile secondary macronutrients is Magnesium (Mg), which is a key component in the green pigment chlorophyll which plants use for photosynthesis. Without the green pigment chlorophyll, leaves turn a yellow colour.

If young leaves are yellowing along with older leaves, and a large number of the leaves on a citrus tree are yellow, it’s a sign of nitrogen deficiency.

Citrus trees are heavy feeders and need to be fed with a good quality balanced fertiliser, so if they run out of nutrients, they start sacrificing old leaves to be able to put on new growth, and when this happens, a large amount of older leaves will start to turn yellow while new green growth emerges.

By feeding citrus trees at the beginning of spring and autumn (September and March in the Southern hemisphere, the reverse in the Northern hemisphere), citrus trees stay healthy and productive and nutrient deficiencies are avoided.



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Product Preview – UrbiPod

In a previous article, we looked at 15 herbs you can grow indoors, and shortly afterwards I was contacted by an Australian company who have released an innovative new product for growing herbs and other edibles indoors, which I will hopefully test and review soon. This product sounds like it would be of interest to indoor produce gardeners, so we’re sharing it with you!


The UrbiPod, by Australian company Urbotanica, is an innovative appliance that makes clever use of the principles of physics to help even brown thumbs easily grow plants indoors – all year round right there in your kitchen. Designed and manufactured in Australia the UrbiPod:


  • Takes the guesswork out of growing so you can be successful
  • Comes with all you need to start growing – no need to purchase anything else
  • Is equipped with a self-watering irrigation system that uses capillary or wicking action instead of pumps to draw up water from the reservoir, keeping your plants watered without supervision for two to four weeks at a time
  • Provides automatic delivery of the all-natural liquid mineral nutrient
  • Each growing Pod has its own water reservoir, allowing plants to survive outside the UrbiPod for up to three days – thus enabling extra Pods and more growing options
  • Beautifully designed to sit amongst modern kitchen appliances
  • Is highly energy efficient via its state of the art LED lighting
  • Super easy to set up and operate
  • Manufactured in Australia and gives back to the community by partnering with disability services provider Activ Foundation for product assembly

The newest model enables the customer to grow a wide variety of herbs, salads, edible flowers, microgreens, mini chillies and superfoods like wheatgrass. Kitchen and Bathrooms Quarterly featured the UrbiPod as one of the must have kitchen gadgets for 2019.



GYO Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 600 879 856 I Suite 5, 19 York Street, Subiaco, Western Australia 6008



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Citrus Problems – Why Is My Citrus Tree Dying?


Why do apparently healthy looking citrus trees suddenly start deteriorating in a matter of days, with leaves curling then dropping, branches dying back, eventually resulting in the loss of the tree? There are several causes, often caused by common gardening mistakes, which are easy to avoid.


Curling Leaves as an Indicator of Root Problems

If the leaves of a citrus tree are curling evenly or cupping along their length, the tree is trying to minimise the surface area of the leaf in order to reduce transpiration and moisture loss, which is an indicator that the roots can’t drive enough moisture to the leaves. Root function is impaired when the roots have been damaged in some way, and this is often due to lack of water or overwatering, both of which cause some of the roots to die back to the extent that they can no longer support the full canopy of leaves.

How do we tell if the tree has run dry or is waterlogged? Simply push a garden trowel (small hand spade) the full length of the blade into the soil, and pull it back to observe the soil underneath. Is the soil bone-dry, like powder or waterlogged? Some soils can dry to the point that they become water repellent deeper down, even though the surface above is damp, while others may be even wetter below, and really muddy.

Checking the soil is the only way to determine if the problem is too much or too little water!

If leaves are curled on one side, or completely rolled up quite tightly, it’s usually an indication of a pest such as an aphid or caterpillar, and if the leaf is deformed and oddly curled, with silver tracks inside the leaf, then the problem is leaf miner. Treat these pests with a horticultural oil, use the vegetable-based varieties if you’re an organic gardener as the synthetic ones are just paraffin oil which is persistent and clogs up the soil.

Leaf miner pests leave silver tracks or windows inside the leaf

When young leaves are attacked by citrus leaf miner they become twisted and deformed.


Sometimes, citrus leaves will curl when there’s extreme weather conditions, such as heat, cold and wind, so check the soil to be sure!


Citrus in Pots and Containers

If a citrus tree is not in the ground but in a pot, then there should be no problem with root rot, as pots have drainage holes, unless… the pot is sitting in a tray of water!!!

When citrus in a pot or container sits in a tray of water, the bottom level of potting mix will wick up water like a sponge to create a perched water table and become waterlogged. Without oxygen in the root zone, the roots will rot, and if root rot sets in the tree will die. For this reason, never plant a citrus tree in a self-watering pot, they have a water reservoir tray underneath which holds water and wicks upwards, causing the potting medium to stay overly wet, especially in winter when trees are dormant and don’t need much water.


Some edible plants such as mint, taro, water chestnuts, watercress, pennywort, Vietnamese mint and brahmi for example, can sit in trays of water, and enjoy it. Other plants such as sugarcane can also sit in water for short periods of time because they’re very thirsty plants which take up the water very quickly and use it up. Fruit trees aren’t like any of these plants, and neither are citrus. I hope I’ve emphasised the point enough.

Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) plant growing in a pot sitting in a tray which retains water, because sugar cane is a one of the thirstiest crops on the planet, do not do the same with a citrus tree in a pot or the roots will rot!

It’s customary to place a water tray under a potted fruit tree if it’s sitting on a deck or balcony to prevent water stains from watering. In such instances, use a paver or terracotta pot feet under the pot to elevate it above the water level. This way the tray catches the excess water when watering but the pot doesn’t sit in the water.


Avoiding Root Rot

When planted in the ground, citrus trees should be planted in a location that drains well. Avoid locations where water tends to gather or stagnate, and in heavy clay soils, improve drainage by mixing compost into the planting hole.


Avoiding Root Burn

Roots will ‘burn’ when they run out of water, and citrus is quite shallow rooted, so it’s fairly easy for citrus trees to dry out in hot, windy, exposed locations and in sandy soils. In the case of sandy soils, improve water retention by mixing compost into the planting hole, compost fixes everything! To reduce water evaporation from the soil, mulch around and under citrus trees in late spring once the soil has warmed up. Keep mulch material a few centimetres away from the trunk to prevent collar rot which can ringbark the tree and kill it.

Another thing that can take moisture out of tree roots and cause them to burn is too much fertilizer. Overfertilizing is as bad as underfertilizing, perhaps worse. Chicken manure has high levels of mineral salts (not mineral salt, there’s a difference!) so when it’s piled on thick or overapplied, it draws water out of the roots by osmosis, causing root burn. The same thing happens if any synthetic mineral fertilizers are use in excess. Always follow the recommended fertilizer application rates, they’re stated for a reason.


Killer Chickens and Dangerous Gardeners?

Citrus tree roots don’t run very deep, only about 50cm (20”), and they have a lot of feeder roots just below the surface. Chickens love to mess up the surface of the garden, looking for things to eat, they scratch and dig very effectively, enough to severely disrupt the delicate surface roots. When this happens, the tree may show drooping leaves the next day. Yes, your chickens can kill your lemon tree, or any other citrus tree for that matter. Citrus trees roots can be protected from chickens scratching up the soil by placing plastic or galvanised wire mesh flat on the soil surface around the root area, and covering it with mulch so it’s not visible. The mesh can be effectively fastened in place by using weedmat or irrigation pins,

Overzealous gardeners can be equally dangerous to citrus trees. Only plant very shallow rooted plants under citrus, such as thyme for example, don’t dig around the root zone if possible, one plant added every now and then and the tree has time to recover from the root damage, a mass planting on the same day will cause too much root damage and kill the tree.

Be careful when people ask if they can ‘help’ in the garden without supervision. Ten year old Lisbon lemon tree dead, no surface roots evident – this is what happens when the area under the tree is cleared and planted up all at once with small annual flower seedlings… thanks mum!!!

Replacement lemon tree planted, I’ve selected a Eureka lemon this time, smaller growing tree with no thorns which produces medium-sized lemons all year round, the perfect backyard lemon tree!


So go ahead and plant your favourite lemon, lime, orange, mandarin, grapefruit, cumquat, or whatever takes your fancy, whether it’s in a pot or in the ground. With proper care and regular feeding (at the start of spring and autumn with a balanced fertilizer), citrus trees can be productive for decades



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The Birth of a Permaculture Food Forest – Before & After Photos



The before and after photographs in this article were taken at the very beginning when I first finished planting up my urban backyard food forest, and then approximately three to four years later. Each pair of photographs was taken from roughly the same view point, so the same garden beds are visible, to shown the garden’s growth over time.

Just how much of an ecosystem can be created from scratch is astounding. It’s important to point out that what differentiates this setup from a regular garden is that it’s a living ecosystem which maintains its own balance, it’s a food forest with seven distinct layers, tall canopy trees, dwarf trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, vines, groundcover plants and root crops, which emulates the layers of a temperate forest. Every tree and plant has a purpose, is strategically planted in a specific location to maximise the benefits it delivers, and is planted with appropriate companion plants. For such a small-scale intensive permaculture system, there is natural order and careful intentional design in the dense plantings, and there is sound design rationale for the inclusion and location of everything in the food forest.

At the end of these photo pairs, I’ve included some photographs taken from a high vantage point showing most of the garden ten years after its construction. The semi-aerial photography was necessary because the garden is now a lush established small urban backyard forest garden in the literal sense.


Food Forest Garden – Facts & Figures

  • Melbourne’s first urban back yard demonstration Permaculture food forest
  • Time to build: 3 months (1 person!)
  • Completed: October 2008
  • Total Size of back yard: 150 sq. m
  • Total size of garden (including paths): 85 sq. m
  • Total area of garden beds: 64 sq. m
  • Fruit trees: over 30 (not including ones in pots!)
  • Berries: over 20 different types
  • Medicinal herbs: over 50 different types
  • Fourth year garden yields (2012) – 234kg from 64 sq. m with only 2/3 of trees established and fruiting, most berries just planted
  • This is equal to 14.8 metric tonnes per acre (36.6 metric tonnes per hectare)!
  • Australia’s average wheat yield is only 2 tonnes per hectare, and even in Europe the yield does not exceed 6-8 tonnes per hectare
  • This garden is water-wise, runs on Stage 3a water restrictions (2 hour long waterings a week) and rainwater in warm seasons.
  • The irrigation system is switched off completely half the year (April-September).
  • Only 2 hours a week of work on average to maintain.
  • No chemical fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides – and no pests (other than snails from the neighbours!)


Yields for First 4 years


























There are now three times as much berries, all the trees are productive, and many more trees have been added, both in the ground and in pots, so productivity after tens years will be obviously much higher.


Before and After Photos (3-4 years later)

East facing view of the garden, with fence on right hand side


Southeast view, with grapevine trellis in centre of photograph.


Northwest view of the garden



Southern view from centre of the garden



Southwest view of the garden



South view of western-most side of garden



Western view of garden



Northeast view of garden



North view from side corridor



A Tiny Glimpse of the Produce

Goji berries and babaco (champagne fruit)



Peaches, apples and cherries



Mulberries, grapes, persimmons and pomegranates



Citrus, pepino, figs and plums



Various berries and currants



A List of What’s Growing in the Food Forest

Here is a list of the trees and berries growing in the garden as at the start of 2019, herbs and perennial vegetables, annual vegetables and aquatic edibles aren’t listed here, otherwise it would be a very long list!

  1. Apple, Cox’s Orange Pippin
  2. Apple, Pink Lady
  3. Apple, Red Jonathan
  4. Apple, Royal Gala
  5. Appleberry, native
  6. Apricot, Moorpark
  7. Babaco
  8. Banana, Dwarf Cavendish
  9. Banana, Goldfinger
  10. Banana, Rajapuri
  11. Black Sapote, Tahiti (in pot)
  12. Blackberry, Thornless
  13. Blackberry, Waldo compact (in pot)
  14. Blueberry, Sunshibe Blue (in pot)
  15. Boysenberry
  16. Cherry Guava, Red
  17. Cherry Guava, Yellow
  18. Cherry, Starkrimson
  19. Chilean Guava
  20. Cranberry
  21. Currant, Red
  22. Currant, White
  23. Dragonfruit
  24. Elaeagnus x ebbingei, Ebbing’s silverberry (in pot)
  25. Elderberry, American (in pot)
  26. Elderberry, Black (in pot)
  27. Feijoa
  28. Fig, Dwarf Brown (in pot)
  29. Fig, White Adriatic
  30. Goji Berry
  31. Gooseberry
  32. Grape, Flame Seedless
  33. Grape, Red Globe
  34. Grape, Sultana
  35. Grapefruit
  36. Jaboticaba (in pot)
  37. Jujube, Li
  38. Lemon, Eureka
  39. Lime, Tahitian dwarf
  40. Loganberry
  41. Loganberry, Thornless
  42. Loquat, Champagne dwarf
  43. Mandarin, Imperial dwarf
  44. Mango, Bowens
  45. Marionberry
  46. Midyim berry, native
  47. Mulberry, Black
  48. Mulberry, Black English dwarf (in pot)
  49. Olive, Manzanillo (in pot)
  50. Orange, Valencia dwarf
  51. Orange, Washington Navel dwarf
  52. Pear, Williams
  53. Persimmon, Dai Dai Maru
  54. Persimmon, Nightingale
  55. Plum, Mariposa
  56. Plum, Satsuma
  57. Plum, Sloe (in pot)
  58. Plumcot, Flavour Rouge
  59. Pomegranat, Wonderful (in pot)
  60. Pomegranate
  61. Raspberry, Heritage Everbearer
  62. Raspberry, summer bearing variety
  63. Silvanberry
  64. Tayberry
  65. Wampi, Guy Sam (in pot)
  66. Wax Jambu, red (in pot)
  67. White Sapote, Kampong (in pot)
  68. White Sapote, Wilson
  69. Youngberry
  70. Youngberry, Thornless


The Food Forest Garden Ten Years Later

Due to the density of the foliage in a food forest, pictures are easier to take from above! The tall white round object in the background is a netted tree by the way.

These pictures show close to three quarters of the garden, there’s still more on the far side that wasn’t photographed. The previous photo pairs were taken with fairly primitive digital cameras nearly a decade ago, these pictures were taken with a decent DSLR camera and wide angle lens, lighting wasn’t ideal but it had to do, they give a good impression of how dense the garden is in late summer.















There might be a little room to squeeze a few more things in if we’re lucky!

This is what’s possible in an average urban backyard with a bit of experimentation and a lot of learning and practice, and when you’re enjoying what you’re doing, it isn’t work at all, and that’s how life should be.

Happy growing!



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Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – March

March heralds the beginning of autumn, so there’s lots of tidying up in the garden. It’s also an ideal time to plant new trees, as the weather is milder and there is some time for the trees to establish themselves before winter arrives.

Pick marrows, pumpkins and squash before the flesh becomes coarse. Only pick pumpkins when fully ripe (no green skin or stem), cut when stalk begins turning brown and withers.

It’s also time to lift root crops such as beetroot, carrots onions potatoes and turnips for storage and winter use. Leave parsnips in ground, they need some cold to taste the best.

If tomatoes have not ripened, the plants can be laid down flat on the ground and covered with a cloche (plastic covered frame) to speed up ripening.

Plant garlic now, as it prefers a period of cold weather to grow well.


Things to Do This Month:

  • Compost autumn leaves.
  • Collect perennial seeds and divide overgrown perennial plants.
  • Sow cool season green manure crops, such as rapeseed, broad beans, fenugreek, linseed, lupins, mustard, oats, subclover and vetch, then dug in during autumn before flowering.
  • Start planting new trees, shrubs, climbers, annuals and perennials – remember to water them regularly until they establish.
  • Relocate evergreen shrubs (can be done either in autumn and early spring).
  • Harvest autumn bearing raspberries, but leave canes unpruned till late winter-early spring
  • Finish pruning canes that have fruited from summer fruiting raspberries.
  • Prune blackcurrants and other brambleberries from now till winter.
  • Plant new strawberries
  • Remove autumn leaves from ponds and water gardens and thin out aquatic plants
  • Stop feeding container plants
  • Cut down asparagus foliage as it starts turning yellow and mulch the plants generously
  • Net trees to protect fruit from birds


Vegetables and Herbs to Sow:

Sow in April Harvest (weeks)
Beetroot ds 7-10
Broad Beans d 12-22
Broccoli ds 10-16
Buckwheat d 8-12
Cabbage ds 8-15
Caraway d 24 months
Carrots d 12-18
Cauliflower ds 15-22
Chervil d 6-8
Chicory d 8
Chinese Cabbage ds 8-10
Cress d 2-3
Garlic clove d 17-25
Kohlrabi d 7-10
Leeks ds 15-18
Lettuce ds 8-12
Mizuna d 5-7
Mustard Greens d 5-8
Oats d 8-12
Onions ds 25-34
Orach d 7-13
Spring Onions d 6-10
Parsley ds 9-19
Parsnip d 17-20
Potato tubers d 15-20
Radish d 5-7
Salad Burnett ds 6-8
Salsify d 14-21
Shallot bulbs d 12-15
Silverbeet ds 7-12
Spinach d 5-11
Strawberry runners d 11
Swedes d 10-14
Turnip d 6-9

d = sow directly into ground
s = sow in seed tray
ds = sow directly into ground or seed tray

Download printable PDF version of Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – March

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Horticultural Glues and Tree Banding Trees to Controls Ants and Other Pests


Glue-banding of tree trunks is an effective technique for controlling various pests of fruit trees. A waterproof band covered in horticultural glue, an aggressive long-lasting adhesive, is wrapped around the trunk of the tree to create a sticky barrier which prevents climbing insects from making their way into the tree canopy to feed, mate, and lay eggs. Glue barriers are also a useful way to keep ants away from hummingbird feeders without harming wildlife.

The use of horticultural glues is recognized as an effective pest control method in organic gardening, and is used to deny pests access to trees without the use of harmful chemical pesticides.


Which Pests Can Be Controlled?

The following pests can be controlled with glue-banding:

  • ants
  • cankerworms
  • codling moths
  • cutworms
  • earwigs
  • elm leaf beetles
  • gypsy moths
  • procession caterpillars
  • spotted lanternflies
  • tent caterpillars
  • weevils
  • winter moths

Please note that some of the pests listed above may be specific to certain locations around the world only, while other may be more widespread or universal in their occurrence

It’s important to point out that the reason ants may need to be controlled is because they ‘farm’ sap-sucking pests such as aphids, scale and mealy bugs to provide ant colonies with honeydew, which they use as a food source. Ants will shelter these pests in their underground colonies in winter, then carry them up into the tree canopies in springtime and strategically place them on new growth. When these pests suck the sap of the tree, they excrete a sugary liquid, termed ‘honeydew’ which the ants harvest. Since these pests are valuable to the ant colonies, the ants will protect them from predators such as beneficial predatory insects.

Ants guard pests such as aphids, and protect them from beneficial insects which eat them

Glue bands create effective barrier for ants denying them access to the pests they protect

Glue-banding can make all the difference in respect to whether pest populations survive or perish. In a Japanese study of how ants manage aphid herds on mugwort plants (“Color polymorphism in an aphid is maintained by attending ants” by Saori Watanabe, Taiga Murakami, Jin Yoshimura and Eisuke Hasegawa), it was found that when the stems of the mugwort plants were protected with horticultural glue to deny the ants access, the aphid populations soon became extinct due to the action of predators, an indication of how effective the natural controls are. When the ants aren’t able to protect the pests, the beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps, ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies get rid of them up much more quickly and easily.

Looking at the list of pests which can be controlled by glue-banding, it may be apparent that some are flying insects rather than climbing insects.

You may be wondering how glue-band barriers stop flying insects such as moths? By understanding the nature and habits of pests we are better placed to control them. Moths have four stages in their life cycle – adults lay eggs which turn to caterpillars, the caterpillars pupate in their cocoons and drop into the soil where they overwinter, emerging when the soil warms up in spring. When they first emerge they don’t fly freely, they tend to climb up the trunk of the tree flapping their wings, which is why the barrier is effective against them. Additionally, if any caterpillars fall from the tree canopy, they wont be able to get back up, and if they decide to move from an unprotected tree to a protected one for more favourable conditions their journey will be halted.

Weevils are a type of beetle, and even though they have wings, many adult weevils do not fly, and so can be stopped by the use of glue bands on tree trunks.


How to Glue Band a Tree Trunk

Horticultural glues are they key component of a glue band barrier, they are a very sticky, non-drying, waterproof and that remain effective over a long time. The are sold under various product names, such as Tanglefoot in the US, Trappit in the UK, Tree Guard in Australia.


You can also purchase ready-to-use products such as the On-Guard Fruit Tree Grease Band which comes on a roll and is easy to cut and fit.This product is fastened 45cm above the soil level, and tied in place with the provided fastening material.


On-Guard Fruit Tree Grease Band fastened onto on tree trunk, with a few insects trapped

Horticultural glues are never applied directly onto the bark of a tree, as trees with thin bark, especially young trees and citrus trees can be sensitive to direct glue application. If the tree bark gets damaged right around its circumference, the tree will be ring-barked and die! Furthermore, the glue makes a sticky mess once it’s covered with insects. Always apply a protective banding material around the tree trunk first, then apply a layer of horticultural glue onto that, this way it’s removable and replaceable.


Banding Materials

Tanglefoot make a tree banding product Tangle Guard, which looks like a very thin cardboard-like material, The manufacturer recommends wrapping the band 1.5m (5’) above the ground (if your tree trunks are that tall! – I recommend 45cm or 1.5’), overlapping it 1.25cm (1/2”), then fastening with duct tape and applying the horticultural glue over the banding.



Banding materials are oil resistant, as this prevents them soaking up the glue, which means less glue is needed, and the glue stays sticky for longer. They are also waterproof and rot-proof for obvious reasons, they need to last for a while outside in the elements.

You can make your own banding materials from duct-tape, masking tape or electricians tape, use the widest tape you can buy, if it’s close to 7cm (3”) wide, that’s ideal. Unlike the way most people do it, I recommend wrapping the tape with the sticky side OUTSIDE, not on the tree bark!

Some gardeners use cling-wrap which is used in the kitchen as tree banding, it may require a few layers to get a strong surface that doesn’t tear when applying the glue layer. Pallet Shrink Wrap, which is a much heavier duty wrapping plastic could possibly work also.


Where to Band a Tree Trunk

Banding trees at 45-50cm (approx 1.5’) above the ground is a good practical height as most backyard trees are pruned so the trunks are between 60cm-100cm )2’-3’) tall when they’re purchased from a garden nursery.

Some of the horticultural glue manufacturers recommend banding trees around 1.2-1.5m (4’-5’) above the ground, that would only be relevant to very tall trees whose trunks are very tall and branching begins at a height much higher than the banding height.

Before applying tree bands to tree trunks, make sure that there aren’t any low hanging branches touching nearby plants which pests can use as an alternative path to get around the glue barriers to get into the trees.

If the tree bark is rough or has cracks and crevices, it’s often recommended to use cotton balls to close up big gaps to stop insects getting underneath the tree banding material.


Applying the Tree Banding

How to glue band a tree using adhesive tape:

  1. Place the smooth non-sticky side of the tape against the tree bark
  2. Stretch the tape around the tree trunk with the sticky side on the outside (not on the tree bark side), then overlap it around 10cm (4”) to secure it in place, then cut.
  3. Fold over the top corner to create a small tab to make it easier to peel the tape off when it needs to be replaced.
  4. Using a disposable spatula, icy-pole stick or putty knife spread a wide band of horticultural glue around 10cm (3") wide over the banding material.
  5. When the tree band is covered in insects or is no longer sticky, remove and replace.
  6. Remove tape at the end of the pest season to avoid girdling the tree and restricting its growth


When to Apply Glue-Banding

Timing of tree banding will vary with location and pest being controlled. Many pests emerge in spring, such as ants and codling moths, whereas other pests may be active in autumn, such as fall cankerworms. It’s best to place banding on the trees before the season of pest activity, such as late winter for springtime pests, so the controls are in place before the pests emerge.


What about Elm Leaf Beetle?

Glue banding will work on elm leaf beetles because their larvae (grubs) need to crawl down the tree to pupate near ground level. This happens between December and early February in Australia (summer) depending on weather. By placing a wide band around 20cm (8") wide made of sticky-side-outward facing adhesive tape around the tree trunk (spiral several overlapping layers around the tree trunk to make up the required width), the larvae will be caught, breaking their life cycle. Spreading the horticultural glue over the tape will be more effective but apparently the sticky side of the tape will work reasonable well on its own. The larvae that fall out of the tree canopy won’t be caught, but the rest will.


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Guest Post – What is a Tiny House and How You Can Get One by Molli McGee


Image source

The best things often come in tiny packages, and this is certainly the case when it comes to tiny houses. At no more than 500 square feet, tiny houses come packed with functional and often eco-friendly features. There are two main types: tiny houses on wheels and tiny houses on foundations. A tiny house on foundations has all the comforts of a residential home and is usually built on a concrete foundation. While similar to a tiny house on foundations, tiny houses on wheels are built securely on a trailer.

Tiny living comes with a number of benefits. Here’s a few of the top ones:

  • Kind to your wallet
  • Kind to the environment
  • Off-grid capabilities
  • Brings people closer together

Does this way of living interest you? Luckily, there are a number of different ways to get your very own tiny house.


Buy from a Qualified Tiny House Builder

Similar to a residential home, a tiny house should be built by someone who knows what they’re doing. In the U.S., each state has a number of qualified tiny house builders who know how to build to code. Here are a few important questions to ask before choosing your tiny house builder:

  • Do they have experience building tiny houses?
  • Do they have certifications?
  • What kinds of materials do they use?
  • Can they build exactly what I want?


Buy a Second-Hand Tiny House

Lots of people opt to go second-hand, although buying a “used tiny house” is a lot like buying a used car. Be sure to do plenty of research and view the tiny home with someone who knows what to look for. Here are a few tips on what to look for when buying a second-hand tiny house:

  • Find out why the tiny house is being sold. If there are any issues with the tiny home, be sure to find out what they are before taking the leap.
  • Find out who the builder is. Knowing who built the tiny house will tell you a lot about the quality of the home.
  • Compare prices. See how the price of the second-hand tiny house compares to new tiny homes.
  • Check out the features. If you need to add features later, this could bring up your cost significantly.


Build Your Own Using Reclaimed Materials


By using second-hand materials, you can put together some beautiful and eco-friendly finishing touches on your tiny home. First, start by making a list of all the features you would like to include. Next, look around your local area for building sites and second-hand stores. You never know what treasures you’ll find to make your tiny house standout!

Image courtesy of Molli McGee

Pro Tip: Windows are a pricey part of the build process. You can save a pretty penny by purchasing your windows second-hand.


Prefabricated or a Tiny House Shell

A prefabricated tiny house is a great affordable option because they’re typically a set design with variations in size. With each piece of the tiny house perfected in a warehouse, the prefabricated home is generally durable and highly energy efficient. On the other hand, a tiny house shell is another great option if you feel unsure about the structural aspect of building your own tiny house.


The Takeaway

Tiny houses are perfect for anyone who desires simple, mindful living. While living in a tiny house isn’t necessarily for everyone, it’s an excellent option for those who are willing to go tiny to live in a big way.

Interested in learning more about tiny houses? Visit for more!


Author: Molli McGee

Molli is a U.S. citizen currently living in Cape Town, South Africa. Aside from writing about tiny houses for the Tiny House Society, she enjoys to surf and promote a sustainable way of living.




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