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!”

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 as beneficialContinue 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”

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”

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 Prune a Mulberry Tree for Multiple Crops 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 Prune a Mulberry Tree for Multiple Crops 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?”

Can Eucalyptus Leaves be Composted or Used as Garden Mulch?

In Australia, one of the most common trees are eucalyptus trees, also known as eucalypts or gum trees. These evergreen trees manage to drop a decent amount of their leaves, branches, twigs and gumnuts below their canopy. Since this debris doesn’t rot very easily, it can persist for a very long time. It’s tempting forContinue reading “Can Eucalyptus Leaves be Composted or Used as Garden Mulch?”

How to Sterilize and Disinfect Pruning Tools

Plant diseases, caused by pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi, can easily be spread from one plant or tree to another if pruning tools are not disinfected before use. Sap from trees and plants usually sticks to the blades of secateurs, loppers, saws and other pruning tools. Any infected sap can transfer diseases toContinue reading “How to Sterilize and Disinfect Pruning Tools”

Guest Post – Should You Get a French Drain?

Despite its name, a French drain didn’t come from France. It’s a drainage system created by an American named Henry Flagg French. It’s mostly used for removing water from fields, but today, it’s much more common to use french drains to avert water from inside homes or yards. In short, a French drain is usedContinue reading “Guest Post – Should You Get a French Drain?”

Is Tree Stump Killer Herbicide Safe Around Ponds?

The active ingredient in herbicides used specifically for killing trees and tree stumps is triclopyr butoxyethanol ester (triclopyr BEE), which is NOT safe to use around ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, any other waterways or bodies of water. The product leaflet for Triclopyr 600 Herbicide issues the following warning: PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE, FISH, CRUSTACEANS AND ENVIRONMENTContinue reading “Is Tree Stump Killer Herbicide Safe Around Ponds?”

Why Do Earthworms Gather at the Top of Compost Bins or Worm Farms and Try to Escape?

Compost worms in worm farms and earthworms in compost bins can often be seen gathering in large numbers inside the lid, often trying to escape. This usually happens when it’s about to rain. Before it begins to rain, the air pressure (barometric pressure) in the atmosphere drops, and the worms can sense this, so theyContinue reading “Why Do Earthworms Gather at the Top of Compost Bins or Worm Farms and Try to Escape?”

How to Repair Broken Terracotta Pots and Garden Features

Terracotta is a hard, fired clay that’s reddish-orange in colour, and is commonly used for making pots and garden features. This material has been used by human civilisations for centuries, dating back to the times of ancient China, Greece and Egypt, a testament to its usefulness. Unlike plastic pots which degrade over time with exposureContinue reading “How to Repair Broken Terracotta Pots and Garden Features”

How to Identify and Treat Herbicide Contamination of Commercial Soil, Compost and Manure

Over the last decade, there have been increasing reports from gardeners that their vegetables and flowers have been damaged or killed after adding manure or compost to their gardens, or when they’ve planted into new soil they had delivered. In fact, the problems of contaminated composts adversely affecting horticultural crops first surfaced in 1999. TheContinue reading “How to Identify and Treat Herbicide Contamination of Commercial Soil, Compost and Manure”