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”

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 Make Borax Ant Bait for Indoor and Outdoor Use

Ants can be a major pest in the garden because they ‘farm’ aphids and scale – they safeguard them in their nests over winter, then bring them out in spring and carry them onto the new plant growth, then collect the honeydew that aphids and scale excrete as they feed off the plant’s sap. ToContinue reading “How to Make Borax Ant Bait for Indoor and Outdoor Use”

The Easiest Way to Dry and Process Turmeric Root to Make Turmeric Powder

  Turmeric (Curcuma longa syn. C. domestica) is a subtropical/tropical plant which is a member of the ginger (Zingiberaceae) family, and is native to Southwest India. It’s grown traditionally as a spice, medicine and as a source of bright yellow dye. Ground turmeric root is an important culinary spice, and curry powder contains up toContinue reading “The Easiest Way to Dry and Process Turmeric Root to Make Turmeric Powder”

Three Simple Soil Tests to Determine What Type of Soil You Have

Healthy plants only grow in healthy soils, and if you know what type of soil you’re working with, you’re better able to improve it to get the best results from your garden. In this article, we’ll discuss what soil is composed of, and show you three easy tests that you can perform at home withoutContinue reading “Three Simple Soil Tests to Determine What Type of Soil You Have”

How to Make Aloe Vera Gel from Fresh Aloe Vera Leaves

Aloe vera leaves contain a gel which is used externally to treat skin irritation, minor burns, sunburn, itching due to allergies and insect bites, sores, skin ulcers and many other conditions. The edible variety, Aloe vera barbadensis miller, is also used to make Aloe vera juice. This useful plant has a been used medicinally forContinue reading “How to Make Aloe Vera Gel from Fresh Aloe Vera Leaves”

Garden Arches, Vertical Gardening for More Growing Area in Small Spaces

Small-space gardening is becoming increasingly popular as outdoor spaces and gardens get progressively smaller in urban areas. There are many ways to maximise the use of limited available space, and one of the best ways is vertical gardening, growing upwards rather than outwards! Gardeners are very resourceful, and in the gardening world there are manyContinue reading “Garden Arches, Vertical Gardening for More Growing Area in Small Spaces”

How to Prune a Fruit Tree, Step By Step

Fruit tree pruning is both an art and a science. The art to fruit tree pruning is not something that can be taught in a short article or video, but basic pruning technique is quite easy to understand, and once grasped, almost anyone can maintain a fruit tree, and do so successfully, year after year.Continue reading “How to Prune a Fruit Tree, Step By Step”

How to Prune Grape Vines – Cane and Spur Pruning Explained

Grapes fruit on new season’s shoots which arise from one-year-old canes. Once these canes have produced their fruit for the season, they will not produce again. To keep grapes productive, they need to be pruned to renew the young canes which will produce in the following year. Getting Started, Planting New Vines, Creating the FrameworkContinue reading “How to Prune Grape Vines – Cane and Spur Pruning Explained”

Tree Pruning, How to Remove Tree Branches Correctly

The first step in pruning a tree, before making and cuts to change the shape or size of a tree, is to remove any dead, diseased or broken branches. If removing a branch completely, it’s important to make the cut correctly so as to not cause any further damage to the tree. Thinner branches aroundContinue reading “Tree Pruning, How to Remove Tree Branches Correctly”

How To Plant a Fruit Tree

“He who plants a tree plants a hope.” -Lucy Larcom Planting a fruit tree is truly an investment in the future, it may take a year or three before a tree begins to bear fruit, but most fruit trees can be productive for 20 to 30 years or more. To give a fruit tree itsContinue reading “How To Plant a Fruit Tree”

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, andContinue reading “Horticultural Glues and Tree Banding Trees to Controls Ants and Other Pests”

Small-Space Intensive Tomato Growing

Want to grow lots of tomatoes in limited spaces, even containers? Ever wondered how the commercial hydroponic growers pack in as many plants as possible in their growing areas? By understanding the way tomatoes grow, we can select the right plants and utilise their growth habit for maximum production in the smallest of spaces.  Continue reading “Small-Space Intensive Tomato Growing”

Rooting Edible Plant Cuttings in Water

Plants which can take can root in water can be propagated very easily from cuttings. All you need to do is leave the cuttings sitting in a glass or a jar of water in a location with indirect light. Not all plants can be rooted in water though. Learn which ones can be – I’veContinue reading “Rooting Edible Plant Cuttings in Water”

How to Kill a Tree Stump Without Poisonous Chemicals

(Image source: Childzy, Wikimedia Commons) Sometimes we need to cut down trees to remove them, but chopping trees down to the ground does not stop them putting out new growth from the stump or from the roots and eventually turning back into full sized trees again. In fact, the technique of cutting trees down toContinue reading “How to Kill a Tree Stump Without Poisonous Chemicals”

Grafting Eggplant onto Devil Plant

Would you like to grow an eggplant tree, yes you heard right, a tree, that can produce dozens of eggplants, and not die down in winter? Well, you can if you graft eggplants (or tomatoes) onto a perennial Devil Plant rootstock. In this article (which is probably one of the most comprehensive articles on theContinue reading “Grafting Eggplant onto Devil Plant”

Bokashi Soil Generator, Turn Food Waste Into Nutrient Rich Soil

What do you do with your bokashi bin contents if you don’t have a large garden to dig them into? As discussed in the previous Bokashi Composting article, you can always put the processed bokashi food waste into your compost bin or into your worm farm (a little at a time till the worms getContinue reading “Bokashi Soil Generator, Turn Food Waste Into Nutrient Rich Soil”

Crop Rotation Systems for Annual Vegetables

Vegetable gardeners can run into major issues with productivity and diseases in their vegetable garden if they’re not practising crop rotation. Read more about using crop rotation systems to increase garden productivity, reduce pests and diseases and increase soil fertility. There are also some really innovative ideas for small-space garden crop rotation in this article that I’ve written onContinue reading “Crop Rotation Systems for Annual Vegetables”

Hugelkultur Bed Construction for Large and Small Spaces

Learn how to construct two different types of Hügelkultur raised beds which will allow you to compost all those heavy branches, tree trunks and woody prunings while at the same time improving the fertility and water retention of your soil. The first design is a traditional Hügelkultur bed for those people with big gardens andContinue reading “Hugelkultur Bed Construction for Large and Small Spaces”

DIY Self-Watering Pots and Mini Wicking Beds

If building a  full-sized wicking bed seems too daunting (and expensive), then how about some small to medium scale self watering systems that you can build quickly, cheaply and easily from recycled materials? Learn how to design and build a few different projects, from small self-watering pots to mini wicking beds  –   I’ve published anContinue reading “DIY Self-Watering Pots and Mini Wicking Beds”