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”

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?”

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?”

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”

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”

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 Improve Drainage in Plant Pots, The Proper Way to Do It!

When growing plants in pots, it’s sometimes necessary to increase drainage because some plants are sensitive to excessive moisture around their root zone, and stagnant water at the bottom of the pot can lead to root rot. The old garden myth of putting a layer of rocks in the bottom of a pot to increaseContinue reading “How to Improve Drainage in Plant Pots, The Proper Way to Do It!”

What Age Wood Do Fruit Trees Flower and Fruit On?

Fruit trees flower and fruit each year, but some of them do so only on new branches, or specific parts of older branches. Why does this matter? If we prune off the wrong branches, we might lose our whole fruit crop for a year! By knowing what age of wood fruit trees producing their fruitContinue reading “What Age Wood Do Fruit Trees Flower and Fruit On?”

The Fastest Way to Transplant Volunteer Seedlings with Minimum Root Disturbance

  It’s always a great idea to let vegetables such as lettuce to go to seed, because a single plant can produce hundreds of seeds, resulting in lettuce seedlings popping up all around the garden. Plants that grow on their own, that weren’t intentionally planted, are known as volunteers, and volunteer vegetable seedlings are basicallyContinue reading “The Fastest Way to Transplant Volunteer Seedlings with Minimum Root Disturbance”

Companion Planting with Land Cress for Natural Caterpillar Control

Land Cress (Barbarea vulgaris) and American Upland Cress (Barbarea verna) are biennial, edible leafy-green vegetables from the Brassicaceae (cabbage) family. The young leaves, which are spicy in flavour, are often used as a substitute for watercress in dishes, and can be cooked, or used fresh in salads and sandwiches. They’re nutritious leaf vegetables that containContinue reading “Companion Planting with Land Cress for Natural Caterpillar Control”

How to Plant, Grow and Harvest Potatoes

Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are a herbaceous, perennial, root-crop plant from the Solanaceae (Nightshade) family that grow to around 60cm (24”) high, and are native to Central and South America. They originated in the Andean highlands almost 10,000 years ago, but have naturalised widely and spread to all continents, growing in climates ranging from temperate toContinue reading “How to Plant, Grow and Harvest Potatoes”

Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 5, How to Plant Seedlings

How to Plant Seedling in Six Easy Steps Once we’ve selected the appropriate seedlings that are in season, it’s seedling planting time! In this article we’ll cover the fundamentals of seedling planting, the procedure is very simple and much easier than sowing seeds. If you’re a beginner to food gardening, I recommend starting off usingContinue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 5, How to Plant Seedlings”

Soil Chemistry Fundamentals, Part 2 – How to Change Soil pH in Organic Gardening

  Most plants prefer a neutral soil around pH 6.5 to 7.5, but many will grow favourably in the broader pH range of 5.5 to 8. When soils become too acidic or too alkaline, some essential plant nutrient will become unavailable to plants, negatively impacting plant growth and yields, so it’s desirable to correct theContinue reading “Soil Chemistry Fundamentals, Part 2 – How to Change Soil pH in Organic Gardening”

Soil Chemistry Fundamentals, Part 1 – Understanding Soil pH and How it Affects Plant Nutrient Availability

What is soil pH? How does it affect soil microorganisms and nutrient availability to plants? What is the optimum soil pH for plants? In this article we’ll answer all those questions and more, explaining soil chemistry in a practical way that is useful to gardeners.   What is Soil pH? In chemistry, the pH scaleContinue reading “Soil Chemistry Fundamentals, Part 1 – Understanding Soil pH and How it Affects Plant Nutrient Availability”

What Materials Can You Put Into Your Compost Bin and What Not to Compost

Composting is Mother Nature’s ultimate recycling process which converts everything that was once living back into soil. We can compost a lot of organic matter in our homes and gardens, and use it to improve the quality of our soil, rather than toss it out into landfill. For successful composting, it’s important that we useContinue reading “What Materials Can You Put Into Your Compost Bin and What Not to Compost”

Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 4, How to Sow Seeds Directly Into the Ground and Into Seedling Trays

Sowing Seeds Directly Into the Ground or Into Seedling Trays Once we’ve selected the appropriate seeds or seedlings that are in season, it’s seed sowing or seedling planting time! In this article we’ll cover the fundamentals of seed sowing, the procedure is quite straightforward and only a bit more complicated than planting seedlings. Where toContinue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 4, How to Sow Seeds Directly Into the Ground and Into Seedling Trays”

Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 3, When to Sow Seeds and Plant Seedlings

Sowing Seeds and Planting Seedlings at The Right Time of the Year Once you’ve selected a good location to start a food garden, and prepared the soil in the garden bed to make it suitable for growing plants, the next step is to plant it up! Before any planting is done though, there are aContinue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 3, When to Sow Seeds and Plant Seedlings”

Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 2, How to Prepare the Soil

Preparing the Soil for Growing Food The secret to successful food gardening is rich, healthy soil. What goes into the soil goes into the food coming out of it! Plants take mineral nutrients and water from the soil, along with carbon dioxide from the air and sunlight from the sun to feed themselves and produceContinue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 2, How to Prepare the Soil”