Understanding How Photosynthesis Works, A Comprehensive Guide for Gardeners

Photosynthesis is a fundamental process used by plants, algae, and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) to absorb the energy of sunlight and convert it into stored chemical energy. They do this by using carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, and water (H2O) from the soil, to produce […]

Why Do Plant Leaves Sometimes Turn Red Under Artificial Grow Lights?

When plants are grown under artificial lighting, such as LED grow lights, the leaves might turn red in colour, due to a phenomenon known as anthocyanin accumulation. Anthocyanins are water-soluble flavonoid plant pigments that produce the major red, blue and purple colours in flowers, fruits […]

Does Permaculture Work? This is What AI Has To Say…

After many decades, there still seems to be some controversy in the horticulture world as to whether permaculture design works, despite many thriving and successful examples of working permaculture demonstration sites worldwide. For my amusement, I decided to ask the AI (artificial intelligence) program ChatGTP […]

How to Deadhead Roses to Keep Them Blooming

Deadheading is a pruning technique for removing flowers once they’ve finished in order to encourage plants to direct their energy into producing new flowers and extend their flowering period, rather expending their energy reserves on old spent flowers to produce seeds. Removing spent flowers is also […]

Are Paper Wasps Beneficial in the Garden?

Paper wasps are beneficial insects that are a natural part of the native ecosystem and play an important role in pollination and pest population control. Paper Wasp Identification There are many species of paper wasps worldwide, so they do vary in appearance, but the distinctive […]

What Are Crane Flies and Are They Harmful?

Crane flies (Family Tipulidae) look like giant mosquitoes, being up to 3cm (1-1/4″) in length, with a long slender abdomen, very long thin legs, narrow wings, and long antennas with multiple segments per stalk. They can be brown, green or white in colour. They’re sometimes called […]

The Best Ways to Fill Space in Tall Plant Pots That Are Too Deep

Tall plant pots can look quite elegant indoors or out in the garden, their shapes serving as visually appealing aesthetic design elements. One of the downsides though to using such deep pots is the large volume of growing medium (potting mix) that it takes to […]

How Much of a Difference Does the Thermal Mass of a Wall Make for Plants and Trees in Winter?

Warm season vegetables and fruit trees are often grown close to brick, stone and concrete walls facing the midday or afternoon sun. This is because these surfaces act as a thermal mass, heating up during the day, and releasing the heat at night as the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Are Ornamental Sweet Peas Edible?

Are Ornamental Sweet Peas Edible? Ornamental sweet peas are not edible, they are toxic and should not be eaten! The common sweet pea, Lathyrus odoratus is an ornamental leguminous annual climbing plant which is native to southern Italy, and is grown purely for its very […]

What Are The Best Rocks to Use in Wicking Beds?

One of the questions that many people have when constructing wicking beds is what are the best rocks to use in the water reservoir section underneath. Coarse scoria is the recommended material, but are there any reasonable substitutes? As a bit of background, a wicking […]

Permaculture Plants – Australian Indigo, the Nitrogen Fixing Tree for Small Sites, an Alternative to Tagasaste for Urban Gardens

In permaculture, tagasaste (tree lucerne) is used as a nitrogen-fixing tree on large sites and rural properties, but it can grow around 5-7m tall and equally wide, which is way too large for smaller urban properties. Luckily for Australian permaculture gardeners, we have a much […]

Permaculture Plants – Tagasaste, the Nitrogen Fixing Tree for Large Sites

Permaculture is all about energy-efficient design, and if you can add a single design element to a site that can perform many functions, then that’s an incredible gain in efficiency! A tree that could do almost everything would be incredible, but it doesn’t exist. The […]

Should You Tease Out Plant Roots When Transplanting? Garden Mythbusting!

Any gardener who has ever transplanted or repotted plants has seen first-hand how plants that have been grown in pots can sometimes get rootbound, with their roots spiralling or circling around the rootball. This is quite an unnatural way for plant roots to grow, as […]

What is the Ideal Size for a Raised Garden Bed?

What is the optimum size of a garden bed? What is the most efficient width and length in terms of human ergonomics? What is the perfect balance between cost of materials, gardening space and usability? These are important questions in permaculture energy-efficient design. How Wide […]

How to Choose the Right Lawn Alternatives

Don’t want a lawn? Lawn alternatives are suitable for low–traffic areas where the plants won’t get trampled on too heavily, or to fill the gaps between pavers. What lawn alternative plants do very well is form a nice thick mat which is quite effective at […]

Can You Grow Pistachio Nut Trees?

With the ever-increasing interest in food growing worldwide, many people are trying their hand at growing nut trees with great success. Pistachio nuts are very popular, just about everyone loves them, and it’s inevitable that some gardeners will take interest in growing their very own […]

How to Recognise Praying Mantis Eggs

Praying mantises are a beneficial predator in your garden, they eat other insects and keep the pest insect population down. It’s important to be able to recognise their eggs so that you don’t accidentally damage them, that way you’ll be rewarded with a garden full […]

Lawn Alternatives – Creeping Thyme

Creeping Thyme ‘Coccineus’ growing in my French drain Alternatives to Lawn When is a lawn not a lawn? When it is a lawn alternative – something other than grass! Lawns are everywhere, and for better or for worse they are a deeply ingrained part of […]