Burr Knots, What Are the Root-Like Growths on Apple Trees Trunks and Branches?

Burr knots (burrs or burls) are masses of small root initials, plant cells that are dividing and transforming into root tips, which appears on the above-ground portion of a rootstock, or on the trunk and limbs of apple trees. This is an inherited disorder where root-producing structures develop on aerial parts of certain apple trees.Continue reading “Burr Knots, What Are the Root-Like Growths on Apple Trees Trunks and Branches?”

Why Are My Tomatoes Cracking and Splitting?

Fruit cracking is a common problem in tomatoes when there is a wide fluctuation in soil moisture levels, which leads to inconsistent water content within the plant.  This is usually caused by huge temperature variations and/or inconsistent irrigation. The cracking or splitting of tomato fruit can take two forms: Radial cracking, where the cracks radiateContinue reading “Why Are My Tomatoes Cracking and Splitting?”

How To Make Safe and Effective Rat and Mouse Baits Using Baking Soda

Introduced, non-native, feral rodents, such as the Black Rat (Rattus rattus), Brown Rat, aka Ship Rat or Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus) and House Mouse (Mus musculus) are serious pests that need to be controlled. The danger with using commercial poison baits to control rats and mice is that pets or native wildlife (mammals and birds)Continue reading “How To Make Safe and Effective Rat and Mouse Baits Using Baking Soda”

How to Make a Bottle Trap to Control European Wasps

The European wasp (Vespula germanica) is a social wasp that lives in large nest colonies. It’s native to Europe, North Africa and Asia, and has now spread throughout the world. In the US, these wasps are known as German yellowjackets. Why Are European Wasps Considered Pests? European wasps are a pest because they are anContinue reading “How to Make a Bottle Trap to Control European Wasps”

Why Are My Tomatoes Not Ripening?

Tomatoes require a sufficiently long growing season and suitable temperatures in order to ripen their fruit, otherwise the fruit may stay green and fail to ripen. When growing conditions are less than ideal, there are ways for gardeners to turn things in their favour, to ensure a successful tomato harvest at the end of theContinue reading “Why Are My Tomatoes Not Ripening?”

Which Indoor Plants Are Sensitive to Fluoride in Tap Water?

Some houseplants are sensitive to the fluoride that is added to municipal tap water for the purpose of preventing tooth decay in humans. The symptom of fluoride toxicity in plants is leaf necrosis (yellowing, then browning, leading to dead, scorched areas on the leaf), which appears mainly at the tips of the leaves and alongContinue reading “Which Indoor Plants Are Sensitive to Fluoride in Tap Water?”

How to Make a Queensland Fruit Fly Trap and Bait

One of the most damaging pests of fruit and vegetables in Australia is the Queensland fruit fly or Qfly (Bactrocera tryoni). To control this pest, you can make your own home made traps using empty clear plastic bottles, and also make the homemade bait lure liquid to put into them, as described in this article.Continue reading “How to Make a Queensland Fruit Fly Trap and Bait”

Why Are My Tomatoes Flowering But Not Setting Fruit?

It’s quite disappointing for gardeners when healthy and vigorous tomato plants,drop their flowers and fail to produce fruit after a good growing season. Tomato plants have what are described as complete flowers, they contain both the male and female parts within the same flower. The tomato flowers grow in downward hanging clusters that are pollinatedContinue reading “Why Are My Tomatoes Flowering But Not Setting Fruit?”

Why Indoor Plant Leaves Turn Yellow and Drop

When houseplant (indoor plant) leaves turn yellow, it’s usually one of the first symptoms indicating that the plant is stressed. If the conditions causing the plant stress are not alleviated, the yellow leaves may eventually turn brown and drop. Plant stress can be caused by a wide variety of issues, and can be categorised asContinue reading “Why Indoor Plant Leaves Turn Yellow and Drop”

How to Make Horticultural Oil Spray for Organic Pest Control

Horticultural oil, also known as white oil, is an easy and inexpensive pesticide to prepare at home from readily-available materials. It is used to control scale, aphids, mealy bug, citrus leaf miner, mites and caterpillars on roses, ornamentals, citrus and other fruit trees. The commercial white oil or horticultural oil insecticides sold in garden centresContinue reading “How to Make Horticultural Oil Spray for Organic Pest Control”

How to Protect Plants from Frost with Seaweed Extract

Many warm-season crops, such cantaloupe, capsicums, chillies, cucumbers, eggplants, lima beans, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, and watermelon, are native to subtropical climates, and are therefore very frost-sensitive. They prefer temperatures of 21°C (70°F) to 35°C (95°F), and need daytime temperatures above 15.5°C (60°F). A week of daytime temperatures below 12.5°C (55°F) may stunt their growth, andContinue reading “How to Protect Plants from Frost with Seaweed Extract”

The Best Way to Use Pest Animal Scent Repellents So They Don’t Wash Away

Odor repellent (scent repellent) products are an effective way of deterring unwanted pest animals from visiting the garden and causing damage. They either contain ingredients which pest animals find offensive and objectionable, or those that evoke an instinctive reaction of fear in pest animals, because they smell like predators, or the remnants of their work.Continue reading “The Best Way to Use Pest Animal Scent Repellents So They Don’t Wash Away”

What are the Brown Spots on Feijoa or Pineapple Guava Leaves?

The feijoa (Acca sellowiana), commonly known as pineapple guava, is an evergreen fruiting shrub or small tree from the Myrtaceae family, that is native to South America. It is widely grown in the subtropics and in warm temperate areas. This remarkably hardy plant is quite resistant to pests and diseases, heat-tolerant and moderately salt-tolerant, makingContinue reading “What are the Brown Spots on Feijoa or Pineapple Guava Leaves?”

Does Watering Plants on a Hot Sunny Day Scorch Their Leaves?

One common gardening myth is that watering plants on a hot, sunny day will scorch their leaves. Is this a fact or a fallacy? There appears to be no information published by university agricultural extension agencies, or in the horticulture literature, to support this idea. So, where does this idea come from? In the scientificContinue reading “Does Watering Plants on a Hot Sunny Day Scorch Their Leaves?”

How to Make a Simple Earwig Trap That Doesn’t Need Bait

European earwigs are usually considered to be garden pests, but they rarely damage leafy green vegetables. When they do, they leave many rough irregular holes with a shredded, jagged appearance in the leaves, much like snail and slug damage. They also chew leaves around the edges, similar to the damage caused by caterpillars. Before treatingContinue reading “How to Make a Simple Earwig Trap That Doesn’t Need Bait”

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”

How to Make an Outdoor Ant Trap to Protect Fruit Trees from Aphid and Scale Pests

Spring is the time when the weather warms up, and nature springs to life. Fruit trees flower and put out their new leaves ready for the growing season. Sugar rich sap rises from the roots of fruit trees to fuel the new season’s growth. Gardeners look forward to the beginnings of spring, but so doContinue reading “How to Make an Outdoor Ant Trap to Protect Fruit Trees from Aphid and Scale Pests”

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”

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”

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?”