Willows are fast growing, deciduous trees of the genus Salix, that are mostly native to the temperate areas of the Northern hemisphere, growing in regions with moist soils, but are adaptable to almost any soil conditions. The Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica) pictured above is one of the most recognisable willow trees worldwide. It’s quite unmistakableContinue reading “5 Ecologically Sustainable Uses for Willow Trees”
Category Archives: Resources
What is Soil Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)?
The soil cation exchange capacity (CEC) is the ability of soils to bind and store a particular group of nutrients by electrical attraction, those that form positively charged cations, such as calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), potassium (K+), and nitrogen in the form of ammonium (NH4+). Soils are composed of a mixture of sand, silt, clayContinue reading “What is Soil Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)?”
How Long Do Fruit Trees Live?
The life expectancy of fruit trees varies with the type of fruit tree, and the rootstock that they’re grafted onto (if they’re not growing on their own roots). Trees on dwarf rootstock tend to have a shorter life span than their larger counterparts because the way that the dwarfing effect is achieved is due toContinue reading “How Long Do Fruit Trees Live?”
Why Are Citrus Trees and Other Evergreens Planted in Spring?
The recommended time for planting all evergreen trees and plants, including citrus, is in spring, and the next best time to plant them is in early autumn. The question many new gardeners ask is why? Evergreen trees and plants retain their leaves all year round. They don’t drop their leaves in autumn and become bareContinue reading “Why Are Citrus Trees and Other Evergreens Planted in Spring?”
Selecting the Right Size Pot or Container for Growing Vegetables
Container gardening is a great way to grow vegetables when there is no space left in the garden beds, or when space is limited, such as in a courtyard or balcony. When growing in a pot or container, the three main requirements are: The container is of sufficient size for the plants growing in it.Continue reading “Selecting the Right Size Pot or Container for Growing Vegetables”
The Definitive Guide on How to Compost Everything from the Garden and Kitchen
Just about everything can be composted using cold (slow) composting, hot (fast) composting, worm farms (vermicomposting), bokashi composting and Hügelkultur composting. The table in this article lists how to compost just about every garden and kitchen material that can be recycled, and which composting systems can be used to compost it. One of the mostContinue reading “The Definitive Guide on How to Compost Everything from the Garden and Kitchen”
How Many Hours of 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 Many Hours of Sun Do Vegetables and Herbs Need to Grow?”
How Much Potting Mix Does a Garden Pot Hold?
Plastic garden pots come in a range of standard sizes. When filling a large pot, or a number of smaller pots, gardeners often have to estimate how much potting mix they will require. Bags of potting mix specify how many litres they hold, usually 25-30L for a standard bag, and 40L in the extra-large ones.Continue reading “How Much Potting Mix Does a Garden Pot Hold?”
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?”
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?”
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”
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 the soilContinue 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 scale isContinue 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”