Which USDA Hardiness Zones Correspond to the Australian Climate Zones

Can we convert USDA zones to Australian climatic zones of tropical, subtropical, temperate, arid and cool/alpine regions? That’s a common question many gardeners ask when referencing plant information from the other side on the world. Even though the two are quite different measurements based on […]

The Big List of Nitrogen Fixing Plants including Australian Natives

Companion planting is the practice of planting specific plants close to others to provide them with some benefit, such as the control of pests, increased health and vigour, resistance to disease, or higher yields. Plants can also be used to add fertility to the soil. […]

Magnitude 3.8 Earth Tremor Shakes Melbourne on Sunday 28 May 2023!

In Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday 28th May at 11:41pm residents were awakened by an earth tremor of magnitude 3.8, that seemed to last close to a minute. It was quite unmistakable, initially sounding like a truck crash on the road and continuing in intensity with […]

5 Ecologically Sustainable Uses for Willow Trees

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 […]

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+). […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]