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 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 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”

Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 1, Selecting a Location for a Food Garden

Sometimes governments do give sound advice to their nations… During World War I and World War II, in a an effort to reduce the public demand on food supplies and leave more food to send to the soldiers fighting overseas, governments encouraged their people to plant ‘victory gardens’. What is a Victory Garden? A victoryContinue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 1, Selecting a Location for a Food Garden”

How to Control Queensland Fruit Fly in the Home Garden, An Integrated Pest Management Approach

Queensland fruit fly or Qfly (Bactrocera tryoni) is one of the most damaging pests of fruit and vegetables in Australia. This insect is native to eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales, but has extended its range due to transport of infected fruit, the planting of exotic host crops, and climate change. Now that theContinue reading “How to Control Queensland Fruit Fly in the Home Garden, An Integrated Pest Management Approach”

Australian Native and Exotic Fire Resistant Trees and Plants for Fireproof Landscapes

Fire protection is especially important in Australia, the driest continent in the world, which is plagued by periodic bushfires. These fires can burn uncontrollably in wilderness and rural areas, tearing through forests or grasslands, consuming dry combustible fuels which build up from prolonged dry weather and drought conditions, causing widespread destruction. Understanding Bushfire Dangers ThereContinue reading “Australian Native and Exotic Fire Resistant Trees and Plants for Fireproof Landscapes”

What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

The problem of garden pest control is as old as agriculture itself, which started when humanity first cultivated plants for food more than ten thousand years ago. Modern conventional pest control methods often use chemical controls as the first option, and usually ignore the real causes of pest problems. They rely on routine, scheduled pesticideContinue reading “What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)”

Fruit Trees with Special Pruning Requirements – Figs, Persimmons and Pomegranates

Most fruit trees are pruned the same way, making winter pruning a fairly straightforward task, but there are a few exceptions. With some fruit trees, the ends of their branches shouldn’t be cut off, otherwise they won’t fruit, because they either fruit from the ends of the branches, or only produce fruiting branches from theContinue reading “Fruit Trees with Special Pruning Requirements – Figs, Persimmons and Pomegranates”

How to Prune a Fruit Tree, Step By Step

Fruit tree pruning is both an art and a science. The art to fruit tree pruning is not something that can be taught in a short article or video, but basic pruning technique is quite easy to understand, and once grasped, almost anyone can maintain a fruit tree, and do so successfully, year after year.Continue reading “How to Prune a Fruit Tree, Step By Step”