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 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”

Should You Put Gravel or Rocks at the Bottom of Plant Pots for Drainage?

There’s an old gardening myth that it’s best to put a layer of gravel or rocks at the bottom of a plant pot to improve drainage, but how true is it? Can the practice actually harm plants more than help them? The main reason for wanting to improve drainage in pots is because most plantsContinue reading “Should You Put Gravel or Rocks at the Bottom of Plant Pots for Drainage?”

Chop and Drop Gardening (Sheet Composting)

Permaculture is all about working efficiently and in harmony with Nature. We can garden far more efficiently, with far less effort, and improve the soil at the same time by emulating Nature’s soil building processes through practising Chop and Drop gardening. How do most sustainable gardeners garden? At the end of each season, many gardenersContinue reading “Chop and Drop Gardening (Sheet Composting)”

Which Garden Mulch is Best for Improving Soil?

Hard woody mulches or soft non-woody straw-like mulches, what’s the difference? They both work equally well as garden mulches to  moderate soil temperature, reduce water loss from the soil through evaporation, conserve soil moisture to reduce the need for watering, inhibit weed seed germination and suppress the growth of weeds. Selecting the right kind ofContinue reading “Which Garden Mulch is Best for Improving Soil?”

How to Use Seed Raising Mix Correctly

Want to sow seeds in pots? What do you need? Seed raising mix? Guess again! Working part-time in the garden nursery industry, I meet many gardeners who have had problems sowing seeds in seed raising mix – they find that their seeds sprout but their seedlings only reach a very small size and then completelyContinue reading “How to Use Seed Raising Mix Correctly”

Why You Shouldn’t Use Sales Receipts in Your Compost or Worm Farm

Remember Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, the toxic endocrine-disrupting chemical which leached out of plastic drink bottles that has now been banned worldwide? Well, the bad news is that it’s still around and you have more contact with it than you imagine! Thermal paper used in cash register sales receipts and ATM receipts isContinue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Use Sales Receipts in Your Compost or Worm Farm”

Why You Shouldn’t Use Bleached or Glossy Paper in Your Compost or Worm Farm

As gardeners, we often told that we shouldn’t use office photocopying paper or glossy magazines in our worm farms, compost or the garden in general. Many gardeners ask why not? There are very good reasons not to, which we’ll explore in this article! By understanding a little about the different methods of paper production, weContinue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Use Bleached or Glossy Paper in Your Compost or Worm Farm”

The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Fertilisers and How to Use Them

The plants in your garden need food just like you do! That might seem obvious but you’ll be surprised how many people never bother to feed their plants and then wonder why they aren’t flowering, fruiting, or growing all that well. Even if you do give your garden the occasional feed, knowing what to feedContinue reading “The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Fertilisers and How to Use Them”

How to Use a Bokashi Soil Generator to Turn Food Waste into Nutrient-Rich Soil

What do you do with your bokashi bin contents if you don’t have a large garden to dig them into? As discussed in the previous Bokashi Composting article, you can always put the processed bokashi food waste into your compost bin or into your worm farm (a little at a time till the worms getContinue reading “How to Use a Bokashi Soil Generator to Turn Food Waste into Nutrient-Rich Soil”

Bokashi Composting, How to Process Waste That Can’t Go in Your Compost or Worm Farm

Are you into recycling but are still throwing away some food scraps because you can’t put them in your compost bin or worm farm? Large amounts of citrus and onions, or any food that contains fish and meat should not be put in your worm farms. Likewise, your compost bin is not meant to beContinue reading “Bokashi Composting, How to Process Waste That Can’t Go in Your Compost or Worm Farm”

How to Compost Logs and Branches with a Hugelkultur Bed

Composting allows us to recycle plant materials so they can be re-used in the garden, but the materials need to be broken up into small pieces for the composting process to work efficiently. Traditional composting works fine for for soft green plant matter, twigs and small branches, but what do we do with thick branchesContinue reading “How to Compost Logs and Branches with a Hugelkultur Bed”

How To Build a Worm Tunnel In-ground Worm Farm

How could composting be made easier? By not ever having to turn the compost and not having to move the compost into your garden, that’s how! You can get Nature to do even more of the work with a Worm Tunnel, an in-ground worm farm that’s a cross between a small compost bin and aContinue reading “How To Build a Worm Tunnel In-ground Worm Farm”

The Complete Guide to Worm Farming, Vermicomposting Made Easy

Worm Farms are a great way to recycle kitchen waste and food scraps into one of the best garden fertilizers available! It’s very easy to maintain a worm farm, it takes very little time and effort, and you can set up worm farms in the smallest of spaces, such as balconies and courtyards. Worms farmsContinue reading “The Complete Guide to Worm Farming, Vermicomposting Made Easy”

How to Build a Worm Farm with Polystyrene Foam Broccoli Boxes

If you’re thinking of trying out worm farming but don’t want to go out and buy a worm farm, you can always build your own DIY worm farm instead. Construction is really easy, and only takes a few minutes, and it can all be done using recycled materials, costing nothing at all. To build yourContinue reading “How to Build a Worm Farm with Polystyrene Foam Broccoli Boxes”

No Dig Gardening, Sustainable Gardening With Less Effort

Everyone agrees that gardening would be way more fun, and many people would be more inclined to take up gardening if there wasn’t the need for all that back-breaking hard work such as digging… It may be a surprise to many people, but digging IS NOT a necessary part of gardening at all! So howContinue reading “No Dig Gardening, Sustainable Gardening With Less Effort”

How to Make Compost in 18 Days Using the Berkeley Hot Composting Method

Regular composting, also known as cold composting, involves placing a variety of organic materials in a compost bin, enclosure, or even just in a large heap, and leaving it there until it breaks down several months later. It’s a very slow process and typically takes 6 to 12 months. It can be sped up byContinue reading “How to Make Compost in 18 Days Using the Berkeley Hot Composting Method”