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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 … Continue reading

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Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – July

It’s July, Midwinter has arrived! As all of Nature’s energies turn inwards, and life comes to a standstill, we finally have a chance to rest and reflect too. This month temperatures will hit their lowest for the year, rain will … Continue reading

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The Difference Between Nightingale and Hachiya Persimmons

Nightingale persimmon pictured, and Hachiya persimmon both have stunning autumn foliage, making them excellent fruiting and ornamental trees   There tends to be some confusion about Nightingale and Hachiya persimmons. Despite what some claim, they are not the same thing, … Continue reading

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How to Make Aloe Vera Gel from Fresh Aloe Vera Leaves

Aloe vera leaves contain a gel which is used externally to treat skin irritation, minor burns, sunburn, itching due to allergies and insect bites, sores, skin ulcers and many other conditions. The edible variety, Aloe vera barbadensis miller, is also … Continue reading

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Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – June

June brings us the start of winter, with colder, wetter weather, but there are still some sunny days to be had, winter vegies to harvest, and some tidying up to do around the garden. As deciduous trees and shrubs shed … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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, … Continue reading

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How to Use Replaceable Filter Face Masks for COVID-19 Coronavirus Protection

For protection against COVID-19 Coronavirus, people have been using disposable surgical masks or N95 /P2 respirators. With the shortage of these protective masks, people have been advised to sew their own protective cloth masks , which are not as effective … Continue reading

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Which Variety of Grape Vine Has Edible Leaves for Making Dolmades?

  Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) are a popular dish in Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine. These appetisers are made of meat, rice, various herbs and spices, all of which are wrapped in grape vine  leaves and cooked. When cooking, it’s … Continue reading

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Citrus Problems – Citrus Fruit Has Thick Peel and Hollow Core

Nutrient imbalances and deficiencies can adversely affect the quality of citrus fruit. Excess nitrogen combined with low phosphorus will cause citrus fruit to be misshapen, with thick peel, a coarse and roughly textured rind, coarse pulpy flesh without much juice, … Continue reading

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Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – May

May is the last month of autumn, when the weather starts cooling down. This is a time for pruning, taking cuttings for propagation, divide perennials, and t put in new trees, shrubs and vines. The soil is also still warm … Continue reading

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Why Is My Aloe Vera Plant Turning Yellow and Brown?

Aloe vera is a hardy, succulent, semi-tropical plant native to North Africa and the SW Arabian Peninsula, which can tolerate quite harsh conditions. It will grow in poor soils in hot, dry sunny  locations with very little water, but can … Continue reading

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How To Safely Put on, Use and Remove a Face Mask to Protect Against COVID-19 Coronavirus

Now that more people are beginning to wear protective face masks, either P2/N95 rated masks, surgical masks or even homemade masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus transmission,  it’s important that they use them correctly to get the best … Continue reading

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Why You Should Wear a Mask for COVID-19 Coronavirus, Debunking The Bad Science!

There has been a lot of bad advice coming from government authorities and ‘experts’ during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and it usually starts with the ominous words “there is still no evidence that…”. The questionable advice which follows usually discourages … Continue reading

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Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – April

April brings us well into autumn, and the days are now getting shorter. While the soil is still warm, it’s a good time to plant trees, shrubs, and herbs, as their roots will have a chance to take hold before … Continue reading

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Emergency Survival Prepper Gardening – Part 4, How to Sow Seeds Directly Into the Ground and Into Seedling Trays

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, … Continue reading

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Fact Check – Is Ibuprofen Safe? COVID-19 Coronavirus and Medications that Weaken Your Immune System

Some medications are known to weaken the immune system, and would therefore compromise the body’s capacity to fight off diseases such as the COVID-19 Coronavirus. There has been a lot of concerns about the safety of Ibuprofen use during the … Continue reading

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Emergency Survival Prepper Gardening – Part 3, When to Sow Seeds and Plant Seedlings

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, … Continue reading

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What Are The Best Rocks to Use for Building Wicking Beds

One of the questions that many people have when constructing wicking beds is what are the best rocks to use in the water reservoir section underneath. Coarse scoria is the recommended material, but are there any reasonable substitutes? As a … Continue reading

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Emergency Survival Prepper Gardening – Part 2, How to Prepare the Soil

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, … Continue reading

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