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”

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?”

A Better Way to Stake Up and Support Vegetables in Pots

Many gardeners grow vegies in pots, tubs, planters, and self-watering pots. Container gardening is an excellent solution when space is limited or more growing area is required. When growing climbing vegetables such as beans and peas, indeterminate (vining) tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, and zucchini in pots, staking them up to support them in containers can beContinue reading “A Better Way to Stake Up and Support Vegetables in Pots”

Can You Use Shells for Drainage in Houseplant Pots?

Sea shells should not be used in plant pots because they are made of calcium carbonate (chemical formula CaCO₃), which is exactly the same substance as limestone and garden lime. They will make the potting medium extremely alkaline. Some plants don’t grow well in alkaline soils! Any material that is added to improve drainage shouldContinue reading “Can You Use Shells for Drainage in Houseplant Pots?”

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!”

How to Plant, Grow and Harvest Potatoes

Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are a herbaceous, perennial, root-crop plant from the Solanaceae (Nightshade) family that grow to around 60cm (24”) high, and are native to Central and South America. They originated in the Andean highlands almost 10,000 years ago, but have naturalised widely and spread to all continents, growing in climates ranging from temperate toContinue reading “How to Plant, Grow and Harvest Potatoes”

How to Grow the Medicinal Aloe Arborescens

Aloe arborescens, also know as the tree aloe, torch aloe, candelabra aloe or krantz aloe, is a hardy succulent perennial plant from the Aloe family Asphodelaceae, which is native to the south-eastern coast of Africa (Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe). This drought-tolerant succulent prefers to grow in sandy or rocky well-drained soil. ItContinue reading “How to Grow the Medicinal Aloe Arborescens”

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 also tolerate dappled sun or part shade, which allows it to be grown successfully asContinue reading “Why Is My Aloe Vera Plant Turning Yellow and Brown?”

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”

Should You Tease Out Plant Roots When Transplanting? Garden Mythbusting!

Any gardener who has ever transplanted or repotted plants has seen first-hand how plants that have been grown in pots can sometimes get rootbound, with their roots spiralling or circling around the rootball. This is quite an unnatural way for plant roots to grow, as they normally grow outwards and downwards! Spiralling roots cannot beContinue reading “Should You Tease Out Plant Roots When Transplanting? Garden Mythbusting!”

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?”

Identifying and Growing Edible Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a hardy succulent semi-tropical plant which is native to North Africa and the SW Arabian Peninsula, but at the present time can almost be found worldwide. It’s a very tough plant which will grow in poor soil and hot, dry sunny locations, but can also be grown as an indoor plant nearContinue reading “Identifying and Growing Edible Aloe Vera”

Citrus Problems – Why Is My Citrus Tree Dying?

Why do apparently healthy looking citrus trees suddenly start deteriorating in a matter of days, with leaves curling then dropping, branches dying back, eventually resulting in the loss of the tree? There are several causes, often caused by common gardening mistakes, which are easy to avoid. Curling Citrus Leaves as An Indicator of Root ProblemsContinue reading “Citrus Problems – Why Is My Citrus Tree Dying?”

15 Herbs You Can Grow Indoors

Herbs are easy to grow and have many great health benefits, we can use them in the kitchen, for making refreshing teas, or as natural remedies to make us feel better. Herbs can be grown in all spaces, from the smallest balcony to the biggest garden. There are herbs suitable for growing in dry areas,Continue reading “15 Herbs You Can Grow Indoors”

How to Grow Turmeric in Containers in Temperate Climates

. Turmeric (Curcuma longa syn. C. domestica) is a member of the ginger (Zingiberaceae) family. It’s a subtropical/tropical plant native to Southwest India, and has been grown traditionally as a spice, medicine and as a source of bright yellow dye. The root of the turmeric plant has been used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicineContinue reading “How to Grow Turmeric in Containers in Temperate Climates”

DIY Self-Watering Pots and Mini Wicking Beds

Self watering pots that wick water upwards from a water reservoir below have been around for decades. They’re commonly used for indoor plants, and they also have more specialized applications in the form of tiny wick watering pots used by African Violet growers. More recently, large DIY self-watering pots have been finding favour amongst tomatoContinue reading “DIY Self-Watering Pots and Mini Wicking Beds”

How to Grow Cranberries in Containers

  Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) are native to north-eastern North America. and grow in swamps and bogs. They are a low-growing, trailing woody evergreen perennial with small oval leaves that grows along the ground and forms a dense mat. Berries are produced on short vertical upright branches, known as uprights, which grow from the long trailingContinue reading “How to Grow Cranberries in Containers”

How to Build a Small Water Garden

A serene, reflective pool has its allure, it’s something that has always drawn mankind. There is something about water that relaxes us, that makes us feel peaceful and calm. It resonates with a deep inner part of us, a part perhaps long forgotten, but the connection is still there. After all, water is the veryContinue reading “How to Build a Small Water Garden”