Coping with Caterpillars – Part 2

Are caterpillars damaging your plants? If you’re having a tug-of-war with caterpillars over who gets a fair share of food from your edible crops, you’ll know how frustrating it can be to come off second best! As mentioned in Coping with Caterpillars – Part 1, the first step is observation and diagnosis to ‘know thy enemy’.

Use a magnifying glass to get up close and personal to see what's happening in your patch.

The next step is what intervention you choose to use to manage the situation.

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Garden Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Good design is essential for small space gardens. If you have limited room to grow as many of us do in urban areas, maximising the area you can garden in and wise plant selection are top priorities. These space saving solutions may be just what you need.

 

It's important to use good design principles to make the most of small garden spaces. | The Micro Gardener

Sometimes it just takes a little inspiration to make some simple but creative changes to your space.

 

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Top Tips for Wet Weather Gardening

Don’t you love it when it rains? … and hate it when it rains TOO MUCH!

Top Tips for Wet Weather Gardening

All gardens need adequate moisture but periods of heavy rainfall, storms and runoff can bring you a truckload of challenges. These include:

  • Waterlogged plants.
  • Leaching of soil nutrients.
  • Soil erosion.
  • Pest and disease problems.

11 Wet Weather Gardening Tips

Want to minimise these common issues? Dig into these wet weather gardening tips to learn how.

I’m into ‘designing out’ problems whenever I can – both in my own garden and for my clients.

Good observation, a bit of thought and planning can help reduce the impact of water-based problems.  These are some of the strategies I use to help avoid these issues. (more…)

Appreciating Your Garden’s Assets

I come inside after a hot morning’s work in the garden … I’ve been adding bags of manure, organic fertiliser, lucerne, sugarcane mulch, seaweed and compost tea to our main shade tree by our house to try to save it.  I hope it’s not too late …

It’s not happy since we trimmed some of its surface roots which were ‘inconveniently located’ where our new paving needs to be. In protest, it started to drop its leaves … not many at first so we didn’t take much notice.

It’s not happy since we trimmed some of its surface roots which were ‘inconveniently located’ where our new paving needs to be. In protest, it started to drop its leaves … not many at first so we didn’t take much notice.

 

Then a few more fell and as its solar panels became few and far between … we suddenly realised our plans for an outdoor room may have compromised the shade and beauty that we wanted to sit under. We didn’t realise our actions could cause the tree so much stress.  Maybe we should have kept the patchy lawn instead of pavers.  Hindsight is a humbling teacher!

Highly motivated to delay any sudden death, I started telling the tree I’d nurture it back to health and make up for cutting its root off!  It didn’t seem at all convinced … more leaves and skinny branches dropped on the lawn.  I felt guilty and sad. Perhaps similar to not valuing your health until you get sick?

It’s still not looking good. The tree needs a tonic (so do I!) so I deliver more seaweed and hose in the manure tea. I set up a soaker hose as it’s been hot and dry lately which hasn’t helped. It needs a lot of love.

It’s still not looking good. The tree needs a tonic (so do I!) so I deliver more seaweed and hose in the manure tea. I set up a soaker hose as it’s been hot and dry lately which hasn’t helped. It needs a lot of love.

 

When I finish foliar spraying the kelp on the remaining leaves, I smell like some foul thing that’s been lying on the beach after too many days in the sun. I hope it’s worth it!

That’s when a visitor pops by … I walk out onto the verandah in the hope that the fresh air will disguise the odour.  I move a little hoping he’s standing downwind of me.  He’s either too polite to comment or ‘smell’ is not one of his stronger senses!  Either way, I’m grateful.  After his sudden departure, I stand back and look at the tree again near our entrance … and realise now how much I value it. (more…)

Add Space with Creative Vertical Gardens: Part 1

Small Garden Design Idea: Maximise Vertical Spaces

Why should you utilise this clever design idea in your garden? Because, no matter what size your garden is, I firmly believe you can improve the productivity, beauty and functionality by maximising vertical space.

Add Space with Creative Vertical Gardens Part 1

What is Vertical Gardening?

Simply put, vertical gardening creatively utilises a structure to maximise the growing space and exploit the potential of both the vertical and horizontal planes. Think outside the square: 3D gardens with colour, shape and texture not just flat designs!

Traditional in-ground garden beds have very limited potential. However, growing ‘up’ or ‘down’ and ‘stacking’ techniques provide you with loads more options. (more…)

Revitalising & Re-using Old Potting Mix

Do you garden in containers? If so, revitalising old potting mix and checking your pots on a regular basis are essential routine maintenance activities for ongoing plant health. If you are starting to see problems in your plants, it’s probably time to check what they’re growing in!

This is a trouble shooting article to help you improve your potting mix and solve some common problems.

Revitalising and re-using old potting mix

 

Can you Reuse Old Potting Mix? If so, HOW?

One of the principles of Frugal Gardening involves RE-USING materials = less waste and reduces our footprint on the planet. It also has the added benefit of saving us money!

Bags of commercial potting mix can be quite expensive particularly if you have lots of pots. It also dries out fast and your plants suffer.

Making your own homemade potting mix make sense (and cents)! Why? Because it lasts longer, provides all your plant needs and contains no nasty chemical additives like water crystals and soil wetters. Re-using your old potting mix definitely is more satisfying, sustainable and cost-effective. (more…)

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