Help! Why Do Marigolds As A Companion Planting Fail To Deter Grasshoppers?

Help! If planting marigolds (Tagetes spp.) in Australia to deter grasshoppers helps these pests to breed, why do well known authors and garden clubs pass on misinformation? Are marigolds useful for anything other than ornament? How do I control the grasshoppers plaguing my garden? asks Vivienne in Queensland.

Hell’s Bells – Ugly lemons! What’s gone wrong?

Help! The fruit on my lemon are distorted and covered in ugly warts. What’s gone wrong? Can my tree be saved? Is there an organic remedy? Answer: An infectious fungal disease called lemon scab  is responsible. And yes, this infection can be defeated organically and in more than one way.

Mealybug: Kill! Kill! But How?

Question: “Hi Jerry, This year I have had the worst infestation of mealybug ever. My garden has never had them in the past, but this year everything including established Gordonia’s five metres high are white with them. I have lost quite a few hibiscus to them. Is this a bad year? Do you have one of your…

Why Do Fresh Woodchip And Potting Mix Turn Mouldy And Repel Water?

Question: “Dear Jerry, In the last year, I have had a soil problem that looks normal on the surface, but when you dig into the mulch, it is grey and looks like a fungus has taken over. The soil smells mouldy, (maybe anaerobic?) and when I water, the water just runs off, not in. This problem…

Organic Win: Nematodes Defeated In Wynnum

Root knot nematodes can be a curse in warm, moist garden soils. Feeding by these minuscule, transparent, work-like creatures inside the root tissue of many crops causes the roots to develop tumour-like growths which retard the flow of water and nutrients through conducting vessels, weakening crops. What to do?

Success With Pumpkin In The Subtropics

Question: When do I sow pumpkin? I read in gardening magazines pumpkin can be sown from spring to autumn in the subtropics. But advice on seed packets (and some magazines) suggest that pumpkin should only be sown from spring to summer. I have a garden at Camp Mountain 4520 where we do not get frost, please…

International Compost Awareness Week

‘Bellis’, Brisbane’s sustainable house and garden, produces 4 metric tonnes of compost a year. Using low till, ecologically sustainable gardening techniques enables this property to sequester 0.638 metric tonnes of atmospheric CO2 gas each year. Doesn’t sound much, does it?

In Production Today: July 2012

Thanks to a damp, mild and gloomy Brisbane winter, succulent mushrooms have boosted my menu from a low of 112 taxa last month to 157 taxa.

Citrus: Avoiding The ‘Danger Zone’ To Achieve Abundance

Trish & Malcolm have finally solved their citrus fruit drop problem. Autumn is an important season for citrus maintenance, especially if they’re growing in areas with summer rainfall. This is because heavy rainfall leaches nutrients through the soil and citrus are really quick to show they’ve got deficiencies. For a quick nutrient fix: To four…

How Can I Avoid Buying Plastic Bagged Potting Mixes?

Question Hi Jerry, I don’t know if you remember me…I’ve seen you at lots of Save the Mary things and on Gardening Australia, which I love! I have a vege and herb garden in pots and need to find a soil solution. Presently I buy bags of potting mix at Bunnings, choosing one that’s free…