You’ve Sown And Planted Food – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Suddenly, a public health crisis has prompted more people than ever before to spend more time growing food than ever. We live in a nation of garden cities, our food gardens are an open invitation to dine – what could possibly go wrong?  Keeping pests and diseases firmly in their place involves safer solutions, a little gentle manipulation and gardening together as a family.

Food To Plant And Sow Now In Australia

The government is right to say Australia grows a surplus of food, but suddenly the cost of buying that fresh produce has leapt, a consequence of crippling drought followed by catastrophic bushfire and then, in places, flooding rain. As we garden in an increasingly surprising climate, the reality of organising a reliable flow of nourishing food to provide a household with regular, thrifty meals falls on those who have suddenly become unwaged. In some places, nurseries are being stripped of seedlings and packets of seed as a nation prepares to overwinter in self-isolation at home and in the garden. What climate zone is my garden in? What can I grow now? Why is crop rotation vital for success? Can I grow food in pots? So many questions to answer.

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.

FAQ: To Buy Or Make Compost?

Anyone can buy compost in bulk. But these products are often highly variable and sometimes even unsuitable. The traditional alternative is to sow green manures and to make your own compost. If you need bulk compost, consider the sandwich mulching technique. You’ll need a soil pH Test kit and, ideally, get your soil laboratory tested to check for nutrient deficiencies and contaminants.

Gardening Together As A Family: People, Plants, Place, Community.

In recent years, families who garden together have become the most prominent visitors to my annual Open Day. It’s delightful seeing these gardening families, because that was how I started life: in an English family that gardened and holidayed together.  Planning, harvesting, saving seed, cooking, bottling, gathering materials for gardening were activities we did together.

The Wartime Kitchen And Garden, TV Series and Book

The Wartime Kitchen and Garden television series and book by the BBC. The big swerve in 19th century British horticulture away from ornamental gardening to domestic food security. A television series and a book explore low tech solutions, reuse, thrift, and home grown food.

Help! During Heavy Wind And Rain, My Tree Started Leaning. What To Do?

Following England’s Great Storm of 1987, I was managing an urban forest in London where I was involved in the successful salvaging of many Robinia pseudoacacia trees by applying the technique of crown thinning described. Make sure to engage a competent arborist, this is not a task you can trust a tree lopper with. I suggest contacting Arboriculture Australia to have your tree inspected by someone qualified and take it from there.

Sweetleaf aka rau ngót, Sauropus androgynus: Living Off The Fat Of The Land

Living off the fat of the land: A two metre row of Sauropus androgynus, aka rau ngót or sweetleaf, provides more nutritious leaves than two people can eat in the warm seasons. While growth of this trouble-free vegetable slows down in the cool seasons, sweetleaf provides protein, fibre and nutrient-rich leaves all year round in subtropical Brisbane.