Are Your Mangoes Marvellous?

Start preparing now for the best harvest ever. Mangoes are a wonderful fruiting tree for the home garden – A dwarf tree will give you plenty of fresh mangoes through [...]

Mindful Gardening

This week I’ve had the great fortune borrow a library book called ‘Gardening for Mindfulness’ by Holly Farrell. So, taking a few mindful messages from her book, I’d like to [...]

Harvesting Chocolate Pudding Fruit/Black Sapote

If you love growing fruit, especially tropical fruits, then a Chocolate Pudding Fruit Tree may be on your list of trees to make a space for. Or perhaps you already [...]

Planting in August

Spring growth is starting now, and I consider mid August in the subtropics to be spring time. Possibly not in Melbourne yet, but up here you need to think of [...]

Lacewings to look out for

If you are one of those very industrious people who like s a good spring clean after winter, please take a second look before you sweep these little gems off [...]

Growing and Using Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara This little perennial herb grows in my medicinal garden. I first planted it with the purpose of making coltsfoot candies to relieve sore throats. Coltsfoot was grown [...]

Bringing New Plants Home

I used to work in a large nursery. I know how hot those places can get and how stressful it can be for both people and plants, being exposed to [...]

Legumes and Crop Rotation

Practicing crop rotation in your garden Crop rotation is where crops such as zucchini pictured, are grown in different areas over a 12 month period or even longer.  It has [...]

Hot Spring & Summer Plants

Hi garden and food lovers! The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a very dry spring and summer 2019 here in the subtropics. Sorry everyone! That means it’s up to you [...]

Winter Planting

Growing and gardening in winter is such a delight in the subtropics. Its cooler and much more pleasant to be out in the garden. Here are some of my favourites [...]

Can Ladybirds be Pests?

Can ladybirds be pests? Those cute little ladybird beetles and their spiky larvae, are in almost all cases, great to have as predators in the garden. They ladybird subspecies consists [...]

Should You Mulch?

There are times when you should with hold mulching. you find you are always watering your vegie patch or garden beds because the soil dries and goes crisp? Do [...]

Powdery Mildew Prevention

Powdery Mildew is so common in our summer gardens. It’s a real pest for gardeners, appearing as fine dustings of ‘powderiness’ on the surface of leaves on plants that look [...]

A Garden of Giants

I love the sensual pleasures of a garden. Fragrance, colour, silky smooth petals, and the sheer unadulterated pleasure of just growing things. It’s exciting, gratifying and so rewarding-most of the [...]

Edible Flowers & Vegies to Grow in March

I’m still feeling positive so have just put in some sunflower seedlings. I’m hoping the dwarf plants will give a lingering, although small, crop of sunflowers. I love the petals [...]

The Melbourne Flower & Garden Show 2018

The Melbourne Flower and Garden Show was on at the Exhibition Buildings  from Wednesday 21 March 2018. I was invited to speak this year on the main stage and on the Diggers [...]

How to Grow the Best Organic Bananas

When we lived in Ballarat, my mum-in-law returned from a Queensland holiday with family, raving about how wonderful it was to pick and eat fresh bananas from the backyard for [...]

Culinary Ginger- How to grow it, & my favourite recipes for it.

Growing Ginger - How to grow ginger easily and successfully & my favourite ginger recipes Culinary Ginger: Zingiber officinalis If you live in a warm climate and have a frost [...]

Don’t Grow Anything in Summer (Ha! Just kidding)

What to grow when you’re told you can’t grow a thing! I know things can get tough in the garden over summer, for plants as well as for gardeners. Heat, [...]

A Daylily a Day

I’ve been sharing the wonders of edible flowers for ages now. First when teaching at TAFE, then at Ecobotanica classes and now with my book, ‘A Delicious Bunch, growing and [...]

Playing Favourites

Do you have a favourite plant? A plant/tree/flower that you would not be without in a garden? I have a few edibles on the list of course. When we came [...]

Growing Food in Shady Gardens

"Is it possible to grow food in a shady garden?” I'm often asked when doing a garden consultation, to suggest food plants for shady gardens. Here are my thoughts. I [...]

Flowers to Eat & Grow in June/July

In June and July, many of our gardens can look a little drab and sad. Don’t feel you have to bunker down for winter. These are just some of the [...]

Are Your Citrus Fruit Brown?

Do your citrus fruits have brown skin? It’s a common problem with citrus and is called Citrus Melanose. Citrus melanose is a fungal disease which will not go away by [...]

Espalier fruit- Flat out and fabulous

Would you like fruit trees but just can’t find the space on your balcony or in your gardent? There may be a way you can have your small block and [...]

A story of an anxious child

Let me tell you a little story. It’s about a regular family. The dad is a great young man. He calls himself ‘a devoted dad and a hard-working husband’. At [...]

Increasing Summer Productivity

I just love the riotous productivity of a summer vegie garden, though I must admit it can be hard to keep up with the insane growth and productive harvests. We […]

Creating an Organic Home Orchard

Creating an Organic Home Orchard Growing your own food is very popular at the moment, and rightly so. Growing fruit trees is less work and potentially has high rewards compared to […]

Growing with Acid Soils

Growing with Acid Soils All soils can be measured for acidity or alkalinity using a simple pH test kit. This test indicates on a scale of 0-9 the pH balance […]

YUK! Latest Research on Toxins in Fruit and Vegies

YUK! Latest Research on Toxins in Fruit and Vegies

How to Grow the Best Carrots

How to Grow the Best Carrots

A wise gardener – Growing leeks and onions

A wise gardener – Growing leeks & onions I believe The Self Sufficient Gardener has been reprinted fairly recently and is still available. If you come across a copy in […]

Growing and eating Yakon

Yakon/Peruvian Ground Apple Botanical name: Polymnia sonchifolia

Terrific turmeric

How to Grow Terrific Turmeric

Growing Chinese Keys or Kra chai

Growing Chinese Keys or Kra chai Chinese Keys/Kra chai/Temu kunci/Lesser galangal Botanical name: Boesenbergia rotunda Although it sounds like it should be used in Chinese cooking, Kra chai is loved […]

Growing Your Own Chia

Growing Chia from Seed

Reducing Plant Stress & How to Grow Better Coriander

Reducing Plant Stress & How to Grow Better Coriander Here are my top tips 1.       Keep the water up to your plants. Moist soil is essential It’s best to water […]

Are You Eating the Right Foraged Herb?

Are You Eating the Right Foraged Herb? Dandelions are an edible forage herb, renowned as a herbal tonic for liver and blood cleansing. Its a bitter herb which we eat […]

Plants to Grow for Chooks

Plants to Grow for Chooks

Small Space gardens

Small Space gardens

Soil Organic Matter – Can You have too much?

Soil Organic Matter – Can You have too much?

5 mistakes vegie gardeners make in winter

5 mistakes vegie gardeners make in winter

Going Organic- Why would you bother?

Choosing organic-Why would you bother? We are surrounded by a wash of harmful chemicals, so why add more to our food and environment? Stop and think about what you are […]

My Favourite Edibles for September Planting

My Favourite Edibles for September Planting Coriander Yes, it can be tricky to grow as it often runs to flower before producing many leaves. The trick is this… give it […]

Problems with setting fruit.

Problems with setting fruit. Fruit that fails to mature, that drops off when very young or that just fails to eventuate could be from too few pollinators in your garden. […]

Heirloom Vegetables from Seed

Heirloom Vegetables from Seed Ancient seed families Many heirloom varieties have survived hundreds and even thousands of years, like the hundreds of potato varieties from Peru, the tomatoes from South [...]

Rats in the Compost?

Rats in the Compost? Tip 1 - When purchasing a compost bin, choose a big one with a firm fitting lid and no side openings. You'll see I have drilled [...]

Lawn Grub Killers Kill More

Lawn Grub Killers Kill More Lawn grubs could be one of several types of caterpillar. But, generally they look brown and striped. The little patches of eggs are often laid [...]

Are ants on Citrus trees OK?

Are ants on Citrus trees OK? Is your citrus tree looking ok? I often visit gardeners with citrus and they often have problems. The first thing I look for is [...]

Harvesting the Healthiest Vegetables

Harvesting the Healthiest Vegetables Treat your soil as if you would eat it After all, the soil feeds our plants, though its billions of living microbes in each spoonful. When [...]

Small trees for suburban gardens

Small trees for suburban gardens Let’s start by looking outside the box. Consider that many medium sized shrubs can be pruned to a tree shape. When pruned of their lower […]