Tag Archives: backyard veggies

Compost – bins and tips

Compost Bins Compost can be made in a variety of containers. The examples below show a double bin made from recycled timber, a double bin made from recycled, heavy gauge bird wire covered with knitted polypropylene shadecloth, and a commercial … Continue reading

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Compost materials

Compost is made by combining organic waste than provides nitrogen and/or carbon. The advice to make compost from waste that is green (provides nitrogen) and brown (provides carbon) is a bit confusing when manure contains a lot of nitrogen, but … Continue reading

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Compost

Composting recycles organic waste into a product that makes garden soil healthy. Mature compost is a dark brown, sweet-smelling material that can be added to topsoil. There are two ways to make compost – aerobic, which requires aeration during the … Continue reading

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Compost worm farms

For organic gardeners who don’t have enough recyclable waste for a productive compost heap, a compost worm farm is the answer. Compost worms are different from earthworms that tunnel through soil and move into compost heaps after organic matter has … Continue reading

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Test compost pH before use

It is wise to test the pH of compost (including homemade compost) before adding it to your topsoil because the pH of topsoil determines which nutrients are available to plants. Well-made aerobic compost has a pH of around 6.0 to … Continue reading

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Avoid digging near fruit trees

A reader has found that the soil around his fruit trees has become quite hard and has asked should he dig around the trees to loosen the soil. It is not a good idea to dig around fruit trees as … Continue reading

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Using wood ash

If you tend to accumulate wood ash from log fires over the colder months, you might be tempted to use it instead of lime to raise soil pH, as it contains between 45–50% calcium carbonate. It will certainly do that … Continue reading

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Soil pH is so important

I’ve had several e-mails recently from gardeners who have used purchased soil or organic fertilisers and found that their plants were sickly or not growing because they were growing in soil that is too alkaline. Soil pH (acidity or alkalinity … Continue reading

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Soil for Magnolias

Recently, Anthea wrote to me about the problem of growing her Chinese Magnolia where soil is alkaline. I was just reading your article on changing soil ph and was hoping you could give me an idea on how to fix … Continue reading

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Horse manure

One of our SA readers wants to know what to do about the weeds that sprout from their horse manure pile, as she is concerned about spreading the weeds through her garden. She also has a problem with millipedes. Interestingly, … Continue reading

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