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These sustainable gardening tips are to assist you in growing a better garden! We have both FREE Guides and Tips (below) to help you grow a better, greener garden!
Things to consider, plus more details on specific areas of the garden, and it's care.
You Say To-mate-o I say tom-arto... (Let's bring the whole thing on!)
It's that time of year. Gardens all over Perth are bursting with tomato-ey goodness, and we are rejoicing in the flavours of fresh, homegrown produce again.
But which variety is "the best"? Who can grow the biggest?
Read about: Tomato Contest 2018
Root competition for your garden beds is a problem that is overlooked by many gardeners. If your plants are struggling, do some investigation and discover if this is an issue for you. Follow our handy tips if you're about to establish a new garden.
Read about: Garden Problems - Space Invaders (Root Invasion)
Summer in Perth can be a difficult time for your lawn; but before expensive and difficult lawn repairs are needed, conduct a simple test (explained here) to see whether it's as simple as insufficient water being delivered by your retic.
Read about: Watering your Lawn in Summer
Lawn can be a great asset to your home, giving you an area outside for entertaining, and a play area for kids and animals. The trick to being ‘green’ with having a lawn is to (a) not have too much – think about what you will use. If you’re not going to use it, then there will probably be a better option. And (b) selecting the correct grass for the job.
Read about: Selecting the Best Lawn for Your Needs
Spring is a wonderful bounteous season when everything in the garden is eager to grow. Soil is becoming warmer, the nights are losing their chill, and the earth is bursting with energy. It is the time of the year to harness Mother Nature’s energy to help rejuvenate your lawn and prepare it for the approaching summer.
Read about: Spring & Summer Turf Care
A wicking bed has been described as "a self watering pot on steroids". It is a way of growing plants where water wicks up from an ungerground water reservoir by capillary action. Water use can be reduced by up to 50% from conventional growing systems, as evaporation is significantly reduced.
Read about: Wicking Beds
Once you have created a healthy, living soil, your plants are going to thrive. It's the micro-organisms in the soil, and their complex relationships with each other and your plants that make nutrients available for growth.
Here we look at some of the common soil improvers organic gardeners use, with some pro’s and con’s of each.
Read about: Feeding Your Soil
At some stage of your growing journey you will be keen to try your hand at propagation. There are lots of reasons – perhaps someone you know has a lovely plant growing and you can’t find it in a nursery. Or maybe you’re just up for a challenge and want to try something new!
Growing or propagating from seed is something many vegetable gardeners do. It is usually cheaper than buying seedlings, and raising your own seed has the advantage of giving you more control – over exactly how your seeds are raised, and how many you choose to grow at any one time.
Read about: Growing from Seed
Keeping a few chooks in the backyard is a fantastic thing to do! Whether you research and source some of the rare and lovely old fashioned breeds, or whether you save some commercial Isa Browns from a life in a commercial chicken farm, they will provide you with hours of entertainent!
Read about: Keeping Chickens
As part of a permaculture system, having chooks is a fantastic way to go. They supply you with eggs, help get rid of food scraps which may otherwise simply go in the bin, and produce manure which (when allowed to age) is fantastic to use on your garden to feed your plants!
Read about: Growing Herbs & Vegies for Chickens
The short answer is ‘anything that was once living’. However, meat and bread isn’t great to put in a worm farm as it will attract rodents and be quite smelly. Other than that, many household scraps can be fed to worms - they are excellent recyclers!
Read about: Feeding Worms & using worm castings
Worms are a fantastic addition to an organic garden. They help break down food scraps & compost waste, and in return provide worm castings, which are full of beneficial microbes that improve your soil. When feeding your worms, the secret to success is to feed them only what they can consume in 2 - 3 days.
Read about: Keeping Live Worms
Winter is the traditional time to plant deciduous trees. They are dormant at this time, meaning you can also transplant specimens which need to be moved. Here are a few tips to help get them off to a great start as the weather warms up and they begin to put on new growth in Spring.
Read about: Planting Bare Rooted Trees
Liquid teas are like a protein shake for your garden. They are quickly taken up, help stimulate microbial activity in the soil and can quickly address nutrient difficiencies. They are best used in conjunction with good organic soil building techniques to provide optimal growing conditions over the long term. Liquid teas can be made easily and cheaply at home!
Read about: Liquid Fertiliser
Fruit fly are an incredibly annoying pest - they can destroy a range of fruit and vegetable crops in a very short space of time. It is heartbreaking to be nurturing a fruit tree for years, sustained by the anticipation of your first juicy fruit only to have your dream shattered by a tiny, flying bug and its larvae.
Diatomaceous earth is made from the remains of tiny single celled algae called diatoms, which make shells for themselves out of silica. When the diatoms die, the shells settle on the bottom of sea or lake beds and fossilize into a soft, chalky rock like substance.
Read about: Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Companion planting is the careful placement of plants (especially vegetables and herbs) which have been shown to have beneficial effects on one another. Sometimes, this comes down to simple physical reasons – taller plants provide shelter from sun and wind for plants that need protection...
Read about: Companion Planting
Many gardeners are not aware of how the pH of their soil can affect the growth and health of their plants. Even what the initials ‘pH’ stand for (potential hydrogen) sounds too scientific and confusing for many people. However, you don’t need a science degree – in reality a basic understanding of the principles involved will help you out.
Read about: Soil pH
Organic growing is about working with nature. Organic gardens evolve over time, as you begin to let a natural balance occur. This means avoiding the use of any 'cides' in your garden... herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, etc. and encouraging natural predators (birds and beneficial insects), stimulating soil life (by adding rich organic matter), and planting to suit the season and local environment...
Read about: Organic Growing
Nothing can survive without water - and in summer, it is vital to your garden! We've got some great tips to help you get the most from this precious resource. Use water wisely and you can have a wonderful, healthy garden over the hottest months. Our Top 10 Watering Tips are right here:-
Read about: Water - the stuff of life!
Chickens are the ultimate addition to the backyard! Providing you with eggs, entertainment, chook poop for your compost, pest control - they are wonderful! You don't need much room for a few chickens, although you may need to check with your Shire to see what regulations (if any) are in place. But be warned - they are known as 'the gateway animal' to backyard farming!
Read about: Keeping Chooks
Fertilisers are a way of feeding up plants, providing nutrients which the plant needs to function. This fact sheet explains the differences between fertilisers, and explains the best time to feed different types of plants in your garden.
Read about: Fertilisers - why we use them