Banana Citrus Circle Pit

We are so excited and blessed to have Peter Rain Treurnicht join the Growing Home Team! I met him back in 2015 at the Hogsback Festival of Trees in the Eastern Cape and instead of coming back to Cape Town Peter ended up going to live and work on an amaaaaaazing Permaculture Farm just outside East London – for 2 years! He is now back in the city and itching to Get Growing again and we are super stoked to have him…

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3 Ways to Make Your Own Banana Peel Liquid Fertilizer

Using banana peel fertilizer to add minerals and nutrients to specific plants in your garden is a great way to not only reduce waste but also to work with nature while being an active participant in the growing of your garden: and the bonus is you are saving money at the same time. It is so easy to go out and buy a “quick fix” but for the home gardener, who wants to derive pleasure from learning and growing, this…

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Natural Ways to Lower the pH of Soil

Here are some plants that enjoy a more alkaline soil: blueberries asparagus leeks Lima beans Swiss chard artichokes spinach Mushrooms also grow well in alkaline soil, as do grape vines, oranges, cantaloupes, pecans, peach trees and some cherry varieties. Organic substances frequently used to reduce soil pH are – rotted manure rotted leaf compost shredded evergreen bark pine needles home-composted leaf and vegetable refuse coffee grounds (with the exception of asparagus) Be prepared for some trial-and-error with organic acidifiers. Test…

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A Lemon Tree Guild

We love lemons and believe every garden should have a lemon tree. Lemon trees are quite hardy and established trees can tolerate drought conditions remarkably well. The cuticle layer that makes the leaves so shiny is what helps to conserve water. We have inherited a lemon tree on our new garden plot that has not been watered in over 6 months, during a very hot summer drought: and it is still blossoming and baring fruit! We have had to prune…

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7 Tips for Pruning a Lemon Tree

We have been blessed with a lemon tree on our new garden plot. It has not been maintained for quite some time but it still blossoms and bares fruit. We decided to give it a prune to get rid of dead and broken branches, as well as to train the branches to grow out and up and not into the middle of the canopy: air flow and sunlight filtration are important. We will also be planting Comfrey and other Lemon…

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4 Useful Applications for Coffee Grounds in the Garden

If you are anything like us, you probably love a good cuppa coffee (or 2) – but what do you do with your leftover coffee grounds? Many avid gardeners use it in their garden – and so do we. Most plants love it because of the often high Nitrogen content in coffee. Nitrogen is a component of chlorophyll and therefore essential for photosynthesis. It is also the basic element of plant and animal proteins, including the genetic material DNA and…

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How to Use Epsom Salts to Boost Production in the Garden

We have all heard of Epsom Salts and most likely already have it in our homes. But did you know that there are amazing benefits for using this humble mineral in the garden? Epsom Salt is a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate and is made from a rock substance called Dolomite. Here are some benefits of using Epsom Salt in the garden: Stimulates plant growth Improves photosynthesis Increases nutrient uptake Increases flavour of fruits and veg Increases yield Prevents…

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Strawberry Companions

Strawberries Love…. Spinach – contains the compounds known as saponins, which repel pests Spring Onions – strong smell repels pests Chives – strong smell deters pests. Chives add potassium and calcium to the soil through their chopped-and-dropped leaves. Basil – wards off aphids and mites. Thyme – deters worms. Catnip – discourages insects as aphids and cabbage loopers — both enemies of the strawberry. Yarrow – attracts pollinators Comphrey – conditions the soil. Leaves can be used to mulch and feed…

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Planning Our New Hugelkultur Strawberry Mound

We have really grown to enjoy our little strawberry patch. It is no longer a little patch at all, really! They have multiplied so much in the last two years that we are keen to create a bigger spot for them over at our new urban farmstead. After doing some research we have chosen to play with the Hugelkultur method. We just love the idea of our kids being able to pick the strawberries while standing up. We also like…

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8 Tips for Growing Strawberries

Who doesn’t love strawberries? They are a great addition to an edible garden and the good news is once you know what they like, there are many different ways to grow them: from vertical and hanging systems to containers and structured beds directly in the garden. Here are 8 tips to help you grow delicious strawberries at home: 1. Choose the Right Spot Strawberries need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day during summer when they will fruit. Choose…

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