garden tips

Planting Potatoes in Washing Baskets

This winter we were extremely excited to find purple and magenta potatoes and decided we wanted to let some sprout and plant them. These are the magenta potatoes, freshly cut. The protruding bits you see emerging from the skin are the eyes beginning to sprout. You can cut the potato between the eyes then allow them to seal over and plant individually. Spot the sealed over cut on the left.  You can also plant whole sprouting potatoes. We decided to…

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Seeds that Keep on Giving: Mother City Seed Library Launches in Cape Town

Saturday, 9 September saw a diverse group of seed saving enthusiasts gathering under a beautiful old tree in Keurboom Park, Cape Town to celebrate the launch of the Mother City Seed Library and it’s monthly seed sharing meetings. Seed swapping, depositing and borrowing took place amidst slow food sharing, interesting conversations and a growing passion for saving seed and ensuring food sovereignty.   One of the Mother City Seed Library’s missions is to support Seed Library users and gardeners, from…

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Bounty, Water Wising and Liquid Fertilizing ~ August ’17 Round Up

Yay! Our purple cauliflowers are doing well – and they taste amazing! We have been feeding them every two weeks with liquid manure tea, which they seem to really enjoy. Our verdict is they are best eaten straight out the garden – raw and all! Of course, peas are also be best straight out the garden! Kids love opening them up and eating the yummy gems inside. Our rhubarb is also doing well – look at those big leaves! When…

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Nourishing Nettle ~ Wild Food & Medicine & How to Harvest without the Sting

Sometimes Nature has an odd sense of humour. Take Stinging Nettle – Urtica urens here for example: at a glance she looks rather unassuming, even inconspicuous. Now, take a closer look: see those fine hairs? Well, if you’ve happened to brush past stinging nettle, you will know what I am talking about: those hairs sting as they come into contact with the skin – and not just a momentary prick but a lingering stinging and sometimes itchy and almost burning…

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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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Glorious Leaf Mould

Leaf Mold is the organic material left behind after leaves have undergone fungal decomposition. Leaf mold is the term used to describe the result of only decomposed leaves that haven’t had any other ingredients added. Letting leaves decompose separately from other organic matter yields a wonderfully beneficial soil conditioner that is dark brown to black, crumbly textured soil amendment with a pleasant earthy aroma. Leaves mixed in with compost take longer to decompose via aerobic bacterial action than other organic materials…

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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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