Monthly Archives: October 2015

October 26, 2015

Comfrey – the silent worker!

I grow Comfrey under my fruit trees to suppress the weeds. My dad gave me a small handful of roots over ten years ago when he was moving house. I put them in the ground and from that handful I have a truck load (not quite, but you know what I mean).

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The plants dieback in Winter but grow back in Spring as they are Perennial. The plant has purple flowers which attract bees and pollinating insects.

But wait there are more benefits.

  • Comfrey is nutrient accumulator which means its roots reach deeply into the soil accessing nutrients and then accumulating the nutrients in the leaves (Nitrogen and Phosphorous to name just a few). The leaves can be chopped back numerous times in a season and used as green mulch to fertilise.
  • When leaves are added to the compost they provide nutrients and speed up decomposition
  • Chickens like to eat the leaves which in turn provide them with calcium

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October 17, 2015

Make a Tomato Tower

Homegrown tomatoes are the best as they actually have taste and can be eaten as a snack with the addition of a bit of salt. YUM!

Why not build a tomato tower to make a structure for your tomatoes to grow up and to provide enough water to increase yield? (that means more tomatoes, a win win situation)

You will need

Some mesh of some form that can bend to make a circle

Wire cutters or pliers

Old 5 litre bucket

Wire fasteners or tie wire

Spade

Spadeful of compost

Drill and bit

Directions

  1. Drill 2 rows of holes in the bucket from the bottom approximately 5cm between rows.
  2. IMG_6663Measure the mesh out by bending into a circle around the bucket. I used chicken wire but ringlock or budgie mesh would be fine. You can buy small amounts of mesh at some discount stores or ask a friend who may use mesh as they will usually have some leftovers that are too small to use for fencing.
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October 11, 2015

Natural Control of Bronze Orange Stink Bugs on Citrus

So, the poor old lemon tree is looking much sadder than usual. At a closer look I find hundreds of bugs. Off to google and the bookshelf I go to work who out these unwelcome visitors are. They are Bronze Orange Bugs, they suck the sap out of the tree (like blood suckers). No wonder the tree is looking a bit lifeless.

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The culprits are a variety of stink bug.

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I do not use chemicals in my garden as I always think of who else may be effected. For example if we are using synthetic sprays on insects what if a beautiful native bird has a feed on those insects it can not be a good outcome for anyone. Let alone the fact we are eating food from what we spray. I think if the label says you need to wear protective equipment you are damaging the environment.

I have come up with a natural ecologically safe, cheap method of treating the bugs. To make up the natural soap spray follow the instructions and pictures below.

Stink Bug Soap Spray

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October 9, 2015

Hello

 

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Hi, welcome to my blog and little space on the net. I have been waiting for you! I am Sky, a teacher from outer Sydney, Australia.

Here you will find things about growing food and animals at home. The odd thing you can make for your garden and how to control those unwanted visitors (to your garden of course).

I am one very lucky person, I get to spend my workdays with teenagers and animals. Some may think this is the recipe for disaster, the old saying never work with children and animals does occasionally pop into my mind. I am an Agriculture Secondary Teacher, I share knowledge about where our food and clothing come from. We need Agriculture to survive and we need to conduct this in a sustainable way. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge to young people and anyone that wants to listen and encouraging them to learn more.
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