Monthly Archives: December 2015

December 31, 2015

Goals for the Gardener to Consider

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  1. Plant a new garden. Try and plant something you don’t usually grow. For example plant a succulent garden if you only grow vegetables.
  2. Plant more edible trees on your lawn. Does it matter if you reduce your lawn area and there is less mowing?
  3. Plant at least 10 bee friendly plants this year and go Organic. Chemicals contribute to the loss of many bee colonies.
  4. Add some native plants which will attract birds to your garden.
  5. Install a worm farm and get to know these amazing creatures.
  6. Build a native bee hotel.
  7. Read a book or attend a workshop on a specialised gardening theme.
  8. Leave a few plants to go to seed after each harvest and save seeds for next year.
  9. Take photos of your garden and the small creatures who live in it. Post some to social media and who knows what conversations may be started.
  10. Challenge yourself to identify a new pest or disease or beneficial insect each month to grow your knowledge.

Wishing you a very happy new year!

December 29, 2015

Looking after your Poultry in the Heat

Summer has hit and it is important that we remember our feathered friends. All is good if we are in the air conditioning inside and they are in the elements outside. Animals feel the heat just as much as us and get stressed. Here are some strategies to help the feathered ones in your household overcome the extreme temperatures this summer.

  • Keep water full and in the shade.
  • Give chicken ice blocks to poultry (recipe below my chickens absolutely loved these treats)
  • Put sprinklers on the roof of coop/shed
  • Add ice to waters
  • If possible check on your poultry a few times during the day and spray with a mist of water if necessary

Chicken Ice Blocks (Can be used for all poultry)

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December 14, 2015

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Garden/Animal Lover

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As the crazy time of year has begun, are you stuck for ideas of meaningful presents to get friends and family?

Here is a list of gift ideas.

For the crazy chook person

  • A chicken health kit – Include De-louse Powder, Shellgrit, Probiotics for Chickens and Chicken Wormer. Place in a small wooden box or basket and tie a hessian bow and gift tag on the box. If you buy small amounts this should be under $50
  • An antiquarian chicken book from a second hand book shop. Often to a chook person these are collectors items and a very interesting read

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December 6, 2015

Coffee Ground uses in the Garden

If you are like me you start the day with a coffee. I am lucky that I have a small coffee machine, and in an attempt to not buy a daily coffee I make my own. I am left with a lot of grounds from just making one coffee a day on my machine. Anywhere that sells coffee also has the grounds leftover, so why not ask them for some grounds? Ikea give away containers full of coffee grounds.

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Here are the reasons to use coffee grounds in your garden.

  1. Sprinkle coffee grounds around plants as a pest control. This has successfully saved many of my plants from slugs.
  2. Coffee grounds added to the compost heap help increase the decomposition rate.
  3. Mix grounds with water and use as  a fertiliser to give your plants that boost.
  4. To prevent plants getting fungal infections sprinkle coffee grounds around the base of the plant. This also gives a nitrogen boost to plants.
  5. Feed coffee grounds to your worm farm.

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Share the love of your daily coffee or coffees with your garden!

December 1, 2015

Attracting beneficial insects to your garden

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As National Pollinator week comes to a close, I thought it fitting to do a post on planting gardens to attract the good guys; the garden guardians. These guys are the free workers in the garden. They do not need to be paid nor do they complain they just get on with their lives. What you can do is make their life comfortable so that the conditions are right for them to make your garden their home. I have to admit I am fascinated by insects. I often wonder how such small creatures can have amazing adaptations to escape predators, such strange mating rituals and how a few extra spots can make all the difference.

At school I make a big point to my students, not to kill anything without permission. It sounds fierce I know, but it is mainly referring to spiders and native bees that may actually be mistaken for flies. I always ask my students if they like mosquitos and flies and they usually say no, then I say well don’t kill the spiders as they help control the nasties.
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