Spring is a great time to start a Garden Diary. It’s a great way to keep track of your plants progress.
Keeping notes of things like what you’ve planted, when and where, what pest issues and solutions you may have will be a great reference for you, and a record to help you to remember lots of things you may otherwise forget. They also make great gifts for gardening friends!
Courtesy ABC Gardening Show.
Whether using a bin, tumbler or open bay, the theory is the same. Perfect compost depends on maintaining a good balance of carbon-containing ingredients and nitrogen-containing ingredients. An easy way of remembering which products contain carbon and which contain nitrogen is to simply think ‘brown’ ingredients are carbons and ‘green’ ingredients are nitrogen.
Autumn leaves, pea straw, lucerne hay, sugarcane mulch, moistened cardboard, shredded newspaper (not glossy paper).
Lawn clippings, garden prunings, green leaves, kitchen scraps, citrus peel, egg shells, tea bags and coffee grounds.
A ratio of about 60% “green” material to 40% “brown” material is ideal, but not essential.
Large material should be cut up as small as possible: the smaller things are, the quicker they break down. Animal manure will also speed up the process.
If making a heap or bay, build it directly onto the ground, rather than on concrete or paving, as this allows worms, bacteria, fungi and other beneficial organisms to get into the compost.
Layer the materials like a lasagne – brown, manure, green, manure etc
Water after each manure layer with molasses tea to feed the compost microbes. Mix 2 tablespoons of molasses in a 9 litre watering can.
Turn the heap every two weeks for oxygenation – the microbes that break things down quickest need oxygen.This compost will be ready to use in about three months.
Rhubarb spray helps with unwanted pests.
1kg rhubarb leaves
2 lit. water
Bring to boil and let seep till cold. This is then the syrup.
Add 1part syrup to 10 parts water.
White oil is a protective coating for plants. It can be sprayed or wiped onto leaves.
1 part dishwasher liquid
4 parts sunflower oil
Mix the dishwashing liquid and oil together then combine 1 tablespoon to 1 litre of water.
Tick Repellant for humans
(DO NOT use this on pets)
10-25 drops rose geranium oil
2 tablespoons almond oil
Combine in a dark glass jar, shake and dab on skin and clothes .