Helen Tuton

Feb 242017

March, the month named after Mars, the Roman God of War, is an excellent month to wage war on your patch. Be it ripping out the weeds, mulching up a storm, or popping in a plethora of plants, March is the ultimate time to launch a full scale (but well planned) attack on you patch! So, all you weekend warriors … March into action! Continue reading »

Aug 282016

September is a fantastic time to be alive for us gardeners! The chill is almost gone from the mornings, and the afternoons are getting longer. Blossoms are bursting and you can smell spring in the air wherever you go. If you have been hibernating through winter now is the time to get out and into it. Read on for some fabulous September gardening advice for your area.

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May 282016

Ok, it’s official, winter is upon us. And while it may seem easier to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book, it is the perfect time to get amongst it in the patch! There is a sense of hibernation for a lot of us but wherever you are in this nation it’s time to don the boots and get to it. Continue reading »

Apr 272016

While the southern parts of Australia have donned winter pyjamas and flannelette sheets, the northern states are still revelling in warm, and mostly sunny autumn days. Regardless of the conditions in your little patch of paradise, there is still loads to do this month. Get set for those produce plants that need the cooler weather to grow. Continue reading »

Sep 172013

Once the realm of the hardcore, hippy, home gardener, companion planting is now an incredibly popular practice – from beginner gardeners right up to large-scale agriculture. But, despite its popularity (it is huge in Europe), companion planting is often misunderstood, misused and misrepresented as the “cure-all solution” to problems in the patch.

So what is companion planting? Essentially, it’s a method of growing plants together, with the idea that they will assist each other in some way, like deterring pests, improving growth, enhancing flavour, attracting beneficial insects, fixing nitrogen, disrupting “patterns” and trap cropping. But, just as we have good neighbours, there are bad neighbours as well. Some plants really dislike each other, and shouldn’t be planted in close quarters, lest one of them struggle or meet its untimely demise.

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May 072013

Lactuca sativa

Lettuce – a reliable summer favourite, salad filler and sandwich staple! But it can be grown year round, with very little tender loving care after making sure that there is adequate feed. With a large variety of types and therefore flavours, lettuce isn’t just reduced to your Cos or iceberg! Available as seedlings, but also germinates readily from seed.  Sprinkle in some seed at any time of year and this quick growing vegetable will be ready in weeks. Continue reading »

Feb 182013

There are a few contenders for the most popular variety of various fruits, but there is little competition about the most versatile. Grape vines provide us with fresh grapes, dried fruits, oils, juice and, best of all, wine!  But the most exciting thing about grapes is how easy they are to grow at your place.  For summer shade, winter sun and a bounty of fruit from February onwards, these deciduous perennial vines are a perfect planting in your patch. Continue reading »

Dec 052012

Allium schoenoprasum

Prized for the delightful onion or garlic flavour of their leaves, chives are a member of the onion family native to Europe, Asia and North America.  Chives are perennial herbs that are much easier to grow than traditional onions and garlic, with the added benefit of not taking as long between planting and harvest time. Chives are ideal plants for pots, make attractive grass-like plants in herb beds and can be used as pest repellent plants as well. Continue reading »

Nov 112012

So, most of us have had a pet of some sort over the course of our lives, our pets bring us joy, love, laughter, and good times. But imagine owning over 500 pets that never need to be walked, are happy to eat your scraps, provide you with amazing fertiliser AND help reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint! Sound too good to be true?  Well, welcome to the wonderful world of worm farms – top little carbon crusaders and garbage gobblers who just happen to be awesome (and fairly low maintenance) pets! Continue reading »

Nov 072012

Cucumis sativus 

Used the world over, either fresh, pickled or as an ingredient in many a dish, Cucumbers have a lovely place in the Summer garden. Although they need a fair amount of love and tenderness they reward the grower with beautiful fruit. Home grown cucumbers are usually a bit knobbly and may not be as perfect as the shop bought, but they make up for that in their taste and texture.

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