Archive for the ‘growing’ Category


If your lawn has developed some dry spots, try raking in an organic compost or fine bark to protect the soil and hold in moisture. Water frequently during the day for a week or two until you start to see new green growth. Cut back on the watering gradually, but be consistent until the lawn is once again green in the spot.

A late summer garden may seem to have gone to sleep, but its pretty easy to throw a big basket of water on it and wake it back up. (Both literally, and figuratively!) Use these easy and cheap gardening tips to renew your garden, and have a beautiful spot to spend those quiet autumn afternoons.

Rose cutting for arrangements

What could smell or look lovelier than a vase full of stunning roses? With just a little care, they can last a very long time in a vase.

5 Tips For Cutting Roses

1. Wait until after 3 p.m. to cut, when their nutrient levels are the highest.

2. Choose buds that have just started to open, only 1/3 to 1/2 of the way through the process. Once a bud has fully opened, it’s too late to cut.

3. Always use a sharp, clean pair of shears. Dull shears crush the stem, and dirty shears can transmit diseases.

4. Don’t remove all of the leaves — keep at least 3 to help feed the bloom. Remove only leaves that will be below the water level of the vase.

5. Once you have finished cutting all the roses for the day, bring them inside to begin the water conditioning and hardening process.


9 Tips For Preserving Roses

Now that they are cut, the clock starts ticking.

The first threat to a cut rose’s health is the air pocket that entered the stem when you cut the rose outdoors. It will work its way up to the stem, cutting off the nutrient supply and shortening the bloom’s life.

1. Replace that air with water. The easiest way is to fill a bowl with hot tap water, as hot as you can stand to put your hands into.

2. Add any floral preservative you use, plus a few drops of bleach.

3. Place all of the rose stems into the bowl without the buds touching the hot water.

4. Use your shears to cut 1/4 inch off the end of each stem.

5. Leave the roses in the bowl until the water cools to room temperature.

6. Fill your vase with warm water, add a drop or 2 of bleach, and some preservative.

7. Finally add your roses.

8. Whenever the water starts to get cloudy, remove the roses, refill the vase with warm water, add another drop or 2 of bleach, and return the roses to the vase at once.

9. When the blooms begin to show signs of wilting, re-cut about an 1/8 of an inch from the stems and place them in hot water for an hour before returning them to the vase.

This little bit of extra work will vastly extend the vase life of your cut roses. Roses can live for an amazingly long time in a vase if you will help them.

olive oil farms in the western cape

The farm is situated in the Southern Cape in an area called De Rust. De Rustica Olive Estates was established in 2005.

The farm lies at the southern foot of the world famous swartberg mountains and slightly east of the swartberg pass and close to Knysna and the garden route.

edible walls




living wall Eathouse – The living walls and roof of The Eathouse garden house are good enough to eat and its offerings are much healthier than a gingerbread house.
“Eathouse” by architects De Stuurlui stedenbouw is constructed of metal pipes and soil-stuffed crates which are planted up with vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. A combination of garden shed and a garden itself, the Eathouse is a fantastic way to grow a vast selection of healthy food in a relatively small space, harvesting and replanting as you enjoy your own home-grown produce.


growing ginger

Grow your own ginger roots from store-bought produce with these simple tips.
Soak the Roots Overnight in warm water. This will stimulate growth and rinse off any chemicals that might be present.
Set the Roots  coconut fiberso that the top of the root is visible, with the green growing tips pointing up. I used a propagating tray, but you can use any container wide enough to accommodate the root. Keep the sphagnum moss lightly moist, but allow it to dry out between waterings.
Transplant to a Pot once the first leaves have formed. At this point you should notice a mass of fleshy white roots, which can be gently teased loose from the moss. Hold the root just beneath the edge of the pot, and fill the pot with fresh potting mix so that the fine roots are surrounded and the top of the rhizome is barely visible.
Caring for Your Ginger is easy, as long as you provide warmth, humidity, moisture and drainage. Summer is the best time to grow ginger because it’s already hot and humid, but if you’re growing it indoors you can place it in a bright windowsill and occasionally mist it with water. Drainage is provided by simply using a pot with drainage holes.

Fruit growing guides for Southern Africa

according to the SAFarms calendar guide for growing,

During September, the fruits in season are:

Oranges – Navels, Valencias, Lemons, Star ruby grapefruit, Mandarins, Avos – Haas, Edrano and Ryan

During December:

grapes, apricots, mangoes, litchis, peaches, plums and nectarines.