Let’s Garden Together: Vegetable Patch

 

Recently my vegetable garden has had a few unexpected visitors. They all appear to have had a great time as most of my winter veggies are completely gone! Join me as I clean the patch, pull a few weeds and re-mulch the raised gardens beds!

 

 

Until next time happy gardening! By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs ©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2018

 

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How to Grow Garlic

If you love the flavour of Garlic and using it in your cooking, why not try growing it? Here are some tips and tricks on how to grow Garlic successfully! 

Soil: To get the best out of your garlic and to produce large cloves soil texture and health is an important contributor. You will need to have a loose, well-draining soil which has plenty of rich organic matter. By adding bagged compost or manures to the soil will help you to achieve this. If fresh manures or compost is used beware that planting directly after application can cause damage to young plants. Garlic prefers a soil pH that is slightly acid. But if you have a pH reading of 6.0 – 7.0 you will still have good success growing garlic. 

Feeding: Garlic does not require too much feeding throughout the growing period. They are subject to nitrogen deficiencies, these symptoms are discovered mainly in the colouration of the foliage. Foliage will be mottled and the whole plant will appear yellow, plants may also appear to have poor vigour and bulbs can be undersized. Applying moderate amounts of nitrogen based fertilisers will keep plants growing healthy.  But if too much nitrogen is applied plants will produce a lot of foliage and the development of the bulbs can be hindered.  Keeping a balanced ratio of feeding is the trick to successful garlic growing. It may sound hard but I promise that it is easy. Apply a liquid fertiliser such as Maxicrop or Thrive once a month to keep plants happy. When using Blood and Bone or Organic Fertiliser by Grow Better apply every 4-6 weeks. 

 

Watering: Garlic originates from Central Asia and northeastern Iran where is grows naturally in some harsh, dry climates. However, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t like to be watered. In fact to achieve the best success in growing garlic is to keep the soil moist during the growing period. Garlic enjoys ample amounts of water for healthy growth and for good bulb formation. But you do not want your garlic swimming in water! If the bulbs are kept extremely wet it can lead to rot!

When to Plant: Planting garlic in autumn is most ideal. Plant garlic 3 – 5 weeks prior to winter will allow for the garlic cloves time to establish a small root system before the soil temperature cools. Plants genuinely do not grow or develop root systems in the winter due to the colder soil temperatures. 

Planting Garlic: When planting into raised or established garden-beds make sure to allocate rows for the garlic to be planted. Tip: Make plant signs or labels to remember where and which variety is planted. Take the garlic bulb and pull apart until you are left with the individual cloves. Plant the clove roughly 4cm deep with the point towards the sky and the rounder end to the soil. Cover with soil and water in. 

Lastly remember to just have fun with it! Growing fresh produce and picking it straight out of your own garden is one of the many joys to gardening. 

 Until next time happy gardening! By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs ©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2018

How to Make a Easter Basket

With only a few sleeps until the Easter Bunny arrives, I thought I better start decorating! In this video I show you how to make a Easter basket, these look great placed around the house or used as a beautiful table centrepiece.

The plants selected for this project are a mixture of low growing ground-covers. Groundcovers best suit small baskets such as the one show in the video. But of course you can substitute these plants with your own favourites!

All you need for this DIY:

  • Horticultural Charcoal
  • Premium potting Mix
  • Calibrachoa ‘Purple’
  • Alternanthera ‘Little Ruby’
  • Brachyscome ‘Mauve Delight’
  • Artificial Moss Ribbon (real moss can be used if desired)
  • Easter decorations (Substitute glitter eggs with real chocolate Easter Eggs if preferred)
  • Bunny ornaments

What do you like to do each year for Easter? 
I like to have a homemade meal with my family and eat chocolate eggs for most of the day. And escape into the garden! 

Until next time happy gardening! By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs ©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2018

 

Garden Apps: What is best?

As technology progresses it can be used in a multitude of ways to help us to better understand and learn. So what apps are available for the home gardener? I have come across 5 that I have found myself  using and recommending to others.

Image result for plant life balance app logoPlant Life balance: This app is designed to help the user green up their lives by providing a virtual hands on experience. Simply take a photo of a room in your house and this app will ask some basic questions, such as how much light the space is exposed to. Then there are 7 theme options you can select from which have a range of different plants available. To name a few: Fantastic feasts, jungle vibes and desert dreams.  From there it will provide a list of plants that are best suited to that space and have basic information provided. You can click and drag the plants that you like into the photo and position them where you please. Giving you a virtual example of how your living space could look with a touch of greenery. The app will also provide some fun information, how clean the air is of the photographed room and will give you an updated percentage if you add plants to that space. It is user-friendly and great if your unsure what plants might suit your home.
App Price: $Freeplant life balance

 Image result for plantsnap app logo PlantSnap: Take a photo of a plant that you are not familiar with and it will identify it for you. There are a lot of apps available which do similar things but this is the most accurate so far! I have tested this app on a number of difficult plants and it has proved to work quite well. Once taking the photo and submitting it for ID a short list of plants will usually show. From there you can look through and select the correct one corresponding to the picture.But the great thing is if it comes up with a short list of plants which do not match the user can provide feedback. You can give a name if you do know the plant species which will be taken on board for future development. Every photo taken and successfully identified is saved into a ‘collections’ folder so you can review them at any given time.
App Price: $Free
Apps2

Image result for MyPestGuide app logo MyPestGuide: Is a handy app when it comes to the possibilities of pest damage on your plants. You have the option in the main menu to choose from: crop, type of damage, pest or size. These categories help the user to define what issues might be caused on the affected plant. For example clicking on the category ‘damage’ the app then gives you a selection of possibilities to choose from. Some examples of them are: Root damage, leaf damage – yellow/wilted and shredded leaves. Upon clicking on one of the tabs it will give you a list of possible pests that might have caused the damage with a lot of information about the pest itself. There is room for improvement on this app and some of those would be the increase of pest damage and options on the offenders. But overall it is a very handy app to have in the garden.
App Price: $Free

Apps2-2

Image result for Botany Dictionary app logoBotany Dictionary: Very handy app if you are wanting to search botanical terminology. The list almost seems endless, in the search engine you can write even one letter and a list of words will appear. From there select and your definition will appear. Some examples of some searches I did were: Xerophyte – a plant that is adapted to very dry conditions. Veinlets – is a small vein. Usually located near the margins of the leaf.
App Price: $Free

Image result for botany dictionary app logo Botany: This app is very similar to Botany Dictionary but has a few other features. This app has a game feel as you can do a quiz to see how good your knowledge on botanical terminology is. The user has the option to save words to different categories such as: Familiar, rarely used, freshly learnt and hands on. The only draw card with this app is there are built-in purchases to reveal more words and gain their meaning. But if you’re looking for an app with a touch of fun this isn’t all that bad. But I do find myself opening the Botany Dictionary more often.
App Price: $Free

I hope that this short list of my top 5 garden apps proves to be useful for you but if you know of some great apps, let me know in the comments!

Until next time happy gardening! By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs ©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2018