Composting · Homesteading · Soil care

Instant Compost

This is just a quick post for some instant compost ideas.   1. Kitchen waste directly into the soil Kitchen waste is mainly food scraps: peels, stems and leaves of plant matter. You can add whole pieces of kitchen waste to the soil (it will take 2-3 months to break down depending on the season).… Continue reading Instant Compost

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Composting · Homesteading · Soil care

Soil Profiles & Maintenance

Ground Work   Here I will give all the basic information on soil and how to improve your soil for gardening.     Soil Formation and Soil Horizons Soil is formed by the erosion (breakdown by water and wind) of rocks and bedrock. The deposition of organic material increases the disintegration of the rock and… Continue reading Soil Profiles & Maintenance

Insect · Pest · Pest Control · Profile

Mediterranean Fruit Fly – Pest of the Month

Fruit Fly at a glance Type of Damage Chewing & secondary bacterial rot Plant Symptoms Misshaped fruits, up to 100% crop loss! Favourite Plant Several fruiting trees, vines & shrubs Occurrence Year-round in areas with mild winters (SA) Distribution Worldwide Control Difficult, chemical lures main control method, else avoid planning susceptible crops during fruit fly… Continue reading Mediterranean Fruit Fly – Pest of the Month

Homesteading · Propagation

Propagation: Alternatives to Artificial Rooting Hormone – Honey as Rooting Hormone

As part of being a gardener striving for natural and more wallet friendly alternatives I was on the lookout for a substitute to artificial rooting hormone. I had several problems with the store bought stuff: 1)                  They give you so much that I can’t possibly use up everything before it expires. 2)                  You get three… Continue reading Propagation: Alternatives to Artificial Rooting Hormone – Honey as Rooting Hormone

Chickens · Homesteading · Off Grid

The C Files: Reasons for keeping chickens

Before we get to the reasons for keeping chickens lets first summarise the different chicken keeping methods and their terminologies:   There are two categories of chicken keeping; Battery cage and cage free. Battery-cage: These are industrial units for poultry farming on a large scale (also known as factory farming). Mostly the cages are small… Continue reading The C Files: Reasons for keeping chickens

Fruit · How to Grow · Profile

Raspberry: How to Grow – Fruit of the Month

Raspberry stats/requirements at a glance Ease of Raising: 2/5 Weekly Check-ups (fruiting & ripening) Water: 4/5 Daily (they don’t mind ‘wet feet’ in pots) Sun: 4/5 Full sun, shade tolerant (morning sun preferable) Training: 5/5 Absolutely, require stakes and pruning of already fruited stems Fertilise/Feeding: 3-4/5 Moderate (monthly when growing) to fortnightly (fruiting) Time to… Continue reading Raspberry: How to Grow – Fruit of the Month

Homesteading · Off Grid · Solar

Solar Power in South Africa Part 1: How to go off grid permanently

Guest Post by the Economist 🙂 The following article was not written by myself (AKA Whisker Flowers) but by our Economist in the house. It is a very comprehensive article on how we got our household solar ready (installed in 2014 and still running! ). This is a full length article but well worth the… Continue reading Solar Power in South Africa Part 1: How to go off grid permanently

Biological Control · Insect · Profile

Ladybeetle (Ladybug or Ladybird): Biological Control – Garden Critter of the Month

Ladybeetles (Ladybugs or Ladybirds) at a glance Occupation: Predator or Pest Value to Gardener: 3/5 - Pest Controller (some are pests!) Danger to Humans: 1/5 – Harmless Availability: 5/5 – They’ll arrive or you can buy some     Quick Intro Ladybugs, ladybirds or ladybeetles; these insects are firm favourites amongst gardeners and non-gardeners alike… Continue reading Ladybeetle (Ladybug or Ladybird): Biological Control – Garden Critter of the Month

Food Garden · Fruit · Herb · Homesteading · Vegetable

Starting a Productive & Economical Food Garden (Part 1): Vegetables Worth Growing

I wrote this post in 2014, but is has become even more applicable given the state of South Africa's economy and sky-rocketing food prices. When I started vegetable gardening I didn't think that it would save a lot of money (maybe come out square?). We started the vegetable garden as part of a ‘productive hobby’… Continue reading Starting a Productive & Economical Food Garden (Part 1): Vegetables Worth Growing