About: This Blog

Hey hey! Welcome to my little bit of Internet space 


Practical Gardening Tips Not Readily Available From Books, But Comes With Experience – and some Science too!


Here I have regular posts on how to grow vegetables, fruits and herbs. I have several article series of vegetable profiles, biological control via insects, chicken keeping, home composting and whatever else I come across to share with you!

I am situated in South Africa, Roodepoort. South Africa is an semi-arid to arid landscape with many different biomes. We also sport the world heritage site of the Fynbos (Afrikaans, a native language & my mother tongue, for “fine bush”), which is an endemic shrubland of the Cape Peninsula – Famous for the majestic Proteas.

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Roodepoort, however, is well within the Highveld region of South Africa. Thus my garden gets rain during the spring & summer months (Sep-Mar), which is a measly 700-800mm per year. Autumn (Apr-May) and winter (June -Aug) is relatively cold and very dry. In SA, water is precious and electricity very expensive, so we only use rainwater and grey water for the vegetable garden. Nothing powered by electricity is used in the vegetable garden – only elbow grease. I try to keep all pest and disease control to biological and organic (green) methods. The same goes for composting, fertilising and soil maintenance.

South Africa Climate Conradie 2012 CSIR

I started vegetable (edible) gardening during my 1st year BSc (Genetics) degree. The garden was mostly a container garden on our patio area, but that didn’t work so great, since it became a breeding ground for all kinds of pests. So I moved outside to a little space behind the kitchen, which had this small strange plot and soil mostly occupied by grass – and we converted this into a veggie patch. First we only dug up half of the plot, and later expanded. Now the whole plot in under veg, a few containers and mini green house is dotted around the space.

18 March 2008

My approach to vegetable gardening is much the same as my approach to science – TRY EVERYTHING and see what works. So I have made my way through most of the vegetable types and cultivars available on the South African market.

I first experiment, then report back – this meant that I generally published “How To Grow Profiles” once every two months (but since I am moving my old blog’s content, it is a lot more frequent). These are substantial full articles between 3-5 A4 pages with just about everything I can get to put into the article – complete with photos to boot! I am trying to do a few smaller tidbit articles that are no more than 2 A4 pages (but I can’t seems to help myself when it comes to research )…

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My Blog was on Google Blogger since 2011, where I nearly reached half a million pageviews before Google’s algorithm change knocked out 80% of its organic search traffic. I decided since Google doesn’t want me there I will move me and my content to WordPress – and now I am here! 


I cover a wide range of topics and am not just restricted to vegetable gardening. I have a large collection of botanical prints of herbs, vegetables and fruits featured on my posts. I have posts/pages on keeping chickens, composting, propagation, pruning, attracting wildlife to the garden (beneficial insects), biological pest control, water conservation, sustainable practises, books read, the exhibitions & talks I attended, and when the opportunity arises I’ll introduce you to the world of Genetics and Molecular Science.


Whisker Flowers blog and its contents are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported, CC BY-NC 3.0. This means that you are free to use, share and remix my work for free for non-commercial purposes given attribution (https://whiskerflowers.wordpress.com).

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