Composting · Herb · How to Grow · Profile · Soil care

Comfrey: How To Grow – Herb of the Month

Comfrey stats/requirements at a glance Ease of Raising: 3/5 – Bi-weekly check-ups Water: 2/5 – Minimal, twice per week (especially, container) Sun: 4/5 – Full sun, shade tolerant Training: 1/5 – Minimal (harvesting keeps plant in shape) Fertilise/Feeding: 1/5 – Minimal, at least during the growing season Time to Harvest: 1/5 – Immediate (seedling) to… Continue reading Comfrey: How To Grow – Herb of the Month

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Homesteading · Off Grid · Solar

Solar Power in South Africa Part 3: Solar & Seasonality, Living with Solar in Gauteng, South Africa

How’s your Solar in Winter? (Author: The Economist)   Winter sneaked up on our solar electricity system during July 2015. We hardly took notice of the change in the length of a day before installing solar and now it matters. We lose up to 6 hours in daylight from the longest day in summer to… Continue reading Solar Power in South Africa Part 3: Solar & Seasonality, Living with Solar in Gauteng, South Africa

Insect · Pest · Profile

Caterpillars – Garden Pest of the Month

Caterpillars at a glance Type of Damage Chewing Plant Symptoms Holes in fruits, missing leaves, eaten leaves, ‘felled’ seedlings Favourite Plant Most food crops, especially tomatoes, fruit trees, grapes, citrus, sweet potato, Solanum family Control Biological (predators: wasps, mantids, assassin bugs & chickens), else physical removal Quick Intro Caterpillars are regarded as one of the… Continue reading Caterpillars – Garden Pest of the Month

Biological Control · Food Garden · Homesteading · Observations · Off Grid · Soil care · Water Supply

Sustainable, Productive and Economical Vegetable Gardening (Part 3): Integrated Organic Gardening

My vegetable garden is entering its 8th year and it has been a long journey of trial and error, many a dead or diseased plant and lots of research into various facets of food production along the way. As I have mentioned many times, organic gardening principles are not properly integrated and do not provide… Continue reading Sustainable, Productive and Economical Vegetable Gardening (Part 3): Integrated Organic Gardening

Fruit · How to Grow · Profile

Squash & Pumpkin: How To Grow − Fruit(s) of the Month

Squash stats/requirements at a glance Ease of Raising: 2/5       - Weekly check up Water: 4/5       - Daily Sun: 5/5       - Full sun, no shade Training: 2-4/5    – Minimal (Zucchini) to Moderate (Squash), dead or damages leaves to trellis training Fertilise/Feeding: 3/5       – Moderate (monthly) Time to Harvest: 2-5/5    – Soon (Zucchini) to end… Continue reading Squash & Pumpkin: How To Grow − Fruit(s) of the Month

Food Garden · Homesteading · Observations

Sunbirds & Spiderwebs – Something Special

We have a few residential sunbirds in the neighbourhood - not the very flashy ones like those in the fynbos areas of South Africa, but none the less gorgeous little birdies. The Whitebellied sunbird, Nectarinia talatala is a common sight for those living close to bushveld towards the northern parts of southern Africa. It is… Continue reading Sunbirds & Spiderwebs – Something Special

Biological Control · Insect · Pest Control · Profile

Wasps: Biological Control – Garden Critter of the Month

Wasps at a glance Occupation: Predator Value to Gardener: 5/5 - Pest Controller and Pollinator Danger to Humans: 4/5 – They can sting when provoked Availability: 5/5 – They’ll arrive or you can buy some Quick Intro The wasp is likely an under appreciated garden helper. They are one of a few insects that duel… Continue reading Wasps: Biological Control – Garden Critter of the Month