Insect · Pest · Profile

Aphids – Pest of the Month

Aphids at a glance Type of Damage Pierce-sucking Plant Symptoms Stunted growth, leaf curl, transmit diseases Favourite Plant All plants Occurrence Year-round in areas with mild winters (SA) Distribution Worldwide Control Difficult, physical preferable, biological control agents available   Quick Intro Aphids are an ubiquitous pest species, if you have ever taken care of a… Continue reading Aphids – Pest of the Month

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Chickens · eggs · Food Garden · Observations

The C Files: How to raise chickens – Egg production

Chickens are a popular source of protein, due to their low-cost of raising and dual use as meat and eggs for protein production. South Africans are especially fond of chicken and it represents the most consumed protein in SA. Seeing that eggs are an easy, accessible and economic way to produce home-grown protein it is… Continue reading The C Files: How to raise chickens – Egg production

Biological Control · Insect · Profile

Flies: Biological Control – Garden Critter of the Month

Flies at a glance Occupation: Predator, pollinator Value to Gardener: 5/5 - Pest Controller and Pollinator Danger to Humans: 2/5 – Most are harmless, some bite Availability: 5/5 – They’ll arrive or you can buy some Quick Intro Flies are seen as vermin and disgusting creatures. Although a large portion of flies are detrivores and… Continue reading Flies: Biological Control – Garden Critter of the Month

Food Garden · Homesteading · How to Grow · Observations · Soil care

Sustainable, Productive and Economical Vegetable Gardening (Part 4): Vegetable Garden Planting Guide & Management

When you consider an ideal vegetable garden I imagine that many of you (as well as myself at one point too) had the following image in mind: Vegetables arranged in neat regimented lines or blocks containing one type of vegetable, perfectly bordered by some type of hedging and clear weed free paths between the planted… Continue reading Sustainable, Productive and Economical Vegetable Gardening (Part 4): Vegetable Garden Planting Guide & Management

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

disease · Fruit · Pest Control · Profile

Eggplant Rust – Disease of the Month

Eggplant Rust at a glance   Type of Damage Stunted growth, leaf blight Plant Symptoms Bright orange blisters under leaves Favourite Plant Common & African eggplant Control Difficult (Sulphur based products) Quick Intro This is a recently identified rust problem on eggplants. Pearl Millet Rust (Puccinia substriata var. substriata), the same fungus that infects Pearl Millet (Pennisetum… Continue reading Eggplant Rust – Disease of the Month

Composting · Food Garden · Homesteading · Off Grid · Soil care

Composting: Kitchen waste, NPK & Fertilisers

Home Style Composting Composting is a very important section of any good gardening book – but they all fail to mention how wonderful good ol’ kitchen waste is. Some say it takes too long to break down and that it must be degraded before planting... but that is a bunch of half-truths. Kitchen waste will… Continue reading Composting: Kitchen waste, NPK & Fertilisers