#garden hacks


Plastic bottles have the joint honour of being both an environmental disaster, and a very useful material for DIY freecycling projects in the garden: whether they be used for sub-irrigated planters, vertical gardens, simple cloches, underground water reservoirs, makeshift hydroponics components, or in these cases, an entire greenhouse.

Photos: Sustainable Community Initiatives Scotland, Columbia Centre for Science and Environmental Awareness, SKPPRA UK, Essex Community Rehabilitation Centre

#garden hacks



Absolutely brilliant. tinyhousedarling: this one is for you.

#gif #DIY #garden hacks #vertical gardening #container gardening 

(via rebl-housewife-and-her-scientist)

People who say they garden or farm with ‘no chemicals’ come across as not knowing what a chemical is.

If you want people to take you seriously, say that you garden or farm with ‘no chemically-synthesised inputs.’

More careful phrasing does a lot to improve the credibility of advocacy for organic methods.

It’s the phraseology used in international law, and it makes you look like less of a woo-peddling luddite.

The organic movement is set back when people (loudly) involved in it exhibit poor scientific literacy and knee-jerk chemophobia.

[Examples: 1, 2, 3, 4]

Organic gardening/farming and permaculture are scientific pursuits; pursuits that require a large body of interdisciplinary knowledge about ecosystems, soil science, botany, mycology, chemistry, geography, forestry, and social science. The rest of the world will only take these ideas seriously if those of us promoting them treat them seriously, and hold them to a high and rigorous standard of evidence.

Image: James Kennedy

Cactus germination chamber

Cacti and succulents need humidity and heat to germinate, and a top-dressing of sand to stand up straight when they are but wee things with one little radicle.

Right now, I’m germinating:

  • Lithops (mixed sp.)
  • Sempervivum (mixed sp.)
  • Aztec Cactis (Aztekium ritteri)
  • Finger Cactus (Mesembryanthemum digitatum)
  • Sand Dollar Cactus (Astrophytum asterias)
  • Torch Cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi)

I’m using a small plant propagator, and once germination occurs, I use a reptile heating mat under the pots to encourage rapid root growth. I also use this setup to bottom-heat cuttings, which makes cloning plants go a lot faster (combined with rooting hormone, the bottom-heating method gives a much higher ‘strike rate’).

#garden hacks #germination #cacti #succulents #greenhouse #soil

I excitedly tell the dog there is a mouse, and get him to dig holes for me when I want to plant something.

#garden hacks #pets


Regrowing Radish Tops for Radish Pods

Radishes are some of the easiest to grow vegetables, but how many harvests can you reap from one planting? There’s the root bulb, but the leaves are also edible. What I also like to do is also cut off the top, remove most of the greens to eat, then replant the top. In the next two months, the tops will grow, bolt, set on (edible) pretty flowers, and then finally form seed pods. When the pods mature you’ll get more seeds, but pluck them young and green and you’ll get a tasty spicy treat. Great raw or pickled!

Some radish varieties are specifically grown for these “rat tails,” but it’s rare to see radish tops being sold. And yes, you can also do this with store bought pre-plastic-packages of radish.

So in closing, why not get the most out of your hard work. A crop of radish will provide edible:

  • root
  • leaves
  • flowers
  • pods
  • and more seeds
#regrow #DIY #brassicas #edible flowers

(via iontha)


Question to all my goat peeps out there.

What trees will goats NOT eat the bark off of, and that are preferably fast growing? I need a new shade tree in the one pasture after they killed the very large apple tree that grew on top of the hill.

They seem to really like maple and apple trees (no matter the size). I’ve read that larger trees are safe from goats, but my goats will go after any apple or maple tree they can get their mouths on, big or small.

I’ve noticed that they left what I think is a small black walnut tree alone, but those make crappy shade trees and take forever to grow. I was thinking about locust trees, as they have thorns when they are younger and grow relatively fast.

I’d suggest something with unpleasant chemicals in the bark that would repel them, but most of the ones I know in that category are medium-growers, like Osage Orange or Paw Paw (also slow growers like Walnut).

You could also try something with thorns on the main trunk, like the ones you mentioned: a Honey Locust or a Black Locust.


The trunk of the Honey Locust is a death trap. Only the bravest goats would try it.

I also have a tonne of seed for roses I could send you: you could plant a fast-growing circular rose hedge, let it get a head start, and then plant your tree in the middle: that would hopefully give a barrier the goats wouldn’t be keen to cross.

Either way, if you want to grow a temperate-zone tree from seed, now is pretty much the time to do it.

#animal husbandry #stratification



Farmer bought a donkey to protect his livestock from predators.

This is why every farmer and rancher should have a livestock guard! Whether it be a dog, a donkey or a llama, livestock guards are essential. Not only do they minimize or even completely prevent losses caused by predators, but it also allows ranchers and farmers to live alongside predators, which are vital to a healthy ecosystem. Everybody wins!

(via forestferncreations)