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Fruit Trees in Small Spaces

Fruit trees are a structural staple of any edible garden and with a little thought, urban gardens can provide the perfect microclimates for growing fruit trees in small spaces. There is room for a fruit tree in almost any garden, whether it be in a tub or in the ground. And now is the perfect time to start planning your urban food forest as most trees should be planted in late winter-early spring. Trees are a long term investment so…

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Tree in the Corner Part 2

In 2017 I posted about the overbearing myrtle tree in the corner of our front garden. That post discussed in permaculture terms the various yields and negatives of this fixed asset. Well, exciting things happened with the tree last weekend and I wanted to provide an update. We deliberated long and hard about what to do with this tree that is such an overbearing fixture of the property. What would the garden be like if we got rid of it…

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The Gift of Garlic

I hadn’t planned on planting garlic this season. My excuse until now has been that I had no space, but the truth of it is, I have been procrastinating on building new beds for some time. However, my work colleague gave me some garlic to plant this month. He has purchased approximately 60 bulbs of at least 4 different garlic varieties via TradeMe and is planning an experiment to test the differences in growth, taste and disease-resistance across them. My…

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A Weedy Bed

I have been procrastinating on a weedy bed for several months now and I have no desire to dig up this piece of troublesome dirt to turn it onto productive ground. Grasses and oxalis are rife and now even thistles are setting up shop. I’ve been putting it off for months, and every week that goes by the weeds become more established and gnarly. But the solution has been right in front of me. I can’t quite believe that I…

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Urban Scavenge

I’ve been on a mighty urban scavenge to acquire goodies for the garden this weekend. Although it would be wonderful to be able to source all my gardening goodness from on site, we started with a mostly grassed section, so it is impossible to generate enough biomass to supply the organic matter requirements of the garden. In an urban environment it is often necessary to venture into zones 6, 7 and 8 to procure nutrients and materials not readily available to…

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I messed up – Wattle I do about it?

Fessing up to mistakes has got to be one of the toughest challenges in life. Worse still is the realisation that others might perceive you as imperfect. Yet when I started this blog I underwrote my purpose to be about talking about my successes AND my mistakes, so that others might learn. Today’s pill was hard to swallow, and writing about it is even harder, but here goes. There have been some kowhai trees that have self-seeded outside my living…

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Water Wise

Here are a few strategies to help you be water wise in the garden. Water Wisely Check soil for moisture Check the soil before you water. Lift up the mulch and feel for moisture. Do you even need to water? Over-watering encourages shallow root growth and weaker plants. If water is not available near the surface, the roots will grow deeper in search of it. Water at night Or even better, early in the morning before the sun is up.…

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Water Behaviours & Restrictions

I’m watching with interest people’s reactions to recent water restrictions in Wellington. We’ve had a surprisingly warm, dry spring and a ferociously hot summer (so far!) and the annual hose pipe ban was instigated very early in the season. What interests me is where people seem to be laying most of the blame. Not on the abnormally high temperatures, lack of spring rain and other extreme weather events if the last year. Nor at their own water behaviours. But rather…

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