Gardening Tips & Tricks
Growing from seed
- It may take a little practice, but try growing your own seedlings from seed. It is much cheaper than buying seedlings and very satisfying! Depending on what you grow and the conditions, they can take between one to three weeks to start germinating, and you will need to allow a few more weeks before they are large enough to put into the ground.
Find out how to prepare your soil and plant seeds directly into the soil in this short video.
- Harvest your own seed for next year! How? Cut the flowers you want to grow and pop them in a paper bag – the seeds will often fall out. Store them in a dry spot and don't forget to label the bag!
- Some seeds can be grown directly in the soil, such as carrots. When growing carrots from seed, mix the tiny seeds with sand (not beach sand) and pour it out into the seed bed. It is easier to distribute the seeds this way.
- If you have clay soil and you want to grow carrots, mix carrot seeds with radish seeds to help break the surface of the soil when germination.
- What about growing from cuttings? Check out our 'how to' video.
Pests and problems
- Are your brassicas getting munched? Cut small butterfly shapes out of yoghurt or margarine tubs – hang them near cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower to keep cabbage moth and cabbage white butterflies away.
- Fruit fly has been a problem in South Australia. Help combat this by collecting fallen fruit straight away to either eat or, if damaged, dispose of it quickly in your compost heap or green bin. If there is another fruit fly outbreak, please follow directions on the PIRSA website.
- We know that direct sunlight can burn leaves, but they can also burn other parts of the plant including stems and trunks. Add shade where a lot of sun may cause burning.
Compost and worms
- Why are worms good for your garden? Find out in this short video.
- Produce a simple worm farm by digging a hole in your garden and put food scraps and water into it. Cover it over and within six weeks the worms will start working in the soil.
- But worms can be fussy; avoid putting in meat, citrus, onion, chilli and garlic.
- Why is soil pH important and how do you measure it? Check out our short video to find out why.
It's another job, but looking after your tools will pay off. Keep them sharp and free from rust by using mineral oil on the metal parts. Learn more in our short video.
- Add more flowers to your vegetable garden – not only do they look beautiful, but they attract pollinators to fertilise your crops and help support wildlife and biodiversity in our back yards.
- Did you grow sweetcorn this year? Use the stems of sweet corn that has been harvested as trellises for peas, beans and other climbers.