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12.03.2016 admin
SERIES 25 Episode 10Sophie shows how to build a self-watering garden bed"I'm really happy with my vegie patch," says Sophie, "but after two years and constantly adding organic matter to the soil, the soil's still not as good as it could be and I expect it will probably take about five years to get to that point. Copyright Restrictions: This fact sheet is for private and domestic information purposes only. Links to sites that may interest you, including botanical gardens, private gardens, and gardening societies in your state.
Comprehensive information on what to grow and how to grow it, plus great gardens, design ideas and stories from the show.
Fairy gardening, as well as miniature gardening has opened up a new world of creativity for me as a landscape designer!
I mixed accessories bought at a specialty store, such as Wholesale Fairy Gardens, and materials that I have at home. Many of my miniature gardens feature materials destined for the trash that I upcycle into planters and accessories. I never cry over broken garden accessories, including this adorable finial that split in two!
Everything about this garden is free, including the shell that props up the planter on one side! The large section of the broken finial is now a whimsical miniature garden planter with staked ceramic fairy swing and fairy from Wholesale Fairy Gardens. We received glassware as a  Christmas gift that was boxed in this rustic wood shipping crate. I'm not expecting this wood planter to last forever, water will slowly cause it to decompose.
I drilled holes at the bottom of the crate for drainage and then painted the wood in two colors, brown with sage green trim. It's filled with moss, ceramic eggs, a bird figure, and a succulent plant that spills from inside! I also drilled holes for drainage and then painted with acrylic paints in brown and sage green.
Cascading wire vine softens the edges of the planter and artistic stepping stones lead to the hideout. Many of the plants in this garden are edible including the Swiss chard, chives, oregano and pansies! Fairy oversees the garden perched on a stone wall above the golden sedum lawn, stone walkway and succulent roof house! The wheel barrel and small garden tools lets the onlooker know that this fairy is a gardener! What a wonderful idea for staying in touch with your grandaughter and bonding with her as well.
Shirley,  Every year my Master gardener friend and I teach a garden class for seniors.
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Last updated : 9 March 201527 Comments Composting is a great way to help preserve the environment while creating fertilizer for your garden and lawn.
Having collection services haul your green waste away to a dump site uses up energy resources and contributes to pollution and climate change. Homemade compost bins are fairly easy to construct, and they do not require any fancy parts or tools.
Portability – You may decide that you want a compost bin that you can easily move around from place to place.
Moisture – Depending on the type of waste you add to the bin, you may or may not need to add extra moisture. If your compost has sufficient moisture, oxygen and nutrients, it will decompose quickly and even if you are dumping large amounts of waste the volume in the bin should be easy to control If you find the bin overflowing, you may want to add extra moisture. Another trick is to use separate mulch bins for garden waste like leaves or twigs that can take a longer time to break down.
Probably one of the easiest items to recycle into a compost bin is an old wheeled trash bin. The bin will already have a cover to keep critters out, so all you will need to do is add air holes for ventilation. A rotating barrel is a good idea because it allows you to mix new waste easily and thoroughly with the already composting material.
Simply use an old food grade drum mounted on a wooden frame with a metal axle going through the center.
The walls should be about two to four feet high depending on the amount of kitchen and yard waste you generate. If you want to prevent access to pets and wild animals, use tarp, sackcloth or similar material to create an easy-to-remove cover. If the wheels are still serviceable, you can use the wheelbarrow to distribute the compost when it is ready.
Actually you do not really need to build anything at all to compost your yard and kitchen waste. In one way, it is not such a bad idea to have pets urinating into the compost as this actually adds extra nitrogen from their urea! However, if you would prefer to avoid this, you can use a tarp or sack cover for your composting pile. Sounds good just make sure it stays moist, but I would also put some drain holes in the bin so excess water can drain out. When my daughter got her first place, she wanted to start gardening but, didn’t have a lot of space for composting.

One of the most important things is to make sure you have the right amount of moisture in the content of your bin. I'm Mike McGroarty and I'm passionate about plants, soil and everything that has to do with gardening! Evergreen box is potentially one of the most valuable trees that can ever be grown by woodland owners.
Prune to remove stems which contain green (ie unvariegated) leaves back to their origin to prevent further reversion.
The species is named after the 19th century Scottish botanist and plant explorer, Robert Fortune. How to Water Succulent PlantsHave you ever wondered how much to water succulents? This post will teach you how to properly water succulents to keep them looking great! Well draining soil for succulent container gardensHaving well draining soil is crucial for succulents.
Learn how to fertilize succulentsOften people think that you don’t need to fertilize succulents. Tips for Growing Succulents AnywhereSucculents are a very popular plant with their gorgeous shapes and colors as well as their drought tolerant qualities, but not everywhere is the ideal place for them to grow. The Essential Guide to Growing Succulents IndoorsGrowing succulents indoors is tricky business if you don’t know the proper soil, sunlight and watering requirements.
It also means that in summer I have to water daily."So she has an alternative - a vegie garden that's easily maintained, uses very little water, doesn't take much space and is quick to set up. It may not be copied, reproduced, sold or used for any other purpose without the express permission of the ABC.
How about painting a gold little rock to look like a gold nugget or spray glue some glitter on a stone? I have a really big miniature garden and gnome garden in my back yard, I’m in the process of replanting right now to get a head start. Making your own compost bin will save you additional money and will help in recycling used stuff around your home. Not only will they help break things down faster but their waste products add additional nutrients to the compost.
However, if you live a hot, dry region, you should check the bin periodically to see if it needs some additional watering. You can easily move these around and dump the compost whenever it is ready for distribution.
You could also set up four metal or wood posts and attach the wire mesh to create a rectangular composting bin. You can leave the top open for easy access or create a cover made of wire, wood or other material.
Cinder block will last for a long time, and you will not have to worry about the bin getting blown over by the wind.
Simply take three or four pallets and stand them on their sides to create an open bin or or a gated bin.
If you want a gate, add a hinge and latch to the fourth pallet for easy opening and closing. If you have an old barrel with holes in it, no need to worry as the holes will provide for air circulation. Use a sack or tarp to cover the pile if you want to prevent animals or pets from scavenging for snacks. There are many no no’s in order to keep it from smelling and drawing the wrong critters. Several different,,,one for leaves and grass,,,one for horse manure,,, and one for chicken manure.
If the plant is already close to the desired size, then it will need pruning to approximately the desired shape, which may involve removing a large proportion of the branches.
For complex topiary shapes, it's easier to make the shape out of chicken wire and secure it over the box plant.
This post has the perfect succulent soil mix recipe and tells you where to buy the components! However, with these simple tips you’ll be able to better care for your indoor succulent collection.
My succulent is dying!If you’re concerned your succulent is dying due to over or under watering, you’re in the right place! She's got three wicking beds that have given Sophie and her family stacks of vegies throughout the summer.Wicking beds water plants from below rather than above.
Next year we will have the class build a Fairy Garden and display it in the lobby where all the various classes can see an example of what we do. Fairy and mini gardens are fun to create and I think they’ll be popular for a long time!
I have so much fun working in it, I do need to replant off and on as I find some plants to do well in center areas while others don’t. Therefore, you need to ensure that there are at least air holes or other vents that will allow circulation into your bin.
Paper, straw and similar material can help generate higher heat in your bin that will lead to a faster rate of decomposition.
In many cases, you might not even need to add these insects as they will find their own way into your bin. The metal tub my daughter used for composting came out of a DRYER unit, not a washing machine! I use a 418 litre barrel about 1m in length or just under with the right materials and moisture it will cook.

I was going to run em off and then I realized the little varmint is turning the soil for me. If you are struggling with how often—and how much—to water your succulents, this easy-to-read guide is for you! They're basically containers with water reservoirs at the base - like a giant self-watering pot.
She keeps asking me when the fairies will leave something behind for her so she knows they appreciate and love the garden. One trick is to dump your kitchen waste before it dries out to contribute as much moisture as possible to the compost pile. I feel this gives her a connection to her grandma and will be something for her to enjoy for years to come.
Do you have any ideas on something I could "leave" behind so she knows a fairy visited? I finally gave up on vegetable gardening, but I still have a flower bed with herbs tucked into it here and there. This allows moisture to be more evenly distributed through the soil, creating better growing conditions for the plants.MaterialsYou can build a wicking bed out of any sort of container, but Sophie likes to use big, old wooden vegetable crates. Love what you do with the broken items, I did the same thing with a broken bird bath, my husband was scared to tell me he broke it but right away I turned it into a planter.
The second bin is for transferring the initial compost after it has begun to decay and the kitchen waste is turning.
First couple of days I break up so the grass gets well mixed with the sawdust turn 5 times once a day no lime added as it’s comes out with a neutral PH and the worms love it. I have one behind the house for kitchen compost, and a couple out by the garage in back to put in grass clippings, shubbery cuttings, etc. We shift it into the middle bin until it is perfect compost and then we move it to the third bin which is what we use in the garden and for amending the soil when we plant trees etc. She's lucky enough to get them from a local market gardener for just $15 each.As well as a container, you'll need a couple of pieces of old carpet to line the bottom - and some builder's plastic to line and waterproof the interior of the container.
Place on the soil about 100mm works as a mulch and the worms will eat it up and take the worm casting into the soil. We cover the top with weed cloth so it can breath, but it does help keep the pets and some critters out. Sophie's using geotextile fabric to separate the water reservoir from the soil, but she says you can use old shadecloth instead.You'll need scoria, gravel or another aggregate to fill the bottom of the reservoir. Plus if stored in a wooden frame compost bin keep a cover over to keep moist the worms get into it and once again turn into pure worm casting. I may have to put more nitrogen stuff in, as they are not composting as fast as I had hoped the would, but they’re getting there.
We did not add any worms to the compost, but currently have giant worms at least 8-10 inches long.
Sophie uses scoria because in her area she can pick it up for free from people wanting to get rid of it. Between that and the commingled recyclables we have, and a newspaper recycling bin there as well, I put very little into the actual garbage dump. I add all of our coffee grounds and tea bags,cutting the string and staple off each tea bag before throwing it into the compost and the worms are thriving! For the watering tube, Sophie's using a piece of PVC pipe and an elbow, bought from the salvage yard. She's also picked up an old metal cap that will go on the top to prevent mosquitoes getting in to breed in the reservoir. She's also got some agricultural pipe of the same diameter to join to the PVC pipe - the ag pipe will coil around the bottom of the container.
My husband dug in and installed a spigot next to the bins, comes in handy for rinsing out the coffee cans after dumping the kitchen waste from them). Check for any protruding nails and other sharp objects - either hammer them in or pull them out to get rid of them.Next, put down a layer of carpet on the base and follow with the black plastic on the base and up the sides. Wish I could be as smart as my phone and I would post a picture or two or three of my set-up. Sophie clamps the plastic in place, then adds a second layer of carpet that covers the black plastic bottom and goes another 20 centimetres up the sides.
We also have a couple of bales of straw sitting next to the bins on a wooden pallet and keep it covered with a tarp and bungee cords. This will prevent the scoria or other gravel from puncturing the black plastic.Sophie then adds scoria to a depth of 100 millimetres on top of the carpet to hold everything in place. She's connected the ag pipe to the upright pvc and coils the flexible ag pipe around the bottom of the reservoir, on top of the scoria.
Sophie's old piece of narrow pvc pipe goes through the middle to keep the outlet waterproof. Next, a layer of geotextile fabric goes over the top of the scoria to prevent the soil clogging the water reservoir.Finally, the soil goes on top. I read it calms them when you use the correct combo as well as aids in controlling insects.
It needs to be around 30 centimetres deep - the optimal height to get soil wicking properly.
Hope y’all have a visual in your heads about my wonderful and most useful compost bins.

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