Clissa

Articles by this author

How to Make White Oil

White oil is a multi-purpose pest treatment that is a must-have for every food garden. It is used to combat sap-sucking and chewing insects like aphids, scale, mealy bug and citrus leaf miner. It suffocates rather than poisons these insects, so they can’t develop a resistance to it. You can buy a commercial white oil

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How to Mulch Fruit Trees

Fruit trees grown in every climate can benefit from a mulch of some description. Mulch is a layer of material (usually organic) applied to the surface of soil which looks attractive and benefits the plants it covers. Mulch adds nutrition, helps protect the root zone, limits damage done by extreme weather and makes mowing maintenance

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QLD SPECIAL! Emergency Care for Flooded Fruit Trees

Those who have recently experienced the major flood event in southeast QLD and northern New South Wales will be reeling at best and completely devastated at worst. If you have lost it all, I offer my deepest sympathies. Our food garden is like a family member, and when something happens to it, we suffer grief

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Summer Citrus Tree Care

Citrus are great host trees for all sort of critters- some of them beauties, some of them beasties. From the birds who swoop in on the fruit to microscopic leaf-munchers to the predators in between, citrus attracts them all. Winter tends to be something of a dormancy period for citrus. Growth slows down, water is

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Growing Issues in the Subtropical Summer Garden

Summer in Australia is supposedly the prime growing season. Plants grow the quickest in summer. In theory, they produce better, are healthier, and are easier to look after. Watering is required less often because there is good rain. All we have to do is arrive in the garden with a harvest basket & cutting implement

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5 Things You Need to Know About Weeds

Most people want a tidy lawn and garden, free of weeds. But when you pull weeds out, are you removing them successfully and permanently? Or do the same species pop up every season? We’re indoctrinated with the idea that certain weeds are locally endemic and nothing will prevent their regular reappearance. Yet it doesn’t need

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How to Make a Sump System for Rainwater Collection

Feeling limited by your water tank capacity? Need to store more water but can’t fit the tanks under your guttering? What if there was an easier way, so you could have what ever height tank you wanted, and still catch all your runoff? Well there is! It’s called a sump system. When it rains, the

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Possum Problem Solved!- Geodesic Dome Greenhouse Finale

This is the last in a series of articles about the issues I’ve had in my geodesic dome greenhouse and grow tunnel. Here is the previous chapter, where I tell about the possum problems. With a feeling of failure weighing heavily upon me, I left the greenhouses to fend for themselves for a few weeks.

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Possum Problems: My Geodesic Dome Greenhouse Part 4

This is the fourth part in a series of articles on my self-built geodesic dome greenhouse. If you need to catch up, here is part 3. It’s All About the Possums! As if my problems with light and powdery mildew weren’t enough, I now had pest damage to contend with. Will it ever end?! The

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Quick Guide to The QLD Fruit Fly

The Queensland fruit fly is a serious garden pest that destroys a wide variety of crops by laying its eggs inside fruit and vegetables. This results in fruit which is full of maggots and rotting, sloppy flesh…in other words, completely ruined. While they are a nuisance for the backyard gardener, the damage they cause means

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Permaculture For Beginners (part 1)

‘Permaculture’ is one of those words we often see and hear when reading about gardening. It’s like some sort of mythical desert oasis…you’ve heard about it, you know it’s a good thing, but you can’t put your finger on what it really is and what it looks like in the real world. So what is

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Issues with Powdery Mildew- My Geodesic Dome Greenhouse Part 3

This article is a follow-up to ‘Problems with Light-My Geodesic dome Greenhouse Part 2’. Although I’ve been harvesting lovely vegetables from my geodesic dome and grow tunnel daily, a new problem appeared in February, just after the wet season had started. POWDERY MILDEW!! I really want to make the dome work, as it’s such an

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Problems with Light- My Geodesic Dome Greenhouse Part 2

This article is a follow-up to ‘My Geodesic Dome Greenhouse Part 1’. In part one, I detailed the building of my geodesic dome greenhouse. This second part talks about the light problems I had in this dome greenhouse. It really highlights that light is a huge factor in successful gardening. As I began planting out

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The Dynamic Gardening Method

Gardens never stay still, do they? They’re always changing-plants grow, die, and multiply. The seasons change, and with that, the weather. You could say they are dynamic. But did you know there’s an actual thing called dynamic gardening? Yes, really! And it’s more than just having a garden that changes naturally- it’s an authentic gardening

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3 Easy Ways to Fix Clay Soil

It’s no secret that clay soil is far from the gardeners friend. Poor drainage is a problem, and when the soil is waterlogged your plant roots become starved of oxygen. If the soil is too dry, it can be hard to dig and plant roots can’t grow through it. So how do we fix clay

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How to Attract Earthworms to Your Garden

WHY ARE EARTHWORMS SUCH A BIG DEAL FOR GARDENERS? Earthworms are the largest & most productive part of the plant-food cycle: they can work harder and faster than any other organism, and produce a huge amount of nutrients for the plants. To see exactly how they work within the soil structure, read our article here

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How to Test & Improve Your Garden Soil

Soil is a mixture of minerals, air, water, plus a variety of living and dead organic matter. The purpose of soil is as a growing medium for plants, a regulator of water supplies, recycler of raw materials, habitat for soil organisms, and as a landscaping and engineering medium. When it comes to gardening, we need

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Soil Minerals: What are they & how do I get the balance right?

Picture yourself standing in your garden. Looking around, right to left, up and down, admiring the results of all your hard work. Beautiful flowers, deep green leaves, fruit on the way to ripening….BUT WAIT! You spot one plant that is shrivelled, sick, and covered in bugs. Turn the other way, and there’s one with yellow

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