Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

Getting organised

I’m not a very organised person. This sad fact is becoming more and more obvious to me whenever I attempt to do something in the garden and then have to hunt around for the required tool or equipment. Its only been a few months that I’ve been acquiring gardening tools and things I need in the garden, like organic fertilisers, foliar feeds, secateurs, seeds, pots, gloves etc. etc. And every time I buy something new it gets put in a new / different / available place. So we now have various items I use in the garden scattered all over the garden, garage and inside the house. Numerous places have become collection or storage spaces for new gardening things and when I need something I have to go hunting in all those places … its become very annoying – so it was time to “get organised”!

Closed chest

Enter the newest acquisition – an antique Chinese chest! I absolutely love this new chest and I’ve had a great time getting all my indoor things together and arranging them inside the chest. Now all I need to do is put up some shelves on the wall above it for all my gardening books and I’ll look like a Real Gardener!

I now keep all the “big” tools in the garage, have one space in the actual garden for outdoorsy type things, and all the small things in this chest. I think it works and I have something beautiful to look at everytime I walk past it!

Open chest

Where do you keep all your “gardening stuff”? And do you think my chest is going to be large enough in the long term?


Barbie's garden Fertiliser Gardening Home page features Miscellaneous

Fertilizers or Compost?

Swiss chardA mistake which people often make is to assume that if they use artificial fertilizers, they do not need to use compost or any other organic matter. IF you have to use artificial fertilizers they must always be used in conjuction with compost otherwise the soil will deteriorate in its organic content with a resulting poor structure.  Bulky manures and organic products will steadily improve the quality of the soil so that fewer artificial fertilizers need to be used. Good quality food crops can be successfully produced without  any artificial fertilizers and this is the basis for organic gardening.

Christine's garden Fertiliser Gardening Products

Coffee grounds as fertiliser

Last week when I was moaning about the sad state of my gardenias I did some research online about caring for them and came across a video by some garden expert in the USA and he said “and don’t forget to sprinkle your old coffee grounds around the base, the Gardenias will thrive”. I thought I wasn’t hearing correctly … coffee grounds?? I replayed it a few times to make sure I was hearing right and then started googling “Coffee Grounds fertiliser”. Seems this has become a common practise with organic gardeners. In the USA they go to Starbucks who willingly hand over their coffee grounds to anyone who wants them (see photo below of the little “coffee fertiliser” packets they give away!)

So here’s my point … I thought to myself that I have nothing to lose trying it out. After all, the Gardenias can’t really look much worse than they do right now and what harm could some old ground up coffee do? So I did it … all those little coffee pods from my Lavazza machine … we now have a use for them! After one week, my Gardenias look 100% better!! No more yellowing of the leaves, in fact the plants look much greener already – two of them are totally green, a nice dark green with really shiny leaves again. I’m also  seeing new growth and one produced two flowers this week, no bud drop! Can it really work that quickly? We will see, I’ll keep emptying the used coffee pods and throwing the contents into the soil!

[one_half]Coffee grounds fertiliser[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Coffee grounds fertiliser from Starbucks[/one_half_last]

Here is what I found on about why it works:

Coffee by-products can be used in the garden and farm as follows:

  • Sprinkle used grounds around plants before rain or watering, for a slow-release nitrogen.
  • Add to compost piles to increase nitrogen balance.  Coffee filters and tea bags break down rapidly during composting.
  • Dilute with water for a gentle, fast-acting liquid fertilizer.  Use about a half-pound can of wet grounds in a five-gallon bucket of water; let sit outdoors to achieve ambient temperature.
  • Mix into soil for houseplants or new vegetable beds.
  • Encircle the base of the plant with a coffee and eggshell barrier to repel pests.
  • If you are into vermi-posting, feed a little bit to your worms

And this I found on another site: One of the main ways to use the grounds in the garden is to utilise the nutrients they contain as a fertiliser. Acid loving plants such as evergreen, azaleas, laurels, rhododendrons, camellias and roses will flourish with grounds sprinkled around them. My own rose bushes thrived once the grounds had been added and this manifested itself in some really beautiful roses. However do be careful that when the grounds are scattered they do not touch the bush itself as this can cause burning.

Another one: Used coffee grounds are also said to be good for plants who have a more “acidic” taste such as aforementioned milflores. Other plants include roses, azaleas, avocados and lemon trees.

So, I’ll save some of my coffee pods for you – seems it might be good for the worms and veggies too!!