Tag Archives: Eco-friendly

Today John the Farmer made a worm farm.

Half Drum

Half Drum

1) Take a half drum and drill holes in the bottom for drainage.

Sticks or Stones

Sticks or Stones

2) Place sticks or stones in the bottom to help with drainage. (You don’t want the holes clogging up with muck.)

Leaves

Leaves

3) Place a layer leaves on top of the sticks.

Bad News

Bad News

4) Alternately layer newspaper and leaves. Remember to water thoroughly between layers. The newspaper will keep the leaves from drying out and the worms will eat the newspaper.

Worms

Worms

5) Add worms. You can dig them up in your garden especially after rain. This is where you recycle bad news into good news !

Kitchen Scraps

Kitchen Scraps

6) Add kitchen scraps. Worms will compost most scraps except for citrus peels.

Stand

Stand

7) I used this old trolley to stand the farm on, and placed a tray underneath to collect the worm tea.

Worm Farm

Worm Farm

8) The worm tea is an excellent compost that can be used directly in the nursery or on your veggies. Remember not to let your worm farm dry out.

Happy Worm Farming!

 

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Today John the Farmer planted Coriander/ Dhanya plants in recycled biodegradable pots.

dhanya1

 

 

 

John the Farmer made a wall garden!

Wall Garden

I made this wall garden for a client as a feature to distract from an imposing wall. I recycled some left over and damaged guttering (the square type).

How to construct the wall garden:

I cut the guttering into equal lengths and fitted each length with end pieces so each length becomes a container

Be sure to drill drainage holes before affixing them to the wall

Wall01

Drill holes for drainage

The gutters are the spaced equally on the wall, marked off and attached by their own brackets.

Wall02

Fix the gutters to the wall equidistant

The wall was north facing in a hot climate, so I built a screen to shade the wall garden in summer but allow the winter sun to reach the plants. To do this I positioned the gutters vertically but this is not necessary. They could also be arranged in a stepped pattern, for instance.

Wall04

Screen made from fencing poles

Wall05

Screen attached to wall

I then cut chicken wire to fit the bottom of each gutter over the drainage holes to hold the soil and prevent the drainage holes from becoming blocked.

Wall07

Each gutter is filled with soil

I then filled the gutters with first gravel, then finer river sand, then composted ground to assure good drainage.

Water the soil in well and begin planting.

Planting

Planting

Wall2

Water in well

Wall08

Group plants in each container

 

 

Recommended plants:

 

I  recommended smaller hardier plants at the top and plants with more foliage at the bottom to avoid a top-heavy look

Gutters 1-2

Glottiphyllum longum

Echevaria (Desert Rose)

Stapelia sp.

Hawarthia sp.

Sedum sp.

Aptenia cordifolia

Crassula sp.

 

Gutters 3-5

 

Senecio sp.

Geranium

Epiphytes (Air plants)

Bulbinella

Nustertium

Gazanias

Strawberries

Lobelia

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Paper pots

Paper pots

Paper pots

Barleria, “Bush violet” – Featured plant at Towerkop Nursery.

Violet bush

Barleria

Barleria flowering

Barleria flowering

The bush violet produces masses of purple tubular flowers. It usually forms a rounded to spreading bushy shrub, 0.7 m high by 1 m wide, but sometimes also climbs into nearby trees and shrubs. New branches tend to root as they touch ground, so this plant can quickly spread. Evergreen, it has soft, shiny, dark green leaves. Flowers appear from late summer to autumn (February to April). The fruit is an explosive, club-shaped capsule, forming in autumn (March to May). Fast-growing and wonderfully easy-going, Barleria repens will adapt to a number of situations. Plant it in a large container, or on top of a low wall, where its foliage and flowers can cascade down and show to advantage. Mass plant it in partial shade under trees to form a groundcover, or plant along the edge of an informal border, or in a lightly shaded rockery. When planted in very deep shade it tends to become lanky and untidy and does not produce as many flowers. Always provide good, light, well-drained soil and plenty of compost and other organic material. Spread a layer of mulch on the surface of the soil after planting, and renew regularly. Water well in summer, but much less in winter. Plants thrive when fed with slow release 3: 1: 5 at intervals of 6-8 weeks (throughout growing season). Prune the plant back hard after flowering (at the end of autumn/winter) to keep it neat.

Pest-free and fairly frost-tolerant, it can take sun or light shade, and can handle temperatures ranging from about -2°C to 36°C.

John the Farmer visited Kirstenbosch botanical gardens.

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Sow seeds in raised beds until planting out.

Lettuce seedlimgs

Lettuce seedlings