Gardening

Gardening101

USD $19.00
Jeff Sole’s interest in gardening began early. As the son of a market gardener, he grew up with tomatoes and beans where most kids had lawn.

After graduating with an Honours degree in Forestry, he spent his time growing everything from cycads to cyclamens.  Later, after studying and graduating with a Diploma in Horticulture (Landscaping) he ran his own landscaping company for many years.

These days he continues buying seed in his quest for the perfect heritage tomato and tries not to propagate trees he has no room for. He has an extensive collection of herbicides and hates cats.

Sample tips

  • Life is too short to be spraying roses – or apple trees - or any of the other things that seem to need so much attention.  Instead choose varieties that need a lot less spraying. Heritage fruit trees (old varieties) are now more available and they tend to be the ones that were planted by your grandparents because they didn’t need spraying. You should be smelling the roses, not spraying them.
  • The secret ingredient in the perfect garden is fragrance. Some modern cultivars have been specifically bred for the largest flowers or the best disease resistance or because they are the most reliable for both growers and gardeners. But this has meant the loss of older varieties famous for their fragrance. As you walk around the garden centre or a public garden, note the plants that do have a strong perfume and try to add them to your garden. On a still summers night there’s nothing more intoxicating than the smell of your favourite flower.
  • The first tomatoes of summer are fabulous so it’s tempting to plant them as soon as you see them for sale. Don’t. If there is a frost, those tiny plants will get damaged – badly enough to hinder them for the rest of the season. Wait until the risk of frosts has passed.
  • Fungus and mould diseases are hard to control once they are established because of the invasive way they attack plant tissue. Preventative sprays are a good idea if you live in an area with high humidity or are growing a plant that is susceptible. You can use antifungal sprays that are less toxic – the common ones use copper or sulphur and both are safe chemicals to use on food crops.
  • You can make your garden look twice as expensive by installing your own garden lighting. It’s easy – the light units just push into the ground; it’s safe – the system uses low voltage; and it saves a lot of money. Ask for the new L.E.D. lighting that also uses less power.