Tips for Sourcing New Plants For Your Garden in a Sustainable Way

Now, while the summer season is in full swing, you should be making plans for your garden over the months to come. You might be thinking about ordering trees and shrubs to plant over the dormant period, buying seeds for winter cover crops, or even buying seeds in for next year. But while you mayContinue reading “Tips for Sourcing New Plants For Your Garden in a Sustainable Way”

Bolting: Is it Too Late to Harvest from Plants?

With heatwaves being experienced this summer in many regions, you may be coming up against the problem of plants bolting. Bolting is the name given by gardeners to the sudden and premature development of a plant to the flowering/ seed producing stage. It is, in essence, plants rushing to enter the reproductive phase of growth.Continue reading “Bolting: Is it Too Late to Harvest from Plants?”

Allelopathy and Mutualistic Symbiosis in Plant Interactions

Allelopathy is the biological term for plants having a (usually negative) impact on other plants growing close by by producing one or more biochemicals. The main time that we hear about allelopathy is when it comes to walnut trees or Eucalyptus . Though there are a number of other plants which can also act onContinue reading “Allelopathy and Mutualistic Symbiosis in Plant Interactions”

The Importance of Experimentation in a Garden

In a garden, it is important to experiment. While other gardeners, books, and other media can teach you a lot, learning second-hand is never enough to create a truly great garden. Even the very best gardens are a work in progress. All gardeners have to observe, experiment, and respond to change over time. It isContinue reading “The Importance of Experimentation in a Garden”

How Much Do You Need to Prune in a Garden?

Many new gardeners feel a little overwhelmed with all the garden jobs on their lists. As a new gardener, working out what you have to do, and what you do not have to do can be a challenge. Many common questions revolve around pruning. How often do you need to prune trees, shrubs etc…? PruningContinue reading “How Much Do You Need to Prune in a Garden?”

Signs in Nature

Where we live, the spring sunshine has given way to a bit of a grey gloom for the past couple of days, and it looks like we still have a few more days of this grey and rainy weather to come. But in spite of the grey skies, spring is still all around – fromContinue reading “Signs in Nature”

Big Data is Not Always Bad

After writing this brief piece recently for Treehugger: Using Data and Citizen Science for Gardening Success I’ve been thinking more about ‘big data’ and both the challenges and opportunities wide scale data gathering can bring. We tend to think of ‘big data’ in negative terms – as a tool used against us rather than somethingContinue reading “Big Data is Not Always Bad”

Companion Planting Tips

First of all, it is important to note that much of the companion planting advice given online has little scientific basis. While there are undoubtedly benefits to combining certain plants, the ways in which plants interact with one another are surprisingly sketchily understood. So take advice like ‘X loves Y’ with a grain of salt.Continue reading “Companion Planting Tips”

Avoiding Anthropocentric Bias in Sustainability

As humans, we all have a tendency to see everything from our point of view. We have a tendency to think of ourselves as ‘other’, separate from, and above the rest of the natural world. But though we are (as far as we yet know) a unique evolutionary form, it is important to remember thatContinue reading “Avoiding Anthropocentric Bias in Sustainability”

Keeping Things Going: Building Long-Term Resilience in a Garden

Many people have taken to gardening during lockdown in a big way. Seed sales etc. went through the roof and I have been approached by many people who are gardening and growing food in earnest for the first time. But now that lockdown is easing in many areas, it would be easy to let thatContinue reading “Keeping Things Going: Building Long-Term Resilience in a Garden”