Apples Approximately 25 species and hundreds if not thousands of named cultivars of deciduous fruit bearing trees and shrubs. Distinguished from pears by the softer, sometimes hairy, leaf surface. Some are grown mainly for their edible fruit, and others mainly for decorative flowers and smaller coloured fruits. Rarely grown in pots, however there are new dwarf cultivars available that are ideal for small gardens and large tubs (i.e. the ‘Ballerina’ range of apples). Most prefer a sunny position with some protection from winds, and are best grown in temperate climates. They may grow, but not fruit well in the sub-tropics. They do best in full sun but will take light shade. Adapts to all but very poor soils, provided drainage is good. Often planted on a slope in...(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Autumn Vegetables It may seem strange to start a vegetable garden in autumn, which for many areas is at the end of the official growing season, but with a bit of care and planning it can be extremely successful.  You can have delicious veg growing all winter, outside in your own back garden. What could be better! ...(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Avocado Growing Avocados are large, evergreen shrub or tree with glossy green leaves. Fruit either green or black, smooth or rough. Some flowers open males in morning and females in afternoon, and others visa-versa. These are classed as A and B pollinators. ...(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Citrus Trees Lemon trees (and other citrus) are one of the most popular trees grown in home gardens. Nurserymen, landscapers and garden experts of all types, from London to Sydney and everywhere between, will tell you they get more questions about citrus than anything....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Fruit Set is affected by hours of cold For any deciduous fruiting plants to set flowers and fruit they require a certain amount of winter dormancy. This is the total of hours the air temperature is between 0 - 7 degrees Celsius during the dormant period, or average winter, for a given area. This does not have to be consecutive days it is the total accumulation of hours during this period. However higher temperatures during this time can also offset chilling hours with temperatures above 15°C detracting from the total....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Grow and Use Beetroot The name 'beetroot' actually refers to the root of the beet plant. No surprises there. Unless you've grown them though you may not realise that the swollen taproot sits proud of the soil surface. This is helpful because the root is less likely to be marked by stones in the soil if you have a stony vegetable plot. ...(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Growing Figs The fig (Ficus carica) is a large spreading deciduous tree with very broad leaves. It also has a number of rather unusual features. The flowers are enclosed within a fleshy receptacle which eventually becomes the fruit. The tree likes warm climates and should be protected from frost when young. The mature tree, on the other hand, is astonishingly hardy and may even tolerate as much as 10 degrees of frost. The trees also bear two crops of fruit per year....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Growing Potatoes The potato is a low-growing, leafy, green, herbaceous plant in the Solanaceae plant family. It is generally a warm-season root crop. Tubers can be stored in a cool, dark place for several months....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Growing Tomatoes Tomatoes are the most widely grown vegetable by home gardeners around the world. In recent years the interest in home grown tomatoes seems to have reached new heights because many of the tomatoes available through stores can be insipid and bland tasting. But many home grown heirloom species still pack the delicious taste of yesteryear. ...(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
High Bush Blueberries High-bush Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) are shrubs to about 2m tall. They have a low drought tolerance, however, and will normally require irrigation. ...(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
How to Grow Cabbage Cabbages are one of several ‘cole’ crops, or cruciferous vegetables, which all belong to the genus Brassica, and the family Brassicaceae. Other members of this group include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kohlrabi and kale....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
How to Grow Olives Approximately 20 species, though only O. europea is grown widely throughout the world. The notes below relate to O. europea. It is a small tree with small green, opposite & normally entire leaves. The leaf underside is an attractive silvery colour. Creamy-white small flowers are followed by edible fruit (olive). The olive is grown for its ornamental foliage and edible fruit. It is a tough, long-lived plant in the right conditions. They also make a good hedge or windbreak plant. They can be excellent as a feature plant in a warm position such as a courtyard as long as humidity levels don’t get too high....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
How to Grow Star Fruit Averrhoa or Carambola is a tropical, evergreen tree. That may be semi-deciduous or even deciduous in cooler districts. Known as the Five Corner Fruit or Star Fruit, the Carambola is a tree 5‑10m tall which produces an odd star shaped fruit mainly over winter. They are suitable to tropical or sub-tropical, humid, frost free areas, in most reasonably drained soils. They are grown principally for its unusual, tasty fruit, and can be grown in a large tub, keeping them much more compact....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
How to Harvest Berries The indicators of ripeness can vary between berry types. The producer needs to be cautious about applying a general set of ripeness indicators. Colour can be a primary indicator of berry ripeness, but, it is not always completely reliable. An experienced grower will come to recognise the characteristics of colour change that are applicable to the berry they are growing. Often, instead of looking at overall colour, the grower will look for telltale colour changes at the poles of the fruit. For example, a green berry may develop a white or coloured star at its base, indicating the beginning of the ripening process....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Learn to grow Cucumbers In temperate climates, cucumbers are best started in Spring. In warmer places, it is possible to start them at other times as long as you can keep them warm enough. In warmer climes seed can be sown out directly into vegie beds or planters. Once soil temperatures begin to warm above 16°C they can be planted out elsewhere. ...(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Mango Growing Mangos (Mangifera species), are large, dense trees with scented, deep-green leaves. Flower sprays produced in spring followed by fruit which mature to green-red. Large seed with fibrous fleshy pulp....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Mushrooms The Most Commonly Grown Mushroom is Agaricus bisporis is the most commonly grown commercial mushroom. This is what is most often sold in supermarkets across Europe, America, Australia, etc; and what we would normally buy or grow in a "Mushroom Growing Kit". Other types of mushrooms have been commonly cultivated or collected and used for culinary, or even medicinal purposes in some countries for centuries. Though some of these other varieties are growing in popularity across even countries like Australia and the UK; Agaricus bisporus still remains the most widely identified and cultivated edible mushroom. For a brief outline of what's involved in growing and using Agaricus bisporus, read the extract from our principal's vegetable book that follows....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Nuts to Grow Commercially or at Home Edible nuts mostly come from trees (peanuts are an exception); and often need 5 years to produce a crop (sometimes up to 10 or 15 years)....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Pear -Pyrus There are approximately 20 species of Pyrus; and many varieties of deciduous trees with pear-shaped fruits, including ornamental species as well as others grown for their edible fruit. They often have attractive gold to orange autumn foliage. Blossom in late winter or early spring can cover the tree and also be very attractive....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Strawberry Crop Production Strawberries are relatively short-lived herbaceous perennials, producing for 2 to 3 years. Plant in an open, sunny position in raised beds; a good airflow will reduce fungal diseases. Strawberries prefer a well-drained soil, rich in humus. Dig in lots of organic matter, compost, animal manure or blood and bone, about a month before planting. Keep the beds well mulched, to control weeds and keep the fruit clean....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Vegetables and Fruit Read on for Advice on growing salad greens, pumpkins, cucumbers and other summer vegetables. ...(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Viticulture Grapes are produced as a fresh and dried fruit, but also to produce fruit juice, and most importantly wine. Wine can be produced on any scale. The largest wine producers are multi national companies with vineyards and wineries spread across the globe. Despite the competition, small boutique wineries continue to emerge and develop as successful businesses and thosands of amateurs continue to grow and make wine at home, sometimes from little more than one or two vines....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more
Watermelons and Cantaloupe Melons are very large fast growing, and potentially highly productive vines. You can grow them on a trellis or let them spread over the ground. One plant can spread metres in diameter....(Excerpt from page) Click to read more