Category Archives: Gardening

Garlic planting time (Wally Richards)

Garlic cloves are traditionally planted on the shortest day of the year (which is getting close; the 20th June) to be harvested on the longest day 21st December.

Any time from mid-May to mid-July is good for planting your garlic cloves..

There are ample good reasons to grow garlic; from its health benefits to the aromatic flavoring and taste that the gloves give to your meals.

You could not have garlic bread without garlic!

Garlic used to be an easy crop to grow before the dreaded Garlic Rust struck everyone about 3-4 years ago.

The rust has made garlic growing for commercial and home gardeners much more difficult but there is a solution that I developed and used last year called Cell Strengthening which is

achieved by getting good amounts of silica into the plants while they are growing.

More on this soon.

Planting your garlic cloves around this time and what you harvest 6 months later will depend greatly on what you do at planting time and during the growing season.

The best place to plant is in a sunny sheltered spot. Garlic loves frosts so no protection is needed.

Soil preparation: Garlic prefers a friable soil so that its roots can penetrate and the bulbs can swell easily.

I loosen up the top soil with a rake or hoe to make a fine tilth.

Then sprinkle BioPhos, gypsum, Wallys Unlocking the Soil, Blood & Bone, Sheep Manure pellets (Or chicken manure if you have it) and Wallys Ocean Solids over the area and rake it in.

I then place the cloves about 6cm apart into the soil with their points facing the sky.

Then I cover the cloves carefully with purchased compost such as Daltons or Oderings so that the cloves are covered and buried about 25mm under the compost.

I then sprinkle some Unlocking your soil over the compost.

When the first leaves from the cloves appear above the mulch then make up the Silicon and Boron Cell Strengthening Soil Drench mixed with water and give each plant a drench

over the foliage and into the root zone.

You will repeat this again about a month later.

What we are doing is getting a good amount of silicon into the soil which will be taken up by the roots of the garlic because of the boron additive.

With the foliage up you can now start a spray program by mixing the Silicon Cell Strengthening spray with the Silicon Super Spreader together into a trigger spray with water.

I like to add Magic Botanic Liquid (MBL) to this spray for its many benefits.

The spray once made up keeps well and you only need to shake it each time prior to application over the garlic foliage.

Spray regularly while the garlic is growing once or twice a week.

Now is the time you will apply a mulch over garlic.

Garlic loves mulch and mowed leaves are ideal.

There are ample leaves around at this time of the year and these can be run over with a rotary mower and the resultant shredded leaves layered over the compost.

Alternative would be either pea straw, weed free grass clippings or more good compost.

Make a mulch layer about 5cm thick.

After this keep the area between the garlic bulbs free of weeds.

When the foliage pops through the mulch you then spray regularly with the Silicon Cell Strengthening spray with the Silicon Super Spreader.

Once a week or more often it you are passing.

The Silicon and Boron Soil Drench comes in a 500 mil bottle used at 10mils per litre to cover one sqM of area. (Shake well before using)

The Silicon Cell Strengthen spray is in a 250mil bottle mixed at 5mils into one litre of water with one fifth of a mil of the Silicon Super Spreader added per litre.

(1 mil into 5 litres of water with 25 mils of Cell Strengthening spray) A 1mil pipet is supplied for measuring.

Alternative you can obtain a 500 mil bottle of Cell Strengthening Spray with the spreader already added.

Used at 5 mils per litre of water. I make up the spray in a one litre trigger sprayer and leave it where the garlic is growing and give it a shake and spray.

Using the above products last season there was no sign of any rust during the whole growing time and harvested rust free. (Products are available on our Mail Order web site)

The silicon cell strengthening products are ideal for tomatoes, potatoes and other plants affected by the psyllid. The spray can also help control curly leaf disease on stone fruit.

Traditionally harvesting of garlic is on the longest day of the year ( 21st December).

It is better to wait harvesting till after the all leaves start to go yellow, which often happens around mid-January.

Harvesting earlier might mean the bulbs aren’t as big as they could be.

Harvesting later might mean the bulbs split, or in extreme cases start to deteriorate.

To harvest, use a garden fork or something similar to loosen the soil, and just pull up the plant up gently by its base.

After lifting leave the leaves on, because during the drying process the goodness from the leaves goes in to the bulb, increasing its size and making it even more yummy and nutritious.

Clean off the dirt from the bulb and dry it for a few days lying on a dry surface in a dry area such as a carport, then store it by hanging in a dry place out of the sunlight.

Tying clumps of five or ten together by the leaves and hanging under a carport or shed roof works well.

When dry, the plant tissue is very absorbent and will even absorb moisture from damp air and turn mouldy.

Once nice and dry I prefer to store the bulbs indoors in a cardboard box in a dry room or shed where condensation is not a problem.

If you would like to find out the history of garlic there is an excellent web site at:

Black aphids are about the only pest to have a go at your garlic as these aphids prefer onions, shallots, garlic and lettuces.

As soon as noticed spray with Wallys Super Neem Tree oil with Super Pyrethrum added.

There are some very interesting BITS if you would like to know about what commentators are asking/saying,  then email me and ask for them.
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12 Perfect Vegetables To Grow in a Shady Garden Space

When we think of vegetable gardening, we’re often convinced that FULL SUN is the only way we’ll be successful. This couldn’t be more wrong! There are plenty of shade friendly plants that will thrive in 2-5 hours of sun. On top of that, there are some plants that won’t LOVE being in shade, but will TOLERATE it, which allows you to squeeze out even more harvests from spaces you might typically ignore in your garden.




In India the kernels of the Neem Tree are collected and cold pressed to extract the Neem oil which is used to control insect pests in agriculture and our home gardens.

The Neem Oil is not a poison so unlike chemical insecticides it does not poison the pests, the environment or the user.

Instead it acts as a deterrent and has the ability to prevent insect pests from feeding making it an anti-feedent and when a small amount is consumed by pest insects feeding on the plants sprayed with the oil they stop eating and starve to death..

Recently EPA came across an overseas study that suggested that the active ingredient in Neem Oil could be harmful to aquatic life.

Apparently there are other studies that show it is not but EPA has taken the precaution of having all brands of Neem Oil to be re-registered and while the applications are being scrutinised the Neem Oil brands cannot be marketed in NZ.

That is the reason the Wallys Super Neem Tree oil is currently removed from sale while our application is being approved.

Neem Granules and powder which in India are called Neem Cake does not have that problem and is used as a soil conditioner, fertiliser and pest deterrent.

The only difference between Wallys Neem Tree Granules and Wallys Neem Tree Powder is the particle sizes.

The powder is uniform size particles about 1-3mm where the granules is a mix of powder up to lumps about 30mm in size but mostly about 10-15mm.

The powder is ideal for using in the planting hole for seedlings, on the lawn and on smaller containers.

To deter carrot fly you sprinkle the power with the seeds when sowing and later when the tops are up about 4 to 5 cm you side dress the row with Wallys Neem Tree Powder.

It is fast acting, breaking down and needs to be reapplied about every 2-3 months.

The larger particles of Wallys Neem Tree Granules are slower to break down giving a much longer protection period of about 3 to 5 months.

This makes them ideal for placing in the root zone of larger plants, roses, shrubs and trees.

I have been pleased with the effects that have happened when used on the soil surface in the root zone of citrus trees.

An application sprinkled from the trunk to the drip line cleans the tree of all insect pests within a few weeks of application.

I had a Lime growing in a container that was attacked by scale insects with a lot of ants over the plant collecting the honeydew the scale was peeing out.

A handful of Wallys Neem Tree Granules onto the growing medium and within a month no ants and no scale.

A couple of months ago a lady gardener from India living now in NZ told me how she has beautiful roses free of pests and most diseases and looking very healthy.

The secret she told me was to put about a handful of Neem Granules into a bucket of water.

Stir occasionally and then take the water and pour over your roses.

A natural food and deterrent bit like the article I wrote a few weeks back about mixing Apple Cider Vinegar with water and spraying over fruit trees.

If you are going to try the Neem Granules into a bucket of water I would also suggest you make it even better by adding a little Magic Botanic Liquid (MBL).

It has taken us 6 months to get a container load of Wallys Neem Powder/Granules from India to New Zealand because of all the upsets in the supply chains and lock downs.

Normally it would have only taken 6 to 8 weeks.

I asked my India supplier because the delays are so long now to arrange a second container.

I asked for that 3 months ago and they are still trying to find a shipping line to bring it to NZ.

Why is this the case?

Which apparently applies to both New Zealand and Australia, as our Governments make them stand off shore for long periods of time before they can dock into our ports.

While waiting to dock they use up fuel and have to pay their sailors wages for doing nothing.

A few gardeners have told me that using Neem Powder or Granules in their vegetable gardens has deterred cats from fouling the gardens.

Apparently the cats do not like the smell of the Neem.

This may work for some cats and be a deterrent but I have not had sufficient feed back to say it is greatly successful on most cats.

If you find by using it in gardens that cats stop fouling please let me know.

The product Wallys Cat Repellent which is naphthalene flakes works on about 95% of cats.

We are trying to bring a shipment from India but so far not having any success so out of stock.

None of the shipping lines want to handle it so trying to air freight it here if they can find a plane to bring it to NZ.

My advice to all you readers currently is to plant up food crops into any available ground and stock up on essentials as a world wide famine has started and things are not looking good.

Have an ample stock of vegetable seed varieties that you like to grow and store the packets opened or unopened in a glass jar sealed with a lid in your fridge.

Also seeds for growing sprouts which can be grown all year round for good nutrition as not subjected to day light hours like our vegetable crops for growth.

Have on hand a supply of MBL and Ocean Solids which a small amount of both can be added to the water that you use to do your sprouts to increase their mineral content.

There is an old saying ‘Prepare for the Worst and Hope for the Best.’

If you want a ‘Bit more’ information on current happenings email me.

Phone 0800 466464
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Back To Eden Gardening Documentary Film – How to Grow a Regenerative Organic Garden (MUST WATCH!)

A timely and amazing doco that is well worth the watch if you are wanting to grow your own food. A necessity with the current, increasing (& planned) shortages. Little weeding or watering. It will revolutionize your gardening! EWR

Dana & Sarah Films 34.8K subscribers

Back to Eden Gardening Documentary Film – Learn how to grow a regenerative organic vegetable garden the best and easiest way! Grow fruits and veggies with less labor, less watering, fewer weeds, and an extremely abundant harvest! Paul Gautschi, featured in the documentary Back to Eden, has popularized the use of free wood chip mulch from tree trimmings in vegetable gardens and orchards. Discover the regenerative organic gardening movement that has made millions of people worldwide love growing their own food by watching the film, streaming online for free!



FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM:… FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK:… Back to Eden shares the story of Paul Gautschi and his lifelong journey walking with God and learning how to get back to the simple, productive organic gardening methods of sustainable provision that were given to man in the garden of Eden. The food growing system that has resulted from Paul Gautschi’s incredible experiences has garnered the interest of visitors from around the world. Never, until now, have Paul’s organic gardening methods been documented and shared like this! You will walk away from Back to Eden Film with the knowledge of how to plant an organic garden and how to grow your own food. Back to Eden gardening is the best gardening technique!

much more info at the link:


More info on controlling those garden pests (Wally Richards)

I am often asked about how to control populations of slugs and earwigs in gardens without using the usual chemicals.

This is particularly important in food growing gardens as we do not want to have poisons in the food we are eating.

You may not realise it but both earwigs and slugs do provide benefit to your gardens as they prefer decomposing plant material to living plants

so if you are clean and tidy and there are no rotting plants available then they will do damage to your growing plants.

When you are weeding if you leave some weeds on the soil to break down naturally then the two pests will become assets.

Sprinkling lawn mowing clippings onto gardens is another way of using what many consider a waste product to benefit.

One precaution with that is if the lawn grasses are seeding as you would then be putting a lot of new grass weeds into your gardens to germinate later.

If the slugs and earwigs (You can include with them slaters or as some call them wood lice) are a real problem then you could try the following.

I learnt about this method a long time ago and have often suggested to gardeners to use it.

What you need is some strips of 3plywood or similar about 250-300mm long and about 150mm wide.

These are laid down on the soil in areas where you are having problems with the pests.

Now you take a trigger sprayer and mix two parts bleach to one part water.

During the day you fold back the slats of ply onto their far edge and see what is hiding under them.

If you have some of the pests you wish to control simply give them a spray of your bleach and lay the ply back down on top of them.

Repeat the same process regularly until you have the pest population under control.

Slugs and snails cannot tolerate copper as it makes them dehydrate and die.

If either pest comes into contact with copper they will not pass over the barrier it creates.

So this can be used to protect seedlings from being their evening meal.

I suggest placing untreated sawdust around the seedlings you wish to protect then spraying the sawdust and seedlings with Wallys Liquid Copper and Raingard added.

Much safer than using toxic poisons to kill them and better for the safety of your pets and wild life.

There is another slug like pest which is commonly called the Cherry Slug or Pear Slug as it feeds on these trees during the summer period when they are active.

They start about November to December in most areas and can be seen as a small black slimy slug on the foliage which they are eating.

If you do not treat this first generation then in January to February there will be a second large wave of them and damage will correspondingly increase.

The best solution is to spray the foliage with Wallys Liquid Copper with Raingard added as they can not handle copper either.

Another one that can be used for snails and slugs is the mineral iron.

There is a slug and snail bait on the market that uses chelate iron as the killing component which means it fairly save for pets and wild life.

You can make a slug and snail bait yourself by soaking bran in a solution of sulphate of iron and water or if you have available use chelate iron.

Add to this yeast which is what attracts the pests and they will eat the bran which now contains iron and die as a result.

There is one pest that you will never gain complete control of if they are in your area and that is ants.

Many of the ant baits on the market are only effective for a little while as the ants become bait shy to them realising that the bait is what is killing them.

Many years ago I found a very old formula that ants never seem to wake up to the fact it is killing them.

We call it Granny Mins Ant Bait and the container has a combination of Borax and Boric Acid with the recipe on how to make it up.

The product is very inexpensive selling for about $7.00 and you just dissolve the jars contents in hot water and add the required amount of sugar and honey. It makes just about a litre of bait.

Stir well and place the mixture in small jar lids wherever you see ants.

Top up the lids as they empty till there is no more ant activity.

The bait should only be used outdoors and if you have any concern for pets then put a small amount of liquid ant bait into small jars and lay then on their sides on the ground.

The small amount of ant bait used is not likely to be harmful to pets but better safe than sorry.

If ants are inside your home then the easy most effective way is to set up one or more of those insect cans that release pyrethrum spray every few minutes.

As long as that can is operating and even for a few weeks after it has emptied no ants will come into that area.

They detect that there is pyrethrum around and know it is not good for them.

Cockroaches inside your kitchen are a curse for some people and the easy way to control them safely is to sprinkle Borax powder behind the fridge and stove.

Only use in safe places such as these two areas so it is well away from food stuffs and pets.

The cockroaches walk though the borax powder and being very clean insects they clean them elves of the powder which kills them.

Products mention are from Wallys Range of products and can be found in some garden shops or by Mail Order on

If there is an interest in some non gardening news email me for the Bits that the media does not like you to know such as 3 waters anti-democracy.

Photo: francok35 @

How to Grow an Indoor Survival Garden

Growing my own fresh fruits and vegetables is one of my favorite pastimes. I love to harvest the sweet bounty of my labors. Sometimes growing your own food is a requirement for survival and not just a pleasant hobby.

Can I grow food inside of my home? Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, herbs, lettuce, and greens can all be grown inside of your home with a little bit of knowledge, the right supplies, and some tender loving care.

My adventure in growing food indoors began this year when the pandemic hit, and I realized that I needed to up my game when it came to growing our own food. I am not new to the home production scene, but suddenly I was driven to make it more than a hobby.


Photo: jag2020 @

Dealing with BRYOPHYTES (MOSS AND LIVERWORTS) (Wally Richards

Bryophytes and Embryophytes are the botanical names given to mosses, lichen, liverworts, hornworts, molds, algae and slime.

These are primate plant-like forms which were the first land type plants on the planet, millions of years ago.

It was as a result of these primitive plant forms that began the process of building soils from rocks splitting and powdered by the action of water and ice.

Members of this diverse plant family are found all over the world, many growing in places where no other types of plants could grow, so in a sense they are still creating growing conditions for higher plant forms to grow.

Many bryophytes are very attractive with feather or fern like structures where others look more like something from a alien landscape.

When bryophytes grow in places we do not want them to grow they become a nuisance just like weeds.

Lichen and liverworts appear to be able to grow on most surfaces including glass, public footpaths, fences and roof tiles which are favorite spots for them.

Vertical glass is difficult for them but glass roofs of glasshouses are not.

Algae and mosses growing on paths make for a slippery condition when wet and dangerous to us and can incur serious injury if we slip and fall.

Lichens that colonize on the trunks and branches of plants and trees look unsightly and can lead to rots and losses.

Mosses growing in lawns are another problem, not only making the lawn unsightly but also suffocating our preferred grasses.

More often than not, wherever bryophytes appear, it means a war to eradicate and control.

When action is not taken they prolificate, spreading out to cause more harm.

Bryophytes cannot be controlled easily by scrapping off, as residues will be left that allow them to re-establish.

In lawns many gardeners use sulphate of iron to burn off mosses, which is only a very temporary fix as the acidity of the iron only burns off the top of the moss, allowing it to re-establish again fairly quickly.

There are various products advertised to clean up bryophytes such as ones that are sprayed on, then left for weathering to remove. Many of these are fairly expensive and bryophytes are like ants,

you can never eradicate them as they will always come back .

Bryophytes multiply by spores of which they create vast numbers, carried by water and air they will always return.

Some years back a chemical called benzalkonium chloride, which was used in the medical industry for sterilizing instruments, was discovered to be a boon in the control of bryophytes without harming other plants.

Benzalkonium chloride is an interesting chemical been an aqueous solution and used as a detergent, fungicide, bactericide, and spermicide.

The first product to use benzalkonium for the control of mosses etc was branded, Surrender and the writer picked up on this many years ago and introduced its use to gardeners in Palmerston North though the garden centre I was operating at that time.

It became very popular but was then only available in the commercial pack of one litre.

The product is formulated at 500g / litre benzalkonium chloride in the form of a soluble concentrate and used at the rates of 25 to 50 mls per litres of water.

Many mosses and liverworts need the 50 mls per litre dosage to have effective control where some other bryophytes such as lichen and algae can be controlled successfully at 25 mls per litre.

A product is available from some garden centres or by mail order using the same formulation and called Wallys Moss and Liverwort Control.

Available in both 500 ml and one litre containers making it more affordable in comparison to the previous brands.

When using on moss and liverwort it is very important that you adjust the sprayer’s nozzle so it is a bit of a jet not a spray mist as the product has to be driven into the target plant.

In recent times I have had the thought that as the chemical is used as a fungicide in some commercial preparations then there is an off label use for in for gardeners in helping to control some fungal diseases.

One that comes to mind is the devastating rust that decimated many gardeners garlic crops over the last two seasons.

A spray over the foliage at the very first sign of rust at say 25mls per litre to start with and then upping to 50mils if the lessor rate does not appear to be doing the job adequately.

As we know that the product does not affect plants when sprayed over them while treating lichen and liverworts so I dont see that it would damage the leaves of garlic either. Besides the leaves are being severely damaged by the rust colonies.

In regards to Garlic Rust last season I used Wallys Cell Strengthening products with great success.

The soil drench was applied after the bulbs sprouted and again two weeks later.

When the foliage was showing I did a weekly spray of the Cell silicon Strengthening spray that had the Super Spreader added. I also added some MBL (Magic Botanical Liquid) and molasses to the spray for good measure.

No sign of any rust and a good crop of garlic.

In the meantime with the wet weather times arriving ensure your walkways are kept clear of slippery moss and algae.

I have mentioned several times in past articles about a world wide famine add to that hyper inflation and a energy crisis we have a perfect storm.

My advise is keep the vegetable gardens going and stock up on non perishable food items while you can as they are disappearing from the shelves and replacements are much more expensive.

Happy Gardening and if you email me there are a few bits of other things.

Problems ring me at 0800 466464
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Phone 0800 466464
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Building a Stackable DIY Worm Farm for $30

Epic Gardening 1.66M subscribers

In my last video on vermicomposting, I went through a simple setup of a single-tote worm bin from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. Pretty soon, that bin was full and it was time to redesign the system to be more scalable and easier to work with. A 3-tote stackable system has a few advantages: – Bottom tote can be used for drainage of worm juice – Middle and top bins can be swapped out infinitely – Worms will self-separate from castings, making harvesting castings easy – Can hold way more food scraps and worms Overall, a stackable system is simply better than a single-tote system. This video goes through exactly how to build one, with a few modifications that I made note of in the video. There are probably more ways to improve upon this design as well, so let me know in the comments. So far, it’s working wonderfully though! Making a DIY worm bin adds a ton of extra fertility to your garden and is a great way to make use of food scraps 🙂


Photo: screenshot thanks to Epic Gardening

6 Different Ways To Compost, No Matter Where You Live


Epic Gardening 1.66M subscribers

Composting is ESSENTIAL for gardeners, no matter how big or small you’re growing. In today’s video we’ll look at 6 different ways you can compost and their pros and cons. I’ve done every single method and have filmed many in-depth videos on these, so dive deep and up your composting game to EPIC levels.

1. Hot Composting

2. Cold Composting (Passive Composting)

3. Compost Tumblers

4. Worm Composting

5. Bokashi Composting

6. Direct Burying


Photo: thanks to jokevanderleij8 @

5 Container Gardening Options for Apartment Gardeners

Epic Gardening 1.66M subscribers Apartment gardening and balcony gardening is challenging – you’re often limited on space and sun. You may think you “can’t grow much” in your small space garden, but with a few creative container gardening ideas you can still squeeze an impressive amount out of small spaces.


Clean up time in the garden (Wally Richards)

Time flies that’s for sure we are now only about 2 months away from the shortest day and after that has passed we are into a new season of gardening.

Now during this quieter time we can do some tidy ups in preparation for the new season ahead.

Starting for those that have glasshouses or tunnel houses if your summer plants are about finished and ready to remove then it is time to fumigate the house and kill off all the pests that maybe on the old plants and in the nooks and crannies.

The cheapest way to do this is to burn yellow sulphur powder inside the house.

Leave any plants still in the house that are finished as why take them out with likely pests to later infect your outdoor gardens?

The sulphur fumes will likely damage most plants in the house so any that you want to save you should remove their containers or dig them out of the soil and put them in pots.

Move these preferred potted plants to a protected place such as under a carport or on a veranda where they have some protection against the winter chills.

You could spray them with Vaporgard before or after moving them to reduce their shock of being out in the real world.

Close down all your vents leaving the door open for your escape route.

Place about three tablespoons of sulphur powder onto a steel plant such as a spade or hearth shovel.

To light it you need a very strong flame such as one used for burning weeds.

If you do not have then wet a little of the powder with some mentholated spirits and light that.

Once the Sulphur powder starts burning it is hard to put out and all should burn creating sulphur fumes which choke and kill the pests that are inside the house.

Once it starts to burn quickly exit the house and close the door.

Leave the house sealed for a day or two before entering the house which should be safe with only a lingering smell of sulphur.

As it is winter there is no need to open vents or leave the door open to let any pests from outside enter the house.

If you grow in soil or in raised beds in the house you may like to wipe out any possible soil diseases from last growing season.

Some gardeners like to change the soil in the house each winter with the idea that it will remove any soil born diseases.

Outside of a lot of work to do so the only likely advantage is the psychological aspect you gain.

Soil born diseases are very difficult to remove as only a small amount left behind can re-infect the new soil brought in.

Also the new soil brought in may also have diseases in it and so then a waste of time.

In the past injecting steam into the soil was used by commercial growers later to be replaced by chemical sterilization.

For the home gardener this was to use a now banned product called Basamid.

Basamid killed soil diseases, pests and weed seeds and from what I saw in the spring seemed to give the soil a new lease of life as plants seem to take off.

Jeyes Fluid was also another popular disinfectant used to kill bacteria in the soil.

The product is not easily available in NZ anymore but maybe available by mail order.

The problem with Jeyes fluid is that it not only kills the pathogens in the soil but also harms the beneficial microbes which you want for a good healthy soil.

A new natural product is available called Wallys Terracin.

Terracin contains a bacteria that produces antimicrobial compounds which, when introduced to the soil,

resets the existing soil biology.

It contains powerful beneficial microbes that beat up on the pathogens.

As it contains microbes you should only dilute it to the instructions using non chlorinated water as you do not want to kill what you paid for.

Used as a soil drench on lightly moist soil to give the soil a nice soaking as to the instructions on the label.

Two weeks after applying Terracin I suggest that you mix Bio Marinus™ ( manufactured by the enzymatic hydrolysis of fish offal, blended with humate, seaweed and biology including Bacillus subtilis, Trichoderma and other beneficial microbes) with Wallys

Mycorrcin in a watering can using non chlorinated water to dilute.

Once mixed apply to the moist soil immediately as the food content in the Mycorrcin will start the microbes breeding and it would, if left in the watering can, overflow the liquid.

Also if you were to put the two products together into a plastic bottle and seal the bottle will expand like a balloon before it explodes.

Powerful microbes for sure.

Also you may like to apply the same treatments to your vegetable garden or other preferred gardens to increase the microbial soil activity making for significantly healthier plants this coming season.

Remember that once used you do not want to destroy what you have created later on by watering the areas with chlorinated tap water.

See for a housing and filter system you can easily connect to an out door tap.

Filtered tap water will make am amazing difference to your gardens and plants.

It means healthier plants with less problems as the soil life is not harmed by chlorine poison.

Also if you do not have a filter in the kitchen for drinking and cooking water then you can easily fill flagons or bottles from the filter outside which is much better for your health and the health of your pets.

With this crazy world currently you want to have the best soil possible so you can feed your family with

highly nutritious foods, home grown.

As always for those that are interested send me an email for other non gardening bits.

Phone 0800 466464
Garden Pages and News at
Shar Pei pages at
Mail Order products at

What to do with those fallen leaves (Wally Richards)

A reader from Southland emailed me this week and asked if I could write an article about what to do with autumn leaves.

For some home owners, autumn leaf fall is a curse, just another chore to rake them up and clear the gutters.

For gardeners, leaf fall is a blessing and they gladly collect the leaves to make leaf mould.Leaf mould is excellent for improving soil, also as a lawn conditioner and mulch over gardens.

It can be used in seed raising mixes and potting mixes.Leaf mould is easy to make, its free with a little effort on your part and its a good substitute for peat moss in your gardens.

If you live in an area where there are hedgehogs and you would like to help them through the winter then leave any leaf fall thats under hedges and other out of the way areas.

The hedgehogs may use the places as hibernating sites over winter.

Also if you have bare vegetable or flower gardens either leave the leaves as a cover over the area or place a good layer over the gardens yourself.

Sprinkle garden Lime over the leaves then spray them with Thatch Busta which will help break down the mat of leaves, getting the gardens ready for spring.

This cover of the leaves will prevent a lot of weeds from growing in the bare gardens.

Now to make your own leaf mould with what is left or what you can collect from else where.

There are two ways to do this and one is much faster than the other.

The fast way is to lay some leaves over a flat area of lawn an inch or two thick and the with your rotary mower adjusted to the lowest setting run over the leaves with your catcher on.

Repeat this with another layer of leaves and so on.

When your catcher is ready to empty, open a black plastic rubbish bag and put a few handfuls of leaves and any grass clippings into the bottom of the bag.

Sprinkle over the leaves a handful of garden lime and then spray with Thatch Busta at 10 ml per litre. (If you don’t have Thatch Busta but have Mycorrcin, then use it at 15mls per litre.)

Now add a few more handfuls of mashed up leaves and repeat the lime and spraying.

Press down when bag is full to compress the material and then you can add a lot more.

Finally when the bag is full enough to still be able to tie off, tie the top then with a small nail or thin blade screw driver punch lots of small holes all over the bag.

Toss the bag into a sunny out of the way area and leave for a month or so.

After a few weeks pick up the bag, give it a shake and put it back with a different side facing upwards.

Repeat this about every month or so.The bag will appear to have more space in it as the material coverts to leaf mould.

Within about 6 months you should have a lovely crumbly product that smells good.

The sprinkling of lime is important as the leaves that fall are acidic and you want them sweet so the bacteria will work breaking them down to mould.

The Thatch Busta or Mycorrcin is also very important as they supply the food that increases the microbe populations which speeds up the process.

The alternative method is to place the leaves into a rubbish bag without using a rotary mower to break them up.

Otherwise the lime and spray are used between layers and tied off as above.

This way will take at least twice as long to get your leaves into good leaf mould (say about a year)

Without the lime and Thatch Busta/Mycorrcin then about two years.

If you are not able to clear the leaves and are going to leave them where they fall, then the best thing to do after they have finish falling is to sprinkle some garden lime over them

and spray with Thatch Busta.

Repeat the Thatch Busta spray every month or so to speed up break down.

If you haven’t planted your spring bulbs yet then you should get cracking now.

If you are planting a bed of bulbs then sprinkle the area with Wallys Unlocking the Soil, blood & bone and Wallys BioPhos.

Rake the  products into the bed then plant your bulbs.Remember to place the tallest growing spring flowers at the back or if a bed in the open place tall growing ones in the centre.

The shortest growing will be in the front.Rather than having a bare bed for a while till the spring bulbs emerge, plant some alyssum and lobelia seedlings.

They will make a nice ground cover over the winter and a lovely back drop for your flowering bulbs.Don’t forget to protect tender plants from frost.

Spray with Vaporgard and if there happens to be two or more frosts in a row, night after night then cover plants with frost cloth or sack/newspaper)

Winter time plants hate wet feet but they may still need an occasional drink during periods of no rain.

Container plants not in the open will occasionally need a drink also; best to wait till they start to droop from lack of moisture then give them a small drink.

Plants like citrus trees in open ground that detest wet feet should be sprayed with Wallys Perfection to prevent root rots in winter.

Remove all mulches as they prevent drying of wet soil which causes root rots and diseases during winter.

Leaving mulches on the soil often leads to loses of plants that cant handle wet feet.

If you are one that likes a bit of news on other matters then email me.

Problems ring me at
Phone 0800 466464
Garden Pages and News at
Shar Pei pages at
Mail Order products at

Photo: ichimi @

How to Grow Ginger in Containers And Get a Huge Harvest

Ginger is a powerful, anti-inflammatory herb that has been used in the culinary world since centuries. The ginger plant forms from a rhizome that grows into a dainty, little flowering perennial. If you want to add flavor and beauty to your food garden, growing ginger is an absolute must. 

Ginger has numerous health benefits and has been used as a medicinal herb since the 16th century. The plant offers quick relief from indigestion, nausea, and can ease common cold and flu symptoms. Truly, ginger is an all-purpose, versatile herb that deserves a place in your garden. 

Read on for our in-depth guide on how to care for and maintain ginger plants!



GROWING GINGER in a cold climate


IMPORTANT BASIC ELEMENTS: when your plants aren’t growing (Wally Richards)

I receive lots of phone calls and emails from gardeners asking for help with their gardening endeavors.

About 10% of these will be a very familiar problem which is; ‘plants do not grow’.

A few questions often reveals the reasons; such as the over use of man made fertilisers such as general garden fertiliser or even worse, nitrophoska blue.

Often these fertilisers are used to excess (or for too many years) and not only do they damage the soil life but they can also ‘lock up’ in the soil, stunting growth.

The pH of the soil is changed because of the acidic nature of manmade fertilisers.

A little sprinkling of manmade fertilisers, used occasionally to give plants a boost along, is fine as long as the acid aspect is neutralised with a good application of soft garden lime.

Small applications are not going to make fertiliser companies rich compared to handfuls on a regular frequency.

What I am told often by gardeners is; I plant seedlings they slowly grow and seem to sit still for a long time before they either mature or go to seed.

I usually ask the gardener when was the last time you limed (Calcium) the soil.

More often than not it is some time ago or not for a very long time.

A lot of New Zealand soils are a little acidic and become more so over time with our rainfall.

I read one time that calcium is the fuel that feeds the micro life in the soil and without it (soil food web) your plants do not do so well.

Most vegetable plants love a sweet soil which is the term used for an alkaline reading on a pH metre.

The exception to this is potatoes and tomatoes. The vegetables that really love lime are brassicas, peas and beans.

The old gardening way; was to apply garden lime to the garden once a year in the middle of winter.

There are two sources of lime one from lime stone and the other from crushed shells.

Lime stone lime is gritty and slow to breakdown and thus plants may wait some years before they obtain the benefits. Where soft lime breaks down quickly.

Soft lime can be tested by wetting your forefinger and thumb and placing a little of the lime in between.

If it feels soft and makes a slurry then its good value. Lime stone lime is likely to feel course like sand unless it has been powdered down very finely.

After an application of lime the plants start to respond and grow better.

When minerals become locked up because of the over use of fertilisers I also suggest drenches of Magic Botanic Liquid. (MBL)

This excellent product is good for unlocking and along with a dose of calcium, plants respond very quickly and really grow.

Sometimes I have gardeners call me back to say that within a week of doing the above the plants have shown new amazing growth.

There are areas in your garden where you do not want to apply garden lime at all or only a little.

In the annual/perennial flower garden a little occasionally is good.

For acid loving plants use gypsum or dolomite or even better a combination of both.

These contain not only calcium but also Sulphur (gypsum) and magnesium (dolomite)

Which means they can also be used to advantage where you use garden lime on flower beds and vegetable gardens.

Rather than a dose once a year in winter you are far better of to give a sprinkling every 3 months.

The beginning of each season is a good time as it is easier to remember.

So at the beginning of spring and again at the beginning of summer, autumn and winter.

If you have not been in the practice of doing this you will likely notice an improvement in your gardens because you are nurturing the essential soil life.

(Do not use chlorinated water on your gardens either, filter it out with a 5-10 micron carbon bonded filter)

Here is another interesting mineral that can be deficient in gardens and when applied they come to life and take off.

That is phosphate and the product that makes the difference is called Wallys BioPhos which is reactive rock phosphate broken down naturally using microbes rather than acid.

This is how rock phosphate is converted to superphoshate: Acid is applied to reactive rock phosphate.

Superphoshate damages the soil life and causes inert soil through continued use and likely is the reason why many gardeners will not use it.

Conventional agriculture and farming using super and nitrates killing off the soil life in their paddocks.

This means the first essential part of the food chain is destroyed, effecting the healthiness of plants/grass, animals and ourselves.

This is so simply logical, that you wonder why it is allowed to continue?

Mind you it does not make any money for fertiliser, chemical and pharmaceutical companies so we must respect their bottom lines even if we and our environment are not healthy.

Even worse; in the process of converting rock phosphate to superphoshate a pollutant is produced on the ‘scrubbers’ called, fluoride acid (hydrofluorosilicic acid);

a classified hazardous waste, but it is barreled up and sold, unrefined, to communities across America and the world including New Zealand.

Communities to add hydrofluorosilicic acid to their water supplies as the primary fluoride chemical for water fluoridation.

This has to be one of the biggest scams in recent history, a waste product that would cost millions to clean up and disposed of,

is sold at a profit on the pretense it will substantially help fight tooth decay?

BioPhos not only provides plants with the phosphate they require it also introduces beneficial microbes into your soil. BioPhos does the following for plants;

Increases Photosynthesis and storage of sunlight energy

Formulation of simple sugars

Use of sugars and starches for growth

Transfer of energy during plant chemical reactions

Maintenance and transfer of plant’s genetic code

Development of new plant cells

Germination, size, number and viability of seed

That is why some gardeners really notice a big difference when they apply the natural product to their gardens and plants.

Wally Richards

Phone 0800 466464
Garden Pages and News at
Shar Pei pages at
Mail Order products at

Growing food in a raised garden (Wally Richards)

I wrote this article 8 years ago and to this day I have found it to be
the best and less expensive way to make and grow in a raised garden.

Extract from the original article:
I wanted a raised garden that could be worked without bending down and the cheapest way for that would be to use roofing iron. Three new sheets of galvanized iron 1.8 metres long and two 100 x 100 fence posts were also purchased the length of which was half the width of the of the sheets of iron. When you cut the fence post in half and no wastage.
The fence posts are treated with chemicals so to overcome that problem
a couple of coats of acrylic paint was applied all over the wood surface after cutting them in half. The posts are not going to be dug into the ground and the whole raised bed will sit in the ground on concrete.

(Now this is very important that you have a concrete pad to sit the
raised garden on. If not robber roots from plants, shrubs and trees will find your garden and fill it nearly to the top of the soil with feeder roots.
After one season the raised garden will be useless and will grow

Construction was simple; lay the two painted fence posts on the ground
and place one sheet of iron over the posts to completely cover the two
posts. Check to make sure its square fitting and then drill holes of suitable diameter to take the roofing screws. On a roof you would fasten the ridge part of the iron sheet so water would flow down the gully part.
For your raised garden the reverse applies. Screw in the roofing
screws at both ends of the sheet. The reason for using screws as apposed to roofing nails is they are easy to unscrew if you want to move the raised garden or extend it. The same is done on the other long length of iron. You now have two sides so next the ends.

The final sheet of iron is cut in half making it 90cm long, a nice
width to work on from one side or both. The posts are going to be
inside the bed. The two ends are screwed to the fence posts. It is best to assemble where its going to sit which ideally one long side should be facing in a northerly direction..
One very important aspect about where you are going to place the
garden and that is as far away from trees, shrubs or other plants as
possible. (Unless its is on a concrete pad).
If anywhere near say a tree or too close to a drip line, the tree will
send out feeder roots to your raised garden and then upwards to take
all the goodness out. The garden becomes a dense mesh of feeder roots over a couple of seasons and nothing will grow in it. I found this out the hard way as my first raised garden was about a metre away from a fence that had a cocktail kiwi fruit growing on it. Within two seasons it had become a mass of fibrous roots and resulting in a very big vine on the fence. If your raised garden is sitting on concrete no problems.

Now you have the raised garden ready to fill.
Any trimmings of trees and shrubs goes in onto the pad along with any
organic material which can be grass clippings (not sprayed with herbicide for over 18 months) sawdust, newspaper, old spent compost, old potting mixes and even some top soil (which is likely to have weed seeds in it)
filling the raised garden to about half the depth. You can even trample it down and add more to about half full. Over this you put several layers of newspaper. Cover this with purchased compost that is NOT made from green waste.

Daltons & Oderings Composts are two safe ones along with straight
mushroom compost.

The fill will take it to about 35cm from the top of the raised garden. Now you spread some goodies such as Blood & Bone, sheep manure pellets, Neem Tree Granules, Wallys Unlocking your soil, Ocean Solids, chicken manure and cover these with another layer of purchased compost about 5cm deep. This should then be about 20 to 30 cm from the top of the raised garden and ready for you to sow seeds or plant seedlings. After planting you can stretch some netting or crop cover across the bed and hold secure with a nail in each corner post. This will stop birds and cats from getting in and destroying your plantings and if crop cover is used it will stop most insect pests as well including butterflies. Having one long side facing north will heat up the contents through the iron; warming nicely the mix.

The gap between the mix and the top creates a wind break and so you
have your own special micro-climate and plants will grow twice as fast
compared to if they were in open ground. When a crop is harvested just place more goodies into the bed and cover with more compost. You will get years of pleasure and nutrition dense vegetables for your health.
You can easily extend the raised garden with two more 1.8 sheets and
one more post cut in half. Unscrew one end that you want to extend, removing the end section. Unscrew the sides at that end so your new sheets will overlap onto the existing and be screwed on together.
Posts at other end will take the end half sheet and now you have 3.6
metres of raised garden. Fill this as previously. You may need to place a brace across the middle to posts to prevent it bowing outwards.

Happy Raised Gardening.

Mentioned previously in several articles about a pending food shortage
I see this week that The UN has announced a catastrophic world wide
food shortage pending.
I also see that; “Farmers in England have been given taxpayers’ cash to rewild their land, under plans for large-scale nature recovery projects announced by the government. These will lead to vast tracts of land being newly managed to conserve species, provide habitats for wildlife and restore health to rivers
and streams.6/01/2022 The ambition at Rewilding Britain is to see nature recovering across 30% of Britain’s land area by 2030. That’s equivalent to approximately 7 million hectares.”

In NZ we also see Government encouraging tree planting and conservation programs to reduce the land that is farmed. There are moves to apparently introduce Frankenfood: (Perjorative term
for genetically modified food whether it be derived from genetically
engineered plants or animals.)
All sounds like conspiracy stuff but if the arable food growing land
is reduced and major food suppliers like Russia and Ukraine no longer
exporting food stuffs from crops there is a problem. Best you grow as much as you can and also stock up with essentials like flour, rice, pasta and tins of food.
Remember money is only as good as what it can buy and if there is
nothing available to purchase money is useless. Food then becomes very valuable along with fuels.
Also other bits if you email me.
Phone 0800 466464
Garden Pages and News at
Shar Pei pages at
Mail Order products at

The Nazi doctor, Josef Mengele, known as the Angel of Death, said:
“The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing
_NEW ZEALAND BILL OF RIGHTS ACT 1990_. Part II of the Act covers a
broad range of Civil and Political Rights. As part of the right to
life and the security of the person, the Act guarantees everyone:
1The right not to be deprived of life except in accordance with
fundamental justice (Section 8)
2The right not to be subjected to torture or to cruel, degrading, or
disproportionately severe treatment or punishment (Section 9)
3The right not to be subjected to medical or scientific
experimentation without consent (Section 10)
4The right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment (Section 11)
Furthermore, the _New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990_ guarantees
everyone: Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion.
This includes the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion,
and belief,
(Section 1)

Regards Wally Richards

How to Grow Celery: Tips, Tricks


Before it was a culinary staple, celery was used almost exclusively for medicinal purposes from 850 BC through the 17th century. A 2017 phytopharmacological review (study of medicine from plant sources) on celery confirms “…the Apium has emerged as a good source of medicine in treating various diseases.” From weight gain and skin conditions to rheumatic tendencies and chronic pulmonary catarrh (or “fibroid lung”), celery has proven to be a powerful plant for health. If you want to learn more about the health benefits of celery, click here.

Aside from all its health benefits, celery is a relatively easy plant to grow in many different climates. And it makes a great addition to a food garden, requiring very little space. If you’re interested in trying to grow celery, read on to discover the best reasons to grow it and the top tips for a successful growing season.



A reader and keen gardener sent me an email recently about using apple cider vinegar in your garden to prevent and control fungus diseases.

Someone shared it with him and so now I will share it will all my readers.

“Hi Everyone.

I use Apple Cider Vinegar to keep fungal diseases away, including brown rot, curly leaf, black spot, powdery mildew, bladder plum, sooty mould, scab, allium rust (for garlic, onions, shallots), etc..

For fruit trees, vines, and plants..Vegetables and herbs, including garlic..Also for roses and other ornamentals

I’ve been doing this since 2009 for my stone and pip fruit trees, berry and grape vines, citrus, garlic, shallot and vegetable plants throughout my large Garden.. and including for roses..

Vinegar kills mould – which fungal species are.

It also prevents mould growing back in places that are prone to having fungal problems, so helps avoid ongoing fungal problems.

I use 250mil Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) mixed with 5 litres water in a 5 litre sprayer I keep just for ACV..

I spray the mix when fruit tree buds are only just beginning to show in Spring as small bumps.

I don’t spray when blossoms are showing, leaving them to bees, bumblebees and other little critters for pollination..

Once blossoms have finished, I spray fortnightly on the fruit trees and plants which are prone to fungal problems.. ie, brown rot on stone fruit, sooty mould on citrus,

black spot on roses, rust on aliums, etc.

I stop once all the fruit on each tree are harvested, ie: Billington Plums finish in early January here in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, so I stop then..

Boysenberries finish late January here, stopping then.. Niagara Grapes, finish mid February here, stopping then..

Omega Plums finish late February here, stopping then.

Spray the mix in the evening when the sun has just gone off your trees or plants, so the sun isn’t heating/burning leaves through the liquid spray droplets on them, and there’s time for the spray to dry before nightfall..

Spray the whole tree, vine or plant.. under and over leaves, the trunk, branches, twigs, fruit everything..

This will also feed the tree through the leaves (when they are there for deciduous trees) as a foliage food.

I do this for all my fruit trees, vines and plants.. stone and pip fruit, citrus, grapes, berries, including strawberries, plus for garlic, shallots, onions, courgettes, cucumbers, pumpkins, tomatoes, roses, etc..

No need for gloves or coverings as it’s good for us too..

I keep a 5 litre sprayer filled with the ACV and water mix, so I can pick it up, pump it to build pressure, and I’m ready to spray this mixture that is good for my Garden..

(Thats a good tip as you can leave in the sprayer what is not used for next time and if you are going to follow this advise, using apple cider vinegar a separate sprayer for this purpose is a good investment)

The ACV mix works as a foliage food through the leaves.. with that feeding them, plus fungal problems not being an issue, the trees, vines and plants grow strongly..

a healthy, strong tree or plant will repel disease.. maybe repel insects like whitefly and vine hoppers, etc, etc, too..

It’s interesting.. I’m continuing to observe.. This is why I use ACV throughout my Garden, and have continued since trialing with it in 2009..

Decided to try ACV due to the goodness of the apples that it’s made with, had excellent results and have continued since for brown rot,

black spot, curly leaf, allium rust, sooty mould, powdery mildew, etc… all the fungal problems that occur often in our NZ gardens..

When my trees were producing well, I contacted the head tutor of the horticulture course at the local polytech, asking if I could swap a box of freshly picked Golden Queen Peaches in exchange for him showing me how to Summer prune. He also has a 6 acre home orchard.

I showed him around my garden.. he kept saying, how have you got your trees so healthy.

I told him about using the ACV mix and why.

As he left, he picked a Golden Queen Peach out of the box, bit into it, said, now that’s how a Golden Queen should taste and I’m off home to start using Apple Cider Vinegar throughout my garden.

Also – ACV for cats: I add 1/4 teaspoon of ACV to our cats food each morning – have done this since March 2019 – no fleas, and they have shiny soft fur..

None of the awful monthly flea treatment that distressed them every time and sent them running from the house to try to get away from it. ” END

Sometimes it is the simple things that we forget about or more likely do not know about and can be very surprised when found to work.

I have now added a 2 litre Apple Cider Vinegar to our mail order web site in the Disease control section so that when you are ordering your other garden bits you can add in this well priced product.

(No point in paying for the expensive stuff as this will do the job.)

Happy Gardening…..

Not wanting to be a Doom sayer but warnings and preparations can save a lot of grief in time to come.

A link that maybe of interest..

Phone 0800 466464
Garden Pages and News at
Shar Pei pages at
Mail Order products at

GROW YOUR OWN SEEDS (Wally Richards)

Raising plants from seeds is a great sense of achievement for most gardeners and when the seeds are the ones you collected for free it is even better.

All plants that you have growing in your gardens seed at sometime, with some plants that maybe years away but with annual plants it is at maturity each year.

Annual plants that are left to seed and die back will have produced fertile seeds if pollination has occurred successfully.

If these seeds are left to fall naturally to the soil then at some ideal time for them, they will germinate and produce seedlings.

Two things prevent this happening the first being; you removing the dying plants before they can distribute seed or in the case of many vegetables you have harvested before the crop goes to seed and removed flowering vegetables before they set seed.

When you have left something to flower and drop fertile seeds; then later on if you don’t recognize those seedlings as preferred plants, you may kill them thinking they are weeds.

It is a learning curve to know what is a wanted plant and an unwanted plant but with a little close observation you can score a lot of free plants by allowing mature plants to seed.

When plants produce seed pods that are drying out, then more than likely there are fertilised seeds in the pods which you can harvest for sowing sometime.

This applies to a wide range of plants from roses with rose hips, natives, ornamentals, flowers, vegetables and fruit.

How many of us have eaten a ripe plum off their tree and spat out the stone?

Months or maybe even years later up pops a plum seedling which will eventually grow into another plum tree, similar or even different from your named plum tree.

There are a number of fruits that we buy that have seeds, which we can collect at no extra cost.

This includes tomatoes, capsicums, beans, peas, pumpkin, passion fruit, melons, apples, citrus, stone fruit, figs, even strawberries (which are not a fruit as their seeds are on the outside.)

I have at some time grown all in the list from purchase fruit (Fruit, the definition is one that has seeds inside, which includes beans, capsicum etc).

If you come across a special fruit or one that is more difficult to get the seed of from seed packets then you should certainly save the seed and plant them some time.

Whether it is successful or not it really does not matter as its free and a bit of a challenge.

Recently we found two Asian foods one type of snake bean and two types of bitter melon.

I collected a few seeds from them and with the snake bean just sat the whole bean on a late afternoon windowsill to dry out and mature the seeds inside.

They are now all growing happily in one of my glasshouses and later we shall find out if they have come true to form.

Sometime ago I found Dragon Fruit for sale and now have a big specimen which should be approaching flowering time soon and also a number of baby ones.

Collecting some seed from fruit you have grown or purchased is just the matter of removing them from the fruit, laying on a bit of paper towel to allow to dry. Once they are dry you can either plant them or store them.

The best way to store is to write on the paper towel what they are then place inside a sealed glass jar and then into the fridge where they can wait till you are ready to plant.

Several types of seeds can be stored in the same jar. The fridge storage means they will keep very well for a long period of time.

I have tomato seed over 30 years old that will still give me about 20 to 50% strike rate.

The fridge also gives the seeds a false winter so when they come out they will think its spring and germinate better as a result.

Spring is normally the best time to bring out seeds you wish to sprout as the day light hours are extending and many seeds relate to that.

Self sown seeds lay dormant until the conditions are ideal for them to sprout, that means light hours, temperature and moisture levels.

When they germinate they send down (in most cases) a long tap root just as the trunk sprouts upwards.

This long tap root has secondary roots formed off it making the plant sturdy and deep rooting.

This enables the plant to gather food & moisture better than transplants.

So where possible sow your seeds where the plant is going to grow to maturity.

Seeds germinated in cell packs don’t have the advantage of deep rooting but they do have the advantage of less root disturbance when transplanting.

Punnet grown seedlings will suffer the most root damage when you separate the seedlings, but another aspect comes into play, the damaged roots will be quicker to produce side roots and also generate a bigger root system.

Normally this time of the year germinating seeds is not a problem as the soil temperatures are supposed to be over 10 degrees.

In a glasshouse where the air temperature is warm seeds in containers will germinate better as long as adequate moisture is applied to the medium.

Before you cover your seeds spray them with a solution of Magic Botanic Liquid (MBL) at 20 ml per litre of water. This natural product stimulates the germination to kick in.

When germinating in trays or cell packs use a good compost such as Daltons or Oderings as the base then with a sieve you sieve some of the same mix to make a nice layer of friable smaller particles.

It’s onto this you spread your seeds, spray with MBL and cover by sieving more compost.

In the garden sieve the soil for a seed raising bed. Forget the seed raising mixes they are a waste of time as well as being too expensive when compared to the herbicide free two brands I have mentioned.

Keeping seeds of your favorite vegetables is very important because seed strains disappear overnight as seed companies replace varieties.

Also certain companies want to control all the food seeds in the world and they buy up smaller seed companies then provide only the seeds they have sole rights to.

One of these companies has in certain countries persuaded the Governments to pass laws making the collection of one’s own seeds illegal.

This has made life for the native farmers intolerable and to compound matters often the seeds that are then sold to them are not suitable for their growing conditions and result in either poor or no crops.

Can’t happen in NZ you say? Us older gardeners know that plenty excellent named varieties of vegetables have disappeared and the newer varieties are not half as good.

Happy Gardening.

Beat the food price hikes & grow your own food

I’ve posted many articles over the years on growing your own food. It is like printing your own money one person has quipped. We also post here NZ Gardening Guru Wally Richards’ info. Wally’s been in action for many years, a fantastic go to for advice. (Search his name in the search box).

Right now folk are talking about the food price hikes. $7.50 for a pound of butter! Same price I also heard (and dearer) for one cauli. What better time then to get gardening if you’ve been putting it off. Not only that your own home grown will be far healthier. More goodness when harvested right before eating … not weeks in transit and storage before getting to your table. Remember too you can grown veg in pots, hanging containers, small spaces in your yard, just about anywhere. There is plenty of info on Youtube on topic. See this article for inspiration. Better still watch their video.

Anyway having resolved it’s time to grow more myself I returned to my previous source of heirloom seeds so am adding a link for Kiwis. The author of the site, Carol Rathael, is currently offering a course that teaches you to save your own seed. Remember, those controlling the seed supply long ago began tampering with seed so it does not reproduce. Thereby they ensured the unaware would need to return to the store to buy more of their seed. Do you still think it’s all about your health and well being? Their specialty is to patent everything … control, control, control. They have thereby destroyed many farmers in poorer countries who swallowed their lies of greater productivity. Listen to Dr Vandana Shiva on that topic.

FYI, check out Carol’s site for her beautiful, reasonably priced, heirloom seeds. Most are organic. Here is a link:

RELATED: Keep your heirloom seeds … they’re gold … Monsanto is buying up the heirloom companies

How to deal with powdery mildew and other diseases in your garden (Wally Richards)

This is the time of the year that the disease called Powdery Mildew will attack a number of plants in your garden.

Powdery mildew is a common fungus that affects a wide variety of plants. It is easily identified and appears as light grey or white powdery spots usually found on infected leaves, but can also be found underneath, or on stems, flowers, fruit or vegetables.

Powdery mildew, mainly caused by the fungus Podosphaera xanthii, infects all cucurbits, including zucchini, squash, cucumbers, gourds, watermelons and pumpkins.

Powdery mildew infections favor humid conditions with temperatures around 20-27° C so recent rains and warm temperatures have been the cause of what we now see in our gardens.

A little early this season as it more often appears with the autumn rains in March and April. Being early means a problem in obtaining the maturity of some crops such as pumpkins.

Unlike some other diseases, powdery mildew spores do not live in the soil, but rather are transferred from plant to plant by the wind …

If possible, plant cultivars that are resistant to powdery mildew and be sure to rotate crops in your vegetable garden.

I always describe diseases and insect pests as the cleaners of Nature, helping to take out the weak plants and contributing to their demise at the end of the season.

But when a disease such as powdery mildew strikes before the end of the season it means you may not get the best out of infected plants before they fail completely.

Pumpkins and zucchini will stop growing as they cannot gather energy from the sun when their leaves are covered with the powder.

That means their fruit may not mature and thus be wasted.

My easy solution is to spray the affected foliage with Wallys Super Neem Tree Oil; it instantly turns the leaf back to green and allows the plants to carry on for a while longer.

Only spray at the end of the day when the sun is off the plants as oil and sun/UV become a weed killer and you would burn the leaves.

One reader this week from up Auckland way asked about when he could spray his peaches for brown rot as he has been spraying the fruit every week with Wallys Super Neem Oil and Raingard for preventing the guava moth maggots from entering the fruit. An interesting dilemma as the oil will have an adverse reaction with the sprays needed to control brown rot in stone fruit.

My recipe for brown rot is a combination of Wallys Liquid Copper, potassium permanganate, spray-able sulphur with Raingard added.

If you have brown rot problems then that spray program should be started after the fruit have formed and reached about half their full size.

No need to spray the tree just the fruit to protect them as they head to maturity. Spray two-weekly till harvest.

One gardener that reported back to me about 2 years ago said that he was able to obtain about 90% of his crop from using the program.

He also thought that because he missed one 2 weekly spray in the middle because he had to go away, it may otherwise have been 100% successful.

The previous season all his fruit was lost which is a good indication how successful the combined sprays are.

Another disease that could be appearing on the trunks of your tomato plants at this time is a fungus growth, grayish in colour, that is going to kill your plants.

The cause of the disease is the insect pest, tomato/potato psyllid.

The nymphs when feeding on the foliage inject a toxin into the plant which will cause the fruit to be smaller, the leaves to turn yellow and drop and the death of the plants.

There is only one solution that is 100% effective for all plants which are hosts to the psyllid and that is Wallys Cell Strengthening spray/drench program.

Three components ; Wallys Silicon and Boron soil drench which is applied prior to or at planting time and again two weeks later.

By the way some gardeners have told me that they have use the drench on other plants which has resulted in very healthy strong plants.

This is likely due to the boron aspect as well as the silicon and boron deficient soils will prevent some plants from preforming as well as they could. Avocados and cauliflowers are two that come to mind.

There is on our mail order website a natural slow release boron you can use in your gardens every couple of years or so. The Cell Strengthening spray with the Super Spreader that drives the former into the plant should be applied weekly while the plants are growing.

If your tomatoes are failing and you can get some Russian Red seedlings plant them out with the strengthening products as it is not too late to get them going for some late cropping.

Feed them with Wallys Secret Tomato food with Neem granules and add the Magic Botanic Liquid to the Cell Strengthening sprays.

Happy Gardening.

Photo: Sweetaholic @

Benefits of Edible Kumara (Sweet Potato) Leaves


Did you know that Kumara leaves (as they are known in NZ) are edible and they are actually very good for us?!

Often we only focus on the root and the rest is thrown away, even if it does go back into the compost. But ALL of the kumara plant is edible, although the most nutritious are the leaves.

Treat kumara leaves as you would spinach in your meals!

  • Raw: just like any dark leafy green you can add them to your salads 
  • Sauteed: roughly chop them up and sauté them with some butter and garlic
  • Boiled: boiling sweet potato vine leaves will help remove their bitterness. 
  • Juiced: add them into your daily juice for a vitamin kick. 

Kumara leaf vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamins: A, C, K, B1, B2, B3, B9
  • Vitamin K (which kumara vines are high in) helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and hip fractures
  • Minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium
  • Also contains zinc, manganese, copper


Photo: manseok_Kim @

Beating those insect pests in your garden (Wally Richards)

Having a neat summer for a change has brought a problem for many gardeners and that is the number of insect pests such as leaf hoppers, whitefly and vegetable beetles that are ravaging our gardens. When one finds hundreds of these types of pests attaching our plants; the plants will be suffering and in some cases will succumb and die. A common problem is that we may repeat spray our plants for control but never seem to get on top of the problem. I had an example of this recently with leaf hoppers and discovered why when I decided to pull out an area of bracken ferns nearby. The ferns were covered in leaf hoppers, young fluffy bums and adults. By getting rid of this source or breeding plant I then was able to get control over my preferred plants. If the breeding ground happens to be over the fence you either need to get permission to control there or just hang in with lots of repeat sprays till winter knocks them back..

I had a lady call me the other day to say that everything was ok in her garden till the owner of the section next door decided to clear the vegetation to build. Within days all those pests that were living on the weeds and plants next door, invaded her gardens.

The safe way to maintain some sort of control is to place Neem Tree Powder on the soil in the root zone of plants and then to do repeat sprays, late in the day using Wallys Super Neem Tree Oil and Wallys Super Pyrethrum. Only spray just before dusk when the pests are settled for the night and the sun is down so foliage is not damaged by the oil.

Repeat sprays would be between every 3 to 7 days till the situation is under control or till the weather turns cold and nature knocks back the breeding cycles.

Just one of the things we gardeners have to face on a good summer.


Using the herbicides containing glyphosate such as Zero, Roundup etc are a cheap convenient way of killing weeds and unwanted plants but there can be a price to pay that you are not aware of.

Generally speaking if you wear protective clothing, rubber gum boots, a chemical protection mask and eye shield, rubber or vinyl gloves; you are reasonably protected. If you are using a back pack sprayer you should have on a raincoat so any leakage does not run out and down your back/spinal cord. The eye shield is important as minute droplets can enter through your eyes.

Do you remember this statement by our esteemed Prof Michael Baker (whom appears on TV frequently) on the 29th February 2020? He said “The virus can also infect you via your eyes. It basically likes to land on mucus membranes, and then, from your eyes, go down to your nose anyway. So I think people should not bother with face masks.”

Thank you professor and also harmful chemicals can enter through both exposed skin and eyes. Best to have a shower straight after using any chemicals to reduce and dilute. Clothing worn should be washed separately and not with other clothes.

Then the main problem is the amount of glyphosate in our food chain and from overseas studies there is a lot in cereal crops, plant based oils such as soya. Glyphosate from Roundup Ready GE crops (not grown in NZ but in processed food stuffs imported.

Hence why I am publishing this article I received this week..

Ways to Remove Glyphosates from the Gut

While watching a mitochondrial summit video, Don Huber PhD, who has been studying glyphosates and their effects on the human body and the earth for many years, said that there are some ways to remove Glyphosate from the body, and especially the gut.

The bacteria that are in raw apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut and other ferments will degrade Glyphosate in the gut all the way down to carbon dioxide, water and phosphorus.

And for those that don’t consume much ferments, he said that humic fulvic acids are good too, and move glyphosate through the feces rather than the kidneys which is really good. He said in Brazil 1/4 of the people working in the sugar cane field die of glyphosate toxicity, which some would call end stage kidney failure. Other crops were mentioned like rice and wheat, and not just in South America. When glyphosate chelate with the minerals in crops like these it is too big for the kidneys to filter, so it plugs them up.

There are many other problems with Glyphosate that he discusses too. He explains and shows how many diseases have increased since glyphosate has been used. I would suspect it’s not just the glyphosate.

You cannot escape glyphosate completely, even if you eat all organic. It really is important to learn safe ways to detox in today’s world. One simple way is to eat sauerkraut and other ferments with each meal, and drink ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) with water before meals, and even after meals. Make sure it’s raw, organic apple cider vinegar with the mother. I think Bragg’s is the best brand. (UPDATE: I now prefer Fillsingers, tastes more like apples).

It will also increase your stomach acid therefore help in digestion. ACV is likely the best thing for acid re-flux as well. While Fulvic humic acid may be a great thing, it is not cheap. (MBL is ).

 It is far more affordable to learn to make things like sauerkraut and other ferments if you don’t already. It is not very hard to put water, salt and cabbage in a jar!

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Did you realize you could garden without soil? 10 tips to straw bale gardening most don’t know


Poor soil? No soil? Do you have a hard time bending down or over to garden? If any of these affect you, then straw bale gardening is a fantastic gardening alternative! Straw bale gardening uses decomposing straw bales instead of soil to grow vegetables. It’s similar in concept to raised bed gardening, but with a much cheaper price tag.These tips will help you set up and garden successfully using straw bales!1. Use straw balesBales come in two varieties: straw and hay. Straw is the byproduct of the grain industry and contains only the hollowed out stem of plants such as wheat, barley and oats. Hay bales often contain a variety of dried grasses and many seeds; they are usually cheaper but will become weedy and break down too quickly. Bales can be purchased at some garden centers or sourced directly from farmers.



How To Grow And Harvest Dandelions (more nutritious than most fruits & veg you buy)


Why You Should Be Growing Dandelion Greens While dandelions can be a nuisance in the lawn, they are also a surprising source of nutrients. Dandelion greens contain vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin, riboflavin, beta carotene, and fiber. They are actually more nutritious than most of the fruits and vegetables you can buy in the grocery store. It is also touted as being beneficial to your liver, kidneys, blood, and digestion. Not to mention that it supposedly helps with acne, weight-loss, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. It is nearly a perfect food.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Dandelion Growing Info: How To Grow And Harvest Dandelions

Dealing to those dry patches in your lawn (Wally Richards)

There are two problems that I was asked about this week and they may be ones that also affect your gardening endeavors.

The first is brown patches in lawn which often people mistakenly think of grass grubs as the cause. This is not to say that grass grubs don’t cause problems eating the roots of grasses but they are in the main seasonal. At any time of the year you may find a few white grass grubs in your gardens or lawn but the main populations start of from eggs laid deep in the lawn some time about November December when the beetles are active .

During their short period of life they are mating, laying eggs and eating holes in your plants at night. The grubs will hatch out and start feeding on the plants roots. If the soil becomes very dry as in a drought they will stop eating and lay dormant in the soil till the autumn rains moisten up the earth. Then they will continue eating roots towards the surface.

If in autumn you lift a square of lawn you may find a number of the grubs in the top 50mm of soil. If there is several in a square foot of area then it is worth while treating for control.

Control methods are either Wallys Neem Tree Powder or Wallys 3 in 1 for Lawns. Brown patches of grass at this time of the year is unlikely to be grass grub damage. It could be porina caterpillars which come out of their earth tunnels at night time to feed at the base of the grasses. This will cause bald patches. In gardens they may chew through the trunk of young seedlings and next day you will see the top of the seedling laying on the soil shriveling up in the sun.

Control treatment for lawn and seedlings is simply spraying the grass with Wallys Super Neem Tree Oil late in the day onto the recently mowed lawn. Like wise spray the seedlings for total coverage including the trunk near soil level. The porina when they come up to feed at night will get a dose of Neem and stop eating to starve to death.

The next possible reason for dry brown grass is a Thatch Problem. Thatch in lawns is the debris that builds up on top of the soil making a layer of organic rubbish. Over time unless treated the layer becomes dense and several mils tall. You will notice that when walking on the lawn a spongy feeling like walking on a thick carpet.

Thats the thatch.

When it rains or you water the thatch collects and hold the water in it layer which makes the grasses feeder roots grow up into the thatch for moisture. That not only makes the grasses weaker but also go brown when the thatch dries out. Sun and wind will dry thatch leaving the grasses without moisture so they will go brown.

The easy way to solve the problem is to use Wallys Thatch Busta on your lawn.

You dilute the product and spray it over a freshly mowed lawn or even better apply with a Lawn Boy if available. Thatch Busta is a high food which feeds the microorganisms to increase their populations and they will break down the thatch converting it to food for your lawn. The area needs to be kept lightly moist while this is happening and if no rain give a light watering once or twice a day to ensure the thatch is kept moist.

Warmth is the other requirement for success and at this time of the year there is ample warmth. Thatch Busta is best used in spring and autumn when there is adequate warmth and moisture from rain or dew.

Now the real problem of brown patches in the lawn if none of the above is what we call Dry Spot. Dry spot is when the soil surface tension caused but a period of dryness is such that water will not penetrate into the soil and instead sheds off into the surrounding area where it will sink in. The result is a brown area of grass with lush green grass around the perimeter. The easy way to solve dry spot is to fill the watering can with warm water, give a good squirt of dish washing liquid into the water and lather up with your hand. Water the soapy water over the brown grass and it will break surface tension so when you water or it rains the water will penetrate and the brown grass will green up again.

You will have likely seen in dry times playing fields that have gone brown looking like all the grasses have died. Not so once the rains come they will bounce back green, they were only laying dormant though lack of moisture. It takes a real dry drought for the sun to bake the grasses roots in the dry soil to kill the grasses. Dry spot or dry areas can also occur in your gardens and the soapy water will also fix the problem. Dry surface tension over larger areas are a cause of concern when it rains for the first time as the water cant sink in and flooding occurs. I always water regularly and in particular before rain to prevent that happening.

Now the next problem is container plants in big containers such as half wine barrels. Perennial plants such as shrubs and trees in those containers need root pruning every two to three years. That means lifting the plant out, cutting off bottom third of roots, putting fresh compost into the container (to height of removed roots part) and popping the tree/shrub back in. Not easy to do but if not done the plant becomes root bound and eventually dies.

Now some containers have either a bulge in the middle as in some types of urns or the top is more narrow than the container below. Containers like that should never be used for planting perennials in, only annuals. Always make sure the top of a container is the widest part and no pregnant like bulges. But not all is lost if you have the wrong type of container with a shrub or tree growing in it. After say 3 years in the container with a sharp long knife cut four wedges out of the root mass at the four cardinal points. Cut as deep as you can and remove the roots and soil. Then sprinkle some Blood and Bone and Sheep Manure pellets down the wedge holes and then fill with fresh compost. You may need to repeat this operation every two years and cut your wedges in a different area from last done.

Another way is if you have a drill bit that is about half a metre long and about 4cm wide you could drill some holes down into the container to cut roots and then fill holes as above.

If you require any products this week is the last week at the current prices. Order on

Happy Gardening


A Beginner’s Guide To Gardening: How To Get Started With Gardening

If this is your first time gardening, what to plant and how to start are undoubtedly making you anxious. And while Gardening Know How has plenty of beginner gardening tips and answers to many of your gardening questions, where to begin searching is yet another intimidating roadblock. For this reason, we have compiled “A Beginner’s Guide to Gardening,” with a list of popular articles for starting a garden at home. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of gardening – get excited about it instead. Big space, small space or not much at all, we’re here to help. Let’s dig in and get started!

Read more at Gardening Know How: A Beginner’s Guide To Gardening: How To Get Started With Gardening

Vermicomposting – Learn How To Make A Worm Tube


Exactly what are worm tubes and what good are they? In short, worm tubes, sometimes known as worm towers, are creative alternatives to traditional compost bins or piles. Making a worm tube couldn’t be easier, and most supplies are inexpensive – or maybe even free. A worm tube provides a perfect solution if you have a small garden, if you just don’t want to bother with a compost bin, or if bins are frowned upon by your homeowner’s association. Let’s learn how to make a worm tube! Worm Tube Information Worm tubes consist of 6-inch (15 cm.) pipes or tubes inserted into the soil. Believe it or not, that’s really all there is to making a worm tube! Once the tube is installed in your garden bed, you can drop fruit and vegetable scraps directly into the tube.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Worm Tube Information – Learn How To Make A Worm Tube

Learn more about vermicomposting here:

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Gardening for January: Healthy crops, healthy you (Wally Richards)

First column for 2022

Happy New Year (at least hopefully happier than 2021)

The first subject is an important one and one I published 2016 (remember 2016? it was a far better country then and if you had been told back then that you had to wear a muzzle and have a special permit to do many of the things you had freedom to do back then.. You would have laughed yourself silly).

Amazing what humans will do and allow to happen when they have fear shoved down their throats day and night.

Anyway the above comments are another reason for the sensitive readers to unsubscribe.

Maybe those that have unsubscribed in the past year will wake up one day shame faced that they had been fooled without realizing it.

Well on with the year and this article:


I often compare the health of our plants to our own health.

The reason for this is that all life forms have similar requirements to be able to be healthy and are effected by adverse conditions causing stress which leads to health issues.

It is also important to realize that for us humans to be in peak health we need to consume very healthy vegetables and fruit.

With our plants we need to make available to them a very healthy soil (Soil Food Web) full of organic materials along with all the minerals and elements possible.

Add to this sufficient sunlight and water for the optimum growth of the plants. Also protection from elements and a suitable pH and even with all these in place a plant can get into stress through temperature fluctuations, chlorinated water and other chemicals.

We can know, generally speaking, that a healthy plant is less prone to diseases and insect attack (both are Natures Cleaners) but if the plant gets into stress then the chances are it will have pests and diseases attacking with more vigor. If we then treat it with a chemical control the plant may overcome that particular problem but its immune system is further weakened making it more vulnerable to problems.

We are very similar; if we have a home grown diet of vegetables and fruit that are teeming with nutrition we are going to have healthy bodies. Even so if we get into stress for what ever reason then our immune system is compromised and we catch a cold. If our food chain is not really healthy and we are eating chemically laden produce that is low in goodness then our health is in trouble.

Our body is storing up poisons that it can’t clear out which leads to the major health issues we see today, cancers, heart and mental function problems. One simple health example of this is sulphur, our bodies need a daily amount of sulphur to preform several functions because our body does not store sulphur.

It uses what’s available at that time and expels any surplus.

You can ensure your home grown vegetables contain sulphur by spreading Gypsum around about every 3 months. Also my Calcium and Health product contains Sulphur and other important elements such as selenium.

If you take sulphur food supplement which is called MSM for a few weeks you will find out if you are lacking in this mineral or not. Your first signs are usually a detox.

More info if you are interested at

A problem arises for some people in so much as they can’t grow big gardens of vegetables and have a good selection of fruiting plants.

Lack of room can be a problem yet with the smallest amount of space you can grow some really great health beneficial plants.

Wheat Grass is about the healthiest plant you can grow because it will take up all the 114 minerals and elements if they are provided in the growing medium.

That is the minerals from the Ocean (Ocean Solids) the minerals from rocks (Wallys Unlocking Soil) and the minerals from prehistoric times, Magic Botanic Liquid (MBL).

These are used in the growing of your wheat grass so that when you cut and either juice it or use in Green Smoothies then your body is maxing out in goodness.

Just 30 mils a day of the pure juice can make the world of difference to your well being.

A question that I have been asked is the wheat juice gluten free? Yes because it is the wheat seed or more importantly the contents of the seed (Flour) is the gluten bit.

An interesting article I read this week about the gluten condition and it reinforces my thoughts that not all people who appear to suffer from gluten; are actually suffering from the chemical poisons in wheat.

Here is what was said:

Do you consider yourself to be sensitive to gluten? Your problem with wheat, it turns out, may not be a problem with gluten at all. It may, in fact, be a problem with GLYPHOSATE.

Most people don’t realize it, but even though wheat is not yet commercially grown as a genetically engineered crop, farmers saturate wheat crops with very high doses of glyphosate right before harvest, speeding the drying of the wheat stalks and accelerating harvest duration. The result is that toxic, cancer-causing glyphosate herbicide is now found in many wheat products, including pasta, wheat bread, wheat flake breakfast cereals, donuts, bagels, cake mixes, snack crackers and much more.

Glyphosate is known to be toxic at parts per billion concentrations, meaning it only takes a very tiny amount to potentially impact your digestion and metabolism in a dangerous way.

What’s the solution to glyphosate in wheat products? Buy ORGANIC wheat, which isn’t legally allowed to be sprayed with glyphosate.

Once you switch to organic wheat, you may discover your “gluten” problems simply disappear… and that’s because it wasn’t a gluten problem to begin with. It was glyphosate poisoning!

That is likely to be the reason that prior to the 1980’s before glyphosate was discovered, very few people actually had a gluten problem.

It is now just the beginning of January and only 5 months to the shortest day. Planting of vegetables for winter cropping is a do ‘right now’ so you catch the most daylight hours possible before the days start to really close in.

Use Neem Tree Powder with your plantings of vegetables and with your cabbages, cauliflowers etc use hoops and crop cover (bug mesh) over the plants to stop white butterflies from laying their eggs on the leaves.

Leeks, silverbeet, carrots, parsnips should be planted now the later two from seed direct sown where they are going to grow.

Keep planting salad crops so you have ample lettuce, spring onion and radishes.

Winter flowering plants are also coming available and the sooner you get them in the sooner they will establish and start flowering.

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