Do you look around your garden and see the remnants of summer now becoming a little unsightly, with weeds growing faster than plants?

It could just well be time to put all that green matter into a hot compost pile to cook through the winter, so that you have beautiful soil to use in spring/summer.

Hot compost — a way to create a future garden bed using your garden waste

For me, there are a few reasons:

  1. It’s efficient. …

Chilly weather is on the way…. get ready by growing winter food

For the gardener each season has highlights, and winter is no different. In Auckland the winter is so mild that we can fortunately grow a lot of vegetables, and don’t have to spend the autumn pickling and preserving. One year of Siberian winter was enough for me, that’s for sure!

Here are some steps written for the beginner gardener, which include how to build a low cost, no dig garden bed (this blog was originally written in May 2020 when many businesses were trading under restrictions with contactless service — it was so tricky to shop as normal, but we…

The time has come — I need to restore this patch of paradise in Titirangi to the way it was when I moved in way back in 2010. That seems like a lifetime ago!

Back then it was a blank canvas of flat, sunny grass, which took SUCH a long time to mow each week. Flat & sunny is somewhat incongruous with Titirangi, and this quality alone will make the section very appealing to developers.

Here’s a road map to composting success.

I’d love to hear where you are on the journey, and if you are interested in taking the next steps towards even better compost.

The Biodynamic Cow Pat Pit Preparation

I’m interested in exploring biodynamics in my gardening, where should I begin?
-from a Blue Borage Instagram follower

I think depending on who you ask, you could get dozens of answers to this question.

I have a handful of responses, depending on the kind of person I’m talking to, if I’ve seen their garden and had a chance to feel for myself what I would do next. It’s a tricky question to answer, as I feel like people sometimes want to simplify a way of life that is incredibly deep and complex.

Some possible…

Summer is coming to an end and here in Auckland we are limited with our water — please attach a trigger nozzle to your garden hose so that you don’t waste a single drop.

I’m getting asked this question: “What’s the priority in the garden right now?”

My tips are primarily to protect the soil — it sounds counterintuitive, but I’m advising to leave the weeds in place until you have good strong plants to replace them.

What can you use as mulch? Have you got nicely aged leaves you can use to protect your soil? I’ve been putting some…

As a biodynamic gardener, I’ve been buying moon calendars for a decade now. To start with, it was out of curiosity — the description of all the planetary movements was fascinating, and I wanted to align my planting with a larger ecosystem than what was immediately visible to me.

It’s a nice idea, but in real life I found it challenging. I would hold off on making compost or planting seeds, only to reach the ‘perfect’ time and find the weather suddenly turned bad: nobody wants to make compost in a thunderstorm, right?

I attended a gardening workshop where I…

Why oh why is the gardening industry taking so long to eradicate single use plastic from their products?

While we home gardeners wait for a free flow soil solution that’s perfectly suited to people with small spaces, one avenue to explore is making your own potting mix and seed raising mix.

2021 recipe for Blue Borage seed raising mix

Once you get started, it’s a lot of fun, and not that complicated. One of my favourite books as a kid was ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ by Roald Dahl, and I sometimes look at a box of delicious looking seedlings and sigh with exasperation that I’ll never know EXACTLY what…

The circular economy is one of the buzz words among conscious consumers: how can we be less wasteful, and instead create loops where our resources are better used?

The essential concept at the heart of the circular economy is to ensure we can unmake everything we make.
Ministry for the Environment, New Zealand

Home compost: the best way to manage household waste.

What better place to begin than with our own home, including the kitchen and garden?

Here are some good starting places:

  1. Start growing some of your own food: it’ll reduce so much packaging, as you can just wander through the garden and pick what you want to…

Here’s a novel approach to designing your garden…

Start by analysing your diet — what you love to eat, what you love to cook, and what you would love to be able to nibble on right outside your kitchen door.

For me, the go-to favourite is raspberries, possibly from childhood memories of going to a raspberry farm, and then having home-made raspberry jam in the pantry.

Too often when I meet with clients to get more edibles into their garden, they have been reading gardening magazines, collecting ideas on Pinterest, or filling their bookshelves with inspiration — but not taking…

Katrina Wolff

Compost Coach based in Titirangi, West Auckland, New Zealand. Using biodynamics to help home gardeners make top quality soil.

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