stuff that has worked for me

I don’t like the idea of rules because they are rigid and different things suit different people. But this is a list of stuff that has worked for me.

1. Make compost – use anything biodegradable – raw fruit and vegetable peelings, tea and coffee grounds, cardboard, old phone books, old clothes. No bought compost bin is necessary. Use shower water to keep moist. When one side is full, chuck chunky things over to the other side and use the rest for mulch.

2. Mulch thinly otherwise you run the risk of keeping the moisture out.

3. Weed as much and often as possible. Understand the weeds. With some you have to dig them up carefully so you don’t spread the little bulbs around and end up with more than when you started. And weeds aren’t just plants you don’t like. They have scarily powerful ways and means of making themselves at home.

4. Fluff up soil often. Avoid hard compacted soil.

5. Water rarely, but deeply and thoroughly when you do – if you can. If water is scarce like in Melbourne, choose plants that don’t need to be watered.

6. Fertilizer: I can’t see the point. Plants grow perfectly well in compost-enriched soil. And if some plants aren’t happy in your garden, try others. And if it’s not for serious food growing, what’s the hurry?

7. Pesticides – never use them. They kill beneficial insects as well as pests.

8. Experiment, play, enjoy.


  1. The fourth in your list about "Fluff up soil often"..., Me and Kakdah would sit a little green plastic stool, and with small garden forks would fluff up soil on weekends.

    Enjoyable thing to do when plot is small like ours.

    Have a great day...
    ~ bangchik

  2. Nice list Catmint...I like your compost bin!


  3. Hi catmint, What good advice, and waht a cute little fellow at the end of your post! :-)

  4. Hello Catmint! I like your rules. Thanks for remindidng about fliffing. It's a good name, I like it - fluffing...

  5. Good advice, I'm sure your dog and the gnome helps! Good compost is one of the wonders of the world.

  6. catmint, I agree with all your "works for me" tips. They work for me too. Lovely companion, we call ours the architekt, because he is always inspecting our work! I have found this website, dry gardening with succulents, perhaps you want to have a look?

  7. I loved your -are those guinea hens? - and birdbath. I think all your points are excellent, although in my dry area we use the mulch for holding in moisture, so that point's a bit of a mystery to me; can you explain?

    Love the "fluffing" images; could we have fluffing parties?

  8. your garden looks very colorful.
    thanks for sharing your wast knowledge in gardening...

  9. Great rules Catmint. Even the bugs. I find I have plenty to share. I do sometimes blast the aphids with my hose.

  10. Wise advice Catmint! I especially agree about using fertilizer - making compost then using it to nurture the garden is much more satisfying and a much more sustainable practice.
    Plant Lady

  11. Hi. Looks pretty cool. Wondered what’s the latest with your veggie garden? What’s your next garden project?

    Suburban Gardener

  12. That's a good list, Catmint.

    If only we all had space for a double compost bin. They are such a good idea.


  13. Hi B and K, sounds so restful and relaxing, for you 2 and the soil! (lol)

    Hi CG, glad you like the list. The compost bin is pretty simple, and very effective.

    Hi Shady, thanks for pointing out Potter, my fur child!

    Hi Tatyana, thanks for the comment.

    Hi Hermes, yes, I think we forget sometimes that compost happens even without our intervention.

    Hi Darla, thanks for the compliment!

    Hi Titania, thanks for the website info - it's great to see what other dry gardeners are doing.

    Hi Pomona,fluffing parties are a great idea! The thing I have found about mulch is that if it is spread too thickly it can form an impenenetrable barrier that prevents the moisture from leaching down to the soil. In my street there are plane trees and oak trees. The oak leaves are brilliant for mulch but the plane ones don't break down so easily. I think they're guinea hens, not Australian, probably South African.

    Hi FS, I visited your blogs, they are wonderful, especially the vegetable art!!!!

    Hi Peony, I used to do that,now with water restrictions I use my hands (gloved) or just leave them. They eat flowers but never seem to destroy a whole established plant.

    Thanks PL! I think the fertilizer story is about people making money.

    Hi Lucy, yes I am lucky that I have enough space.

    Hi Suburban Gardener! Thank you for your perfectly normal, friendly questions about my veggie garden and my next project. I have found these questions very thought provoking, and would like to answer them in a post soon.

  14. ah haha...i just found your blog and as i was looking it over i saw you post with hansel and gretel. check mine out because i just posted some very different hansel and gretel stuff a few days ago!


Post a Comment