You don't need a green thumb to grow fresh vegetables right in your backyard or balcony. Whether you're a gardening novice or just want to start a vegetable garden with the least amount of time and effort, here are the top (almost) foolproof vegetables to grow.
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Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, with 38% of Australian households owning dogs. Dogs improve the quality of our lives, and studies show that exposure to dogs can even improve our immune system.
However, one medium sized dog produces about 180 kilograms of poo a year. With about 9 million dogs in Australia, it can really start to pile up.
Rather than wrap it in plastic and throw it away – where it eventually ends up in landfill – you can use dog poo as a sustainable source of fertiliser.
The tomato was the pride of the Old World, exported across the globe, along with pasta it changed Italian cuisine, took a place of pride in salads and help create the Heinz empire. There is a reason tomatoes took off the way they did across cultures and culinary traditions. Tomatoes are remarkably easy to grow, reasonably forgiving if you forget to water, and reach maturity in only around two to three months.
I've seen some crazy things in my time: A man peeing into a public postbox in the city in the middle of the day while pedestrians pretend not to notice; a train forced to reverse course and creep backwards into the previous station while the conductor and motorman loudly panic in front of the passengers; three Rolls Royces casually street parked with no fear of being keyed. But the craziest thing I have ever seen is fancy florists offering simple white moth orchids for $110 each.
Among the many benefits they bring to your home, plants help clean the air. Are you returning the favour?
Video: Winter is the ideal time to plan your garden. If you're planting outdoors, it's also a good time to clear out weeds to keep them from seeding in your soil when the weather turns warm. It's also a great time to sow next year's seedlings.
Some people are less active in winter and so are some plants. They go dormant in extreme weather, such as freezing temperatures, then come out when conditions are better for them to grow. While dormant, a plant's leaves fall off and it might look dead. There's a good chance it isn't, though.
Terrariums are having their biggest moment since Queen Victoria was in power. A popular way to exhibit plants in the late 1800s, terrariums, called "Wardian Cases" in the Victorian era, were elaborate affairs that could take up an entire side table. These days, the smaller, simpler iterations line the windows of trendy shops and office desks. Here's how to build your own for a fraction of the cost of those fancy kits.
You are walking home from work when you pass the loveliest hydrangeas. At $8 for two stems at the local shop they are a steal and impossible to pass up. You bring them home, plunk them in a vase with some water, and forget about them for a couple of hours. The next thing you know, the perfect little blue petals are curling in, the whole thing is drooping, and the perky flowers you bought just hours ago are rapidly dying.
I grew up mowing a giant, mangy lawn. My family lived on an acre of hilltop land, which we kept shaggily mowed, too spiky to walk on in our bare feet. On one side was a cornfield. On the other side was our neighbour, Mr Howland, the Ned Flanders of lawn care. He seeded his lawn with fine golf-course-grade grass, mowed and sprayed it weekly, and even rolled it flat like an off-season Zamboni driver.
"Hygge" is a Danish word that essentially means the quality of cosiness, contentment and well-being. If you want to attain hygge in your household, one simple and cost-effective way is to invest in some plants. Unfortunately, they need to actually survive for it to work. This infographic looks at the types of houseplants first-time buyers and non-green thumbs should consider.