I review these products during tasks I personally carry out within my garden on a regular basis. Using the right product or tool for the job makes the difference of doing it the easy way or the hard way, so I really value a product which can make my life easier.

I am hoping that garden related companies will send me ‘products’ to test and evaluate. However I must stress that I will not be anything but fair and make no promises to these companies other than to tell the truth. Many of the products here are what I have already purchased for my own gardening use and are happy with.

You may ask, what are your qualifications? Well Judy and I opened our garden through the ‘Australia's Open Gardens’ for
10 years. We now open to support a specific charity. We won Gardening Australia’s 2009 ‘Golden Trowel’, have appeared on the ‘Garden Guru’s and ‘Gardening Australia’ twice and on various other television shows. We give presentations to garden clubs on Sub tropical gardening and open our garden for bus tours. What is more important is that we have learnt from our gardening mistakes.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Long Prong

I have started a fairly large new project and have finally a chance to use my 'Long Prong' garden tool.
This project will have a park bench sitting within the garden and will be planted with gingers and Costus.
It will probably be my final large garden project as there’s not a lot of lawn left to steal from and anyway Judy has threatened to divorce me if I take any more lawn away.
Just survived this one by the skin of my teeth.
It has certainly made life a bit easier, instead of hammering with a crowbar this tool lifts the pavers and rocks and makes it much easier to remove.
It is also useful for removing stubborn roots.
These are an invention of Peter Nicol from Toowoomba and you can only buy them on-line, not sure but I think I paid around the $70 mark for mine.
There are four models including a lady Prong, it is pink of course.
Thanks to Judy who was the video operator.
http://www.prong.com.au/

 

video




Saturday, July 30, 2016

Silky Saws

I bit the bullet the other day and bought myself a new extendable pole saw.
As you are probably aware I am very particular about the tools I use in the garden and if they are bad I will say so and if they are good I will also say so, regardless of whether I have bought or been given the product.
In this case I love this product.
Yes, it was expensive, just a tad under $300 but it is probably the best quality saw money can buy.
It is a Silky 'Forester' with a extendable reach of 4.5 metres, so that means with my height taken into consideration that the saw will reach almost 6.0 metres.
With the 'Forester' you can purchase a handle and use the blade as a hand saw.







Now that is real handy for me as we have over 70 trees that need pruning on a regular basis.
I looked at other and cheaper saws but of course they were for the most part made in third world countries so quality would be a bit suspect.
I have bought some saws in the past that either became very blunt very fast, rusted out or I could not buy replacement parts.
With Silky you know you are going to get the best quality made in Japan with steel that is top quality, plus the availability of spare parts.
With these type of saws the cutting is done on the downwards motion.
I am happy with my purchase.
The Silky representative called by the other day to inquire if I was happy with the pole saw, he dropped me off a set of secateurs on loan to trial, now I usually use Felco number 2 secateurs, anyway I did some cutting with the Silky ones and really liked them and thought the quality was great.

The saw that I have used in the garden for the past few years is a Silky 'Gomtaro', it's a small straight saw ideal for the smaller pruning jobs around the garden. This saw is around the $90 mark but lasts you for years.




Sunday, May 8, 2016

Kwick Bandit Tie

I have been sent a selection of these ties to trial.
It is an interesting concept and I believe very popular in the grape and fruit industry.
The ties are made in Canada out of high strength rubber and basically all you have to do is wrap it around the stem of the tree and lock one end to the other as pictured.
It can be adjusted to suit the tree then as the tree grows the tie can be loosened.
I can see many uses for this tie in my shed and in the house.
This is their website http://www.kwikbandit.com/bandit.html

 In the lock position.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Shadecloth

http://theshadecentre.com.au/
 

I feel like giving this business a plug.
We have been buying our shade cloth from this firm for a number of years, it's cheaper than Bunnings and they have a greater range.
For example you cannot buy 50% shade cloth at the big stores.
I ordered x metres yesterday and it arrived today and the postage was only $12.50.
They are situated at Brendale, just north of Brisbane.
Highly recommended.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

New Gardena Hose Fittings

If you are familiar with this site then you will be aware that not only do I post positive reviews I also post in the negative.
With Gardena products I must admit I cannot say anything bad, they are well made, easy to use and last much longer than any other brand.
They have now brought out a new range of hose fittings which are very easy to use and of course very good quality.
Here are a few photos.
They are a bit more expensive than most other fittings but will last much longer so you should save in the long run.







Selecta Sprayer

This is not a good review.
Selecta sprayers have a very good reputation or at least used to
This is the second one of these sprayers as pictured that I have purchased from Bunnings.
The first one leaked through one of the seams as they are plastic welded.
The replacement has only lasted one tank of spray before leaking, only this time it was not on the join but in the main body.
I am taking this back to Bunnings to get a refund, twice returned means there is something terribly wrong with the manufacturing process.

As you can see the liquid is spraying out of the sprayer body.
I suppose that's what you get when you contract out to a Chinese company and are not too worried about your company's reputation.
I personally believe a company's reputation is everything, surely they want return customers.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Kelp in the Garden

Natrakelp

Doug and Kaye McGaughey own Natrakelp, it’s a family business with both son and
daughter involved.
The factory is situated just out from Maroochydore, Queensland.
We use this product all year round in our garden and advise others just how good it is.
Natrakelp Liquid Seaweed is a certified organic product made from brown kelp.
The Brown kelp comes from the cold, unpolluted waters of both the southern and northern hemisphere (Tasmania and Canada).
Don’t forget that kelp is the fastest growing plant in the world
The efficacy of a seaweed product is judged by the amount of Alginic acid retained in the product.
Alginic acid is a naturally occurring hydrophilic colloidal polysaccharide (sugars) obtained from various species of brown seaweed (Kelp).
Seaweed products also contain a wide range of minerals and trace elements.
The kelp is either harvested or collected from the shoreline.
It is then hung in the open, allowed to be washed by the rain to remove any sand and excess salt, then kiln dried and put through a hammermill to the consistency of meal.
It is then bagged and shipped to the factory at Maroochydore for processing.
It is then put into large stainless steel vats using a unique bacterial fermentation process for 21 days with absolutely no heat,chemicals or acids used.




This process retains all the vital elements of the original kelp including the alginates.
There is a great video by Doug on youtube, see linkhttps://youtu.be/whgi_pF2CSU
Other well known products are manufactured either after the alginate is removed or used as a bi- product or by using either heat or chemicals (acids) which tend to destroy much of the original alginates.
After the fermentation process the liquid is filtered to 100 mesh to allow it to go through all types of sprays.
Natrakelp is packaged into various sizes from 1 litre for home garden use to 1,000 litre for commercial growers.
The product ranges from pure kelp to kelp with trace elements, soil conditioners or foliage sprays.
Seaweed products are used for the ability to:
Provide more rapid germination
Increase nutrient uptake
Increase both yield and quality
Increase shelf life
Increased frost tolerance.
Increase photosynthesis
Decrease water stress due to either drought or salinity.
So, all in all it’s a great product that does wonders for your garden as it has done for ours.
We love this product and recommend it to all gardeners.
Unfortunately the product is not available at retail outlets, but can be bought directly from Natrakelp or if you live in Brisbane we sell for Natrakelp at their wholesale price on a non profit basis.