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 had our 18th Open Garden in 2019.
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 have given over 200 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, September 16, 2015

Kelp in the Garden


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.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Greenfield Shredder

Just over 15 years ago I bought my Greenfield 6hp garden shredder.
It is a decision I have never regretted.
At the time I think they were just under a thousand dollars.
It has been a great machine with no breakdowns all I have need to do is change the filter, plug, blades and oil occasionally.
I suppose the blades are the most expensive item to buy but they are double sided and do last for several years, I think I am only on my third set after 15 years.
I do shred a lot of garden waste but DO NOT put hardwood of anything that has a fibrous stalk like ginger through it, my advice is just be careful what you shred, for instance palm fronds are OK but only until you hit the hard end bit.

By observing this method of shredding your blades will last much longer.
I know that Greenfield now make shredders with much larger engines but I have found my 6hp copes pretty well with my garden waste.
All my shredded material goes into the compost bins and eventually end up back in the garden, like the old saying ‘what goes around comes around’. ‪#‎greenfieldshredder‬