Plant Life Balance

Gardening no-go’s you might not know about

Winter is here, which means Spring is close. Start planning your next gardening moves with our list of what not to do – some of these might surprise you!

Make good choices

We found this terrific website called Grow Me Instead, which provides a list of invasive urban plants in your state that you should avoid putting into your garden, as well as a list of suitable alternatives to consider. A very useful resource we use regularly when choosing new additions to the garden (this site also has pictures which makes identifying species easy!).

Safely first

Another terrific online resource, Plant Safely, shares all kinds of advice about gardening tool use and upkeep, sensible chemical use and how to ensure you take care of the environment and your garden’s biodiversity. Essential.

Upcycled tyres

Tyres slowly leach chemicals into the ground over time and, as you would imagine, plants don’t like it – even if they seem like such a great way to create an instant garden bed. Tyres are completely recyclable in other ways so if you have some, dispose of them responsibly.

Arsenic-treated timbers

Who would use arsenic in a garden? It’s POISON! But the truth is, timbers can be treated with a variety of chemicals to help preserve them and one of them can be arsenic (CCA or copper, chromium and arsenic). So if you’re building a veggie patch or a kid’s play area, use untreated hardwood or a safer alternative to CCA treated timbers, and double-check what you’re buying.

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When it’s part way through the growing season and I notice my garden needs a boost, I often make my own amendments. This one is a manure tea. To make it, simply toss some aged or composted manure such a chicken manure into a bucket, add water, and let it sit in the sun for part of a day. To apply, simply pour the liquid off and onto garden beds just like you would when watering from above. Fertilizing with a manure tea gives plants like greens, corn, sunflowers the boost they need and you can avoid pre-packaged fertilizers. • Another thought, ask your neighbors if they’re keeping chickens and, if so, if you can help clean out the coop every once and a while in exchange for some of the poop. Then it’s a win win and all the more local plus a closed system – basically your own community supported agriculture. 😃 Hope you’re all enjoying the first days of summer! #growwhatyoulove #growyourown #diy #garden . . . . 📷 @sunandlifephotography #growsomethinggreen #gardening #growyourownfood #veggie #veggiegarden #whynot #livethelittlethings #love #thankyou #planting #moment #nature #girl #homemade #communitygarden #31b #gardenchat #thrive #makeadifference

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What was it used for before?

If you’re upcycling something to create a garden bed, think about what it was used for originally. For example, a wine barrel is a better choice than an oil drum.


If you have pets, you need a pet-friendly garden. We recently launched a new pet-proof look called Best Buds and have put together these simple tips on how to create a safe garden for your pets.

Bulk soil

Our advice is to avoid using free roadside mulch or bulk soil with unknown origins as it could contain weeds, diseases, or be contaminated with wastes such as heavy metals. Buy it from a commercial outlet (garden supply centre, nursery, etc.) to avoid introducing anything nasty into your garden.

If you have specific questions on any of the above, get in touch with your nearest Plant Life Balance accredited nursery to have a chat with the experts. Happy gardening!

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