Why a loquat tree might be perfect for your garden
Loquat seedlings will grow in most areas of New Zealand. The tropical fruit is delicious and the tree produces a fine hardwood.
A beginner's guide to cordwood masonry
Cordwood masonry is an old building technique using short logs and mortar. Cordwood homes are cheap to build and provide excellent insulation, writes Nadene Hall.
6 lifestyleblock design strategies to save time, money and effort
Here’s how to create a future-proof plan for your lifestyle block or farm to make sure you do it once, and do it right.
Trading London life for paddock-to-plate
Getting to grips with the grassroots of growing, and of a community, Lloyd Rooney and Michael Fraser found contentment by leaving the glamour of London for the quiet backwaters of the Waikato.
An eco school where kids learn outdoors - and take risks
Dani Lebo uses her family’s permaculture farm to teach local children about farming, food, fun and taking an element of risk – all outdoors and in all weathers.
NZ's finest food producers revealed
We raise a glass, and a tasty morsel or two, to the winners of this year’s Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.
Grow your own stevia
As a cash crop, stevia ticks all the boxes: it's easy to grow; doesn't take up much space; and doesn't need your full-time commitment.
4 reasons to plant buckwheat in your garden
If you’re interested in grain-free eating, Buckwheat is a great option - and you can grow it in your own garden.
What to plant in the veggie patch in April
We’re on the road into winter, but there’s still plenty to produce for your kitchen.
How to grow guavas bursting with flavour
If you want a wonderful taste of the tropics, try this small tree.
In Your Backyard Urban Harvest: Online Extras
In Your Backyard: Urban Harvest, is a guide to growing fruit and vegetables in small gardens. We've compiled extra materials and videos here to help further your understanding of this exciting topic.
The Growroom project aims to encourage urban agriculture
Architects are collaborating on innovative solutions for food production in increasingly urbanised areas.
We test it: No-dig vs double-digging
Bob has good news if you have sweated your way through double digging your garden for the first time.
Tending to your fruit trees in March
Apple picking, branch cutting and the secret to sweet peaches. Add Ben Gaia's seven tips to March your to-do list.
Permaculture systems in your garden
Permaculture is a fancy name for all the things many of us are already doing in our orchards. Ben Gaia shares tips to get you growing more food using fewer chemicals.
The plant to attract the good guys to your garden
Under the cover of the right plants lurk good guys who are weapons of mass destruction.
Quick tips: Veggies to plant in March
It’s the start of autumn and time to get ready for winter, but still room for a touch of summer.
Video: Take a tour of Rory Harding's Dunedin Food Forest
A wild orchard in the heart of Dunedin is planted with more than 60 fruit trees.
8 lessons to learn from a herb garden gone wild
Five years after planting her herb garden, Jenny Somervell’s plants have forgotten who is boss.
Don't make these design errors on your lifestyle block
When a block has a design fault it can seriously affect the practical aspects of growing plants and livestock.
Top 17 trees you can plant to feed bees
How you can help hungry bees and add value to your property at the same time.
A guide to find the perfect crop for your block
Moving to a new block is an exciting time, but it’s easy to get carried away. Before you get started, take a little time to think strategy.
How to grow fat leeks for winter feasts
As summer stumbles along we’re heading into winter crop planting time and leeks are one crop that are best planted sooner rather than later.
The cave at the bottom of a Mt Eden garden
Some people have fairies at the bottom of their garden; the Jacob family of Mt Eden have a cave.
3 inspiring New Zealand food forests
We take a guided tour through three very different food forests at different stages in their lifecycle.
Tips for a breezy summer with your livestock
How to protect your livestock from facial eczema and why it pays to have good shade.
4 tips to taking on a 'blocksitter'
We need a break beyond our boundaries sometimes, and that means making sure animals, gardens and your home are safe and secure without you.
Water Cooler: Learning te reo and the NZ Flower and Garden Show
This week in the water cooler, Nadene brushes up on her te reo, and Emma visits the NZ Flower and Garden Show.
From derelict barn to award-winning berry business
A Wairarapa couple have transformed a derelict wee barn and rundown lifestyle block into a successful fruit and berry business.
7 tips to growing Japanese wineberries
Don’t be afraid of trying new fruits, especially ones as delicious as this.
5 ways to avoid a bad fencing job
Follow these five tips to avoid a bad fencing job and learn how to spot a good fencer from the pack.
Is this the worst fence ever?
There are four golden rules to building a fence - and this one breaks them all.
Water Cooler: Garden Marlborough marvels
This week in the water cooler, Kate explores Garden Marlborough, Emma steps aboard the Orient Express and Nadene finds inspiration in a new book Growing More than Grass.
How to garden with cats
Kirsty Pascoe is an avid gardener who has applied permaculture principles to her back yard and her cats.
Homegrown present idea: Greek basil topiary
Greek basil, also known as bonsai basil, produces clusters of small leaves that grow naturally into a dome and make a beautiful homegrown present.
Grow this lettuce ball as a Christmas gift
Create this lettuce sphere as a homegrown gift or an edible patio decoration.
Veggie growing tips: raising seedlings
The November 2017 issue of NZ Lifestyle Block comes with a free packet of McGregor's veggie seeds - we show you how to sow and care for your favourite seedlings.
What's your soil's score?
Soil and herbage testing is a great way to improve the productivity of your land.
Nelson peony root farm expands into Chinese market
The secret ingredient of an award-winning skincare range has turned out to be the holy grail of lifestyle block business.
Things to do in the garden in October
This October plant potatoes, peas and carrots and there's time for one last sowing of broccoli before the onslaught of white butterfly.
30+ lessons from the Sherry River Project
Ten years ago, a project began to improve the water quality of the Sherry River near Nelson, and there are a lot of practical lessons to learn from their hard work
How to grow sunflowers
Sunflowers are not only pretty, but they are extremely useful - particularly if you own chickens.
Is there a secret income growing in your garden?
If you love to grow flowers and foliage, there may be some profit waiting for you.
The veggie that helps break the sugar habit
Kristina is trying to break her addiction to sugar and she's found there's a veggie on her side.
The 10 best lettuces for a 365-day salad supply
Jenny Somervell selects the best lettuces to grow this summer (and the rest of the year).
8 spring pasture tips
If there’s no good spring flush, then find out why - there are always plenty of reasons.
8 tips for growing and harvesting rocket
Rocket can be grown year-round, although the cooler temperatures in spring and autumn produce the best crops.
The case for planting manuka
It can be expensive to plant manuka as a crop, up over $1000 per hectare so it’s not for everyone.
How to make lemon balm tea
Lemon balm is easy to grow and requires little maintenance, apart from keeping it constrained. Its relaxing properties make the tea useful as an evening drink to promote sleep, and it can also be used to treat colic, nausea, poor digestion, nervous headaches and to help prevent colds and flu.
10 plus trees for fire resistant shelter belts
Climate change research predicts that Canterbury and other rural areas in NZ will be hotter, drier places in the next few decades. Vegetation to prevent the spread of fire will become an important factor for many country properties.
Video: Botanist Philip Simpson shares his love of totara
Our native trees are some of the most unique in the world, and so is the man who has dedicated his life to studying them and telling their stories, including his latest on the king of them all.
6 tips for composting in winter
As temperatures tumble, the process of composting slows down, but it doesn’t stop altogether.
Composting loos: the final frontier
Composting toilets are a sustainable waste disposal for the 21st Century. Home owners share their experiences with the next generation of fuss-free, low-odour, environmentally-friendly waste systems.
10 gum trees that also make good firewood
Gum as a tree divides a lot of people. One reason is different varieties do better in different parts of the country
Organic solutions to a Cali thistle problem
Californian thistle is one of the most common weeds on NZ farms, and one of the hardest to kill off, but it is possible to do it without the use of chemicals.
5 amazing food forest gardens
A food forest can take up half a lifestyle block or be as small as an urban backyard and can create a resilient, self-sufficient garden that will feed you and your family all year-round.
Komatsuna the delicious leafy green (you’ve probably never heard of)
This is one of the most under-rated greens and a great staple vege to get you through winter.
Cathy Dickison's thriving Erb business
The last thing Cathy Dickison thought she would be doing is turning her gardening skills into a dried herb business.
Horse trekking off the beaten track
Baerbel and Thomas Hack were so determined to set up a dream seaside location for horse lovers, they built a road.
The caves at the bottom of the farm
Looking for opportunities to keep their adult children working and raising their families nearby, Philip and Anne Woodward added cave exploration and a café to their farming operation in a remote area south of Port Waikato.
The murky world of NZ water
The discussion around the state of NZ’s fresh water isn’t short of an opinion or two, but science is speaking out more loudly.
The 6 plants every chocoholic needs in their garden
If you like chocolate, you’re going to love chocolate flowers. Not the edible type, but real, chocolate-scented blooms.
Native tree flammability test
Data gathered will be used to identify fire-prone ecosystems and the best plants to use as 'green' firebreaks to reduce the spread of destructive wildfires.
Snake beans, bitter melons and curry leaf - grown in Whanganui
Whanganui based green house gardener Shane McCulloch has created a niche market for the hugely popular unusual Asian vegetable market.
The 10 most cost-effective edibles to grow
Food is the biggest household expense after accommodation, and the cost of it seems to be skyrocketing year after year, so what are the most high value things you can grow to save money?
How to weave a wattle fence
Weaving wattle is an ancient craft where you can make fences out of coppiced branches and stakes to form a woven lattice.
Home-made fragrance from your garden
Bottle that scent by way of distillation, tincture or enfleurage and you could find yourself in the perfume business.
5 tips to drying firewood
The art of firewood isn't cut and dry, here's how to make your wood dry thoroughly to burn well.
4 plants in the NZ bush you could eat (if you had to)
Gathering water is a top priority if trapped in the New Zealand bush, but dining on native edible plants can provide additional energy and sustenance to survive.
Forging ahead at the Iron Ridge Sculpture Park
Canterbury sculptor Raymond Herber has carved out a true niche for his life and work in an abandoned quarry.
Plantain is a pasturing game changer
The new popular, affordable alternative to pasture for fattening lambs and improving the condition of livestock.
5 tips for fighting rabbits
A family of 10-15 rabbits is the equivalent of an adult sheep grazing - here's five ways to to keep them under control.
7 ways to fight New Zealand weeds organically
It’s the easiest thing in the world to get a chemical, add some water and spray and voila, within a week a pesky weed is gone. But if you’re more interested in being kinder to your land, its soil and the health of the creatures living in it, you will need to take a longer-term view of dealing with weeds.
8 tips for preserving herbs
Don't let those end of season herbs got to waste. Here are some ways to preserve herbs for the winter months.
Scientists explore cancer-fighting properties of heritage apples
An everyday accountant is working with New Zealand scientists to explore the disease-fighting properties of heritage apples and orange tomatoes.
How to get an official 'natural' product
Launching a natural product comes with unique compliance and marketing challenges. The women behind Dove River Peonies share their tips for starting a natural product business in New Zealand.
6 inspiring man caves and she sheds
We’ve all heard of ‘man caves’, but there are so many inspiring garden buildings, including the ‘she shed’. Check out these beautiful projects from NZ and around the world, most made on a small budget and out of recycled materials.
Mexican photographer's first farm visit
Mexican photographer Carla Danieli had never spent time on a farm before her stay on a remote station in the Waihopai Valley.
Mary Biggs and the Country Cooking School
Mary Biggs started with Le Cordon Bleu, detoured into lemon cordial and is now back to basics with a country cooking school, sharing the bounty of her beloved farm.
Start thinking about strawberries for next summer (no, really)
The sweet juicy strawberries of summer might be a faint memory now but you need to start planning now for next year’s bounty.
Growing a family business on the Wanaka Lavender Farm
Two brothers have turned a patch of Wanaka into a lavender business in full bloom.
This self-sufficient urban garden will inspire you
Meg and John Christie are living their self-sufficient dream on a half acre block, but they haven’t had to leave the city to do it.
5 medical uses of plants in a survival situation
Many of our current pharmaceutical products stem from the beneficial properties first identified in wild plants.
7 weeds you didn't know were good for you
We're quick to see their faults, but these seven weeds deserve a place at the table.
NZer saving animals of all sizes on Victoria farm
A multi-tasking Kiwi with a passion for saving animals has set up a special sanctuary on her lifestyle block just outside Melbourne.
Why tagasaste is a useful tree to know about
If you are looking for the next perfect edition to your backyard, then tagasaste is the one you've been searching for.
12 ways to prevent FE using your pasture
Get a handle on Facial Eczema this season by following these 12 tips.
Why you need to give kale another chance
Kale is a trendy healthy option but it can be tough and chewy if not handled with care. Jenny Somervell shares her tips on when to plant and harvest kale and how to cook it properly.
12 summer pasture tips
There’s a lot to think about when it’s a normal summer, but an abnormal one makes things even more critical. Try out these tips for surviving summer on the block.
An ode to nikau palms
Out her kitchen window, Barb Davies watches a battle for life as her nikau palm trees brave the weather.
This root is the secret to cooking authentic Thai at home
This root is a spicy little cousin of ginger and a great addition to the garden, especially if you love Thai cooking.
What to do in the garden this December
This December plant annuals, de-head flowers and try growing soy beans.
3 secrets to getting the best from cabbage trees
The cabbage tree is the gift that keeps on giving, if you know its secrets.
22 Lessons in running a successful Farmers’ Market stand
The woman who started London’s hugely successful farmers’ market gives her timeless tips for selling at a market.
Garden work for November
As the weather starts to warm up, it is prime time to start sprouting flowers, fruit, vegetables, and herbs in your home garden.
2 organic DIY ways to beat weeds this spring
If weeds are springing up all over your freshly tended beds, there are a couple of easy, spray-free ways to beat them back.
How to use horse manure with no regrets
It may not smell the greatest, but your garden will thank you for using horse manure to help it flourish.
10 great cutting flowers for summer
If you love a beautiful vase of fresh flowers, here are 10 great options for a cutting garden.
4 things you need to know about the new farming rules
Regional councils around NZ are introducing new rules around farming, and you need to know how they may affect what and how you do things on your block.
How to achieve the perfect lawn
A carpet of soft green grass does put the finishing touch to any landscape. Here, we look at 10 common problems standing in the way of the perfect turf.
5 common mistakes made by beginner organic gardeners
Making the switch to organic gardening can take some adjustment, but follow this cheat sheet to avoid common hurdles.
10 tips for growing good seedling transplants
You can save yourself a lot of money growing your own plants from seed, but getting them to transplant size can be frustrating.
10 clay-loving native trees
There’s nothing more disappointing than having an ugly gap where little will grow because of clay soil.
A beginner's guide to becoming certified organic
Organic farms make up just a fraction of New Zealand's total farmland, but there's big potential.
5 fencing jobs you can do yourself
Anyone can build a fence, but it's a science and an art to build a good quality fence.
How do you like them heirloom apples?
An orchard of organic heritage apples, plums and pears is proving an educational experience for its owners and their community.
Grow your own sweetener
To be truly self-sufficient, especially in colder climates, you may think you have to give up sugar, but that’s not the case.
10+ pasture picks for bees, poultry, pigs & goats
Spring is a great time for sowing new pasture, but what do you choose if your stock are a bit out of the ordinary?
You're invited to our readers' spring luncheon
Tickets are now on sale for NZ Life & Leisure special event and hear the incredible Jane Falconer of Clachanburn Country Garden
It's not easy being a green beekeeper
It's not easy being an organic beekeeper when bees can forage as far as 5km for their food.
Why messy orchards are best
The last thing you need is for your orchard to look neat and tidy, at least not ground level anyway.
What to sow in the garden right now
The wind-up to spring planting is starting, and one big decision is going to have year-long repercussions.
Things to consider when buying a ride-on mower
If you’re tired of pushing yourself to do the lawns get our tips on how to buy possibly the biggest investment in a single product you’ll make when you live on a lifestyle block.
Finding flower power
To cement their partnership, Antonia de Vere and Mark Seeney got married. Now they combine their talents in one very creative business, Markantonia
6 drought-resistant pasture plants
If you’re planning to renovate pasture and you're in an area that gets dry or drought conditions, consider something tougher than ryegrass.
Boosting the Maori land economy
Taranaki-born Jamie Tuuta is enhancing the potential of Maori land and assets in his role as the Maori Trustee
Garden jobs for August
Spring is just around the corner, get ready by planting tomato seedlings and aubergines.
What gardeners can learn from this man
The late Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka created a revolutionary way of farming that has no plowing, no fertiliser, no weeding and no pesticides.
Grow a giant pumpkin
If you've ever wondered how people win pumpkin-growing competitions, get ready for some seriously strange gardening.
Tips for getting 20kg of tamarillos per tree
They’re fussy, but tamarillos are a tangy treat, and prolific if you know the secrets to high production.
How hard can it be, to plant a stick?
Two great options for fodder, shelter, shade and firewood can be as simple as a stick in the ground
What to do in the garden in July
Prune your berry bushes, prepare for early spring veggies and harvest chervil amd miner's lettuce.
Nineteen tips for better fencing
Doing some fencing now the ground is softer? Here’s 19 tips you might find useful.
Bore water problems?
Is your bore water brown? Are your glasses streaky? Sometimes bore water can have as many chemicals as town supply.
4 ways to weed your waterways
Aquatic weeds can be a major problem in lowland farming areas, but there are a few ways to tackle these pesky and persistent plants.
The perfect cup of tea
New Zealand has a good climate for growing tea. Here's our guide to making the perfect cuppa from garden to table.
How to build irrigation-free raised beds
Do your raised garden beds dry out? Why not create a hugelkultur garden bed instead?
Great firewood trees (and what you might want to avoid)
Here’s what will keep you warm and cozy when you fire up your wood burner this winter.
Maori macadamia industry tough to crack
Vanessa Hayes, aka the Nut Lady, is on a mission to establish a nut industry for Maori on the East Coast.
A beginner’s guide to chainsaw safety
This is one tool that deserves your full respect and a good training regime.
Things to do in the garden in May
The weather outside is frightful, but there's plenty of delightful things to plant in the garden in May.
Video: Behind the scenes at Clachanburn Country Garden
What does it take to create a garden of national significance in a remote place with an extreme climate and heavy clay soil? A body made of strong bones and a soul full of magic is a good start.
From a crop of potatoes to a booming enterprise
Starting with a single crop of potatoes, a Gisborne farmer has created one of New Zealand's largest and most innovative horticultural businesses.
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