Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question that doesn’t appear in these FAQs, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 071 – 245 1658 or email@example.com
- Wooden Planter Issues
- Chicken Coop Issues
- COVID and us
- Orders and Payments
- Warranty and Returns
Yes, you can pay with Visa or Master card. Mention your preference in your online order and we shall email you a secure payment link with PayFast.
A line product from GardenStuff qualifies for a refund, provided it is returned to the factory within fourteen days of purchase, is in its original packaging, is not damaged and has never been used. Deducted from the refund are original delivery or shipping charges plus a 10% handling fee.
Custom made products and discounted products do not qualify for returns or refunds.
If the soil is not workable, consider using raised beds or other containers so you can invest in good soil and put it right where you need it. That’s far more economical than trying to improve a vast space.
No. The factory remains closed to the public during the lockdown. To compensate, we offer free roadside deliveries for most products.
Yes, we are permitted to deliver, as long as the delivery items are related to the production of food, like veggies, herbs and eggs.
Deliveries during the lockdown are free of charge and end at the first door from where the recipient has to take over.
We strive to keep the infection risk to a minimum by not sending porters along and the driver will not enter a property.
On leaving the factory or warehouse, the packages to be shipped are sprayed with a disinfectant.
Courier companies are required to have their own infection control measures in place.
Products that are used to produce food, like planter boxes.
Products for animals, like chicken coops.
Yes, we ship all permitted products, most of them for free. We use a courier service for countrywide deliveries.
Please make use of the online shop on this website.
The factory remains closed during the lockdown. You can reach us by phone and email on any day during office hours.
Our factory is temporarily closed to the public. No visits and no collections may take place until further notice.
The office is operated from our homes.
We do ship by courier service and do deliveries for most, but not all of our products during the lockdown. The permitted items need to conform to the gazetted list of allowable products.
- It’s easier to control soil moisture and raised beds do drain better as the soil is already loosened up.
- Better control of soil conditions. One will not continuously have to add pricey soils and amendments, only to watch them sink into the ground or get washed away.
- The local ground may be unsuitable for achieving good growth, or the land could even be toxic or unhealthy. Raised beds provide you with the right soil at the proper depth, as well as confining the moisture to the right area. You know and can control what is in your soil
- The extra height is easier on the back.
- There is no need to till, no need to hoe, and much less weeding.
- Containers warm up faster, which is an advantage.
- No problems with moles provided some chicken wire is laid down first before filling up a bottomless raised bed.
- Elevated planters eliminate problems with dogs and rabbits.
Yes, we can, but is it advisable? Most herbs and vegetables have a shallow root system. So don’t go overboard with requesting a deep container as you will be wasting costly soil and expensive wood.
Linseed can only extend the lifespan of wood if applied correctly and re-applied every couple of month. A once-off application will not do much to preserve the timber over time.
An answer to the second question is entirely dependent on the regularity of the treatment.
On a side note, the main enemy of timber is a wood-destroying fungus that thrives in moist conditions. Avoid constant overwatering, and give the wood a chance to dry out from time to time. Doing this will extend the planter lifespan considerably.
Yes, we can waiver the shipping charge provided it is possible to pack the ‘free delivery’ product together with the ‘no free delivery’ item and it will not result in a substantial extra charge for us to absorb.
No. If it states ‘Free Shipping’ or ‘Free Delivery’ on the product page without limitations, then its free shipping to all cities and towns in South Africa. Louriesfontein in the Northern Cape might be problematic to reach, but we will still try to find a solution.
Yes! This issue is of high importance for us. Chicken coops are not cheap and need not only to survive the harsh winter weather conditions in the Cape, but the coops still need to look attractive after a couple of years.
Here is what we do:
Base and Chicken Run
The hen-house rests on a Base off the ground. The Base and the Chicken Run is made with solid, thick pine battens that have been CCA pressure-treated (CCA: Chromated Copper Arsenate). This procedure offers long-term protection against attack by wood-destroying fungi. It requires no maintenance.
We don’t use galvanised chicken wire as it has a short life-span. Galvanised chicken wire will eventually rust and become brittle and pose a danger to chickens and children alike.
We use a robust plastic mesh instead. Granted, it is much more expensive, but it lasts for decades and will not change its appearance. It requires no maintenance.
We make the chicken house with solid pine panels, rust-resistant screws, galvanised bolts and stainless-steel hinges. We treat the timber with an expensive marine-grade wood sealer that soaks into the wood and does not create a film. The treatment process takes between three and six days to complete. The same method is applied to ocean-going wooden yachts.
However, it does require maintenance once or twice a year, which is a quick and painless procedure.
One needs a kitchen sponge (the green and yellow ones) soaked in mineral turpentine to scrub off the upwards facing surfaces like the roof and egg-box lid. All other surfaces are not that important.
Let it dry for around six hours and then give it a maintenance coat or two with Woodoc Marine 50 and you are done. It is quick and easy and will ensure that your hen-house looks pretty and will last for many years to come. Woodoc 50 is available in any builders or bigger hardware shop.
Please don’t use sand-paper and don’t use any kind of lacquer, shellac, polyurethane, varnish and wax.
No problem. Instruct us to email you a secure credit and debit card payment link from PayFast.
You can pay with a Visa or Master card, but we do not accept Diners and American Express.
No. Even galvanised chicken mesh will eventually rust, become brittle and fall apart. Not only does it look unsightly, but it can become a danger for chickens and children alike. GardenStuff uses a robust plastic mesh instead. This plastic mesh lasts for decades without changing its appearance.
You probably had a bad experience with a low-quality planter. Yes, all outdoor wooden things will rot eventually. But they will only do so “in no time” if abused. Constant over-watering, for example, is such an abuse. Some people want to do good by lining planters with plastic. This should not be done as it traps moisture in between the plastic and the wood.
If looked after, one can expect years of good service before some maintenance might become necessary. GardenStuff uses thick timber, not thin planks like from pallets. GardenStuff uses rust-resistant screws, not staples or nails that rust. Why? Because rust causes wood-rot to set in.
For hundreds of years, linseed oil is used for the protection and maintenance of interior and exterior wood. It is, without a doubt, one of the most popular finishing oil in the world thanks to its non-toxicity and its environmentally friendly characteristics.
Impregnating the wood to saturation, linseed oil provides a golden hue, which will turn to amber over time. It deeply nourishes wood while providing flexible protection that is waterproof and abrasion-resistant. Raw linseed oil has a drying time of about three days or more.
Key features of linseed oil:
- non-film forming (as opposed to varnishes)
- Waterproof, elastic and wear-resistant finish
- Satin finish
- Slight smell of grass
- Deep penetration
- Golden to amber
- Affordable and ecological
- Easy to use
- Easy care
- Drying between 12 and 24 hours if polymerised and drying agents are used.
- Enhances the beauty of the grain
- Dried by evaporation and oxidation
- Compatible with most oils
Want to do it yourself? Here is how to go about it:
- Sand the wood with 120 grit sanding paper to ensure good oil penetration.
- For better penetration, mix the first coat with a mild solvent such as citrus solvent or odourless thinner.
- Apply the first coat with a brush, roller or cloth.
- 10 to 15 minutes after application, wipe the surface to remove any excess oil. Failure to complete this step will leave you with a sticky surface.
- 2-3 coats, applied at 12 to 24 hours intervals are necessary for proper protection. Make sure you follow the directions specific to the product you’re using.
- For an ultra-soft touch finish, proceed with a light sanding with a 600 or 800 grit sandpaper, or fine steel wool, at least 24 hours after the last application.
- Maintenance will have to be done about once a year or according to the wear of the finish. Dry looking or discoloured wood is a good indicator that you need to reapply a light coat of oil. Clean the surface with a damp cloth, let dry completely and apply the oil, wiping off all excess oil after 5 minutes at most.
That’s the secret to a beautiful satin finish which, given proper care, will always retain its original appearance.
Important! Getting rid of oil-soaked rags:
A cloth soaked in linseed oil may catch fire! To prevent an exothermic reaction, dip the rags in water and the danger is averted.
Yes. Planks from pallets are too thin. They are not suitable for planters that are filled with soil.
We don’t recommend lining a wooden planter. Moisture will get trapped between the lining and the timber and cause wood-rot to set in.
Also, if a plastic lining is used, it’s leaching chemical components might be an issue of concern for an organic gardener.
Not at all. We compete on quality. The people who want “cheap-cheap” are better off with the road-side sellers.
GardenStuff’s owner is fussy, or shall we say a strict German that insists on inspecting every item before it is allowed to go through the factory door. Only the best quality material is worked with. For example, using nails are a no-no for several reasons; it has to be rust-resistant screws. Reclaimed timber and pallets are not considered for health concerns and others. If a paint manufacturer stipulates three paint coats, four coats are applied. The aim is to deliver nothing but lasting quality.
The short answer is, Containers have a bottom, Raised Bed Gardens are bottomless.
The short answer is yes; you can plant directly into the container.
The most significant issue with containers that have a wooden bottom is good drainage.
Excess water must be able to drain through and escape to prevent undue wood rot. It also prevents plants from having long-lasting “wet feet” which causes root rot to set in.
We design and construct our wooden planters in such a way that makes lining and other methods superfluous.
The second most important issue is using a potting soil that is suitable for containers to get good results. The soil needs to be light, fluffy and porous and won’t become compacted in the box. The mix should drain well, but also hold moisture.
Don’t worry about getting an order right straight away.
No order is ever binding and at no point are you compelled to accept something that you are not 100% happy with.
Place whatever you like into the shopping cart. Add the delivery address on checkout, and this is it. You are not asked to make a payment, or commit, or add credit card details – nothing. We only ask for the delivery address as we need it to calculate the shipping costs.
Once you have done the check-out, we will email you with the shipping cost details. It is then up to you to accept or to add or remove products, or bail out altogether. Only once you are satisfied with your shopping list and the costs, we will email you a proforma invoice. Even then you are by no means expected to make payment. A proforma invoice will automatically be cancelled after a certain time if it cannot be matched to a transaction.
For our planter boxes, we use natural, solid and uncontaminated pine from sustainable forests in the Cape.
To protect your health, we do not use reclaimed timber or wood from pallets.
All our planter boxes are 100% organic.
Common Mistakes To Make:
The biggest mistake is when you fill your raised garden bed with only potting soil or compost. The earth will drain too quickly, washing away nutrients and the plants will starve.
Never add organic material like straw, grass, or wood chips into the soil. They work great for the top of the soil to use as a mulch to keep in moisture, but never as an amendment into the ground.
Never add organic material like chicken, sheep, goat, horse, or cow manure into your garden. It must be composted first, as in, it must no longer look like poop anymore or have poop-like shapes.
The Best Soil Combination:
The goal should be to create an ecosystem for plants which is well aerated yet retains moisture and nutrients, feeds the roots, encourages worms and other microbial activity, and is, in essence, a living, breathing soil.
The best soil combination for raised garden beds should have two parts:
- A good base or growing medium.
- High-quality amendments to feed your plants.
50% of your growing medium should be compost.
You can use animal-based compost (composted manure from chicken, goat, horse, or cow) or plant-based compost (composted wood chips, grass clippings, straw, leaves, kitchen scraps).
Both work well.
25% of your growing medium should be coconut coir.
Coconut coir is the natural fibre obtained from the husk of coconuts. It’s sustainable as opposed to the commonly used peat moss or sphagnum moss, which takes thousands of years to redevelop. The purpose of coconut coir is to keep the soil aerated while retaining moisture and nutrients. Coconut coir also has a neutral pH, unlike peat or sphagnum, which is more acidic.
25% of your growing medium should be sand.
Sand offers aeration and drainage. Use coarse sand if you can get it and stay away from beach or dune sand.
Adding amendments will ensure your plants have plenty of food to grow into nutrient-rich plants:
Azomite is essentially rock dust; It’s got lots of minerals and trace elements that you want back in your garden. Mineral depletion in our soil today is a real thing. Add it to your ground, and your garden will thank you with high-yield produce!
- Worm Castings
Worm castings are essentially worm poop. It is a great soil enricher and food for your plants because it not only provides a good source of nitrogen, it also attracts more worms into your garden. Worms equal a healthy garden.
- Bone Meal
Bone meal is a mixture of finely and coarsely ground animal bones and slaughterhouse waste products. Organic gardeners use it to add phosphorus to garden soil.
The calcium infusion from bone meal helps plants develop strong and healthy cells and seeds. It also strengthens the stems and aids in the development of new shoots in perennial crops and shrubs. The calcium in the bone meal can also help prevent common problems in vegetables such as blossom-end rot in crops like tomatoes, eggplant and peppers.
How to fill up a Raised Garden Bed:
Do you need a ground cover?
Yes, if you have moles or place the raised garden bed on grass. Otherwise, don’t bother.
If there is a danger of moles, place the raised bed on some chicken wire. This will prevent moles from digging their way into your box.
If your raised bed is to be on grass, put down some cardboard first to prevent grass roots from growing in the box.
Try not to use a plastic sheet, as desired earthworms will not get into your raised bed.
- Fill up 2/3 with compost.
- Add a layer of coconut coir.
- Add more compost.
- Add worm castings, rock dust, bone meal, and coconut coir.
- Repeat step 3 and 4 until the raised bed is full.
- Plant your herb and veggie seedlings and water well.
If the container is intended to be on bare ground, it will not necessarily need to have a base. Having a base adds substantially to the cost. A bottom is only beneficial if the container is on paving, or a deck, etc.
If your concern is moles or penetrating grass, put down some chicken-mesh or cartons first.
To illustrate, compare the prices for two equally sized planters, the ‘Jumbo, on Ground’ and ‘Bottomless Raised Bed, Square’.
We would recommend using raw linseed oil. It is entirely non-toxic, easy to apply and does an excellent job in prolonging the lifespan of your planter.
Just a word of caution when applying linseed oil. Liquid linseed oil in the can is no more hazardous than any other oil. But left-over linseed oil on rags, paper towels and so on has the unique ability to generate heat as it dries – sometimes getting so hot that it bursts into flames.
To protect the health of you and your family, we do not use wood from pallets, as they are often chemically treated to conform with international shipping laws. Some of those treatments contain toxic substances like Arsenic (Arsenic is a known human carcinogen and can be lethal in high doses), a poison that you might end up eating, should you grow herbs or veggies in wooden planter boxes.
The wood we use is uncontaminated, natural timber from sustainable forests in the Cape. Our planter boxes are certified 100% organic.
We do not use reclaimed timber and wood from pallets, as many are treated to conform with international shipping laws. Some of those treatments contain poisonous chemicals like Arsenic (Arsenic is a known human carcinogen and is acutely toxic), a poison that you might end up eating, should you grow herbs or veggies.
The wood we use is uncontaminated, natural, rough sawn timber from sustainable forests in the Cape. Our planter boxes are certified 100% organic.
Yes, we have partnered with PayFast to make payments safe, secure and easy. Once you place an order you will be redirected to PayFast’s secure payment gateway to enter your payment details and your card will be processed via their secure server.
Sale products and custom-made items are not accepted for return.
Please speak to GardenStuff’s management about how to go about this or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, cash payments are accepted.
You can visit our Products page and either click the product to view more details, or add the product directly to your shopping cart. Once the item(s) is in your cart, you can click the cart to checkout. You will be asked to fill in your details and payment method. You’ll receive confirmation of your order via email.
EFT, Visa, Mastercard, SnapScan and Cash. We regret cheques, Diners Card and American Express are not accepted.
Deliveries on public holidays, weekends and after hours can be arranged.
Our couriers will have your cell number to contact you, should the need arise. Once an order has been processed, you will either receive email communication directly from the courier service or be furnished with a tracking number and a link to the courier website where you can follow the progress of your order. If GardenStuff is doing the delivery, prior arrangements will be made with the recipient.
If left untreated, wood will begin greying, which is caused by UV rays. Any wood that is left outside exposed to the elements will eventually rot. The speed of the decay depends on one thing only: Is the wood allowed to dry?
Four conditions rot needs to occur:
So what is the one thing that causes decay?
Fungi. The simplest of all plant life. Microscopic fungus spores are all around us. Wherever they land, if the four conditions above are present, then you will have rot, and that rot will continue as long as those conditions are present.
Even if you remedy the conditions, the fungus is still present and will resume growth (aka rot) when the conditions are more favourable.
GardenStuff is a mini-factory without a showroom or a formal shop. However, visitors are welcome from Tuesdays to Saturdays between 09:00 and 15:30 or by appointment. GardenStuff is closed on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays.
Entering the workshop is at the visitor’s own risk, and parents are responsible for their children.
Find GardenStuff on Google maps. The entrance to the business park is next to a purple coloured factory.
All of GardenStuff’s products are constructed with nothing but Quality in mind. No corners are cut and no cheap components are used. All products are used by the business owners themselves, to test and learn how their creations live up to expectation and how quality and functionality can be further improved. If something goes wrong within a reasonable time-span and there is no sign of abuse or misuse, all will be done to rectify the problem.