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Guide to Growing Spring Onions

If you love tasty, easy-to-grow, versatile vegetables that only need minimal space and effort, then spring onions are an excellent choice! Even the tiniest plot or pot will accommodate  them.

Guide to Growing Spring Onions. Photo: www.stockfreeimages.com/

A tasty, easy vegie to grow.

 

I grow all the flavoursome Alliums (the Onion family which includes garlic, leeks, onions and chives) so I can swap them around in recipes and always have an ingredient to add flavour to whatever I’m cooking. If you haven’t grown them before, or are a beginner gardener, just follow the tips in this tutorial and give them a go! Continue Reading »

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How to Plant out a Herb Garden

Have you ever ended up with ‘dried herb arrangements’ (those that died of thirst or sunburn)? Or herbs that rotted and drowned due to waterlogged roots?  Whether you’re planting out a herb spiral, a pot or garden bed, I hope you enjoy my 5 Step Guide to Planting Herbs plus tips on where to plant herbs so they thrive. Understanding the kind of microclimate each herb prefers, can make all the difference to growing them successfully!

 

Lushly planted mature herb spiral | The Micro Gardener

“The construct itself gives variable aspects and drainage, with sunny dry sites for oil-rich herbs such as thyme, sage, and rosemary, and moist or shaded sites for green foliage herbs such as mint, parsley, chives, and coriander.” – Bill Mollison

 

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4 Step Guide to Building a Herb Spiral

Want to make your own vertical herb spiral garden? This compact space saving design can be made with just a few basic steps.

Construction materials and methods vary so after deciding on the best position and gathering your materials, you can have one built the same day.

 

Stone filled gabion walls are an elegant twist on this herb spiral | The Micro Gardener

Depending on your budget and taste, herb spirals can be made very economically or be quite elaborate like this one with stone filled gabion walls.

 * [The original link to this image (via Cara-Ornamentals) is no longer available. I have no control over this & apologise for any inconvenience but you'll find alternative resources below.]

If you like this particular design and want to learn to make the curved wire baskets, see the end of this post for videos & wire basket suppliers for Gabion Herb Spirals. Here are some basic instructions for making a gabion wall or visit BlondeMafia or Garden Drum. More instructional videos for gabions are here and here. For the tutorial steps, read on!
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15 Benefits of a Herb Spiral in Your Garden

If you have limited space or sun; are sick of trekking outside at night to harvest herbs by torchlight; and don’t have much time to manage your garden, then creating a Herb Spiral Garden close to your kitchen might be just the solution you need.

What is a Herb Spiral?

 

The Herb Spiral is a highly productive and energy efficient, vertical garden design. It allows you to stack plants to maximise space - a practical and attractive solution for urban gardeners. It is typically 1.5 – 2m (5 – 6.5ft) wide in diameter at the base, ascending to 1.0 – 1.3m (3.2 – 4.2ft), with the centre of the spiral at the highest point. The spiral ramp provides a planting area large enough to accommodate all your common culinary herbs.

 

Large long herb spiral with dry microclimate at the top and a moist zone at the bottom. | The Micro Gardener

The Herb Spiral is easily accessible from all sides - to plant, water, fertilise and harvest. Most importantly, it’s located conveniently close to the kitchen!

 

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20 Creative DIY Plant Labels & Markers

How do you label plants in your garden? Plant markers are quick and easy to make by repurposing everyday items like pebbles, bamboo skewers, corks, containers, shells, cans and even broken terracotta pots  … there are loads of creative ideas and I’ve rounded up 20 low cost and decorative DIY options to inspire you to make your own.

 

20 creative DIY ideas for making your own plant labels & markers | The Micro Gardener

I use labels regularly even though I can identify most plants in my patch.

 

My husband however … let’s just say (kindly) that he gets somewhat ‘confused’ when so many plants look similar in the garden!

 

Basil & rosemary | The Micro Gardener

This must be the explanation for why he brings in rosemary when I ask for basil (are these remotely similar??)

 

So if you are growing food (and are reliant on family members to pick your produce!); have UFOs (Unidentified Food Objects) in your garden; are learning to identify plants or save seeds; share an allotment; or want to avoid losing your bulbs every year, then plant labels are a must!

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Amazing Uses for Garlic in Your Home & Garden

I’m an unashamed ‘Garlicoholic’ and if you love garlic as much as I do, you may be surprised at some of the incredibly useful ways you can use this ancient herb:

In the kitchen, garden & for health

3 Brilliant Ways You Can Benefit from Garlic

  • In your kitchen – for its culinary uses;
  • For health – and its medicinal benefits; plus
  • In your garden – to help with pest & disease management!

 

So first up:

1.  In Your Kitchen …

My Favourite Garlic Tips

  • If you want to avoid ‘garlic breath’ eat a few leaves of any chlorophyll rich herb like fresh mint, parsley or basil afterwards.
  • When using garlic in recipes, 1 clove = 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic or ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic.

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5 Step Guide to Growing Gorgeous Garlic

Do you know where your garlic comes from? One of the most important reasons to grow your own is to avoid toxic chemicals and irradiation (that inhibit sprouting and extend shelf life).*

Garlic in a Basket | The Micro Gardener

Garlic … how safe to eat is yours?

A few years back I didn’t even think about the garlic I ate … but then I became interested in the story behind the food I was eating.

The majority of the world’s garlic is grown in China and is sprayed with chemicals and bleached white with chlorine during importation quarantine processes, not to mention the thousands of food miles clocked up.

But if you really want to gag on your garlic, according to the CEO of the Australian Garlic Industry Association, “some garlic growers over there (China) use raw human sewage to fertilise their crops, and I don’t believe the Australian quarantine regulations are strict enough in terms of bacteria testing on imported produce” … so you might want to think again before you reach for that perfect white bulb in your supermarket! [Learn more & download an 'Irradiation-free Food Guide' at the end of this post]

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82 responses so far

20 Creative Ways to Upcycle Pallets in your Garden

Inspiring Pallet Gardening Ideas

 

Recently I upcycled a pallet and large square wooden crate lying around a local landscaping yard into a mini garden shed for $7. I was so pleased with the result it made me consider other ways to reuse materials for my garden needs. With more of us conscious of repurposing rather than impacting on landfill with unnecessary waste, I thought I’d share these DIY creative ideas to upcycle free wood pallets. You may be amazed at the possibilities!

 

Vertical flower pallet garden | The Micro Gardener

Cheryl has turned this hardwood pallet into a stunning vertical garden - perfect for a narrow balcony or limited space. Repeating coordinated colours works well. You can find the DIY instructions below.

“Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.” – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upcycling

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Fast Food! DIY Instant Veggie Garden: Part 2

After moving house sixteen times, I’ve learned to adapt my gardens to all sorts of spaces – large and small. This is a handy list of plants I’ve found to grow well in containers plus the depth of soil they need.

 

Some of my edible container gardens

Some of my edible container gardens

 

If you have difficult soil like sand, clay or rocks; limited space or funds, then I suggest you try growing at least some of your food in containers – they offer loads of benefits.

 

“Growing your own veggies is the first step to self-sufficiency.” – Clive Blazey, The Diggers Club

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Fast Food! DIY Instant Veggie Garden: Part 1

Do you want to make a quick mini garden? You can grow healthy ‘fast food’ like salad veggies and herbs in a simple box. Best of all, you can make it in about 15 minutes. The bonus is you’ll be eating the rewards in just a few weeks for only a minimal investment of time AND money. Let’s get started!

 

One of my micro gardens - an edible veggie & herb garden in a box. Photo: The Micro Gardener

A wide variety of seasonal herbs, veggies and flowers can be grown in micro gardens and can reap you a rich bounty of food for minimum effort.

 

This is a system I’ve used for years with great success and it’s so easy. Even if you’re a beginner gardener or on a budget and need a thrifty solution, this is it! Continue Reading »

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