In this month’s newsletter, I share lots of juicy tips on fruit and answer some common questions to help layer your learning, so dig in!

April 2019 Newsletter | The Micro Gardener


Why are my Lemons Staying Green not Yellow?

If you have a lemon tree, you’ll likely have a lot of questions about this fruit. Maybe your lemons are not ripening? Staying green or small for too long? Not sure when to pick them? In my latest article, you’ll discover 5 reasons why lemons may be slow developing (these can apply to other citrus) plus easy ways to tell when they are ripe and ready to harvest. READ MORE

Mature lemon trees with heavy crops of fruit require more water and nutrients to sustain growth

Mature lemon trees with heavy crops of fruit require more water and nutrients to sustain growth


Pros and Cons of Eating Apple Skin

Apples are rich in health benefits, supported by numerous research studies. According to just one study in Finland, people who ate 5 apples a week, had the world’s lowest rate of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer! The skin contains most of the disease-preventing compounds.

Sadly, non-organic apples are one of the most pesticide-laden fruits! So it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of eating apple skin. In my latest article, you’ll learn about more ways apples can heal you, waxes, chemical sprays and how to wash apples to remove some residues and waxes. CONTINUE READING

Eating apples with skin on provides many health benefits


Moon Planting in May

Prepare your garden or pots for sowing above ground vegetables after the new moon which is almost upon us. Try seasonal greens, fruiting crops, peas, flowers, herbs and fruit trees. This is when the moon’s gravitational pull starts drawing moisture UP into plant sap, leaves, stems, flowers, seeds and fruit.

As long as your soil or potting mix is moist, your plants will have their strongest growth during this phase. So, why not take advantage of nature’s timing?

Try to get your timing right by sowing the right crops in the new moon phase. You’ll benefit from faster seed germination, more robust leaf growth, pest-and-disease resistant plants, and quicker absorption of liquid fertilisers. My best harvests come from working with nature rather, than taking a ‘hit and miss’ approach.

If you’re not yet following a Moon Calendar to TIME your planting, fertilising, propagation and optimise seed raising success, then learn more about the benefits you could be enjoying.

Using a moon calendar to boost seed germination by timing planting in harmony with moon phases

The wheel on this calendar moves to the new moon date each month. So you can use it year after year to time gardening activities in harmony with moon phases

If you’re not sure what to plant or which garden tasks to undertake during our 5 seasons in SE QLD, I have a Subtropical Planting Guide to make it easy. If you live elsewhere, check my article on What to Plant When.


Your 10% Off Discount Coupon Code

If you’d like to support my education work and benefit at the same time, here’s a special offer. When you purchase any gardening guide, book, eBook or DVD use COUPON CODE “10% off” during checkout and you’ll save 10%. Discount even applies to Special Offers. Ends 30 May, so grab a gift for Mother’s Day or yourself! SHOP NOW

Sustainable Gardening Guides

Sustainable Gardening Guides – Subtropical Gardening Guide, Moon Calendar + Potting Mix Guide


What are Bare-Rooted Fruit Trees?

One of the cheapest ways to buy deciduous fruit trees is to get them as bare-rooted plants. This just means they are grown in the ground, but dug up when they are dormant in winter. The trees are sold without a pot, foliage or soil around their rootball. Good nurseries will supply bare-rooted fruit trees with compost or moist sawdust, wrapped tightly around the roots to keep them damp.

They are an economical way to purchase your favourite deciduous fruit trees. My tip? Prepare your soil well before you order. Bare-rooted trees should be planted as soon as you get them!


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Do Any Fruit Cope with Shallow Soil?

There are many fruits that don’t need deep soil to thrive. A few of these include: Bananas, Dragonfruit, Grumichama, Guava, Loquat, Papaya, Pepino, Pineapple, Pomegranate and Tamarillo.


Limes and Banana Tips

Kaffir Limes

The leaves are used widely in Asian and Indian recipes to flavour dishes. I add to the water when cooking noodles or rice. Many gardeners wonder how to use the fruit of this citrus tree! It’s full of seeds with little juice, but still very useful. Zest the rind and add to curries, soups, and stir-fries. The fruit and rind can be used in kombucha, pickles and marmalade.

Cut the fruit in half and rub over cutting boards and benchtops. The antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral essential oil compounds help clean these surfaces. You can also add the juice or zest to vinegar for a natural cleaner in a spray bottle. Perfect for the bathroom!  In Thailand, the limes are cut in half and used as room fresheners, massaged into the scalp and used as a natural hair rinse.

Picking kaffir lime fruit in my garden

Picking mature kaffir lime fruit in my garden

Bananas

If you are waiting for your first bunch to ripen ready for harvest, let me give you the heads up. Wear your oldest clothes and gloves when cutting your bunch down. The thick stem oozes a brown sap that stains your clothes and leaves a gummy brown resin on your hands. Something I learned years ago the hard way! No washing product will ever get the stain out, so be prepared with old gloves and a place to hang it.

West Indian Lime tree in my garden with green fruit ripening to yellow. They fall when ripe!

West Indian Lime tree in my garden with green fruit ripening to yellow. They fall when ready!

West Indian Limes (Citrus aurantifolia)

These are similar to Tahitian limes with smaller fruit that turn yellow when ripe instead of green. These limes can be propagated easily by seed. They don’t need to be grafted onto a rootstock. I love using these very juicy, acidic limes squeezed into water, drinks, curries, soups, and even marmalade.

These limes prefer a warm, humid subtropical or tropical climate as they are frost tender when young. Also known as Schweppes Lime, Key Lime (US) and Mexican Lime. I’ve grown all my trees from seed and they fruited in 3 years.


Composting & Worm Farming Workshop

This workshop is almost full, but if you’d like to attend please add your name to the waitlist or just turn up! 70 booked in already but there are always ‘no shows’ on the day so there are likely to be a few seats. Maybe you want to know how to get started with composting? Wondering whether you need a worm farm? Don’t know which system is best for you or what the benefits are? Maybe you’re curious about how to use compost and worm castings! Wondering who those critters in your compost are? Or maybe you’ve tried composting or worm farming but had problems.

If you need a little help to get started, want to learn how to solve common problems or make a decision on which options are best for your needs, this workshop is for you! FREE but BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL. Join me next Wednesday, 8 May at Noosaville Library, 7 Wallace Drive, Tewantin 4565.


Preparing to plant?

Take a shortcut to success with these tips and tutorials.


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I look forward to sharing more news and ways to grow good health next month.

Happy gardening!

Anne


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© Copyright Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener 2019. https://themicrogardener.com. All rights reserved.

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