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So far Anne Gibson has created 94 blog entries.

3 Tips on Growing Peas and Beans

Do you love the crisp sweet crunch of young peas and beans? These easy-to-grow crops are perfect for all gardeners in small urban spaces. In pots, plots or garden beds!

3 Tips for Growing Peas & Beans

How do you get the highest yield from your peas and beans, especially if you have limited space?

These are tips I use to grow healthy pea and bean plants that produce an abundant harvest. I hope they help you too.

3 Tips for Growing Abundant Peas and Beans

1. Healthy Soil and Fertilising

  • Peas and beans both prefer well drained, moist soils, with plenty of organic matter and a soil pH 6.0-7.5.
  • You can make your own potting mix like I do, or improve your soil with compost and worm castings if you have them. I also add minerals and mulch. Click here for tips on preparing your soil for planting.
  • Every couple of weeks apply a liquid fertiliser such as seaweed, fish emulsion or diluted worm casting concentrate to boost growth.
Sugar Snap Pea Seedlings - save time by planting seedlings if you have a short season.

Apply seaweed when planting seedlings to avoid transplant shock.

2. Get your Timing Right

  • Choose varieties suited to your season and climate. I’m lucky to be able to grow beans all year round in my subtropical climate. I just choose my varieties carefully for the season – climbing snake beans over summer; dwarf and runner beans for the rest of the year. So timing is important when selecting your seeds or seedling varieties – learn what will grow when.
  • Peas are another story. Sadly, I can only grow these through the cooler months, unless I raise seeds as microgreens. This is one way to extend your season to grow pea shoots for longer. A brilliant way to benefit from the extra nutrients too.
Quick growing pea shoot microgreens

Quick growing pea shoot microgreens

  • Sow early morning or late afternoon if in a warm/hot climate to avoid heat stress for seedlings.
  • Plant in the new moon phase for faster seed germination and strong growth. This is also the best time to apply liquid fertilizers as you’ll see much quicker results. Root development and leaf growth comes before flowers and pods, so use this timing to your advantage!

3. Succession and Companion Planting

  • Succession Planting – To get a continuous supply of peas and beans, you need to succession plant or “sow little, and often.” Every couple of weeks I sow more peas or beans, so I stagger the planting – and the harvest.
French climbing beans growing up a bamboo trellis

French climbing beans growing up a bamboo trellis

  • When choosing your peas or beans, dwarf or bush varieties will usually produce flowers and pods quicker than climbing peas or runner/pole beans. If you sow some dwarf seeds/seedlings first, you’ll enjoy a fast harvest, while the climbing varieties take longer to produce flowers and pods. While climbers are slow out of the starting gates, they’ll go the distance and produce a harvest over a longer period!
  • Companion planting – To improve pollination of pea and bean crops, there’s a simple principle you can apply. Plant flowers nearby. To attract pollinators, lease out some of your precious garden ‘real estate’ to flower ‘tenants’. They will ‘pay’ you in more peas and beans! As the bees visit the flowers for a free feed, they’ll also stop by and pollinate these crops. Win-win!
Bee pollinating a green bean flower

Bee pollinating a green bean flower

How to Grow Guides

For tutorials with lots of inspiring vertical structures and tips, see my growing guides:

Easy Guide to Growing Perfect Peas – An easy step by step guide with everything you need to know to grow, maintain and harvest peas + delicious recipe ideas.

Jack and the Beanstalk Theme Garden – Tutorial tips for growing beans and a themed garden for children.

If you like this article, please share the love!

Happy gardening until next month.  Anne

April 2017 Newsletter

Organic Gardening Tips for an Abundant Harvest

April 2017 Newsletter - Organic Gardening Tips | The Micro Gardener

Welcome to the April Newsletter. Lots of quick tips to get you thinking about the food you eat and grow.

This month, I’m sharing another quick ‘How To’ video in my Sow Simple series of free tutorials to help you grow an abundant, healthy garden in just minutes. Dig in!

Growing Gorgeous Garlic Tips

In this video clip, I show you the difference TIMING makes when sowing and harvesting your garlic. You’ll see photos and interesting results from my own garden experiments! I also share quick tips to help you grow your own gorgeous garlic.

CLICK HERE to get your Moon Calendar Gardening Guide.

Click here for Moon Calendar

CLICK HERE to learn ALL the advantages of gardening using the monthly moon cycle

5 Step Guide to Growing Garlic

Want to grow garlic in a pot or your garden? Follow my easy 5 Step illustrated tutorial.

5 Step Guide to Growing Gorgeous Garlic tutorial | The Micro Gardener

Garlic is an incredibly potent food with antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, that help build a healthy immune system.  If you can, try to eat it raw, and crush just before eating. Read my article on ways to use garlic in your kitchen, garden and for health.

Could Your Food be Toxic? Find out!

Even though I grow a LOT of my own food, I still have to make choices about foods I buy. Maybe you have questions about WHAT you’re eating or WHERE you’re sourcing your food? It can be really confusing trying to work out how to make the best choices. I believe the food you eat daily is either hurting or healing your body.

I try to stay up to date with the latest health research so I can make informed choices. Unfortunately, food today, is a LOT less nutritious than decades ago. So we are missing out on important nutrients we need for health.

In the 1950's vegetables had 25% more nutrition than modern hybrids

The greedy food industry is hiding the truth about what they’re doing to your ‘food’. Even many so-called “natural” foods turn out to be hazardous to your health. Now, we’re even seeing genetically modified ingredients showing up in “health” foods, even those labeled “all-natural”. Many of the dangerous ingredients are hidden by inadequate food labelling.

If you care about your health, and want to know how certain foods can help you fight disease and increase vitality, I invite you to join me for the Food Revolution Summit. Despite having a busy life, it’s the one event each year I always make time for. I always learn SO much and know you will too.  It’s kind of like a giant smorgasbord, and you get to pick and choose what’s on the menu! Best of all, it’s free.

From April 29th – May 7th, you can gain valuable insights from 24 of the world’s top food experts and scientists showing you how to eat safe, healthy, and delicious food. If you don’t have time to research for yourself, this is the time and place to get the answers. Every year I pick up new tips to put into practice.

The 6th Annual Food Revolution Summit, April 29 - May 7

You can get it all online, from anywhere on earth. You’ll discover tips and tools to keep you healthy for life. So, if you want to feel good about your food, enjoy more energy, vitality and increased immunity, I encourage you to CLICK HERE to find out more about the connection between food and your health. You’ll also get a bonus Real Food Action Guide you can download immediately. I’ve already got mine, and it’s packed with great information. I hope you’ll join me.

Is your Diet Feeding Cancer – or Fighting Cancer?

Find out by taking this Quiz.

Take the Quiz - Is Your Diet Causing Cancer?


3 Tips on Growing Peas and Beans

Peas and beans are some of the easiest foods to grow in small spaces. For most of us around the world, now’s a great time to be planting these crisp nutritious pods.

 3 Tips for Growing Peas & Beans

In my latest blog article, I share tips to grow healthy pea and bean plants that produce an abundant harvest! CLICK HERE to read now.

10 Easy Ways to Avoid Food Waste

This month I gave a workshop on reducing food waste – a passion close to my heart. I challenge myself with ways to use up or reuse most foods and packaging in my kitchen so the recycle bin and garbage are the last resort. Two key ways we can all do this is by:

  • Using more of what we eat and grow;
  • Wasting less of the packaging we buy.

Here are 10 practical ways you can do both:

  • 1. USE 100% of FRESH FOODS – Find creative ways to eat your peels, flowers, skins, seeds, leaves, fruit, roots and stems. Regrow free plants from roots and shoots.
  • 2. Recycle food waste into your COMPOST SYSTEM or WORM FARM to create free fertilizers (liquid and worm castings) for your garden.
Compost your food scraps straight into your garden to help build healthy soil

Compost your food scraps straight into your garden to help build healthy soil

  • 3. Reuse tea leaves and tea bags as MULCH on pot plants.
  • 4. EGGSHELLS – Grind up to add minerals to your garden soil. Add ground shells to your worm farm, compost and around plants.
  • 5. CHOP UP, BLEND or JUICE food scraps to create greater surface area, so they decompose faster.
  • 6. FEED LEFTOVERS to pets, poultry or animals. Guinea pigs and poultry provide free fertilizer in return!
  • 7. NET BAGS – Store garlic; cover melons and pumpkins to protect from animals; and cut into soft plant ties for climbers.
Repurpose your net bags as a temporary cloche to protect seedlings

Repurpose your net bags as a temporary cloche to protect seedlings

  • 8. PLASTIC BOTTLES/CONTAINERS – Reuse and make your own garden supplies e.g. plant pots and labels; seed raisers; funnels; cloches; pot saucers and watering cans.
  • 9. PAPER BAGS – Store potatoes and onions in your pantry; dry and save seeds in them; or add to compost as a carbon ingredient.
  • 10. BREAD TAGS  – Save those plastic clips from your bread bags to tie up climbing plants to a trellis or vertical structure.

“The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.” – Joel Salatin, Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World

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If you missed the tips in my last newsletter, CLICK HERE. For all past newsletters, CLICK HERE.

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Thanks for reading! Until next time, I encourage you to embrace dirty fingernails, muddy boots and the joys of growing your own.

Anne Gibson | The Micro Gardener NewsletterI look forward to sharing more ways to grow good health soon.

Happy gardening,

Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener

P.S. I really value your opinion. I’d love to hear your feedback anytime. Leave a comment below or CONTACT ME!

Some links within this newsletter are affiliate links. I only recommend products or services I use personally or believe will add value to my readers. If you purchase a product via an affiliate link, I will earn a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. It’s a way you can support my site, so it’s a win-win for both of us. You directly support my ability to continue bringing you original, inspiring and educational content to help benefit your health. Thanks! Please read my Disclosure Statement for more details.

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© Copyright Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener 2016. https://themicrogardener.com. All rights reserved.

New Season Garden Planting Tips

Have you ever experienced unhealthy plants? A poor harvest … or worse, no harvest at all? This may be due to a lack of preparation. Before planting, is the ideal time to prepare and reinvigorate your soil to avoid disappointment. 

New Season Garden Planting Tips

Creating healthy soil is one of the key factors to focus on before you begin planting. It’s unlikely plants will grow well in ‘dead dirt’!

“Organic matter, nutrients, moisture and an active microbe population are important elements to add to your soil.” – Anne Gibson

So let’s take a look at some tips and simple ways to prepare your garden for planting and using your space wisely.

Garden Planting Tips from Andrea’s Backyard


March 2017 Newsletter

Organic Gardening Tips for an Abundant Harvest

Welcome to the March Newsletter. I’m sorry it’s a little late due to my work commitments, but I’ve put together some helpful tips to get you growing and inspired.

This month, I’m sharing another quick ‘How To’ video in my Sow Simple series of free tutorials to help you grow an abundant, healthy garden in just minutes. Dig in!

How to Grow More Basil Leaves

In this quick 2 minute video clip, I share tips on how to grow more leaves on your basil plants. I show you an easy technique to stimulate new growth so you get an abundant harvest of this delicious herb.

Like this video? Let me know in the comments if you found this helpful.


2017-04-18T14:44:05+00:00 Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

Easy Guide to Growing Basil

How to Plant, Grow, Use and Harvest Basil

Easy Guide to Growing Basil - How to Grow Basil + Planting, Using & Harvesting Tips

Why Grow Basil?

As a gardener and cook, I couldn’t bear to have a garden without Basil. This fragrant herb is not only grown for its flavour but also its many health benefits. I use it in our kitchen as much for its delicious taste as I do for its medicinal properties. Interested in growing basil? Try it in a pot, garden or on your kitchen bench as sprouts or microgreens. Every year, I allocate ‘prime real estate’ space to basil in pots, as well as around my garden. Read on for how you can use this versatile herb.


Basil Varieties – Which Basil should you Grow?

Basil (Ocimum Basilicum) is a member of the Mint family (Lamiaceae). Like its mint ‘cousins’, basil comes in a large range of aromatic varieties, with flavours to please even the fussiest taste buds. Annual varieties will last you a season and then provide you with free seeds. Perennial cultivars last much longer and are even better value. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Sweet Basil and Genovese are two of the most popular basil choices for pesto as they have mild sweet flavours.


Summer Heatwaves in My Garden

Weather extremes – hot or cold – make it challenging to grow food. Don’t you agree? Severe conditions with intense heat and long periods of drought are especially tough to deal with.

Summer Heatwaves in My Garden - Growing Food in Hot Dry Conditions

Normally, January and February are our ‘wet’ rainy storm and cyclone season. On average, we’d have received about 360mm (14 in) by now. How much rain have we had here in subtropical SE Queensland, Australia over this time? In my garden, just 55mm (2in) all year!

On top of these unseasonally extreme dry conditions, we’ve had soaring temperatures since December. We’ve experienced the most 30°C+ (86°F) consecutive days for years. Today, it’s 40°C (104°F). Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to a forecast cooler day – just 33°C! Not to mention drying winds. Nice!

So, as a gardener, it’s essential to be flexible and learn to adapt to changing weather conditions. I’m no exception! We have to learn to accept we get too much or not enough sun or rain sometimes, and go with the flow of life. Plants adapt and we can too.


2017-02-16T20:34:43+00:00 Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

February 2017 Newsletter

Organic Gardening Tips for an Abundant Harvest

February 2017 Newsletter - VIDEO Tips on Sowing Lettuce Seeds, 5 Mistakes to Avoid when Raising Seeds, 3 Edible Seeds + Summer Heatwaves in my Garden

Hi and welcome to the February Newsletter.

Whether you’re in the southern hemisphere like me and feeling the heat of summer, or indoors due to the cold, it’s likely you’ll be sowing seeds soon for either autumn or spring.

So, this month, I’m sharing another quick ‘How To’ video in my Sow Simple series of free tutorials to help you grow an abundant, healthy garden in just minutes. Dig in!

Sowing Lettuce Seeds

In this quick 2 minute video clip, I share easy-to-apply tips on how to successfully sow lettuce seeds.

Like this video? Let me know in the comments if you found this helpful.


2017-02-15T15:42:11+00:00 Categories: Newsletters|4 Comments

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Raising Seeds

Have you tried raising seeds but they failed to germinate successfully? It may be due to one of these five common causes.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Raising Seeds

Raising Seeds: 5 Common Mistakes You can Avoid

  1. Choosing Unsafe Food Seeds

  • Did you know the majority of seeds (non-certified organic and some heirloom and open-pollinated brands) are sprayed with fungicides? This chemical process is used to stop rodents and insects from eating the seeds during storage. GMO (genetically modified) seeds are also creeping into our food system. Read the packets carefully when buying your seeds. Look for wording like “Certified Organic” and “Non-GMO”.


January 2017 Newsletter

Organic Gardening Tips for an Abundant Harvest

The Micro Gardener January 2017 Newsletter - Tips on Sowing Leafy Greens, Garden Journals, 2017 Garden Goals + My 2016 Garden Harvests

Hi and welcome to the first Newsletter for 2017 in a new fresh format!

Each month I’ll be sharing a short ‘How To’ video plus bite-sized tips and inspiration to help you grow an abundant, healthy garden in just minutes. Dig in!

5 Tips on Sowing Leafy Greens

In this quick 2 minute video clip, I share easy-to-apply tips on succession planting, varieties, microclimates, harvesting and nutrients.

Like this video? Let me know in the comments if you found this helpful.

Leafy greens kale spinach in green smoothieLeafy Greens: Did you know?

Dark leafy greens are high in magnesium, an important nutrient often missing in our diets. This mineral is responsible for many chemical functions in your body and deficiencies can results in a variety of health problems.

Add a few spinach or kale leaves to smoothies, lightly steam leafy greens with your meals or enjoy raw in salads.


Harvests From My 2016 Garden

To start the year off, I thought I’d share a few photos of what I’ve grown and harvested from my garden in the last year.

Harvests from My 2016 Garden

Despite the drought, with less than 50% of the average annual rainfall, I’ve managed to:

  • harvest a continual supply of nutrient-packed food from our garden while working;
  • sell, share and swap a surplus of vegetables and herbs;
  • save thousands of seeds;
  • propagate hundreds of cuttings and new plants; and
  • preserve the harvest in many ways.

In addition to the many flowers, annuals, perennials, natives, trees and shrubs in our garden, these are a variety of the seasonal edibles I’ve grown.

Fruits and Berries


2017-02-15T15:38:35+00:00 Categories: Blog|Tags: , , |2 Comments