Welcome to the last newsletter for the year. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your shared interest in growing a healthy food garden and supporting my website as a subscriber. I hope you enjoy digging into the latest tips and wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.

December 2018 Newsletter | The Micro Gardener

What’s on the menu?

As we head into the holiday season, I thought it timely to share some practical ways to use 3 delicious herbs to ease stress and anxiety, and help with digestion for those times of over indulgence! I hope they help you feel more calm and relaxed.

If you want to save money by making your own garden gifts, you’ll find some inspiring easy ideas to try. I think you’ll especially love the edible baskets. Dig into tips to grow food in hot, dry or windy weather and learn 3 ways to protect your crops from these challenging conditions. Plus, I share tips for watering your plants to minimise problems. Tuck in!

Moon Gardening this Month

With the new moon upon us, it’s time to start planting your seasonal above ground crops. Here in subtropical Queensland, Australia, it’s a great time to plant summer tummy fillers like zucchini, pumpkin and squash; juicy melons; salad favourites like tasty tomatoes, cool crisp cucumbers, crunchy capsicum, chillis and leafy greens. Beautiful basil loves warm weather along with spring onions, mustard and rosemary to name just a few.

My mulberry trees are producing their second harvest thanks to timing my pruning with the moon cycle. I pruned them back after the first harvest on 21 October (the last day of the new moon phase) and just 11 days later on 2 November, the trees had new leaves and flowers forming! Check out the photos and details here.

Mulberry tree with new leaf shoots, buds and flowers 2 Nov 11 days after pruning

Mulberry tree with new leaf shoots, buds and flowers just 11 days after pruning

Exactly 6 weeks (42 days) later, I picked my next berry harvest on 2 December. Read more here. Had I NOT pruned, fertilised and watered my trees  at that time, I’d still be waiting for them to set fruit, let alone be eating already! This is healthy ‘fast food’! Working with nature in harmony with moon cycles is not only a beautiful gift, but helps you grow a more productive garden with quicker harvests.

I encourage you to learn how to use timing to your advantage and start experimenting with moon planting.  It is one of the easiest and rewarding ways to garden. I simply follow the perpetual Moon Calendar recommendations each month. It’s a brilliant gift for yourself or any gardener!

Tips to Grow Food in Hot, Dry or Windy Weather

In my latest blog post, you’ll learn 3 strategies I use to protect crops from challenging weather conditions. I also share tips for watering your plants to minimise problems. Some really practical advice. READ NOW

3 Herbs to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

If you’re feeling the stresses of life and looking for natural ways to find relief, herbs may be an easy place to start. In this article I share 3 of my favourite go-to herbs you can use to help calm and relax.  READ NOW

3 Herbs to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

3 Herbs to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Easy Garden Gift Ideas 

Here are a few DIY ideas to inspire you to create gifts from your own garden.

  1. Edible Baskets

One of the best things about making your own edible container gardens is they are living gifts that keep on giving. Simply sow some seedlings in a lined basket or pot filled with potting mix and top with mulch. Repurposed containers like pre-loved baskets, bowls and even quirky shoe planters are sure to please. See my eBook for DIY instructions.

Get creative with themed mini kitchen gardens with pretty plant labels

Get creative by making themed mini kitchen gardens with pretty plant labels

  • Try a theme like ‘pick and pluck’ Salad Greens. e.g. colourful lettuce varieties, rocket, spring onions and sorrel. Add in a couple of herbs like basil, coriander, parsley or chives for a burst of flavour and some organic edible violas or marigold flowers for colour.
  • A Taste of the Orient. Spice it up with an Asian theme like a mini chilli plant, coriander and greens like mustard, tatsoi or pak choy. Perfect for stir fries.
Homemade herb basket planter with parsley, oregano, thyme, nasturtiums and Mother of herbs

Homemade herb basket planter with parsley, oregano, thyme, nasturtiums and Mother of herbs

  • A Herb Basket is ideal for anyone. Plant herbs with similar water needs together. Hardy herbs such as rosemary, lavender, chives, thyme and oregano are perfect partners that don’t need a daily drink.
  • Herb Tea Garden. Group thirsty herbs like mints and lemon balm together. These are ideal herbs to make healing herbal teas. Or dry some herbs and pop in a sachet with a pretty mug.
  1. Strawberry Boxes

Who can go past strawberries? Perfect in pots, a box or planter, this delicious fruiting plant will last for several years. Just follow the steps to fill your container.


Strawberries fruiting in a wooden box planter

Strawberries are perfect fruit for a wooden box planter

  1. DIY Potting and Seed Raising Mix Recipe Card

Make your own homemade potting mix with minerals and nutrients ready to grow a fabulous feast using my How to Make Potting Mix at Home Guide. Put a bag into a pot with some seeds or gift the Guide to gardening friends who are keen to save money and want to grow healthy plants that resist pests and disease.

If you make your own seed raising mix from one of the recipes, why not give a tray with the mix and some seasonal microgreens seeds? The perfect indoor garden for beginners, those with limited space and the health conscious.

  1. Seeds of the Future

Give a pot with seeds you may have saved from your garden. Or include a seed packet of seasonal vegetables, flowers or herbs. Or simply sow seeds as a mystery gift and let the lucky recipient wait and see what grows!

  1. Make an Edible Bouquet

You’ll need to pick the leaves, herbs and flowers fresh on the day and keep in water until ready. Mist regularly with water so they don’t dry out. Making bunches of colourful, fragrant blooms, plant cuttings and leafy greens is one of my favourite gifts to give.

Edible bouquet with vegetables herbs and flowers from my garden

Edible bouquet with vegetables herbs and flowers from my garden

A few of my favourites to include are:

  • Herbs e.g. rosemary and pineapple sage cuttings; dill, parsley, coriander and their flowers.
  • Seasonal leafy greens e.g. kale, spinach, sorrel, rocket, parsley and celery.
  • Edible organically grown flowers such as nasturtiums, chive and society garlic blooms.

Bunch it up with tall items at the back and smaller ones at the front for a delicious beautiful gift!

CLICK HERE for more Easy DIY Garden Gift Ideas

Educational Gardening eBooks

Looking for an easy low cost gift you can send anywhere? Consider these eBooks and Journal with no postage and immediate download access:

If you’re already using one or more of the gardening guides I offer online, you know they’re great value, easy to use, durable and attractive. They also make perfect gifts for gardening friends and family. Please allow up to 10 business days for shipping to the USA from Australia. I can send up to 4 guides/envelope for the same postage to most locations. Check out Special Offers.

Sustainable Gardening Guides

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

When you make a purchase, you are making a difference by helping support my education work to teach people how to grow healthy food.

Dig into my free online Article Library for more topics


Want more inspiring ideas?

Each week I share photos and videos of what I’m growing, harvesting and eating from my garden and ways I use my homegrown food. Follow me for more tips and inspiration in between newsletters.

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I look forward to sharing more news and ways to grow good health in the new year.

Happy gardening!


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© Copyright Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener 2018. https://themicrogardener.com. All rights reserved.

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