To help you grow a healthy productive edible garden, I invite you to dig into my new articles and the following tips.

February 2019 Newsletter | The Micro Gardener

40+ Best Shade Tolerant Vegetables

We all know that plants need sunlight to grow, but many people struggle with shade. Too much or too little of it! I help my local clients overcome both challenges. There are pros and cons to growing in shady conditions and having shade can be a massive benefit. It might surprise you to learn just how many vegetables you can grow – fruiting crops, root crops and leafy greens.

So in my latest article, you’ll discover the best shade tolerant vegetables to grow in limited sunlight. I explain the advantages and disadvantages of a shady garden so you can make more informed decisions about your own space. I also have a guide to direct sunlight hours so you can work out what to grow in your climate. Plus I share 8 practical tips for growing vegetables in the shade to help you optimise harvests in your kitchen garden.


Shady garden tips to grow vegetables in shade

Shady garden tips to grow more vegetables in shade


Why are Ants in my Plants, Pots and Soil?

Ever wondered WHY ants are present, WHAT they’re doing and HOW to get rid of them? The answer is simple when you understand the 2 main reasons ants are present. In this article, I explain why they’re in your potting mix, soil and crawling up plants. You’ll learn what damage can occur, easy solutions and hopefully see ants through a whole new ‘lens’. These tips will help you understand the relationship between ants and pest insects, hydrophobic soil and preventing sooty mould. It’s an informative read if you want to diagnose and treat common problems in your pots, plants and soil.


Why are Ants in my Plants, Pots and Soil?


Moon Planting this Month

As we head back to the new moon for this month in a few days, we still have time to sow root crops. Here in Australia, we can sow seeds or seedlings like radish and beetroot 3-4th March and above ground crops from the 9th March. If you’re not yet using a Moon Calendar to TIME your planting, fertilising, propagation and optimise seed raising success, then learn more about the benefits you could be enjoying.

As temperatures change, you will need to check what plants are best to sow in your climate. If you live in SE Queensland, I have a Subtropical Planting Guide to make it easy. If you live elsewhere, check my article on What to Plant When.

Tips on Growing and Using Chives

Onion Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum) are such easy, tasty and healthy herbs to grow. They are long lived with attractive edible flowers that bear seeds.

Chives contain anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, so are great for building the immune system. They are excellent for digestion, so snipping a few chives onto a meal as a garnish will help make fatty foods more digestible. Chives are a good source of iron, vitamins A, B and C and have a mild onion flavour.

Common chives in flower

Common chives in flower

Chives require a pot at least 15-20 cm (6-8 in) wide and deep, but the root ball will fill a larger space if it has the chance. Go on, give it to them! You’ll just get more leaves. In the garden, chives make an attractive edging plant. Due to their strong scent, chives make a useful pest repellent herb and companion plant. I use them to deter aphids around vulnerable plants in my garden and especially around roses.

Sow seed during spring and summer and divide clumps in spring and autumn. The roots of this herb die back or become dormant during winter in cool climates but burst back into life when the weather warms up. Garlic chives are tough little cookies that provide value for years and years.

Chives prefer a well-drained, compost rich soil but will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. They grow best in a full sun location, although they will tolerate partial shade for a few hours. They benefit from a regular water or liquid feed of seaweed every month or so to promote leaf growth. When harvesting, snip leaves with scissors near the base of the stem and rotate around the plant so it has a chance to recover.

If you want to dig deeper into chives and other culinary/medicinal herbs, I share everything you need to know in my Guide to Using Kitchen Herbs for Health.

Ready to start planting?

Take a shortcut to success with these tips and tutorials.

Prepare your soil before planting or grow a cover crop to improve the soil.

Gardening Resources

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"A garden always gives back more than it receives." Quote | The Micro Gardener

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

Happy gardening!


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© Copyright Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener 2019. All rights reserved.

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