October 2018 Newsletter | The Micro Gardener

Welcome to the October newsletter. It’s been a busy few weeks but I have some interesting tips for you to tuck into.

What’s on the menu?

In this newsletter, I tackle a common pest insect enemy – the fruit fly and share strategies for preventing and controlling the damage. If you’ve ever cut open fruit and found it spoiled by larvae inside, it could be this offender. If you are plagued by tiny sap sucking aphids, then you’ll enjoy learning about Hoverflies. These beneficial predators dine out on these pesky insects. Discover how to attract them to your garden. I also share nine clues that may indicate you have problem soil and explain the fascinating reason why flowers make nectar. Dig in!

Organic Fruit Fly Control Strategies

In my latest article, you’ll learn 11 ways to organically prevent and manage this devastating pest insect in your home garden and minimise damage to your fruiting crops. I hope you’ll find these strategies useful to help you fight your fruit flies. READ ARTICLE NOW

QLD Fruit Fly larvae damage to a peach

QLD Fruit Fly larvae damage to a peach


How to Attract Hoverflies to Control Aphids

Hoverflies are beneficial predatory insect pollinators that play a vital role in organic aphid control. Learn how to attract these pest managers to your garden. READ ARTICLE NOW.

Hoverflies and aphids organic pest management strategy

9 Clues you may have Problem Soil

Is there any way to tell if your soil has problems?

Healthy soil does not look like dead dry lifeless dirt!

If your soil looks and feels like lifeless dry dirt, you may have a lot of work to do!

These issues are a few indicators to look for:

  1. Little or no plant growth above ground.
  2. Soil is hard and compacted such as clay or rock.
  3. Smells sour due to waterlogging and poor drainage.
  4. Consistently dries out quickly.
  5. Dead dirt with no soil life such as earthworms.
  6. Diseased plants.
  7. Very sandy with little organic matter.
  8. Covered in weeds.
  9. Very acidic or alkaline pH.

If you suspect your soil may need help:

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Why do Flowers make Nectar?

Plants use colour and fragrance as an ‘advertisement’ to pollinating insects to lure them to their flowers. As a reward for pollination services rendered, pollinators like bees, wasps and butterflies are ‘paid’ with sweet sugary nectar. Without this attractive incentive, pollination would not take place in many cases. In fact, plants use over a third of their sugar resources to produce nectar. That’s why it’s important to support plant growth during flower production with nutrients and moisture.

Bee feeding on passionfruit flower nectar

Bee feeding on passionfruit flower nectar

A plant only produces nectar when it has pollen that needs transporting to another flower. Each flower produces its own sugary nectar ‘recipe’ to suit its main pollinator. At the perfect time, when pollen is ripe, the flower releases its unique scent to attract insect visitors. Nature’s perfect timing!

When the pollen is used up and fertilisation has taken place, the plant closes down its little ‘nectar factory’ to conserve resources. The plant’s energy is then put into producing and ripening seeds. Awesome hey?

Foods to Grow Over Summer

Here in SE Queensland, our long, hot, humid and often wet summers can make growing a food garden uncomfortable, challenging and not very rewarding at times. With pests like grasshoppers, slugs, snails, and caterpillars seeming to eat more than we do, many gardeners in our subtropical climate give up on growing food at this time of year. Yet summer is a time of prolific growth and potential abundance!

With good planning, design and careful plant choices, you CAN grow a healthy edible garden from December to March and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

If you live on the Sunshine Coast or SE Queensland, I invite you to come along to my next workshop at Yandina Community Garden on Saturday 10 November, where I’ll be sharing strategies and tips to grow a summer food garden.  To book and for more information click here.

Gardening Guides

To make it easier to grow a sustainable edible garden, I offer a series of helpful gardening guides and resources. Making a purchase is one way you can make a difference by helping support my education work to teach people how to grow healthy food. These are also available at my local events and workshops (save on postage)!

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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 soon.

Happy gardening!


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

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