Welcome to the sustainable gardening tips for October newsletter. Changing climate conditions and weather patterns are making it challenging for many gardeners. Hot, dry weather with no rain for long periods creates tough conditions for many plants. However, microclimates can be a great ‘tool’ to achieve greater success. You’ll discover five benefits of creating microclimates in your garden so you can match the right plant to the right place.
This month’s plant profile is the healing spice Ginger. Plus I share tips on choosing, growing and eating tomatoes, broccoli and kale to maximise the health benefits. There are plenty of practical seasonal gardening tips as always. Dig in!
Sustainable Gardening Tips for October
“In our society, growing food yourself has become the most radical of acts. It is truly the only effective protest, one that can-and will-overturn the corporate powers that be. By the process of directly working in harmony with nature, we do the one thing most essential to change the world – we change ourselves!” — Jules Dervaes Jr. (1947-2016)
5 Ways to Create Beneficial Microclimates
Microclimates are one of the biggest factors affecting success in growing healthy plants. Every garden is totally unique. By playing ‘detective’ we can discover clues in different garden zones. This helps us to fully understand the opportunities and challenges. My latest article digs deeper into what kinds of microclimates might be in your garden. Plus I share how to use them to your advantage. Here’s a brief peek.
1. Use plants to create a living windbreak.
2. Create shade with climbers and mitigate damaging wind.
3. Utilise cloches to protect seedlings.
4. Protect plants from heat, storm, wind and sun damage with shade cloth.
5. Use shade to water less often. Learn more …
Healthier Vegetables: Did you know?
Choosing the right variety of some vegetables and eating them raw or as microgreens can make a huge difference to the health benefits. Dig into these tips.
- Cherry tomatoes are higher in lycopene than large red tomatoes. Generally the darker the colour and smaller the size, the more nutritious the tomato. Studies show Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, helps protect cells from damage.5 Free radical damage is one of the main causes of diseases such as heart disease, premature aging, cancer and cataracts.
- A tomato-rich diet is associated with a diverse range of health benefits. These include anticancer properties; reducing the risk of cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and bowel diseases; and improving skin health, exercise recovery, and immune response.5
- Eating raw broccoli provides up to 20 times more sulforaphane (beneficial phytochemical) than cooked broccoli. There is growing evidence that sulforaphane is found to be effective in preventing and treating various cancers such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, skin, urinary bladder and oral cancers.6 This compound is naturally present in broccoli sprouts and microgreens, kale, cabbage, cauliflower and garden cress. Try raw broccoli florets in this delicious salad recipe.
- Broccoli microgreens contain 10-100 x the anticancer compounds than mature broccoli. Consider the space, water, time and resources required to grow broccoli to harvest mature heads! Doesn’t it make sense to grow this vegetable as baby leaf microgreens?