Sustainable Gardening Tips for November

The November newsletter is packed with my best tips on container gardening and how to grow food in a dry climate. Plus a drought tolerant plant list, how much and often to water your plants, what to plant now and a bonus laminated garden guide gift with purchase offer. Dig in!

Sustainable Gardening Tips November from The Micro Gardener

This month’s plant profile is the spice of life, Chilli Peppers. What a powerhouse! I dig deep into how to grow, store and use chillies for health.

Sustainable Gardening Tips for November

In my local climate in SE Queensland, Australia, weather conditions have been harsh for gardeners. This is the toughest season I think I’ve ever experienced. It’s been so dry that even the natives, trees, and hardy perennials are showing signs of drought-stress. Months on end without our normal seasonal rains. These are the rains that replenish the water table and deeply rooted trees. With heatwave after heatwave and no rain respite, it’s extremely challenging trying to grow food.

When you are on town water, that’s not a problem. However, for many gardeners like myself on tank water, every drop is precious. I’m invested in my garden. Each plant is like a member of my family! I’ve nurtured hundreds since ‘birth’ and to watch some of them struggle is emotionally hard.

Most of the vegetables and fruits we grow need consistent moisture. Some plants like our leafy greens and fruiting crops are super thirsty. It’s no surprise that when it’s dry, hot and windy, that plants suffer. There’s no moisture reservoir from recent rains to draw on in the soil. Thankfully, the effort I’ve put into building humus in the soil and thick layers of mulch has helped most plants survive. I find it interesting to watch which plants cruise through hard times like this versus those ‘princesses’ that have a hissy fit as soon as the weather is not to their liking!

List of 75+ Drought Tolerant Foods for Dry Climates

I’d love to help you if you’re trying to grow edibles in dry times. In my latest article, I share an extensive list of vegetables, herbs, fruit, nuts and herbs that are resilient and hardy. I explain how much and how often to water different types of plants. Also, how to select drought resistant species and how plants adapt with some of their incredible survival strategies. I hope you find the practical tips and list helpful. Here’s a peek at just a few on the list! You’ll find the rest here.

Sustainable Gardening Tips November: 20 Drought Tolerant Vegetables for Dry Climates

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring


How to Grow Food in a Dry Climate

  • Strategies for Gardening with Climate Change – Learn how to adapt to changing climate conditions – rain, dry spells and cloudy skies that reduce photosynthesis. I share solutions to help you ‘design out’ problems . Plus crop protection strategies to help you achieve a harvest even in challenging weather conditions.
  • Garden Strategies to Cope with Drought – Part 1 and Part 2 – Practical tips to help you rethink your water management strategies. Design and utilise microclimates; choose plants wisely; and downscale your garden to pots.

Container Gardening Tips

There are so many benefits to growing your food in pots, planters or even raised beds . These are really large containers!

In dry times, one of the key benefits to crops in pots is that plants don’t compete for water with trees and shrubs. Positioning them under trees and taller species can provide welcome shade relief during the heat. Trees also offer canopy protection during storms and a microclimate that mitigates wind damage.

Download these helpful printable PDF tips on container gardening:

Dig into these articles to learn more:



What to Plant Now in Subtropical SE QLD

November has been much drier than average. Heatwaves, storms and unpredictable weather are typical for this time of year! I try to be prepared for just about anything as the growing gets tough. Download your November Gardening Tips PDF for planting ideas, tasks to do in the garden plus issues to watch out for. These articles may also help your garden survive a tough few months ahead.

If you can, try to time planting in harmony with the moon phases. Working with Nature’s timing can improve seed germination, help cuttings take root when propagating plants, and encourage healthy plant growth and establishment. The new moon phase each month is the best time to optimise the quick uptake of liquid nutrients. This helps plants access nutrition and get off to a good start. Working with moon phases and a Moon Calendar has distinct benefits. It helps me stay organised! I plan forward for the best times to take specific actions in my garden and reap the rewards. The natural cycles of energy and water that ebb and flow each month are there for us to tap into. Learn more here.

The Vegetables Growing Guide is a reference chart to help you grow 68 of the most popular vegetables in Australia and New Zealand climate zones. It includes information on companion planting, making compost, soil and moon planting. 

What to Plant Now in Other Locations

(more…)

Garden Tips for October


Welcome to the October newsletter. The cost of food is on the rise, especially fresh produce. Growing even a few foods at home saves money and can help improve your health and well-being on many levels. I started our new compact kitchen garden around nine months ago. Now, a lot of our fresh produce comes out of our garden and it’s increasing all the time. For every edible you grow, it’s one less you need to buy!

Garden Tips for October

What’s on the menu this month?

  • Tips for growing food in challenging weather conditions and building healthy soil;
  • Growing delicious blueberries, strawberries and raspberries;
  • Need inspiration? Peek over the virtual fence into my new garden and what I’ve been up to;
  • Get your timing right with moon planting this month for better success;
  • Coupon Code for all guides and books!

Growing Food in Challenging Climate Conditions

Weather conditions have been tough for many gardeners around the world. Read on to dig into tips for working with climate challenges. These articles offer you a barrowload of strategies to optimise planting wherever you live.

Healthy Soil Tips

With a little soil preparation, your plants will produce an abundant crop, resist pest and disease attacks and support your health. Check out the articles below to help you grow, restore and rebalance your garden.




As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Your support of this site is appreciated!


Gardening Tips for October

Apply compost, feed your soil, top up with a layer of mulch and observe your plants daily. Look for clues your plants may need a little help. Are they wilting, being attacked or leaves changing colour? Look closer for pests or disease symptoms. Check the soil moisture. Refer to your garden journal for when you last added nutrients to the pot or garden bed.

If the weather conditions are changing, it may be time to remove annual crops. Add the plant material to your compost. Get seasonal seeds started and crop rotate annual plants to minimise pest and disease problems.

The new moon growth phase in the last week of October into November is an ideal time to sow all above-ground plants. The strong upward sap flow into stems, branches, flowers, seeds and fruit makes this phase a good time to liquid fertilise as nutrients are transported quickly. Sow seeds and seedlings or transplant potted plants. Plant flowers, herbs, fruit trees, and vegetables that you harvest for their fruit or leaves above ground.

Spend a few minutes pottering around your plants. What stage of growth are they? If they are just getting started or fruiting and flowering, keep up liquid feeding to support strong growth. Soak up vitamin D in the sun, walk barefoot to connect with the earth and listen to the sounds of nature. Pick a few herbs and enjoy a herbal tea.

Note other observations such as seeds starting to form or flowers being pollinated and setting fruit. Are any crops ready to harvest? Which ones need support with a stake or trellis?

When annual herbs reach maturity, they will flower and produce seed pods. Watch as they turn brown and are ready to gift you a rich bounty of free seeds. Collect and save your own seeds and start propagating plants to grow them for free. Take cuttings from your best plants this season. These skills save you money and help you become a sustainable gardener. If you have a surplus of seeds or cuttings, swap or sell them or plants you propagate to earn an income.

(more…)

December 2019 Newsletter

It’s the last newsletter for the year and I hope you enjoy it. For many gardeners, it’s been a tough one facing health issues and climate challenges. So I’ve collated some good health news from interesting research studies on how gardening may help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and written a timely article on tips for gardening in a dry climate. I have also been writing a series of articles on the art of seed saving – a skill every gardener should master for personal food security and to mitigate extreme climate conditions. Plus I’ve created a quick intro video on moon gardening. Grab a relaxing herb tea and dig in!

As it’s the season of giving, there’s also a special 15% Discount Coupon for you! Simply use the code XMAS on checkout and save on all educational products in The Shop during December!

December 2019 Newsletter | The Micro Gardener


Gardening in Dry Climate Conditions

Gardening in dry climate conditions can be really stressful but there are loads of simple strategies you can apply to make it easier. Many gardeners in Australia and around the world have been struggling to keep gardens alive and thriving. Drought, winds, dust storms, extended heatwaves and fires have been impacting plants, people and our wildlife.

For many gardeners though, water – or lack of it – is our biggest issue. Struggling, water-stressed plants become magnets for pest insects as nature’s ‘clean up crew’ move in to feed. It’s natural to expect some casualties in hot and dry weather. Without sufficient water, crops can’t take up nutrients from the soil to grow, flower and fruit. Small container gardens also need more frequent watering.

18 Top Tips for Gardening in Dry Climate Conditions | The Micro Gardener

I’m in a drought-stricken area, currently experiencing a heatwave with dry winds, high temps and no let-up in sight. It’s tough – I get it! So how do I protect my garden and grow food in these conditions? In my latest article, I share sustainable, practical strategies for gardening in dry climate conditions. These 18 tips will give you options to help your plants not just survive but thrive.

SHOW ME THE STRATEGIES


Affiliate Links: Your support of this site is appreciated!

(more…)

18 Top Tips for Gardening in Dry Climate Conditions

Gardening in dry climate conditions can be really stressful but there are loads of simple strategies you can apply to make it easier. Many gardeners in Australia and around the world are struggling to keep gardens alive and thriving. Drought, winds, dust storms, extended heatwaves and fires have been impacting plants, people and our wildlife.

18 Top Tips for Gardening in Dry Climate Conditions | The Micro Gardener

Extreme temperatures and long periods without any significant rain in many places are some of the biggest problems. It’s no wonder many gardeners are giving up trying to grow an edible garden.

Yet a garden – no matter how small – gives us hope as well as healthy food. It feeds our mind, body and soul. A garden provides wonderful stress relief and is a welcome sanctuary to escape to. Even a single, well-cared-for plant can bring great joy and healing.

For many gardeners though, water – or lack of it – is our biggest issue. Struggling, water-stressed plants become magnets for pest insects as nature’s ‘clean up crew’ move in to feed. It’s natural to expect some casualties in hot and dry weather. Without sufficient water, crops can’t take up nutrients from the soil to grow, flower and fruit. Small container gardens also need more frequent watering.

So, what can we do to help our gardens survive and even thrive?

Gardening in Dry Climate Conditions and Hot Temperatures | The Micro Gardener

18 Top Tips for Gardening in Dry Climate Conditions

For years I’ve endured all sorts of harsh growing conditions in my gardens. I’ve spent time carefully observing, applying Permaculture design principles and journalling where my gardens have been exposed to harsh dry or hot weather. This data has been vital for decision-making. I’ve learned how to grow a kitchen garden that not only survives but thrives! This has enabled me to help my clients who suffer similar problems but in different locations to get the most out of their edible gardens.

I hope by sharing some of these strategies, you will be able to enjoy an abundant productive kitchen garden too.

1. Audit your Garden and Make Tough Choices

That’s right! If you can’t save ALL your plants, prioritise and focus on keeping the most valuable ones alive. What if conditions are really tough and you have limited water resources? Concentrate on your high-value fruit trees, perennials and essential herbs and food crops.

Turn thirsty, low-value plants into compost to feed your soil. Some plants may just have to survive without your help or be sacrificed to save others.

Collect seeds and take cuttings to pot up as a backup plan! You can always start again with these. Small plants use less water resources. Learn propagating skills to help your garden survive.

Save seeds from your garden to sow again in more favourable weather

Save seeds from your garden to sow again in more favourable weather

(more…)

Tips to Grow Food in Hot, Dry or Windy Weather

Regardless of where you live, it’s likely you have some climate challenges to deal with when growing food. Dry hot conditions with no rain make it especially tough. It’s particularly difficult growing food in extreme heat with drought due to low rainfall. El Nino weather patterns and a changing climate are affecting food growers globally. Home gardeners need a plan and strategies to prepare and cope.

Tips to Grow Food in Hot, Dry or Windy Weather | The Micro Gardener

Growing Food in Hot Dry Weather

Here in my subtropical climate in SE Queensland, Australia we experience five seasons of different lengths. Some months are almost perfect food growing conditions and others are extremely challenging.

During our summer months – December through March – it’s typically hot and uncomfortably sticky. We can get sudden storms which often bring torrential rain and even hail, flooding the garden and potentially damaging plants or even destroying them. Hail damaged leaves, fruit and stems are more vulnerable to diseases as the plant tissues are exposed to pathogens.

Baking hot days often results in heat stress and scorching temperatures can cause sunburn. Many plants can suffer dehydration very quickly. Exposure to intense direct sunlight, higher-than-average temperatures and wind, without sufficient soil moisture is a recipe for plant damage and poor yields.

During storm season, strong gusty winds can stress plants, particularly if they are hot and dry. During storms, wild weather can cause stems and branches to easily snap or fruit to drop. Wind also causes fungal spores to spread quickly, worsening diseases like powdery mildew.

Not to mention the pest insects and diseases that thrive in hot, humid and windy conditions! At times it seems like everything is stacked against us as food gardeners.

An El Nino weather pattern can be particularly harsh with drier and hotter conditions than normal. I find the best way to cope is to know what to expect in your climate and be prepared with suitable strategiesOnce you understand your unique microclimates, you can make more informed choices about which plants to locate to suit the conditions.

Likely you have difficult weather at times too. So, what can you do to help protect your precious plants?

3 Ways to Protect your Crops from the Weather

1. Provide Windbreaks

(more…)

Title

Go to Top