November 2016 Newsletter

Organic Gardening Tips for an Abundant Harvest

Hi and welcome to the November 2016 Newsletter. I’m sharing a bucket load of tips and inspiration with you this month including:

The Micro Gardener November 2016 Newsletter

  • Broccoli – Health Benefits + Best Ways to Eat
  • 6 Recycling Ideas for your Garden
  • Shop Specials – SAVE 15% (See COUPON offer)
  • 12 Tips + Uses for Mint – in your Garden & Kitchen
  • Peek over the Fence … into Jennifer’s Garden (inspiring photos!)
  • Growing Edible Plants in the Shade
  • Healthy Soil = Healthy Plants
  • Blog articles
  • Follow The Micro Gardener on Instagram

So tuck in! If you missed the tips in my last newsletter, CLICK HERE.

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How to Plant out a Herb Garden

Have you ever ended up with ‘dried herb arrangements’ (those that died of thirst or sunburn)? Or herbs that rotted and drowned due to waterlogged roots?  Whether you want to plant herbs in a pot, garden bed or a herb spiral, my 5 Step Guide to Planting Herbs can help you successfully choose the best position and maintain your herb garden.

How to Plant out a Herb Garden

How to Plant out a Herb Garden

In this article I also share key tips on where to plant herbs so they thrive. Understanding the kind of microclimate each herb prefers, can make all the difference to growing them successfully! So ‘dig in’!

 

Lushly planted mature herb spiral | The Micro Gardener

“The construct itself gives variable aspects and drainage, with sunny dry sites for oil-rich herbs such as thyme, sage, and rosemary, and moist or shaded sites for green foliage herbs such as mint, parsley, chives, and coriander.” – Bill Mollison

 

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4 Step Guide to Building a Herb Spiral

Want to make your own vertical herb spiral garden? This compact space saving design can be made with just a few basic steps.

Construction materials and methods vary. So after deciding on the best position and gathering your materials, you can have one built the same day.

Stone filled gabion walls are an elegant twist on this herb spiral | The Micro Gardener

Depending on your budget and taste, herb spirals can be made very economically or be quite elaborate like this one with stone filled gabion walls.

 * [The original link to this image (via Cara-Ornamentals) is no longer available. I have no control over this & apologise for any inconvenience but you’ll find alternative resources below.]

If you like this particular design and want to learn to make the curved wire baskets, see the end of this post for videos and wire basket suppliers for Gabion Herb Spirals. These are some basic instructions for making a gabion wall or visit BlondeMafia or Garden Drum. More instructional videos for gabions are here and here. For the tutorial steps, read on!
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15 Benefits of a Herb Spiral in Your Garden

Herb Spiral Design

Do you have limited sun, space or time to garden? Want a highly productive, energy efficient way to grow food?  Then consider a herb spiral design in your garden. Creating a Herb Spiral close to your kitchen might be your perfect solution.

 The Herb Spiral design is easily accessible from all sides: to plant, water, fertilise and harvest. This large long herb spiral has a dry microclimate at the top and a moist zone at the bottom. | The Micro Gardener

The Herb Spiral design is easily accessible from all sides: to plant, water, fertilise and harvest. This large long herb spiral has a dry microclimate at the top and a moist zone at the bottom.

What is a Herb Spiral?

The Herb Spiral is a highly productive and energy efficient, vertical garden design. You can stack plants horizontally AND vertically to maximise space. It’s a practical and attractive solution for urban gardeners. A herb spiral design is typically 1.5 – 2m (5 – 6.5ft) wide in diameter at the base and rises to 1.0 – 1.3m (3.2 – 4.2ft). The centre of the spiral is at the highest point. The spiral ramp provides a planting area large enough to fit in all your common culinary herbs.
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Amazing Uses for Garlic in Your Home & Garden

Do you know how to use garlic in your kitchen, garden and for good health? In this article I share garlic tips and some amazing uses for  this humble herb.

Garlic tips and uses in your kitchen, garden and for health

Garlic tips and uses in your kitchen, garden and for health

I’m an unashamed ‘Garlicoholic’ and if you love garlic as much as I do, you may be surprised at some of the incredibly useful ways you can use this ancient herb.

  • In your kitchen – for its culinary properties;
  • For health – and its medicinal benefits; plus
  • In your garden – to help with pest and disease management!

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How to Grow & Use Nasturtiums

Have you heard the saying: “Be nasty to nasturtiums“?  There seems to be some truth to this, because these low-maintenance carefree herbs thrive in a poor, dry soil without a lot of water – or work.  This makes nasturtiums a plant of choice for many thrifty and busy gardeners!

 

How to Grow and Use Nasturtiums - Edible Flowers with Multiple Uses

How to Grow and Use Nasturtiums – Edible Flowers with Multiple Uses

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20 Reasons to Grow this Amazing Herb

Do you grow herbs? They can provide a whole heap of benefits from culinary to medicinal uses and even a splash of colour and fragrance. Some flowering herbs like nasturtiums really earn a special place in the garden because of the added value they provide. So check out these 20 uses for nasturtiums – they may surprise you!

20 reasons to grow nasturtiums

20 reasons to grow nasturtiums

 

Colourful nasturtiums are one herb that’s easy to fall in love with. This plant is an absolute winner in my book. Whilst many think of nasturtiums as just pretty flowers, these attractive herbs have an amazing array of benefits to offer you.

There are several types of nasturtium. The one I can never get enough of in our garden is Tropaeolum majus’ (commonly known as Indian Cress).  Not ‘Nasturtium Officinale’ that grows in water and is often referred to as watercress!

Nasturtiums – More than just a pretty face!

Aside from stealing the limelight in any garden with their dazzling display of colour, nasturtiums are one of the most multi-functional plants you can grow. They are an ideal plant for every survival food and medicinal garden.

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Need Herbs in a Hurry? Grow Rocket!

Want to learn to grow rocket? The humble herb known as Rocket or Arugula is one of the easiest, fastest foods to grow.  Perfect in pesto, delicious in dips … this slightly peppery green has many bonus health benefits. So dig in!

How to grow rocket tutorial - With both culinary and medicinal uses – try adding this easy-to-grow edible to your garden.

With both culinary and medicinal uses – try adding this easy-to-grow edible to your garden.

 

Why grow rocket?

‘Pocket Rocket’ is Packed with Incredible Health Benefits

  • According to Isabell Shipard in her informative book How Can I Grow Herbs in My Daily Life? rocket is a rich source of sulforaphane. A powerful anti-cancer, anti-microbial and even anti-diabetic compound.  It’s also a potent trigger for detoxifying blood and cells and helps promote production of cancer-preventative enzymes.
  • The fresh leaves are highly alkaline and rich in anti-oxidants.
  • The leaves contain phytochemicals that have protective and disease preventive properties. These include countering the carcinogenic effects of estrogen and helping protect against prostate, breast, cervical, colon and ovarian cancers, by their ability to inhibit cancer cell growth and the cytotoxic effects on cancer cells. (more…)

Grow Your Own Herb Tea Garden

Want to Grow a Herb Tea Garden?

With so many culinary and medicinal health benefits, a herb tea garden is a must for every gardener. Even if you just have a balcony or tiny space, herbs have so many uses.

Grow your own herb tea garden - easy herbs to grow, brew and use for health

Grow your own herb tea garden – easy herbs to grow, brew and use for health

Easy Herb Teas to Grow and Brew

If you’re not already growing your own herb garden, hopefully you’ll be inspired to start!  There are a wide range of delicious and aromatic herbs you can grow for hot or iced herb teas and medicinal use.

 

Sprigs of fresh mint for herb tea

Pick sprigs of fresh mint for herb tea

Getting Started with Herb Teas

Chamomile (German) Tea

  • A mild flavoured relaxing tea that I’ve used hundreds of times over the years. Helps to calm and soothe the spirit, settle stomach aches and indigestion and is a great tea for helping you relax, destress and get to sleep.  It goes well with a little honey and a slice of lemon.  You can also use the tea as a hot foot bath for tired or sore feet! (more…)

Harvesting Vegetables & Herbs

How to Pick Herbs and Vegies for Top Crops

Have you always wanted to know the ideal time to harvest your vegetables and herbs?  What about the best way to pick them without damaging the plant? This post answers both these questions and I share some tips from personal experience to help  maximise your yield.

Home grown produce from our kitchen garden | The Micro Gardener

I keep a basket with scissors and a sharp knife handy for daily harvesting.

 

Timing – WHEN to harvest

The short answer to this is – the timing varies with each crop. However, there are some handy guidelines on what to grow when that give you a good indication approximately how long you have to wait to savour the delicious veggies and herbs you grow!

Strawberries are ready to harvest when they are full size and ripen to a dark red

Strawberries are ready to harvest when they are full size and ripen to a dark red

Here are a few tips … (more…)

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