August 2017 Newsletter

Organic Gardening Tips for an Abundant Harvest

August 2017 Newsletter | The Micro Gardener

Welcome to the August Newsletter. As usual there are lots of quick tips to get you thinking about the food you eat and grow.

This month, I’m sharing another quick ‘How To’ video in my Sow Simple series of free tutorials to help you grow and use food wisely in just minutes. Dig in and help others by sharing these tips!


Benefits of Growing Sunflowers

In this quick video lesson, I share some of the ways I use sunflowers to get more food from my garden, pest manage, encourage biodiversity and maintain healthy soil. You can even grow these useful blooms in pots. I hope you enjoy the tips.

 


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Choosing Fruit Trees for Small Gardens

Thinking about growing your own fruit trees? No matter how little space you have, there’s almost always room for at least one fruit tree.

The taste and satisfaction of picking homegrown fruit is one of life's pleasures!

The taste and satisfaction of picking homegrown fruit is one of life’s pleasures!

5 Tips for Fruit Trees in Small Gardens

I grow a LOT of fruit trees in a small space. Some in containers, others in the garden. It’s highly productive and I grow kilos of fruit every year. Some fruit trees are young and on their way to producing. Others are putting food on the table regularly!

Here, I grow a lot of tropical fruit trees like bananas, papaya, mango, mulberries, citrus and peaches. It takes time to get to know each fruit and how much space they require to be productive.

It can be overwhelming if you’re just starting out growing fruit trees, so I hope these tips help you avoid expensive mistakes.

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Design Tips for a Productive Kitchen Garden

Do you ever feel frustrated when pest insects damage your plants? Wish your kitchen garden was more productive? You’re not alone! Even the healthiest gardens struggle with a few ‘unwelcome visitors’ at times.

Design Tips for a Productive Kitchen Garden

 

If you have limited space for your food garden, then losing precious crops, can be even more disheartening.

The good news is there are design strategies you can use to:

  1. Maximise your space;
  2. Minimise pest insects;
  3. Enhance the beauty; and
  4. Even improve some of your harvests.

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6 Tips for Abundant Edible Container Gardens

Struggling to grow food successfully in pots? Would you love to have abundant container gardens? Overflowing with delicious, healthy, colourful food? Fruit and vegetables that nourish your body? Give you joy to grow, cook and eat? If you think this is in the ‘too hard basket’ read on for my tips …

Grow an abundant harvest of home grown food in edible container gardens | The Micro Gardener

This is the kind of food I love helping people learn how to grow.

 

A continual abundance of organic vegetables, herbs and fruits that sustain you with good health can be yours to enjoy.

When I first started planting edibles in micro gardens, I made a LOT of mistakes. I wasted so much time and money. There were plenty of ‘dried arrangements’ (dead plants!) as a result. I struggled with poor harvests. Over the years I’ve realised container gardening requires a different set of skills to growing directly in your garden.

 

Delicious nutritious vegies are easy to grow at home in edible container gardens

With some basic knowledge, delicious nutritious vegies are easy to grow at home in container gardens.

 

These are 6 key techniques you can use to maximise your harvests. Grow a continual abundance of delicious home grown organic food. Tuck in!

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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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Fast Food! DIY Instant Veggie Garden: Part 2

After moving house sixteen times, I’ve learned to adapt my gardens to all sorts of spaces – large and small. This is a handy list of plants I’ve found to grow well in containers plus the depth of soil they need.

Some of my edible container gardens

Some of my edible container gardens

 

If you have difficult soil like sand, clay or rocks; limited space or funds, then I suggest you try growing at least some of your food in containers. Pots offer loads of benefits.

 

“Growing your own veggies is the first step to self-sufficiency.” – Clive Blazey, The Diggers Club

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Fast Food! DIY Instant Veggie Garden: Part 1

Do you want to make a quick mini garden? You can grow healthy ‘fast food’ like salad veggies and herbs in a simple box. Best of all, you can make it in about 15 minutes. The bonus is you’ll be eating the rewards in just a few weeks for only a minimal investment of time AND money. Let’s get started!

A wide variety of seasonal herbs, veggies and flowers can be grown in micro gardens and can reap you a rich bounty of food for minimum effort.

A wide variety of seasonal herbs, veggies and flowers can be grown in micro gardens and can reap you a rich bounty of food for minimum effort.

 

This is a system I’ve used for years with great success and it’s so easy. Even if you’re a beginner gardener or on a budget and need a thrifty solution, this is it! An easy container garden with just a few ingredients to get started. (more…)

Grow Your Own Groceries

The Urban Backyard Supermarket

“Growing your own veggies is the first step to self-sufficiency.” – Clive Blazey, The Diggers Club

What if you could save time, money and energy by growing your own groceries? Why ‘shop’ anywhere else when you can grow a bounty of your own nutrient-packed food in a small urban space?

 

A nutrient packed harvest from our backyard supermarket

A selection of veggies and herbs harvested from our kitchen garden including jap pumpkin, garlic, leek, zucchini, eggplant, shallots, red onion, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, herbs and lettuce.

 

Regardless of the size of your balcony or garden – if it’s tiny or spacious, abundance is not only possible – it’s easy to achieve.  It doesn’t cost a fortune in materials … backbreaking labour … expensive equipment … or too much time.  Simple frugal gardening practices can help you save money while you grow.

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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…)

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…)