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Diggers Rest – Fixing the bad parts of gardening; Eco gardening tips; Kale Chips
July 18, 2014

July 2014 Issue #107


What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.

1) Fixing the bad parts of gardening
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Kale Chips

Gardening is not like reading a book,
one cannot skip the bad parts.

Marqueyssac gardens clipped hedges

These natty hedges in the Gardens of Marqueyssac would require serious maintenance — maybe like Prince Charles' haircut; reportedly a trim every week.

Fixing the bad parts of gardening

Gardeners love to share, advise, and are eager to learn. Need help? The Gardening FAQ section is the place where the earthy, beautiful people hang out... raring to grow. I enjoy hearing from my readers and so do all the thousands of gardeners who follow this website!

Here are a few questions looking for answers that you might have?
Potato plants started flowering
Vegetable plants turning yellow and leaves dying
Plants good in morning not a few hours later
Fig Tree Mosaic Virus

Eco gardening tips

  • Lemon love:
    Want a delicious citrus fragrant drink? Pick 5-10 of the large darker leaves from a lemon/lime tree and/or orange tree and break into bits and crush slightly with your hands. Boil in small pot of water for 5 minutes then let cool, strain and drink.

    For a milder taste or if you're in a hurry, simply pour boiling water over the broken and crushed leaves and steep for a minute or so before straining and drinking.

  • Wabbits and puddy tats:
    Natural used kitty litter can be used as a deterrent for some of the larger garden pests, supposedly even deer, but especially rabbits. It apparently works at least for some weeks and if you've still got some determined pests, alternate with other strong smelling deterrents like crushed lavender stems, garlic spray or oil, or chilli/pepper.

    Spread or trickle a layer of kitty litter around the garden edge, or plants you want to protect. Remember with kitty litter to remove solid matter and always wash hands thoroughly. If possible remove when usefulness is over and put in compost to degrade safely.

  • Overwhelmed:
    Some of the cries for help I get by email are tragic. Well nearly, it's simply that the gardener has become swamped with problems (challenges really) and doesn't know where to start. So I say, like all things, start with one and then fix another and so on... Thus if you have rampant beetles, lacy leaves, gnawed stems, rotten plants — start somewhere.

    Go to Natural Pest Control, then follow the links to help you. Spray those beetles, pick off those slugs, put up some netting, make up and sprinkle on a fungicide... add some mulch. Just do it a bit at a time and keep up the maintenance from then on.

Online Garden Planning Tool

Some things you just have to have!

If you'd like to simplify your gardening by knowing when, what and how to plant, I'm willing to bet this garden planner will be a hit with you, like it is with me.

"All signed up and so excited. Wife and I didn't wait for end of freebie trial, we could see how perfect it was for us and we wanted to plan the whole year and convert another lawn area into production!"
Owen Pearse

Kale Chips

Several readers liked my last kale recipe, so here's another one. Tasty and crisp, they certainly get snatched from the bowl fast!


  • 5 large kale leaves (more or less, as long as they fit on an oven tray in a single layer)
  • 1 Tbln or more olive oil/sesame oil or melted butter or coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


  • Tear the leafy part off the ribs of each kale leaf. Don't break the leaves up more than you have to as they will dramatically shrink.
  • If you've washed the leaves, pat as dry as possible with a towel.
  • Put on oven tray and sprinkle with your choice of oil or fat and mix with your hands so leaves are all lightly coated.
  • Bake at 135C degrees (275F) uncovered. Check after 10 minutes and season lightly with salt and pepper. Salting them now instead of at the beginning stops them from steaming and turning into soggy, chewy lumps.
  • Bake another 5-15 minutes or until crisp and dry without burning.

Note: Curry powder, chilli powder, coriander and other spices can be sprinkled over, but remember use all seasonings and oils sparingly because the leaves shrink.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 15-25 minutes

Serves: 4 or so as small snacks

Happy gardening

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