Back to Back Issues Page
Diggers Rest - Those Guerillas! Eco gardening tips, Smashed Mash.
August 03, 2008

A free monthly resource from the wonderful world of gardening; giving you tips, recipes and reminders to make your garden grow!

August 2008 Issue #35


What fun that you and I both love the topic of gardening. Thanks for joining me on this adventure. For any questions or feedback, just click on reply on the top toolbar of this email.

1) Those guerillas!
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Smashed Mash

Those guerillas!

The correct link to Guerilla gardening from last month's newsletter is Guerilla Gardening. There you will find a link to your country and local area. There may be guerillas (not gorillas) lurking and working near you!

For kiwi readers... did you know that the beautiful bluebell display each year in Hagley Park, Christchurch was started in 1964 by a young guerilla gardener doctor? He lived across the road from the park and one day he and his three small daughters went over the road armed with some trowels and bluebell bulbs to plant. He said he wanted to be reminded of the magic of the bluebell woods of England, where he used to live.

Pests: Buzz over to Organic Garden Pest Control and hover over all the information there. It's just been updated and you can find out about bad things as well as follow the links to make friends with beneficial bugs and backyard birds.

There are a still a few more super useful hints to add soon. Not sure about this one from Lyn, a reader in Queensland, Australia... You need our butcher birds for your caterpillars. They find nice big ones in our garden. The only downer is they bring them in and bash the guts out of them on the outside table. Don't mind them taking the caterpillars, just don't like them leaving their innards behind for us to clean up.

Winter areas: Some lucky areas will be warming up already, so there are many hardy plants you can sow outdoors this month, like broadbeans, Asian brassicas, cress, onions, peas, radish and spinach. Sowing spring seedlings is also looking likely if you've got a sunny or warm spot indoors.

Summer areas: It's high salad season now for eating and regular sowing. Combat heat and water stress with organic mulch. Time to get your winter veggies ready to plant.

Eco Gardening Tips

  • Not for sooks: Following on from last month's tip on stopping frost on plants, here's another tip — although I've not tried this one. If you wake up and find that your garden has a layer of white frost on it, get out there (or preferably send someone else) and sprinkle plants with water before the sun hits them. This apparently helps stops frost burn.
  • The mighty salad: When you sit down to a salad from your garden, if you add a dressing to it, the fat increases the absorption of certain nutrients being consumed, such as lycopene and alpha and beta-carotene.

    Testing of over 17,000 people by the UCLA School of Public Health and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, US, proved that those who even eat just one salad a day, along with a dressing, received greater health benefits than previously thought. They had considerably higher levels of vitamins C, E, B6, and folic acid — key nutrients in promoting a healthy immune system and reducing the risk of obesity, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

    A small amount of a simple olive oil, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar mix or similar poured over your leafy greens will do the trick.

  • Edible weeds: Still to come on my website is a page or two on nutritious weeds you can eat. In the meantime, next time you curse Oxalis, pick some of the leaves and top your salads with them, or put them in a sandwich. They have a delicious tangy flavour.

There was good feedback about the parsnip puree recipe last month. As well as making a great sauce to have over veggies, it is also rather special with sausages, roast beef and meat loaf. Thus in praise of root vegetables, here's an old-fashioned standby with a modern approach.

Smashed Mash


   - 3 small spuds (floury sort are best)
   - 3 medium carrots
   - 3 medium parsnips OR 1 swede
   - 2 tablespoons butter
   - 3 tablespoons milk
   - Salt and pepper


  1. Scrub vegetables clean and slice thickly.
  2. Steam or boil in just enough water for approximately 30 minutes or until soft.
  3. Drain off any water, add milk and butter.
  4. Mash roughly, so that there are still some chunky bits of each vegetable in the mix.
  5. It should be tasty enough without adding salt, but add a dash if you like. Be generous with pepper as it goes well with this dish.

Serves 4 people.

Happy gardening.

Back to Back Issues Page