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Diggers Rest - Changing seasons. Eco gardening tips, Raw Broccoli Salad Mix.
October 02, 2008

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

October 2008 Issue #37


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) Changing seasons
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Raw Broccoli Salad Mix

Changing seasons

It's now officially spring in the southern hemisphere and autumn in the north. In the US, autumn is called fall. I guess fall means deciduous leaves falling. It could also mean...

  • The sun doesn't fall on certain parts of the garden anymore
  • The temperature falls; the rain falls more; snow can fall
  • You fall over on the slippery path
  • You don't fall out of bed easily — need a push... it's
  • The worst weather seems to fall in the weekends just when you want to get out
  • You're the fall guy having to bring in the firewood
  • The BBQ has fallen out of favour
  • Your plants are bug-free but you fall sick with a bug

And spring? You spring out of bed. There's a spring in your step. The plants are springing up. In fact everything is quivering with excitement in the garden in a race to spring a new surprise on you each day.

Just starting a garden? One of the most popular pages on our website is Building a Garden. It gives you a step-by-step diagram and instructions on how to create wonderful no-dig gardens.

You don't need to follow it exactly; adding a bit more or less of something is fine. Nature doesn't have a tape measure, and she always comes up roses in the end.

Spring areas: October is a great month for planting and making sure your soil has plenty of food in it for plant growth. Natural fertiliser, compost, well rotten animal manure — now's the time to add these if you haven't already.

Frost free areas can plant basil now, and most areas can sow or plant runner beans, sweet corn, zucchinis, melons, squash, leafy greens, root crops... in fact there's no stopping you from now on.

Autumn/fall areas: Make sure you've got any winter and spring producing vegetables in by now, such as brassicas and winter lettuce. Legumes, such as peas and broad beans can be planted now through to mid winter in many areas.

Sow a fallow crop to produce nitrogen later, like lupin or other legumes, if you have a patch of ground you want to improve and can spare the space.

Now's a good time to gather compost material to mature for later, such as autumn leaves and the last lawn clippings.

Eco gardening tips

  • Tomato plants:
    Did you know that tomatoes, being from the same family as spuds (Solanaceae) don't mind their stems being buried in the soil? A good idea when planting tomato seedlings, is to take off the bottom set of leaves. Now bury the plants up to within 1cm (1/4") of the next set of leaves and the whole stem will develop a large root structure to give sturdy plants.
  • Tomatoes again: This tip I haven't tried, but have started saving some egg shells instead of tossing in compost. Using about 2 eggshells for each tomato plant, crush the shells finely. When you plant your tomato seedlings, make the hole slightly larger and sprinkle the eggshells around the stem and roots underground. Nice big tasty fruit are now yours!
  • Multi-tasking: A woman once asked her husband to stir a sauce and he said, "I can't, I'm holding the baby." Duh, imagine if women couldn't multi-task! Anyway, like women, many plants multi-task.

    Mother Nature has provided most herbs, fruits and vegetables with bi-directional abilities. For example, some will lower too high blood pressure, but also raise it if it is low. Cabbage, celery and lettuce contain substances that stabilise blood sugar levels, increasing or lowering as necessary.

    Sulphur is the key, which on its own it creates problems; but multi-tasking together with other vitamins, minerals and alkaloids in the plant, it gives therapeutic benefits.

    It makes sense to eat lots of fruit and veggies, rather than taking specific drugs to help a condition, which then usually require more drugs to offset the side-effects of the first drugs.

This oh so simple salad is a tasty combination. It just seems to work. If you find raw broccoli too crisp, you can blanch it in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then cool.

Raw Broccoli Salad Mix


   - Small broccoli florets (about 3-4 cups loose packed)
   - 3 eggs
   - cup green olives
   - 1 med red onion, chopped
   - 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
   - teaspoon paprika
   - Salt and pepper


  1. Hard boil eggs, cool and peel, then chop into 1/8 pieces
  2. Mix all ingredients together, adding plenty of pepper
  3. Add more mayonnaise if liked, or some olive oil. Plain yogurt is also nice
  4. Keep in fridge and serve cold

Preparation: 15 minutes

Serves: 4 people.

Happy gardening.


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