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Diggers Rest - Hidey spidey, Eco gardening tips, Cool as Cucumber Salad.
March 04, 2009

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

March 2009 Issue #42


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) Hidey spidey
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Cool as Cucumber Salad

"When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant." ~ Author Unknown

Hidey spidey

Remember last month I said I checked my washed garden veggie leaves for spiders?

Lo and behold, at a friends place chatting whilst the salad was being washed, I told him to wait to see if anything emerged. Despite the scoffing, I found some tiny spiders under a very curled bit of young bok choy!

We all obviously unintentionally eat a few insects this way. I understand that there's never been found in history any people with a completely vegan diet.

Many years ago those living supposedly on a vegetable diet had two very distinct advantages to those who try veganism today.

Firstly, crops were not grown with pesticides poured on to kill anything that moved.

Secondly, produce was not washed, bagged, refrigerated or irradiated. Food was mostly plucked from the trees, bushes and ground then eaten there and then, crawlies, wrigglies and all. Plenty of good protein went down the hatch!

Gardening Q&A

There's some great changes on the website for you, and more to come...

I'm simply not able to personally answer the many emails I receive on gardening problems and ideas... so join me here at Gardening Q&A to share these topics so we can all reap the benefits. Leave your comments... give your solutions...

I'd love to hear from you. Let's all grow great vegetables together!

Because I have this resouce for all you worldwide readers now, I've thrown the monthly planting advice section on the compost for now, figuratively speaking. It was also impossible to cover every season, climate, lattitude and soil condition with generalised information.

Still got our popular Eco Tips below though. Oh, and check out the new About Us website page.

Eco gardening tips

  • Derris Dust:
    Derris Dust is an old standby for organic gardeners. It comes from the powdered roots of the Derris bush and contains about 1% of Rotenone the active ingredient. Mainly sold as powder to shake on plants, or dust to use with a puffer or as a spray form it kills chewing and sucking insects.

    Derris dust can be mixed with peanut butter and left as bait for ants. The idea is that the ants then eat this bait and return to the nest where they are themselves eaten, thus killing more ants.

    Take care, especially if pets and birds are around. An insecticide kills, so although it is natural, it still needs to be handled with care. Don't use too much remember the environment. Cover your hands, protect your eyes, nose and mouth. Don't breathe it in and wash well after using it.

  • Aphids:
    Blink and suddenly one aphid turns into 100!

    Before they start muliplying, squash the few you see with your fingers, If there's a few concentrated on a rose bud or vegetable growing tip, gently rub that bit of the plant between finger and thumb.

    Take your eyes off them for a few days and watch out. Squirt with a hose or use the organic spray on our PESTS page.

  • Showy vegetables:
    Ornamental cabbage and kale start coming into their best in early spring. They love a cold winter which brings out more of their pink, purple, cream and white colours. Once a fair bit of sun has landed on them over a month or so they go to seed and look pretty ordinary.

    Young leaves are edible, in salads, coleslaw or steamed. Old leaves go bitter. Curly bits make nice garnishes much like parsely. Ever so cool as pot plants, or around garden edges.

Here's a refreshing salad with a nice tang.

Cool as Cucumber Salad


  • 1 medium garden or telegraph cucumber, or 3 lebanese cucumbers
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped finely
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • 2 Tbln chopped coriander
  • Handful of green salad leaves, such as lettuce, rocket or baby spinach
  • 2 Tbln fish sauce (vegetarians use soy sauce and dash chilli powder)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbln olive oil
  • tsp chilli flakes or 1 small finely chopped fresh chilli


  1. Peel garden cucumber, but leave other varieties unpeeled if wished. Cut lengthways and remove all or some seeds. Cut into approximately 1cm thick oblong chunks.
  2. Diagonally slice spring onions into 1cm lengths.
  3. Mix cucumber, spring onions and diced red onion in bowl.
  4. Whisk all other ingredients together and pour over salad and mix well.
  5. Line serving dish with salad greens and tip on cucumber mix then sprinkle with coriander.

Preparation: 15-20 minutes

Serves: 4 or more

Happy gardening


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