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Diggers Rest – Be happy, go gardening; Eco gardening tips; Asparagus with flair.
July 03, 2009

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

July 2009 Issue #46


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) Be happy, go gardening
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Asparagus with flair

~ Gardeners like to plant their feet firmly. ~

Be happy, go gardening!

Kiplinger Finance in US has a list of signs of a recession. Top of the list shows data from The National Gardening Association which finds that households growing their own fruits, berries, vegetables and herbs this year are 19% higher than in 2008.

That makes 43 million gardeners in the United States this year. The fun and relaxing appeal of gardening is great, but 54% of the respondents say the prospect of saving money on groceries motivates them most.

Other recession signs? Briefly, mosquitoes proliferating because of foreclosures and abandoned pools. Alligator farms suffering because alligator skins for luxury items not needed. Sales of eyeliner way up. Cosmetic surgery down. Dry Cleaning cut in half. Theatres—a cheap form of entertainment—packed. Online dating services popularity soaring. Romance novels sales on a high. Workers tired from long hours, lack of sleep, and worry.

Best to get out in the garden, pick some soothing herbs and make a nice cup of tea.

Q & A

It's great to see readers joining in the questions and answers on the, well... Questions & Answers page. Have you been there yet? Hurry. Some of the contributors, like Les from Australia, John Conway from Eire, and others, are more knowledgeable than me!

To keep up with the latest Q & A's, as well as other changes and additions to website, subscribe to the RSS feed just below the navigation bar on the left of each webpage. No email is needed and easy instructions are provided.

Eco gardening tips

  • Free wood chips:
    At a local Community Gardens hui (meeting) recently, an arborist said he had 5 cubic m of chipped wood mulch to give away every week — free. There are at least 20 other arborists and tree-fellers in and around my city who have chipping machines. That's a lot of wood chips, and they love to deliver it — free again, because otherwise it costs them tip fees to dump it. A great resource worth looking into.
  • Clean pots:
    Between seasons with clay pots, give them a good clean if any sign of disease or pests was in the previous plants. Fusarium wilt in your potted basil plants are an example. A soak in bleach works, but then you must re-soak in plain water to remove the bleach. One part vinegar to 5 parts water is a better soak solution, and give the pot a good scrub down also.
  • Limping along:
    Wilting leaves can give you a shock, but if your leafy veggie leaves are limp in the afternoon during a sunny day, it's most likely caused by the stomata, which are cells that open and close for transpiration and carbon dioxide exchange, among other functions. Your plants will be fine and water will not make any difference, unless of course the soil really is bone dry. Wilted leaves in the morning are a sign of moisture stress, they DO need water.

There's still asparagus available in many northern areas, and this recipe will win you praise with its tangy vinaigrette sauce and pine nuts.

Asparagus Delight

  • 500gm asparagus spears (about 20 plus depending on size)
  • 3 Tblns pine nuts
  • 1 tspn fresh oregano, or ½ tspn dried
  • 1 tspn fresh basil, or ½ tspn dried
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 Tbln lemon juice
  • 3 Tblns olive oil
  • ½ tspn salt, plus pepper to taste


  1. Break off tough ends of asparagus.
  2. Steam for 5-7 minutes, but don't let them go soft. Put into serving dish.
  3. Meanwhile, slightly brown the pine nuts in dry pan over medium heat, takes 2-3 minutes.
  4. In small saucepan, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, keep stirring and heat gently for several minutes until warm/hot.
  5. Pour sauce over asparagus, sprinkle with pine nuts and enjoy.

Preparation: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Happy gardening


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