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Diggers Rest Garden tongue twisters; Eco gardening tips; Spicy Salad.
November 01, 2011

Nov 2011 Issue #74


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

1) Garden tongue twisters
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Spicy Salad

Did Doug dig Dick's garden or did Dick dig Doug's garden?

Bet you can't say that ten times really fast!

Garden tongue twisters

I confess I sometimes mumble, and in the garden I talk, well kind of mumble to myself. Do you? So what better way to practice your diction than when gardening? Like Doug & Dick's digging above, and Moses roses, become a whizz speaker (and possibly scare away the cats) with my friend Susan's fun Diction Exercises.

Instant mulch!

It's springtime here in NZ, and the kowhai blossoms are out. The tuis and kaka birds squabble over the nectar and along with the wind, scatter the golden flowers everywhere...

Kowhai flowers on car

Taters & toms

After a riveting read of two of the best and most up-to-date books on growing spuds and tomatoes, I've decided to promote them. After all, these two veggies are the most popular but they are also the cause of the most questions, mistakes and disapointments when it comes to vegetable growing.

I know an awful lot about growing these veggies, but with these books there's no room for failure. So rather than try to re-hash all this information, I believe that in the best interests for you... you'd like access to them too.

Tomatoes maketh a meal — add them and there are your compliments right away. They're just so handy, even as a little garnish for a meal, kind of like adding the cherry on top. Yes a cherry tomato.

And let's forget about buying sprayed, fungicided, scrubbed potatoes from the supermarket. Get growing your own. When enough potatoheads get together, it will be one happy mashup. High fives all around the world!

Whatever your season, you can plan and prepare... and catch the current special price too: How to Grow Superb Tomatoes and Grow Great Potatoes at Home

Eco gardening tips

  • Drive those slugs nuts:
    As you break open pistachio nuts, instead of putting the shells in the compost, save them to put around your slug-loving young plants. All nut shells will deter slugs and snails, but the salted pistachio shells are extra sharp with a salty bite.
  • Cilantro:
    I know this plant as coriander, and the best way to grow it is to sprinkle seeds every few weeks in patches in your garden. This gives continuous young plants. But when the weather gets hot it goes to seed... no matter, keep stripping the leaves, eat the flowers, let some go to seed... and it will soon naturalize and you'll rarely be short of handy, nutritious cilantro
  • Storing tomatoes:
    One of the hundreds of tips straight from the above mentioned tomato book: Green tomatoes can continue to ripen indoors at room temperature out of sunlight. Speed up ripening by putting them in a paper bag with a banana or apple, as these fruits emit ethylene gas which helps the ripening process.

    If you can't eat them once ripe and in danger of going soft, put in fridge, but remove 30 minutes before using them to bring back some flavour. Don't refrigerate unripe tomatoes, they will stop ripening and go spongy.

Spicy Salad

Jamie Oliver, food chef, likes this flavour combination, and I do too. It's delicious, try it and see why...


  • 1 avocado
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 small (depending on heat) chilli, chopped
  • Juice of half an orange (or use all the juice of a whole small orange)
  • Juice of half a lemon (or use all the juice of a whole small lemon)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs apple cider or red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs olive oil


  1. Smash cumin seeds with pestle and mortar
  2. keep crushing and add chilli, salt and pepper, garlic and thyme leaves until it is all pasted together
  3. Add oil and vinegar and mix well
  4. Fold in the sliced avocado and serve over the carrots.

Note: Can be served on a bed of salad greens. Carrots can also be sliced, then steamed or roasted instead of raw.

Preparation: 25 minutes
Serves: 2

Happy gardening,

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