March 2015 Issue #115
What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.
1) Decoy white butterflies
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Veg Stuffed Kumaras
Decoy plastic white butterflies
Yes well, it's not the most exciting photo... but it was rather lifelike the way I cut out little butterflies from a yogurt container, drew black dots on their wings and strung them across the garden with bits of fishing line so they wafted in the breeze.
Sad to say my experiment was a failure. Many times I've read this tip — that white butterflies are territorial and won't come near if there's another lot nearby.
you wouldn't believe how many white butterflies suddenly arrived... "There's a party" they madly fluttered.
Raring to grow
The FAQ section is the place where the beautiful people hang out... earthy and raring to grow.
Billywill from Birkenhead is puzzled about crop rotation and the different soil conditions needed for different crops?
Eco gardening tips
- Fruit flies
This tip does work!, I tried it when in Sydney recently. When you have fruit sitting in a bowl and a hot day, fruit flies appear like they've been hiding from behind the
door waiting for a signal to zoom en masse, so...
Full a glass ¼ full of warm water and mix in 8 drops of detergent. Top up rest of glass to within 1 cm (½") of rim with vinegar; ordinary white vinegar is fine or cider vinegar can sometimes give out more of a fruity aroma.
Don't spread the mixture around the glass rim, you want the flies to go INTO the glass for their last supper. Put the glass near the flies, but out of the way of getting grabbed by children.
- In memory of furry friends
This suggestion from a reader is actually quite a common occurrence. Even I remember as a child, over time we buried our dearly departed old dog and likewise a few cats in the garden, giving each a little ceremony.
Here's what a reader says: "I know this kind of defeats the purpose of 'no dig gardening', but if you bury your [deceased] cat in the garden, its decomposing body will add nutrients to the soil that
your plants will thank you for. It's the same thing as Blood and Bone Meal."
See more here about animal manures in the garden
- Put the kettle on
Not for a cuppa but to warm the toes of your seeds and seedlings. If you're keen to start sowin 'n 'growin in spring here's a tip. Boil up the kettle, pour a little hot water into your watering can to warm the cold water before giving your new seeds and seedlings a drink.
Veg Stuffed Kumaras
I've been experimenting with stuffing kumaras (sweet potatoes), and this one is rather nice, if I say so myself. No dairy, no grains, no animals
harmed in the process, and so on
- 2 medium kumaras (I use purple skinned variety)
- 1 cup finely sliced cabbage
- ½ cup grated carrot
- ½ cup chopped garden herbs—I used mint, coriander and lemon balm
- 2 garlic cloves or 1 scallion, chopped
- 1 heaped tspn whole grain mustard
- 1 Tbsp oil or butter
- salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake scrubbed kumara in 380°F (190C) oven approximately 1 hour or until cooked.
- Steam cabbage and carrot in ½ cup water 5 minutes, cool slightly then add rest of ingredients.
- Cut kumaras in half lengthwise, scoop out some of the middle (can save for thickening another time).
- Pile each half kumara with filling and put back in oven for 10-15 mins.
Note: Try many variations, such as grated cheese or crumbled feta;
1 tsp curry powder; 2 Tbsps coconut cream or chopped tomatoes etc, mixed in.
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 1hr 15mins
Serves: 2 people