Celia

2024 Autumn/Winter Subtropical Planting Guide

Welcome to winter in the humid subtropics- all three weeks of it. Okay that’s a local joke where I live (Brisbane, Australia), but it’s not far from the truth. The subtropics give us a specialised climate- one unlike any other. Most gardening information found online and in books is written for cool or temperate climates,

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How to Use Lots of Passionfruit

It’s all very fun to grow a ton of food…until you don’t know what to do with it all. Produce gluts can be difficult, if not impossible, to avoid when you have fruit trees. There’s nothing a food gardener likes more than a big harvest, but it can be overwhelming when it comes all at

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How to Combat Gall Wasp

Gall wasp is a problem to all types of citrus trees in many parts of Australia. Whether you grow limes, lemons, oranges, finger limes or hybrids, this common pest can infiltrate and damage your precious fruit trees without you even realising it. Originating in the subtropical northern NSW-seQLD area, this is a pest that you

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Why You Need to Grow Dogbane

Dogbane (Plectranthus caninus) is a semi-succulent perennial herb from the mint family which is native to South Africa. Despite not being edible, dogbane has numerous uses in a home food garden and is considered a valuable pioneer support plant by permaculturists. Tough, low-maintenance, fast-growing yet not invasive, dogbane might just be your newest garden go-to!

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Where to Buy Fruit Trees in Australia

With the ever-changing retail landscape and growth of online shopping, local nurseries are no longer omnipresent. So for beginner gardeners in particular, the path to a glorious home orchard might not be clear. It can be hard to know where to buy from and which varieties will be best for you. The visual appeal of

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Make Your Own Mango Picker

It’s wonderful to have a mature mango tree in full fruit on your property. In fact, nothing says ‘summer’ quite like it. Mangoes are a large, beautiful tree to have in any backyard, and they have a multitude of benefits. Aside from the free fruit, they’re strong enough to support childrens swings, fun for kids

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Shiso Furikake (Perilla Spice Blend)

You may never have heard of furikake- but there’s a good chance that one taste will convert you! Furikake, aka perilla spice blend, is a Japanese dry spice blend that is best known as a topping for rice. It comes in a variety of flavours, and often includes ingredients like dried fish, nori (seaweed), salt,

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Where can I Buy Seed From in Australia?

With the advent of online shopping, there is now a plethora of websites offering vegetable seed to the home gardener. So much so, that it can be difficult to choose what to buy & where to buy from. Buying seed from your own climate zone gives you the best chance of success. Many of the

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Creamy Purple Yam Pudding (Ube Halaya)

Creamy purple yam pudding, also called ube jam, ube pudding, and ube halaya, is one of the coolest desserts you’ll ever make! At once striking, delicious and versatile, this is definitely one to make when you want the wow factor. A traditional Filipino dessert, ube halaya is a sweet, creamy pudding dessert that is made

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How to Grow Ube (Winged Yam)

What is Ube? Ube (dioscorea alata) is a perennial tropical vegetable that you may not have heard of. A specialty of south-east Asia, this purple winged yam is a low-GI, easy-to-grow staple that puts a lot of food on the table for minimal effort. Especially versatile in the kitchen, it can be used in both

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Repel Large Pests Organically in the Garden

There’s nothing more disheartening than seeing your carefully nurtured harvest fall prey to animal predators. After investing time in preparing the soil, growing from seed, nurturing plants to maturity, and witnessing the fruit’s development, it’s heart-breaking to have it all disappear overnight due to ‘unwanted visitors’. Combatting sizeable pests poses a significant challenge for home

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Green Mango Salad

A seasonal salad with a sensational taste! This is a great Thai-style basic green mango salad that you can eat as a side, a starter or a main. It’s versatile, so you can add any meat, seafood or tofu that you like, and turn it into a main meal. In fact, green mango salad is

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Green Mango Chutney

It’s always a conundrum when unripe fruit falls from a tree. Should you bin it? Compost it? Or try to ripen it? Fruit that has been damaged or nibbled at by large pests like bats or possums is best disposed of, but unspoiled pieces can definitely be eaten- when they’re mangoes, at least! Green mangoes

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Old Bay Crispy Chicken with Ranch Dressing

Spicy chicken wings are one of the ultimate party foods; great for sharing, fantastic finger food, and easy to make. Whether it’s a birthday, Christmas, or a big bbq, Old bay crispy chicken with ranch dressing might just be the new & unique taste you’re looking for. If you’re Australian, you may not be familiar

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6 Beneficial Insects To Find in Se QLD Gardens

In subtropical south-east Queensland, a diverse array of beneficial insects are indispensable allies in the home vegetable garden. These industrious insects, ranging from ladybugs and hoverflies to native bees and damselflies, play a vital role in fostering a thriving garden ecosystem. Their significance lies in their capacity for natural pest control, diligently preying on harmful

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Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes

These stuffed artichokes are more than just a meal—they connect me to my heritage and are a reminder of big family dinners at my grandmothers house. A traditional Sicilian dish, this is one that Nana would cook only occasionally, which made it all the more special. Sicilian food is like the tortoise of the culinary

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What Happens When You Mulch Your Garden?

Introducing mulching to your vegetable garden beds can be a game-changer for the health and productivity of your crops. Mulch, a protective layer of material spread over the soil surface, offers a myriad of benefits that extend beyond mere aesthetics. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, you’ll find that mulching serves as a

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Roast Almond & Potato Spiced Rice

Elegant yet simple, roast almond & potato spiced rice is sure to become your next family favourite. Fragrant & delicious, the double carbs make it hearty and substantial, and it is suitable to serve as a side dish or a main meal. Super-easy to make & supremely adaptable, it can be made vegan, vegetarian, or

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How to Make Nut Creams (4 Variations)

Nut creams are a fresh, nutrient-rich alternative to traditional dairy cream, so can be eaten by vegetarians, vegans and carnivores alike. As the name indicates, nut creams are a cream made from nuts- and they really are creamy! If you’ve never made a nut cream before, I guarantee you’ll be delighted by the smooth, dairy-like

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How To Garden Through a Hot Dry Summer

One of the biggest joys of gardening is its constant challenges. But as each new one greets us, we need to know how to manage it. Aside from issues with soil & the plants themselves, all sorts of unexpected weather conditions can occur, like a late frost, heat waves, freak storms, high winds, or too

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