Planting Garlic

It seems it was only  a few months ago I was pulling my bumper crop of garlic.  Yet it is that time again for sowing garlic.  This year I feel that I’m planting late, but with such wacky weather lately I decided it was best to wait until the autumn chill rolled in.  (We were having 28C days!) 

Last week the weather finally begin to feel right and I noticed a few of the garlic bulbs beginning to shoot – a sure sign it was time.  This year I’ve decided 3 square metres of garlic maybe a bit too much.  Instead I am planting out 1m for our use and 1m for selling or gifting.

A few garlic planting tips:  Don’t try to grow foreign grown garlic it’s been treated and won’t grow.  Try farmers markets or look for ‘Australian Grown’   Select the biggest fattest cloves in the bulb, the tiny centre ones will grow, however they won’t produce lovely fat bulbs.  Check your pH garlic likes a fairly neutral soil of 6.5.   Plant the pointy bit up and if you have children helping check the bulbs before you cover them.  Finally full sun, water and wait

Happy Gardening

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In My Garden

Slowly the season is changing and the soil warming.  With that comes such a flurry of garden work  – sowing, watering and weeding – oh the weeds.  Do you want a quick peek of what’s happening?

 

WELCOME to my garden.  Excuse the fence, it will be repaired once I repair the last garden bed and paint the posts – I am thinking purple or maybe red? 

Ok lets start with the garden on the left.  BED 1 

:: Garlic – saved cloves from last years harvest.  I kept the biggest for planting, fingers crossed for a bumper crop

:: Carrots – planted somewhere in the midst of winter, they have gone from tiny tiny things to (finally) a decent sized

:: Beetroot – taken an hour before being ripped out to make way for more (more!) carrots.  I am yet to work out the secret to growing bumper beets, these were again small

Next up BED 2

 

:: Purple Cabbage – a hanger-on from winter I am rather proud of my cabbages this year, they have good firm hearts! 

:: Garlic – more you ask?  Someone just had to plant out all the cloves that sprouted.  Hence there is 3 garlic crops this year

:: Lettuce – a quick filler until I transplant the bush beans and climbing beans.  Should I mention here the lack of success I have had with bean seeds this year?  No lets save it for another day

BED 3, a quiet garden

::  Basil- they maybe tiny now but I am hoping (with fingers crossed) that these 4 leaved seedings will soon become the source of a year of pesto.  And yes there is more seeds propagating, to date and 1 square m planted out.

:: Tomatoes – still sluggish seeds or tiny seedlings they’re slowly-slowly coming, until then this gardens waits

Bed 4

:: Pak Choi  – a bit sporadic with germinating, thanks to the ants.  Must remember to mix the seeds with tea leaves – Jackie French – ants will then leave the seeds alone

:: Zucchini – really what is summer without one?  Further along is a squash.  The cucumber’s yet to germinate

BED 5

Yes this is a vegetable garden full of Kikuya grass.  Have I been avoiding it?  Yes again.  I don’t even know where to start.  Spray the grass or dig it out?  or maybe just simply ignore it….

Thanks for having a look around with me, I hope you too are having a great spring flurry of activity!

Summer harvest – tomatoes

Oh my, as you can see my three little tomato plants have been very busy this season.  In this basket alone is just under 5kg of fruit.  This is the third basket and I picked another today.  Not as many this time, the plants seem to be winding down for the season. 

As you can see most of the fruit is cherry tomatoes (all self seeded from last year!) Over the last few years I have found the larger fruiting varieties attract fruit fly, little brown vinegar flies and chooks too easily.  Cherry tomatoes are also a big hit with the boys.

Along with many ‘matos’ being eaten warm from the garden – I am also preserving much of the harvest.  Homegrow organic homemade tomato, garlic and onion sauce.  Basil and tomato sauce.  And good old tomato sauce for the kids. 

Do you think it is too late in the season to pop another plant in?  I have room for another plant….   why not!

Neglected

With winter slowly slipping away, my mind wanders with thoughts of sun warm tomatoes, gluts of zuchinni and more basil than anyone could ever eat.

It must be time to begin preparing for spring. This is what I am faced with currently

Yuck. 

The left garden is currently being worked on by my free gardeners.  aka two chooks.  Once they have sufficiently turned the garden over, I can add compost and some extra manure.  Then mulch and leave it for a few weeks. 

The top bed still has a capsicum and an eggplant struggling to survive.  With no water and frosts they are doing well.  I think I will try to dig them out, to re-home in bed 4.  (the chooks are currently in it)

Meanwhile check out the other end of the garden….              Lush!

Quiet time

The garden has been quiet all week, I have done nothing but water the seedlings and walk around the gardens squashing any bad bugs while enjoying the cool nip in the air.  Things are growing rather quickly.  Hopefully soon I will be feasting on homegrown broccoli!  – It was $5.99/kg at the grocers this week, I’m so glad we will be eating our own in a few weeks! –

A quiet garden

While the plants are doing their thing, I am cleaning, sorting and dusting.  With such a tiny home, sometimes the storage areas become overwhelmed with ‘stuff.’   So with the change over to winter wears, it is now the time to sort, donate and repair last seasons clothes.  At the same time the cupboards are being aired, dusted and wiped down with a lavendar oil scented cloth.

Broodie hen

Also does anyone have any tips on how to get this girl off the nest?  It has been weeks now and she shows no sign of moving.  I have tried the bucket of cold water, but it has not worked.  The others are moulting so out of 5 girls we get 1 egg every 2nd day.  I could block off the nesting boxes, will that work?

 

In the Garden

With the onset of the cooler months I have switched from growing the warmer season produce, to the cooler ones of onions, garlic, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli.  Mentioning broccoli I have had awful luck with germinating the seeds this year. I must have a poor batch of seeds. I am on my third tray of seedlings and I have about a 20% success rate. Out of desperation I brought seedlings today! I have some new seeds on order so hopefully I will have better luck with them! 

My beautiful crop of beans that I expected to produce until the frost hit, have succumbed to rust. It started as little rusty orange circles on the backs of the leaves and finally started to infect the pods. I should have treated it before it became so out of control, I do know better. *Sigh* Another lesson learned. I will be sure to plant rust resistant varieties next year.

Bean rust

Dwarf beans with rust spores on the leaves.

Bed 5

The refreshed bed after the beans were removed.

Bed 1

 The Roma tomatoes are still cropping beautifully – not a huge glut, but just enough for me to have one everyday. The capsicums are just about finished too, I harvested almost 1.5kg yesterday, they will be frozen for later use. I am debating what to do with lovely huge eggplant. It has grown so well should I try to put it in a pot and protect it from the frosts or just start afresh next spring? Any advice would be much appreciated…

Bed 2

There is still afew volunteer potatoes growing, I will let them go until the frosts knock them back. Fingers crossed there will be a few good ones to harvest.

Bed 3

The cucumbers I planted out way back here are growing so well! I must remember next year to plant out some seeds later in the summer. They seem to be enjoying the cooler weather. I am going to put a sheet over them during the frosts, just to see how long I can keep them going for….  Also in this bed is garlic, onions and carrots.

Bed 4

And finally the peas are growing merrily, I will pop the next lot in shortly so hopefully there will be a good supply for them soon.  I am growing them on the tomato towers.  Multi-purpose!  I love it. 

On the harvesting front, we would be starving if we depended on the garden soley for food at the moment.  Learning things such as successive planting and just how far I can push plants in our climate are important.  But these things will come with time and experience. 

How are your gardens going?

Apple Chamomile Lawn – well I hope it will be

New area beside the tank

The pots of Apple Chamomile that I divided and potted up many months ago is finally ready to be planted out.  (I won’t mention that it has been ready for awhile and this is the first chance I have had to get to it….)Anyhoo, the slight pit that has been beside the tank for the last 10 mths has now been filled in and the the 10 pots planted out. 

I have covered the area with old bedding from the hen house and it appears the plants are thriving under the shelter.  In the photo below it can be just seen peeking out of the mulch.  Beside the tank 2

 

Fingers crossed by next spring this area will be covered in a lush green carpet!

 

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BOTANIC NAME – Anthemis nobilis

Apple scented Chamomile

OTHER NAMES – ROMAN CHAMOMILE, ENGLISH CHAMOMILE, APPLE SCENTED LAWN

Walk on the lawn and up wafts the scent of apples. Used for outdoor chamomile seats. Lawn quality best if flowering prevented. 25-40 plants needed per square metre. Chamomile plugs are available if pre-ordered.
HEALTH – A tea of the white daisy flowers is used in the same way as German Chamomile for relieving colic in children and aiding digestion in adults.