In the Garden

Out In the garden …

::  I’m Love, Loving the very late season cucumbers.  It’s always surprising how far I can push plants into the next ‘season.’  With frost expected early next week, I will pick the last of the cucumbers later  today.  Along with the basil and lettuce.

::  Lots of volunteer lettuce have popped up in my carrot rows.  These tiny lettuce will be eaten whole.  With the last of the cucumber, the last 6 cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar it can be a  ‘Last hurrah to summer salad…’

::  Finally the Calendulas are flowering.  Once there is sufficient blooms I will be making this lotion/ salve.  I.can.not.wait!

::  The back verandah and herb garden are looking miserable. *Sigh*  Some days I need to split myself into 2.  But with a few spare hours this weekend, I will be sweeping, scrubbing, weeding and planning.  Oh the plans I have for this little area!  A Big white table, water feature, rock edging and flowers for winter colour.

::  And finally here is Max sporting a Mama made PJ top (that he refused to take off for a whole day) and his version of smiling for the camera!  It still surprises me he is 26 months old already, how time flies.


A post of goodness

I know many others in our local area are possibly feeling the same as me.  Defeated. 

I want to childishly whine about the drying winds, the lack of rain and wacky seasons.  The seedling eating slug and the just bad luck I am having with the garden this year.  But I refuse too.  No this will be post showing the goodness that is growing and hopefully eaten in the future!

Bed 5 - Oct 09

Bed 5 has finally got some plants in it.  4 capsicums, 2 tomatoes and 2 eggplants so far.  The plants are growing so well the tomatoes have tripled in size in the last two weeks!  Today I noticed the first flower buds.

beans emerging

Meanwhile in bed 4 the pea plants are dying off and I am harvesting the dried peas.  While the peas are winding down the beans are just starting.  The first planting is growing fine and the second crop is just emerging from the soil.

bed 2 - Oct 09

Meanwhile the shalots that I planted are up and growing well too.  Also a handful of sunflower seedlings have been planted out, they are looking abit sad but hopefully they will perk up soon enough.

lotsa lettuces

My lettuces are looking good, I think I planted them  too thickly, but I will prick them out in a few days when they are a bit bigger and share them with mums at school who also grow a few vegetables.

Herb garden oct 09

And finally the best piece of the garden – the herb garden.  It is busting with goodness chives, parsley, mint, lemon balm, silverbeets, pepino, lemons and borage.  I truly love this garden, I have only planted out some flowers the rest is all self seeded or perennials.  Occasionally I pull out some borage as it is just taking over the garden, its popping up everywhere. 

So despite the tough conditions summer is starting in my garden and soon I will be harvesting onions and garlic.  Lovely!




In the winter garden

Each winter I forget how slow things are to grow.  Seeds take weeks not days to germinate, frost comes and cleans out the weak and everything looks drab. 

But then there are the plants that cannot handle the hot summer heat.  Broccoli, peas and loquats.  Here is what the winter garden is doing:

Bed 1 is currently unproductive.  I should have dug it over by now, and added compost along with a green manure crop and some heavy mulch.   I have some old peas seeds so I might throw them around and see what happens.

Bed 1 - july 09

Bed 2 is cranking out the brassicas.  The broccoli has been slow to start but now is giving us a few heads every few days.  The cauliflowers are slow going but are starting to heart nicely.  The garden under the mulberry tree has been attended by the chooks so no cabbages this season.

baby brocBed 2 - july 09

Bed 3 is slowly growing, the garlic and onions are looking good.  And the beetroot seedlings are slowly emerging.  I still have great trouble growing carrots – the germination rates are few and far between.  Pete Cundell makes it look so easy! 

Bed 3 - july 09

Bed 4.  The peas are taller than me now and have started to flower.  I am waiting with anticipation for fresh peas.  I have sown the seeds several weeks apart so there should be a constant harvest.  This morning I have sown the next lot of seeds so they should be up next week.

Bed 3 - july 09

Bed 5 has a mustard crop sown in it.  I read in the organic gardening magazine that mustard is good for dealing with nematodes.  I have had some evidence of them in the  last crop tomaoto crop.  The mustard will be dug into the ground as a green manure crop later in the month.  Apparently the gas they release as the plant breaks down kills the nematodes.  There is also last summers lettuce crop going to seed.  Its just started to flower.

Mustard seedlingsBed 5 - july 09

And check out the loquat tree!  It is loaded.   We had 8 children climbing in it the other day hunting for ripe fruit.  They must have been getting desperate by the end, as I saw a few greenish ones being eaten.  I had to warn their parents incase they had upset tummies….. 

Loquats july 09


On our menu this week – loquat crumble!

Around the garden

Blue pots in their final position

The days are just ticking by, especially now that the days are becoming shorter.  Jobs are slowly being done in the garden, like the blue pots above.  They have been moved back against the fence.  It has really opened up the yard and the boys are enjoying the extra room for bikes and running.

The chook pen is all but down now.  A cube like frame will be made out of RHS 1″ steel.  2m high and 3x3m (roughly) around.  Wire mesh  will cover it all over and an outward swinging door will be built that will be covered in mesh.  It will be like a chook prison.  Our neighbours were as surprised as us to be told about the chooks deaths.  Our elderly neighbour said ‘No, but we live in town!’  (The dead grass looking thing in the picture is lemon grass, it’s not dead but it will have to be moved)

Chook Pen coming down

The broccoli and cauliflowers are growing away happily.  There has been afew cabbage white butterfly eggs but I have been squishing them when I see them, so no  grubs yet.  I now have the problem of where will to put the cabbages and other cauliflowers in?  I haves some room out the front.  It just needs weeding first.  Lots of weeding…. 

Brassica Bed may 09

And this is the very top of the Oak tree.  Lovely rusty orange leaves that fall.  Everywhere.  They are crunchy underfoot and cover everything.  I love autumn in my yard!

Oak tree

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?

Rain, Family and Photos…

The weather is cool and wet, a change from yesterday when it was so hot and humid we couldn’t move. 
And then it stormed
9mm so far
So I have nothing to report or share about what we have been doing thsi weekend, as we did nothing but lego and movies, all day! 
Despite our lack of productivity the garden isn’t stopping here are a few photos  
Will these be our first ever raspberries?

Will these be our first ever raspberries?

Gardens and wet washing
Gardens and wet washing
My mini jungle, the kids have given up try to find toys if they end up in there.

My mini jungle, the kids have given up try to find toys if they end up in there.

The corn has been planted in tight blocks.  Too tight?  Time will tell, but so far it is the best crop I have ever grow!

The corn has been planted in tight blocks. Too tight? Time will tell, but so far it is the best crop I have ever grown!

The teepee is finished.  The boys are looking for plants everyday, no signs yet.

The teepee is finished. The boys are looking for plants everyday, no signs yet.

Yep not much happening, the plastic is still waiting to go in.

Yep not much happening, the plastic is still waiting to go in.

Waiting to go in...

waiting to go in....

Wonderful view

My plants

I love walking out the back door and seeing

this view

Everything is growing so well at the moment with the


I think we have had close to 30mm (the online rain measurer is registering 0.0mm?)

The plants are now looking positively HUGE.

What’s your favourite view?

New plants

Some new plants have come to join us….

  • salad burnett
  • apple scented lawn chamomile
  • cress
  • tansy
  • lemon savory

For my birthday last week my nana brought me a lots-a-lemon tree.  (I turned 27)

A bare-rooted crimson sultana and an Marroo seedless grape vine.  The Marroo grape is an Australian developed grape, here is some info about it. 

Marroo Seedless


Marroo Seedless berries are black, medium, short elliptic and seedless. They have a crisp skin and pleasant taste. Bunches are large conical and moderately loose. The vine has good vigour and yield.  
Pruning: spur prune to 24-28 spurs, with two buds per spur.
Crop thinning: before flowering thin to one bunch per shoot and after fruit set, trim lower half of each bunch.
Crop load: maximum of 30 bunches per vine.
Use of GA: do not use GA as it may cause excessive berry drop and produce straggly bunches (or no bunches) in the following season.
Rootstocks: incompatibility has been reported for Teleki 5A. Other rootstocks, 1103 Paulsen, Freedom, Harmony and Kober 5BB, have been used successfully.
Colouring: not required.
Maturity: minimum 16° brix.
Harvest period: late January to late February.
Cool storage: unknown.
Susceptibility to rain damage: slight.
Susceptibility to sunburn: low.
Special notes: this variety is susceptible to Powdery Mildew infection. Bunches must be picked within 7-10 days from maturity as the berries soften quickly on the vine.

exert taken from

And finally a coffee bean tree.  I found this at the markets this morning and couldn’t resist it.  Buggered if I know where I will put it at the moment, so I might pot it up for now and give it a good feed.

Something is stirring…

Even though we have had min. temperatures averaging around 1-5 degrees it seems something is happening in my garden….
This is our 100+yr old Pin Oak tree that has broken out into leaves.
The Mulberry tree has leaves and fruit
A mystery plant it is either a pumpkin or a cucumber popping its leaves up out of the compost
Do the plants know something we don’t?
Climate Change….