Musings of a Gardener in Victoria, Australia, as she moves from one garden to another.
Saturday, January 30, 2016
Monday, January 05, 2015
January is here
January is here - and so are the mozzies. We have had one hot day over 40 degrees, but apart from that, it has been mild and occasionally damp in Gippsland, Victoria.
It is time for the Garden Share Collective to post about their veggie gardens. That link is to Lizzie's blog, with all the links at the bottom. Thanks Lizzie, for hosting this.
Last month's report is HERE.
First up - here is a quick run through some pics: This is looking straight down the centre of the veggie garden - always I have previously taken the view from the back door, but I cannot do that now, as there is an extension in the way. And this way I can show off the beautiful concrete paths. At the end of the view is my current potting table:
The pumpkins, in three worm bins, are taking over. It is a set of four different ones in a mixed punnet, plus some late Greek ones that are catching up. We are already harvesting little Golden Nuggets.
The tomato cage is surviving, although it had to be reinforced, and the cucumbers, in the rear, are going gang-busters.Cannot wait for Vinnies welfare to reopen tomorrow, as I have a glut to pass on. First tomato was a cherry, on the 2nd December, but the rest are only just starting now.
Speaking of tomatoes, this is a seedling, that I think will be a cherry, that I just zipped into a large self-watering pot. Seemed like a good idea at the time. It does mean I can look at the water levels in the bottom, and I am amazed at how much water this tommie is going through. It has got me watering the others a lot more often. (Hint - I don't like watering tomato leaves, because of powdery mildew. I have a board through the middle of the cage. and I just lay the spray down on that, and it irrigates through the middle. We do have underground watering, but I don't think it is delivering enough at the minute).
Speaking of powdery mildew - there is a little on the Zucchinis, but even without that, they have been a failure. They are about to come out, and I will just use Golden Nuggets where I would use them. Gives me a spare barrel for more lettuce.
Some late capsicum seedlings have gone in, under the bird-mesh cloches. The spring onions at the back have graduated to brick and paver much over sugarcane mulch. I am winning against the birds. I am sure I have more wire cloches somewhere, but I cannot find them. I suspect they are under the pumpkins.
Other mulches that are working are flower pots and tiles. I especially like pots, as any water coming out the bottom contains extra nutrients (I do use Osmocote, mainly, and sparingly in pots)
So, for the formal bit:
Cucumbers (glut, of Burpless and Apple)
Carrots - just a few, last crop a failure
Spuds (only a couple, as an experiment in pots)
Beans (Climbing and French/Butter) (The climbing bean teepee did make a lovely Christmas tree, with tinsel, balls and a star on top. And proved impossible to photograph!)
Golden Nugget pumpkins
Tree Onions (above, very bad year. Very few heads on them.)
Potato onions - both brown and white. These are my delight. Thanks to Rabbid Little Hippy on here, who sent me five of both. This is the harvest, after about ten of each went to two other gardeners.
Spring onions (seedlings)
Parsley (two types, seed)
Beetroot (Seeds, Derwent Globe, from memory)
Chives - how could I loose chives? I did. (Punnet)
Capsicums (not as many as we started with, with seed. Dog pulled out tags and ate them. Not sure what we have now)
Plans - not a lot, water, weed, harvest, eat, freeze tommies, make tomato sauce.
And read everyone else's blogs. I'm off.
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
First Tommie and Moving Barrels
It is first Tommie Day. We didn't quite make it in Spring, and it going to be difficult to make us a sandwich each, but it is here. More will follow.
There be beans going up those green stakes - one went six inches yesterday.
Monday, December 01, 2014
December - nearly there
It is December - it is summer. It is time for the Garden Share Collective to post about their veggie gardens. That link is to Lizzie's blog, with all the links at the bottom. Thanks Lizzie, for hosting this.
Last month's report is HERE.
And we are nearly there. We ordered our patio in March, and after a LOT of mucking around by the builder, we may have their part finished before Christmas. Maybe.
But we have had the final concrete pour of three, and we now have concrete paths that will take pots and do not have to be weeded. It is wonderful
This is the last concrete pour, with the last of the lawn in the back yard disappearing.
Concretors at work. Their boss loved the garden - he didn't realise cucumbers could climb - he has been growing apple cukes on the ground for ever. Tradies who come here a few weeks apart are stunned by the growth in the garden since last time they were here.
The main view of the veggie garden, although walls still have to go on the garage extension and garden shed. We have lost a lot of morning sun on the beds, but they seem to be okay. I have all the garden stuff out in the shed area, and it is stunning to be able to find things when I want them, and to be organised.
There are still four barrels to be moved back onto the new concrete apron. They will stay there until autumn, when they will be moved to the potting are. (Did you see??? We now have taps in the veggie end. And I have got rid of that bloody big BBQ under the black plastic.)
This is my potting area, which is slowly coming back under control. Once the pumpkins die, there will be a major re-organise.
The pumpkins are doing well in the worm bins (one on the left is running behind), and I need to move the roses, fast.
So, with all this going on, I am going to beg Lizzie to accept that I will not totally, formally report.
I can say - don't bother growing celery from the base - the product is almost useless, although it looks pretty. Good for a garnish, and that is about it.
The Bok Choi and Leeks have all run to seed. It has not been a good year for Garlic.
We haven't got tomatoes in spring, but I reckon we will be able to eat the first one tomorrow - if we are really hungry.
Lemons, Limes, Lettuce, French Beans, Perennial Spinach, Spring Onions, Carrots, Zucchinis (!!)
Nothing new planted, too chaotic. Capsicum seedlings coming along ready to go out (Thanks Lizzie, the Hungarian Wax is going nicely).
That's it - you might also care to see another post I made during the month - warning - ornamentals only. Except there is one potted tomato there.
Saturday, November 08, 2014
My Other Garden
Since 1989, with a break. I have had at least two gardens - which is why the name of this blog is in plural. My other garden of the minute is down at my Mum's hostel, which started with just bringing in four Hoyas from home when she went in there, but grew. The Hoyas have moved with her (not really well) as she moved around the hostel, and are still there. But now what there tends to be more of is strategic pots, mainly in the outdoor area near Mum's room, but also in a few other spaces.
The one above is my favourite planting technique - throw three geraniums with different types of leaves in a pot, and top the soil with a handful from my magic bucket where I continually put spent Lobelia, Virginian Stock, Violas, Alyssum and Snapdragons to drop seed into dry potting mix. I have even been known to throw in Italian Parsley for some greenery with geraniums. I just put a bit of the soil and seed mix on the top of each pot, and voila.
Here is another pot, which is past its best now, and about to come home. It was supposed to be Babianas, and they were superb - but then the volunteers really took over.
I keep rotating these pots home when they are not in flower, and am really enjoying getting some propagating space back after all the upheavel of eight months waiting for builders.
This one is a geranium all on its own - sometimes placement is the most important, so the pot can be seen from a distance and give the impression of a garden. This pot does that brilliantly.
This is one area where I did a quick "makeover". One woman there was a wonderful gardener before she came in, and all she could see from her window was a brick wall with pipes. She was asking for "just a couple of flowers". Maintenance staff put down four pavers, I threw four quick pots on - and now I am ready to look for some pink and retire some of the orange/red to a courtyard that has nothing.
The only down side is that staff are extremely hard-working, but do not have the time to water pots all over the place. So I am starting on the time of year when I need to water daily.
And I only took these photos as I wanted a shot of my Albuca canadensis. This is in the Lily family, and I have carried it around for years. It is down there for a visit, then I need to divide it up. Staff (there are so very serious gardeners in the staff), keep asking me what it is. Common name Slime Lily (which I do not like) or Sentry-in-a-Box - which I do not mind.
Monday, November 03, 2014
November in the Garden
It is November in my garden in cool and damp Gippsland in Victoria. Inch and a half of rain yesterday - bit more than we needed. (33mm)
So, here we go. Yes, it is that time of month again, when gardeners across the country, and across the world, report on their activities, as part of the Garden Share Collective. This is kindly hosted by Liz at Strayed from the Table.
Behind it will be the extension to the garage. There was a thought my potting table was going on this side of the wall, but when we finally decided on exposed pebbles for that area, I gave up, as the mix of soil and pebbles would have been too much. So I will get the BBQ (the black thing lurking behind the barrels), out of the garden.
The down side is that the sun is definitely hitting this bed later in the morning, due to the shade from the extension, but I am going to have to live with that.
So, somehow, I have to reduce the potting area I have so I can fit the four barrels (top photo) along the fence with four citrus. It will be a challenge, as I want to keep the three worm / compost bins growing pumpkins as well. But we need the space where the barrels are, as there is no lawn left in the back garden for the mulcher. Things are tight.
This is what has to be reduced! But I am not giving up this, now I finally have it set up again:
Ths is where I water the pots after potting them up - recycle the water with extra nutirents added that are leached out of the pots.
Meanwhile, back in the veggie garden. It has been an awesome month for growing. Here are beds One, Two and Three, in order:
Bed One was winter onions etc - most of which have not thrived in the wet winter - leeks are currently running to seed, some of the garlic is stunted, due to being overshadowed by the Broad Beans. With a heavy heart, I pulled themout after a few feeds, as they were so large they were dominating the bed. Next year I am going looking for a dwarf variety.
Bed Two is the new tomato house. It is working well, except with cheap arches, what you pay for is what you get. In the recent high winds, three of the junctiosn lost their screws, or snapped them. and I have had to splint them. I had Mizuna in there too, but it just got so big, so quickly, that I have pulled it all out and given it away. I am keeping one plant in a barrel to seed, so I can grow a plant now and then - eight from a punnet is just toooo much
Bed Three has all sorts of seedlings - all under industrial-strength bird deterrent at this stage - although the beetroot may almost be big enough to go on its own. This is cloches plus an almost-overall cover of find black bird netting. And the birds here are big, but they cannot move half-bricks. In the centre is more beeetroot, carrots and parsnips, up the end two sorts of cucumbers.
Beds two and three were hibernated over winter, with manure dug in then covered under several layers of folded shadecloth. At this stage it seems to have been a major success.
My disaster with manure is in Bed One, where the only explantion I have for this is one of the manures - and I cannot remember what went in there.
Yep - It is Oxalis. I am quite stressed about it, as I did not have it in this garden, and I am going to have to be very careful and dig out every little bit - and there is a fair bit. Big :(
So, here is the formal bit:
Planted since last report: Bok Choi, Beetroot, Cucumbers (second type added to first), Zucchini. It doesn't seem much, but such a heap went in last month.
Harvesting: Spring Onions, Lettuce, Lemons, Mizuna, Carrots, perennial spinach.
Wins: The Celery planted before winter from the base of a commercial stick is going gang-busters. We harvest a little occasionally for a salad.
Plans: Get the Oxalis out, Now! Let everything else happen as it happens. Can't move the barrels until Autumn, when I can move the pumpkin bins.
And I picked up this idea from someone on the Garden Share Collective- was it e/dig? Use hanging baskets (I bought two large ones at the cheap shop) with netting to make little individual bird-proof houses. Worked a treat with some added saucers, but they grew soooo quick. But it got me over the hump.
I'm off to read everyone else - I won't let myself do it until I have posted, or it would never happen.
Saturday, November 01, 2014
It is Iris time. I think mine seem to be best every second year. This is one of my favourites, above. Very vigorous and pure white.Taller than everything else.
This one hasn't flowered yet this year - but there are late buds.
And this one is one the way out. The stems are so weak they always need staking - and I am not sure I like the colour combination anyway.