Friday, May 30, 2014

June coming up in the Veggie Garden


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.

You can see last month's report HERE. There is now a Facebook page as well.

May has broken all records for the longest span of days above 20 degrees for the month (think that was it), and it certainly has been mild to warm. No more signs of frost, no snow on the hills yet.


Here is the main part of the veggie garden from my usual photograph point at the back step. It is all of the veggie garden now - no extension of pots over on the other side. Rather bare there:

Most of the month has been spent moving things, such as a large pile of gravel that had got so much dirt in it that it had to be sieved and washed . Nice pile of succulent soil came out through the sieve though.

But do you see the kitchen sink??? Another gift from the nature strip of the neighbours. We think it will sit on top of the trough, currently over there under the window, and make a perfect extension to the potting bench/watering point.

This is the current temporary potting area - all sorts of vats of soil of various types and compost bins getting ready for next season's pumpkins. I'm quite happy with it, except the ground underfoot is very uneven, so I have to be really careful. But the weeds along there are quite under control now.

So this is where the pile of gravel went - the first path around the veggie beds. The one that always went under water when it rained. Hopefully this will get it above the water table.

Now for a quick run around the beds. This is Bed One, where I am delighted to say I have it almost totally bird netted. And it is paying off.

This is where something interesting is happening. We bought a pot of "Early" Broad Beans at Bunnings, and they are actually producing them now - we usually don't get them until spring. They are the group on the right. On the left are Aquadulce, that I planted at the same time for control - they are almost as tall as the Early (last year I was picking them from a step ladder, so they will get taller!), but no signs of flowers on them yet.

Bed Two, that I wanted to have empty and starting to work though with horse manure, refuses to lie down and give up. Still producing lettuce and spring onions, end of the capsicums and red beet. And the Nasturtians - bit like a canary in a mine - definitely no severe frosts yet, with it still growing like that.

And Bed Three? I thought I might dig some manure through that too, but it is currently hosting some of the pots moved from the patio, and parsnips and carrots around the edge. I could work on it, but lack time. The rain gauge is over here now too - it used to be easy to look out the window to see how much rain we had had - no such luck now.

Two fun things - our first lemon is still on the way - never has a lemon been more awaited.

And I picked this up on a kailyard in Adelaide - I am having a go at producing a celery from the base of a commercial one. Has anyone tried this? Will it survive in a garden instead of a bowl of water? Or is just a fun thing I can clip some greens from?

The formal bit:

Spring onions
Capsicums and Peppers
Asian greens
Broad Beans!!!! (just a few)

Pak Choi
And not much else - too busy with the patio and the gravel

Get the patio finished
Dig the horse manure into beds 2 and 3
Plant more onions 

I planted Yates All Year Round carrots and Yates Majestic Red (after searching high and low for that one). All Year Round going gang busters. Majestic Red got a few up, which then died. 100% fail.

 Heading off to lurk so I can read posts from the rest of the Collective.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Setting up the Work Area

How much difference a day makes. The potting bench has been moved to over to the new working area (despite  Beloved muttering about fruit trees going there). It is under the blue watering can. I have soil bins to the right (on a bench, so not so much bending), and a water tub on the ground to the right. It needs to move a little to the right, as I cannot easily access soil. But only after a fair bit of water comes out of it. All water contains very dilute worm wee.

To the left are various lots of poor soil (to go through the worm bins in small quantities), horse manure (ditto), two compost bins and reserves of good soil for next year's pots. The third, and largest compost bin has gone into storage - we are not producing as much in the way of kitchen scraps.

Black plastic has been laid right along to suppress weeds.

Next to move is these pots, and the trough. Love the trough, which we picked up recently from a nature strip. I put the pots in there to water, wash root veggies etc, and pick the water up again to use out the bottom. Trouble was, I may not have left enough room to get it in over by the potting bench where, even though there is no water supply, I will still be able to use it. Back to the drawing board.

The butterfly is one of the sort made by my Beloved's mother - his father cut them out, and she painted them. We still have two - there is a blue one over in the potting area.

 And the tarmac is looking very empty - not much more to go.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

May in the Veggie Garden


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.

You can see last month's report HERE. There is now a Facebook page as well.

This month has been fairly hectic - but autumn is well and truly here - first frost was on 25 April.

This is most of the veggie garden (well, the beds) from my usual point - I always take a photo from the back doorstep, so I can build up comparisons. But this will be the last one from this view.

There is a reason for the "blobs" - I have had to seriously rationalise pots, so these ones are drying for me to process the soil to elsewhere, and dry off things like mint to thoroughly kill them before composting.

The extra-large pots and compost bins along the fence are mostly empty, but those pillars of pots down towards the back are full, waiting for the soil to be processed. Some goes into compost bins, some into beds and some is kept to mix with manure for next year's pots. More black plastic is due to go down to really deal with weeds along there.

The only plantings are in bed one, which is the largest bed, which has been filled up for winter. And covered to stop birds - mainly Starlings, Sparrows and Minahs.

This is the other end of the bed, with seedling pots even under the net. List of plantings below

 And here is why things are a bit chaotic, and I am rationalising pots. The contract is signed for the extension, and everything has had to move. You can see what this was like 5th picture down, last month. To say the least, it was "busy". Next thing is going to a gravel path in the veggie beds with the spare gravel. The extension will grow lovely Hoyas. And I get a real garden shed. Seriously hanging out for that shed! From my first ever one of a corrugated iron tank on its side, I have always had a shed of my own.

So the greenhouse and shadehouse have gone down the back - and may yet stay there.

All the rest of the ornamental pots and herbs that were on the tarmac have been put on the path on black plastic. By the time I lift them, that will have fixed the weeds on the path for the next six months. Nice, organic method.

And all the pots with something left in them have been temporarily dumped on Bed 3. They are mainly Chillies and Peppers, so some are going under big bushes down the back to see if I can overwinter them through the frosts. Maybe tomorrow, before the frosts get really serious.

So, here goes with the formal bit:

Perpetual spinach (seeds, haven't tried it before)
Spring Onion seeds (something odd goes here - what is coming up has two cotyledons - I think I see some volunteer ornamentals making a run for it)
Pak Choi seeds
Garlic cloves
Leek seedlings
Tree onion bulbs
Yates Majestic Red Carrots
Yates All Seasons Carrots
Punnet of Lolla Rossa lettuce
Punnet of mixed Asian Greens.

And that is quite enough!

Last of the climbing beans
One last Cucumber from late planting in pots.

Finish clearing for the extension - gravel and potting table to move tomorrow.

Get the extension in, hopefully early enough to start tomato seedlings. Don't think it will be finished for next month's report - as long as it is started.

Process soil, get compost bin ready for pumpkins.

Get Bed 2 empty (not a lot of hope), and dig in a heap on manure

Read all the Garden Share Collective Posts.


That's a fair list, when you think about it.