Saturday, October 05, 2013

October 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 my post from last month HERE.

Until today, not a lot has happened in the garden. Apart from the Broad Beans (see below!). It has been too wet to do much at all, the drainage in the back corner has failed, and even today I can only walk around the beds wearing gumboots, in about two inches of water. And it continues to be very windy.

 So I dug out the cheap arch, and installed it to bridge between Bed 1, at the back, which is mostly out of sight and cooking the green manure, and Bed 2, in the front, where today the climbing beans went in on one side. This gives me extra growing space by going up in the world. I have had to put sections of poly pipe around the beans to try to protect them from the strong wind today. And the birds.

 Then, I put two rows of sweet corn across the back of bed one, with one of my instant cloches. I am using them a lot - lash two lots of two bamboo canes, stick them in the ground, put a long, plastic tomato stake between them, and bird netting over it. Weigh down with bricks, and birds frustrated until the corn is big enough to survive on its own. Milly was assisting.

A week or so ago I got the first cherry tomatoes into the pots on the right, and today put cucumbers in the ones on the left - again with polypipe to deter birds and abate the wind. If seedlings get set back by wind at this time it takes them a while to bounce back. The other four cucumbers will go on the other side of the arch between beds one and two. The front two pots are oregano and rosemary.

So, what is happening in Bed 3? It is those giant Broad Beans.

 Honestly, I don't know why I have been caught again. When you add the height of the beds, the tops of the beans are eight feet off the ground, and I have to harvest them with a step ladder. This photo, mind you, is after I took to them fairly aggressively with the secateurs and thinned them out a fair bit (and treated the thinnings as green manure - into pots and beds). Nothing else survives in the bed with them, as they are sucking out all the moisture. Yes, I know there are dwarf varieties, but I like these. Except next year they are going in a planter bag on the fence line! But in the meantime, think I will chop the tops off. I cannot get them up there, and it will reduce the lever-action in the wind.

 Elsewhere in Bed 2, we are having a plant-off. I reckon I read somewhere that garlic should be planted in March, and my Beloved swore they are like other onions, and planted on the shortest day of the year. So I put the row in on the left in March, and the one on the right on the shortest day, in June. I have to admit, the June ones are fast catching up to the March ones.

So here are the formalities:

Now Planting: Tomatoes. (two varieties of cherry in, other two passed across side fence to another gardener). Roma and Grosse Lisse go in tomorrow, if the weather stays nice.

Sweet Corn, Apple Cucumbers, Lebanese Cucumbers, Climbing Beans (cannot even get a name for them, from Bunnings), Butternut Pumpkin.

Planted earlier - Leeks, Cos Lettuce (with a lot of self-seeding lettuce coming up)

At the end of the month the Capsicums and Basil go in, although I have tried letting the basil go to seed last year and just throwing it all around the garden - I noticed a few seedlings around last year. None up yet. Italian Flat-leaf parsley is coming up all by itself.

Now Harvesting: Carrots, Snow Peas, Broad Beans, Tree Onions as shallots, Parsnips, Beetroot (that long one - don't like it, but it is fighting with the Broad Beans).

Plans for the month? Plant carrots. Maybe some Radishes. Invent a new cage to keep the birds off the tomatoes. Stay tuned.


Blogger e / dig in hobart said...

hello from another garden share-r! its great to see how much you are doing - i feel very unproductive compared to the others in the collective.
i love your plant-off. only way to solve a disagreement!

1:54 PM  
Blogger lizzie {Strayed Table} said...

Those broad beans are huge, I can't even imagine trying to get to them on a ladder - would be a sight to see. Look like you have a lot happening this month in the garden. Look forward to seeing it again next month.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Melissa L said...

Your broad beans are huge! No wonder you need a step ladder to harvest it. Sounds like you have your work cut out for you with all the plantings you have planned. It's gonna be fantastic and I hope the weather dries a little.

9:50 PM  

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