Monday, October 7, 2013

October Garden






Jasmine dripping from the front eaves / "Cecil" the Indian Runner Duck having a splash / Blossom / Superb Fairy Wren / "The Captain" our Silver Spangled Hamburg Rooster

There's been very little action on the blogging front lately (more on that in another Post) but there is plenty going on in the garden so for now I thought I'd give you a little tour of the Veggie Patch.






It's essentially a 13m x 13m Veggie Patch broken into 4 rows with Raspberries down one side and Sunflowers down the other. It has been neglected ever since the Kangaroos got in last year and in one evening decimated all of our hard work. Almost a year on and faced with the prospect of being eaten out of house and home by the five youngsters we decided it was time to get serious about home-grown food again. We basically started from scratch again 2 months ago. Everything has been planted from seeds using mostly Heirloom varieties.

Needless to say, we've made some adjustments to make sure nothing can get in. The height of the fences has been increased with the use of some Tiki Lanterns that were found languishing in the shed, leftover from my 30th Birthday Party a few (or so!) years ago. The fences have also been dug into the ground about a foot for further reinforcement. Despite all this, the rhubarb curiously disappeared one night. No time was wasted buying a possum trap and that night the scoundrel was caught and relocated at another corner of the farm.



Row 1 (top) - Artichokes, (Globe and Purple, a smaller Italian Variety). We planted them by seed 4 years ago and they are thriving. The first flowers of the season are starting to appear now. We also have 4 Rhubarb which are coming back after the possum incident.




Row 2 - This row had the Potatoes last year. The Teepees for the Climbing Beans and Cucumbers were erected on the weekend and seeds sown, with Marigolds in the centre of the Teepees. Sweet Corn were planted next to the Teepees and the remaining space is left for the sprawling vegetables like Pumpkins and Zucchinis that will go in next month.


Row 3  - The Potatoes went in last month.


The Snow Peas and Bush Peas are coming along and the carrots are starting to sprout. The Tomatoes were planted and staked on the weekend.


It's generally the rule around here that Tomatoes don't go into the ground until after Hobart Show Day (25th Oct) but there was a rather unfortunate incident which meant the Tomato seedlings got 'hardened off' a bit earlier than expected.

Me: What on earth are you doing?
Him: Putting together a little hot house.
Me: You've got to be kidding! Remember what happened last time?
Him: This one is a bit different.
Me: Please don't. This one looks just as flimsy. Where is it from?
Him: The $2 shop.
Me: Seriously then, it's not going to last 2 seconds. Don't you remember what happened last time?
Him: I'm going to peg this one in.
Me: I'm deadly serious, even the slightest bit of wind will blow that thing away and the precious little Tomato seedlings will be all over the place and ruined. And I'll be cranky because we've had this conversation
Him: Mel, it would have to be serious wind for any of that to happen and it only needs to hold up for a couple more weeks. (Rolls his eyes and continues to place flimsy plastic pole into other flimsy plastic poles.)
Me: Allrighty then. I'm not going to tell you "I told you so".

I go off an do groceries. The wind picked up and it was actually one of the windiest days on record. Two hours later I pull into the driveway and the hot house is a jumbled mess of plastic rubble jammed down beside the caravan. Dear Husband is scrambling around the yard collecting seedling survivors. "Not a word!" he says. As if any words were needed, I say in my head but I'm sure my message was received in the non-verbal form.

So....the Tomatoes are now in the ground and we're crossing our fingers there is no frost in the next couple of weeks.

Row 4 - Here we have a Strawberry Patch, a Broad Bean Patch, a patch with Radish and Mizuna and finally the Brassica Patch (Kale and Broccoli). There is also Lettuce and Spinach throughout this row too.






So, not much in the way of harvesting other than the Mizuna which we have in salad as well as the school lunches but if the animals and the frosts stay away there should be a lot of progress to report on next month. It is such a great feeling to have the Veggie Patch up and running again.

Are any of you growing your own food at the moment? I'd love to know what's happening in your garden right now.


33 comments :

  1. I love the idea of a skeleton doing the watering! I also hope for hubbys sake that there is no frost, I don't like the idea of him being rammed where ever the plastic tent affair ended up! Happy gardening! Hope the roos keep away.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a busy garden and a lot of work; how discouraging when it disappears overnight (or in a gust of wind). It looks very productive and your artichokes look magnificent Your possum trap is just the same as our rabbit trap, though I'm afraid we aren't as compassionate as you and don't relocate the rabbits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure we'll be as compassionate if it happens again Anne :-)

      Delete
  3. Wow, everything is growing so beautifully at your place at the moment (fingers crossed those tomato seedlings take!) Seeing that photo of your gorgeous duck sitting on the door mat makes me love your place even more than I already do :) Your vegetable garden is such a great size. Ours is a much smaller scaled one. My herbs are growing fantastically at the moment and this week, I'm planning to take out my lettuces which have gone to seed and anything else past its used by date and out in a fresh crop of seedlings... am doing a bit of reading at the moment trying to work out what will best survive the heat over the coming months though... last year, my poor vegies frizzled in our summer heat. Loved having a tour of your garden Mel. Have a great week xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's very early days Amanda but should be looking pretty good in a month or two :-) A herb bed in front of the Kitchen is another little project on the 'to do' list.....have a great week too xxx

      Delete
  4. And I thought my pigeons and slugs were a problem! They never learn do they, if they just accepted we were right, EVERY TIME, then they could save themselves such a lot of bother! ;) x

    ReplyDelete
  5. My son and his wife and baby Lucy are here visiting. As soon as he gets up I am going to have him read your post. He spent many long hours turning a patch of overgrown weeds at the back of the house they are renting into a lovely vegetable garden, and three times this past summer the deer have managed to get over the fence and into the garden, eating their way through his precious vegetables. At least he doesn't have to worry about kangaroos and possums! Your garden looks like it will be terrific, and hopefully it will feed your family and not the nearby wildlife. Oh - you could put little covers over the wee tomato plants every evening. It will trap the heat and keep them from being harmed by a frost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is nothing worse than vegetables being eaten by animals. It seriously took us months to get over the incident with the Kangaroos, especially because all the damage was done in just one night and there was literally nothing left. Yes, think I will put some covers on the Tomatoes. Have a wonderful time with your Son & family! x

      Delete
  6. It's lovely to see your productive spring garden and the promise of things to come (hopefully without the unhelpful assistance of possums and kangaroos.) It's always wonderful to involve the children in the process too!
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah. The Kids absolutely love the Veggie Patch and I agree, it's important for them to get an idea of the effort involved in growing food in general :-)

      Delete
  7. I am jealous over the size of that veg garden! It looks fantastic. I've got 2 veg gardens, side by side but only about 3x4m each (we have limited space in our West Hobart garden). This year we've put in potatoes (Kipfler and Up To Date), salad stuff and tomatoes. I also dot mini marigolds throughout, not so much for decoration (although they do look good) but for pest control. Not sure if it works??

    Unfortunately I too have had to put my tomatoes in early this year because I'm due to have a baby very very soon, in fact being induced next week if baby does not come in the meantime. My sister gave me a hand putting them in - 25 plants with 20 varieties (my husband is a little black thumbed!). I am a little obsessed by tomatoes. If you want some different heirloom tomato seeds for next year let me know and I could pop some in the post - like I say, I'm a little obsessed with tomatoes. I'm a little worried about frost so I've put plastic plant protectors around each tomato (you know the plastic slip held into a tee pee by 3 stakes?).
    I've also had to put my dahlias in early for the same reason - ah well, we have a warm and wet forecast for Spring in Hobart so fingers crossed. I'll also probably do corn towards Christmas as well as the usual other stuff - more salad, radishes, spring onions etc.

    We're also pretty big on herbs at our house and grow 10-20 different types. The only one I'm yet to do is basil which goes into cloche greenhouses later in the year. I've also put in espalier apples and cherries along fencelines as well as a few lemon trees & globe artichokes (green and purples varieties) as well as asparagus and we have 2 blueberry and raspberry patches plus around 30 pots of strawberries (Ichigo and Red Gauntlet).

    The centrepiece of our garden however is a massive 150 year old Napoleon pear tree, a survivor of the market gardens and orchards that used to cover West Hobart - just love this tree! It is covered in new leaves now but for 2-3 weeks a year is covered in white blossom.
    We also suffer from possums here, even in the mid city. Damn things!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stella, I haven't seen you in ages! I have been a super slack blogger but hope to post soon. I hope all goes really well with the birth of your baby x Sarah B

      Delete
    2. Hi Stella, So glad you popped in, being the avid gardener that you are! I completely understand your obsession with Tomatoes - the holy grail home grown veggies :-) I think I will pop some covers over them. Your Herb garden sounds gorgeous. I little kitchen herb garden is another project on my ever-growing 'to do' list. Is Napolean St in W. Hobart named after the Pear Tree then? I would love to do a seed swap but more importantly, all the VERY best for the upcoming birth. You are in very good hands with 'our' Doctor :-) So exciting! Can't wait to hear your happy news when you get a chance to spread the news....Take Care! xxx

      Delete
  8. What a great garden! I have 3 small patches and so far only have raspberries and broad beans growing. Tomatoes will go in soon and I normally also plant butter beans, carrots, beetroot, peas and potatoes. It's so great to eat from your own garden. As much as I adore the possums I hope they keep out so you can enjoy your veg :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love having the possums around too, just not in that fenced off square! x

      Delete
  9. Wow, your garden is fantastic. You have so many different things planted and such a nice, big space. I'm looking forward to seeing the progress through your growing season!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer. There's not much to see at the moment but that was the exact point of the Post - to track (hopefully) some progress on the Veggie front :-) x

      Delete
  10. It's all looking fabulous Mel ... and I did chortle over those tomatoes ... men really don't learn from experience do they!

    No veggie patch here but the hedgerows are yielding their annual abundance of good to eat things :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The beauty of the hedgerows is that they are maintenance free for the picker :-)

      Delete
  11. lots of lovely growing down your way Mel. My ambitious potted blueberry actually looks relatively happy this year. I'm hoping nothing eats them before they have a chance to ripen. (Most expensive blueberries on the planet after the love I've given them over a ridiculously large amount of time.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yum! Blueberries would be wonderful!!! x

      Delete
  12. Hello Mel!

    It's a little strange to see wisteria flourishing in your garden; I still have a strong vision of this sweet-smelling plant tumbling over every old stone wall in our village in May! Time passes so fast...

    Good for you! Your vegetable plot certainly seems FULL of potential! And that conversation with your husband? We've had similar ones so it made me chuckle!

    Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hopefully they're hardy tomato plants and you have a bumper harvest in a few months time.
    Your duck is the cutest ever, such character. x

    ReplyDelete
  14. oh i love nothing better than having a look at people's vegge gardens, in really life and on blogs. Your rooster is a fantastic looking creature! I have lots of seedlings on the go, inside, it was 24 degrees on sunday, but it's snowing right now! I'll plant out in about a month i think, but might have to transfer some to bigger pots. Putting in lots of edible flowers this year, plus sunflowers, chilli's and caraway none of which i've never grown before. quite excited!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow.. What an amazing garden! Can you do a guest post for me?! ;) Xx

    ReplyDelete
  16. What beautiful flowers! And I love Cecil! I've only just organised for a "Jim" to come in and blitz my backyard. I'm getting him to lower the grass level (aherm) from say, thigh height to ... not thigh height! He's also going to get rid of any dead bits and pieces and weeds, then I can see what I'm working with. I've got plans to sit down with mum and make some sketches of what I'd like to do (and what I can do - it'll be down to me, so everything needs to be very low maintenance). Then I just need some warm-ish weekends after that to see what I can get planted. I'm really looking forward to being able to grow my own fruit, veg and herbs (albeit on a much smaller scale than you guys)!

    ReplyDelete
  17. My goodness, I'm bowled over by how much space you have to grow food! On the one hand it's wonderful to be able to potentially grow and harvest in such quantities but on the other hand, gosh, I bet it's a lot of work at times. It all sounds delicious and healthy. I love that kangaroos ate your rhubarb,,,actual kangaroos! :-) xx

    ReplyDelete
  18. I really enjoyed your garden tour Mel. And I absolutely LOVE your rooster....so pretty :-)

    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  19. Such a garden! I'm impressed with it.
    I guessed the bird was some sort of wren because the tail sticks up, but otherwise he looks much like our chickadee, here https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1TSNO_enUS505US505&hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=613&q=chickadee&oq=chickadee&gs_l=img.3..0l10.1255.3014.0.3863.9.7.0.2.2.0.90.539.7.7.0....0...1ac.1.28.img..0.9.543.JhbG0UMJUYg

    ReplyDelete
  20. Loved seeing your garden Mel! We've just planted some strawberries in an old wheelbarrow and my three year old picked our first strawberries this morning. I have also just purchased some old apple crates and am planning on creating our first vegetable garden. I have no idea what I'm doing but I love the idea of growing organic fruit and veg for my girls! I hope your tomatoes survive!

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a gorgeous garden Mel - love Cecil and The Captain! :)

    ReplyDelete