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Garden Share Collective October 2014

Eggplant

The garden is bursting to life with the warmer, sunny days.  Take a look around our garden this month. This update is a regularly monthly post contribution to The Garden Share Collective  for October 2014 – Spring. The Collective is a group wonderful gardeners from around Australia and further afield.  There is sure to be a gardener in your region of Australia to check out for some great tips.

Spring vgetable garden

In our garden this month the little fruit trees are developing fruit. The one below is the Apricot tree. My father-in-law has just showed me how to determine which fruit to leave on the tree and which to remove. I will continue to follow his tips as the season continues for the other trees. His main tip for the stone fruit was to remove those at the tip of the branches so that they do not pull them down with the weight, and to ensure that the fruit is not touching each other as they grow to avoid spoilage from bruising. He also gave me a helpful, quick pruning overview.

Apricot Tree

My garden has a mix of Winter produce still going strong as well as some tiny little new plants that are gaining strength day by day (the ones that the slugs have not take anyway!)

Cabbage

Raised vegetable garden bed

The beans (stumps) shown below were wiped out in a couple of days. I was excited to find the fence wire at the local recycle center for $3 and made about 7 rounds to use as frames for the beans and peas but so far the plants are not as excited as I was by them 🙂 Plants set up in rows seem to make for a fabulous bug feast so I have replanted more beans next to the peas in a slightly different area to where they were originally planted. Time will tell how they go. Those plants that are inter-planted among other things seem to be “hidden” from the bugs more effectively. This is not such an issue for the raised garden beds but I am finding it very frustrating in the new garden bed area. I would like that are to be more structured/decorative in appearance as it will border a new paved area of the back yard.

Beans

The mint and berries have come back to life and are flourishing.

Barrow of Mint

The onions are looking glorious, most of them have grown to a wonderful size. Yesterday I collected about a third of them. This year I planted only a couple of dozen onions, Creamgolds, Red Odorless and Hunter River Browns. I am really pleased to be harvesting them this early in the season as it frees up the space for new season plants. That was the main reason I planted fewer of them this year.

Onion harvest

Planting:

At the moment I am planting out my seedlings as they reach a suitable height. I have added:

Seeds

  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Capsicum
  • Carrots
  • Chia
  • Chilli
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Pumpkin
  • Tarragon
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

I growing some companion flowers this year. I have planted borage, zinnia and marigolds. The ones I put into the raised beds were eaten by slugs but the ones in pots are starting to get some size now.

As an experiment I also put in a couple of chia plants that I came across in the nursery. I am curious to see how much seed I will be able to harvest from just two plants. One of my Facebook readers told me that it is the leaves of the plant that are more useful than the seeds so I will do some research and see what I can find out about those also. If you know, I would love to hear your experience of growing it in the comments below.

Harvesting:

roast dinner vegetables

  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Herbs – parsley, coriander, sage, lemongrass, thyme, rosemary
    • They are loving the Spring weather. My basil is yet to take off but all of the others are progressing beautifully
  • Kale
  • Lemons (the last of them)
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Rocket (lots!)
  • Spinach
  • Spring onion

Sage in flower

To do this Month:

Citrus traps slugs

  • Keep the bugs, slugs and slaters at bay.
    • I have been using dried eggshells, coffee grounds, sand, orange skins and also planting pots with the bottoms cut out in an attempt to keep the slaters, slugs and snails at bay. They still are claiming plants despite all of these things…..frustrating!! I tend to sow extra seeds with the assumption that I will loose some of these sweet little plants to the bugs. This year has not started off as badly as last year did so maybe the decoys and sharp edges of the shells have actually made a difference.
  • Continue to plant seedlings as they reach a suitable stage of growth to go into the ground
  • Determine how I will will deal with days of excessive heat this year.
  • I would love to have a little structure built around the raised beds but Mr Fresh has so many things on his to do list that my garden things are low down that list. I think I may try a few things my self as that usually results in him stepping in and creating a much better solution for me!
  • Re-order and re-plant more corn seeds. None of those I have planted to date have germinated
  • Remove the parsley plant that is turning woody and overgrown. I have a couple of new ones now progressing in other areas of the garden so it can safely be removed and we will still have a steady supply.
  • Remove some of the kale towards the end of the month
  • I am expecting to remove the main broccoli plants also. I am yet decide what to put into the area as a replacement
  • The items on my to do list from last month were complete, but I did end up planting both capsicum and eggplants despite intending to wait an additional month or more. The eggplants are doing well but the capsicums are being ravaged by the slugs.

How is your Spring planting progressing? Are you planting anything new this year? 

Kyrstie

 

 

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{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Kate @rosehipsrhubarb October 6, 2014, 7:16 am

    I love the monthly updates from your very productive garden. I especially like you idea of growing mint in an old wheelbarrow. I have mint popping up everywhere and it’s driving me nuts!

    Your pruning tips are also very helpful. I know I should thin my fruit trees but can’t bring myself to do it.

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 6, 2014, 4:02 pm

      I know what you mean Kate. My father in law just ripped them off while he showed me so mine are gone! My trees are still small so I am keen to set off on the “right foot”. Thanks for dropping by.

  • e / dig in hobart October 6, 2014, 10:34 am

    so much going on in your garden! i feel your pain on the bean ‘stumps’. how frustrating.
    my corn is slow too – i figure the ground is not as warm yet as i hoped it would be.

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 6, 2014, 4:01 pm

      I think you are right about the soil temp e as I am waiting for my pumpkin seeds to sprout also and that is a sure sign.

  • Julie's garden blog October 6, 2014, 11:41 am

    Wow you have so much to do in your garden – and it is looking fab into the bargain. Not good news about those bugs and slugs though, I loathe providing tucker for them too. Good luck with the corn 🙂 Love the pic of those seedlings!

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 6, 2014, 4:00 pm

      Thanks Julie. Fingers crossed for the corn. I think e is right, it is not quite warm enough for it yet. I will wait a little longer and try again.

  • Francesca October 6, 2014, 3:39 pm

    I also found a chia plant and am curious to see what happens. It is lovely when the mnt comes back- you immediately think of summer. Your garden produce looks great. It is so annoying when the slugs tale the seedlings. I find this happens in my garden when I plant stuff too early. ( I am 50kms out of Melbourne) . Sand does help too.

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 6, 2014, 3:59 pm

      Funny you mention sand Francesca, I just added some in a circle around the tomatoes I planted yesterday and it seems to have worked last night, there were no casualties. Someone had told me salt works too but I didn’t want to add it to my soil. It is a full scale protection set up now!

  • Tracy October 6, 2014, 4:05 pm

    My garden is in that between seasons phase too. Winter things are producing too well to pull out but I need the room for summer plants. Maybe a bigger garden is the answer.
    I’ve had trouble with my corn when I sow it in the garden so I have been sowing them in pots and transplanting.

  • Rachel and Jamie October 6, 2014, 6:34 pm

    Gorgeous photos Kyrstie! I feel for your beans. We used cloches made from two litre juice bottles to protect our beans until they were large enough to cope. They worked really well and we only lost one plant out of 10. We lost a number of watermelon and zucchini to slugs so have cloched the remaining ones.

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 7, 2014, 2:50 pm

      Thanks Rachel and Jamie, the cloches do seem to work well. I will use those on the beans next try I think…

  • Jo (down to eath mother) October 6, 2014, 8:58 pm

    I love the way you’re supporting your beans, I hope they get excited too! I’ve just chucked a whole heap of chilli and capsicum seeds in trays as we are fast moving into the hot season here in SE Queensland. I keep waiting for my cherry tomato forest to die off a bit to make space for beans, but they’re rampant! I’ve given up staking them and have draped them along the fence instead. Luckily my neighbours don’t mind!

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 7, 2014, 2:49 pm

      Wow! I would love to be getting tomatoes at this time of year. Time enough though I guess 🙂

  • Gillian October 7, 2014, 2:45 pm

    Oh your garden is really productive, everything looks so tasty.

  • merryn@merrynsmenu October 8, 2014, 3:18 pm

    The apricot tree is gorgeous. I can’t believe it is fruiting already. Lucky your father in law can guide you with pruning; my father in law just cuts everything into thirds and says ‘now you looka at it grow’- he is forbidden from pruning anything! Your garden is very impressive as is the list of what you are growing, seeding and planning to grow. Your produce picking is extensive and I love your flowering sage – it is so pretty.

  • lizzie @ strayedtable October 14, 2014, 2:57 pm

    Kyrstie, did you plant your eggplants from seed? If so what is your secret they look so good. I couldn’t even get one up. I am about to try again but if you have any pointers I would love to know. The weather is warm enough, I thought that maybe they need more sun to keep the seed warm instead of the shade that I did have the last lot in. Lots to do in your garden this month. I too am thinking about shade structures and netting for the coming hot and bugy months ahead.

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 16, 2014, 10:17 pm

      Hi Lizzie,
      I do have some that are now in the garden and slightly smaller that I planted from seed. The image shown here is of some that I planted as established seedlings. I never let my seeds dry out and they sit on a bench that is bathes in sun (on nice days) in Mr Fresh’s garage. I water with seaweed solution to keep them happy as they grow and then continue with that for the first few weeks after they are put into the garden.That is it 🙂

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