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.
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.
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!)
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.
The mint and berries have come back to life and are flourishing.
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.
At the moment I am planting out my seedlings as they reach a suitable height. I have added:
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.
- 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
- Lemons (the last of them)
- Rocket (lots!)
- Spring onion
To do this Month:
- 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?
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