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Garden Update Spring November 2013

Garden Share Collective Update


First tomato flowers

This month has not been totally fabulous in my garden – there are bugs galore, mold from too much rain and not enough sunshine, there are still lots of Slaters and I have dreaded leaf curl on the little peach tree. Due to the poor weather I have not spent much time in the garden this month.

This post is part of The Garden Share Collective, graciously hosted by Lizzie at Strayed From the Table. Each month bloggers from around Australia, and the world, provide an update on how their vegetable gardens are growing. Be sure to check out some of the other sites, especially if you live in a state other than Victoria (where I am). It is fascinating to see the differences in what is growing in the different states.

Progress on last months to do list:

Mr Fresh decided to re-order his to-do list and started to work on the new garden area ahead of schedule.  It is beginning to take shape. Both levels are having the retaining walls re-enforced. The bottom area that you can only just glimpse in the image below will be a BBQ/entertaining area, covered in part by a grape vine.

garden update

The top level will have paving at the back (as you can see has been started) to provide a seating area in the shade. This was previously a scraggy garden area where not much grew. That may have been because it was an area I rarely watered, weeded or paid any attention. It was also shaded under the deck and has terrible soil that I have never attempted to rectify. It was filled with plants I dragged from our previous home. 

Immediately in front of this paving area will be my new raised garden beds – one on each side. I plan to use the beds for salad ingredients and maybe herbs.  I would love it to be a potager style garden but I don’t think I have the skill nor the patience to maintain the lovely symmetry of this style of garden. 

My garden beds end up bursting at the seams as the season progresses. You may be able to tell this from raised bed 1 (see below) that currently is filled with garlic, onions, shallots, rocket, potatoes and some spinach and beetroot.

Last months jobs included trying to get rid of the Slaters. I have squashed plenty but there are thousands of them and so have not had too much success eradicating them. The kids have been told to hunt and kill them! 

Weeding has been continuous and there are still some seeds I have raised that are yet to be put out until they are larger and strong enough to content with the bugs. Their growth has been painstakingly slow with the poor weather. 

Garden Bed 1


Some early onions came out and the potatoes in the large tyre that were being attacked by Slaters last month were harvested. The crop was quite small but since it was a crop I had not planned to plant it was a bonus and was used to make a few batches of gnocchi that I learned to make at cooking school in Italy earlier in the year.

  • Artichokes
  • Spinach, rocket and lettuce
  • A few beetroot
  • A couple of strawberries 
  • Some carrots
  • Kale
  • Lots of parsley, sage and some chillis

I trimmed the rosemary plant on the weekend to freshen up the plant and to make some space in the herb garden. I tied the cuttings and have hung them to dry. There is too much of it to put in the oven. It will keep me in rosemary for a year (at least) and I can make some more rosemary salt for Christmas gifts.



  • Chives
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Rocket
  • Tarragon

Progress Update:

A cold snap and rain for almost three weeks in a row has meant that I have lost a few tomato plants as they were affected by mold due to the damp. I pulled them out and have since replaced them.

The Slaters are still causing some damage in the garden.  The little zucchini plant that was attacked was making a nice comeback and had many new leaves sprouting. I thought it had beaten the bugs until I saw it yesterday and something has taken off all of those new leaves. I’m not happy! Summer is not Summer without excess zucchini to get totally sick of. I think I will have to abandon the ones I have been raising from seed and buy a more progressed on to plant from the nursery that can withstand the bugs.

The rain has also delivered some tiny little black bugs that I have not seen in the garden previously. They have been sprayed with water mixed with chilli, garlic and some detergent. Hopefully that will be the end of them…

Also the little peach tree has dreaded leaf curl. Yuck. Look at it!!!

Peach tree

I didn’t notice at first and then with the rain we have also not been able to treat it.  If you know what I should do to get rid of it please tell me in the comments below.  I seems that I am too late to spray it now.

The onions, shallots, leeks and garlic are all growing well. The garlic is showing signs of getting close to being ready with the foliage starting to yellow. I pulled one up to check it and it still has some way to go prior to harvest.

I have started to harvest onions, much earlier than I expected and have begun planting corn seeds in the gaps. They are growing fast and looking good. The ones that didn’t germinate I have just re-planted with new seeds. There should have about 16 plants once they all take off.

All is not dire despite the bugs, mould and curl. One of the tomato plants is sporting flowers and the blueberries and raspberries are making fantastic progress. The lemon tree has a huge amount of new fruit developing.

Lemon Tree

This is how my garden is growing at the moment:

Raised bed 1 you saw in one of the images above, crowded with garlic, onions, shallots, potatoes and rocket.

Between 1 2

In between beds 1 and 2: 

November Garden Share Collective

Raised bed 2:

Between 2 3

 In between beds 2 and 3:

Bed 3

Raised bed 3:

Strawberry Patch netting

The strawberry/eggplant/tomato patch has been re-netted to allow growing room for the taller plants. Thanks to Linda from Chloe’s Garden blog for the inspiration to try out this style of netting. I think it will work well and bonus points to me because Mr Fresh is not busting to re-do it. I must have done a good job 😉

To do this coming month:

  • Netting needs to be put in place for the raspberries before they start to ripen.
  • Remove the three large rocket plants currently in the garden beds. That space can then be re-used.
  • Mulch all of the garden beds with straw to maintain the moisture in the soil from the rain we have been getting this last month.
  • Pick lots of strawberries (hopefully)

I will do my utmost best to not plant anything else this month. I will be monitoring, weeding and checking on all the little plants progress. As well as doing battle with the post rain bugs.

What is happening in your garden this month? Please remember – if you have any tips on getting rid of leaf curl I need to know.






A Fresh Legacy


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{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Linda November 4, 2013, 7:33 am

    Love the netting! Stand by next month for a new version – the Engineer and I are now facing off!
    Will be back for a re-read. Lots in there but no answer for the leaf curl.

  • gillian vance November 4, 2013, 9:47 am

    Oh I wish I could grow onions (or are they chives?)- yours look so pretty. On Gardening Australia they were talking about echo oil for citrus. You might look into that. I tend to always cut off diseased leaves, and put them into the bin, that often stops the spread of whatever disease is. That way the plant can concentrate on the good helathy leaves, and they dont look so sad 🙂

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 4, 2013, 8:54 pm

      Thanks Gillian, I have seen Eco oil so will do some more reading. I am not sure which picture you were looking at but there are onions, shallots, leeks and garlic in the beds. I do have chives but they are still immature and are in the herb patch that I forget to photograph!

  • e / dig in hoabrt November 4, 2013, 10:00 am

    sometimes gardening is not the joy we wish it was! sometimes it feels like mother nature really has it in for us.
    on the positive side – your onions/alliums look beautiful! so tall and proud.
    and you have given me a good idea about the rosemary salt. what a delicious thing to do for roasts !

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 4, 2013, 8:52 pm

      So true e/dig. It think that the bad weather had gotten to me when I wrote this update. I love the sculptural look of the onions at the moment also. It is currently my favorite image of the garden seeing them standing tall with emerging flowers.

  • Helen November 4, 2013, 11:55 am

    Loved the update Linda – I had no idea how large your garden space was, so awesome!! Really liked the bird netting what a great idea, will definitely be something I will replicate when I get some garden space. I think it would be a difficult to do in a balcony.

    You seem to have a lot of slaters, what do they do to the plants? I’m getting an increase in caterpillars of various varieties, ick!

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 4, 2013, 8:50 pm

      Hi Helen, thanks for dropping by. The slaters eat the small plants until they are just stumps. They only tend to eat small plants. They are tiny little grey bugs that curl up into a ball when in light, they like the dark. I love a balcony garden and seeing what people can grow in a small space. It is fabulous! Happy gardening. K x

  • Helen November 4, 2013, 11:55 am

    Oops Kyrstie, I accidentally wrote ‘Linda’ as I read her comment, my bad!!

  • Lisa the Gourmet Wog November 4, 2013, 12:15 pm

    I hear you on the weeding Kyrstie!! What a pain in the neck it is. Your garden looks fabulous though! Hope your peach tree gets well soon and regains its beautiful green leaves x

  • Erin @ she cooks, she gardens November 4, 2013, 1:46 pm

    Hey Kyrstie,

    We’ve been having similar weather down here in Adelaide, so I know how you feel at the moment. Sorry to hear you’re a bit in the wars with everything, it can be so overwhelming when things don’t quite go to plan. Your garden is looking great though, small hurdles aside.

    I’ve read that Iron Chelate is good for slater control, might be worth looking into – I think it’s an ok product to use in the garden, around kids and animals etc.

    Can’t help you with the leaf curl though, sadly.

    Best of luck,

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 4, 2013, 8:48 pm

      Thanks Erin, I have not heard of Iron Chelate I will look it up. All is not dire, we had a gorgeous Spring day here today and my chilli garlic spray seems to have gotten rid of the tiny black bugs so that is a plus! Am off to check out your update now.

  • lizzie @ strayedtable November 4, 2013, 1:58 pm

    Its a shame no one had an answer to the slaters issue – i was wondering if someone had an answer or spray – the only other thing to look at is pyrethrum however it is not bee friendly.
    Your garden is still looking really well cared for even if the weather has been unkind to you.
    I have never heard of leaf curl, I will be talking to some fruit tree nerds later this week and see what they have to say and get back to you.

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 4, 2013, 8:46 pm

      I have made a spray with eucalyptus oil and dishwash liquid in water that I read about on a forum so I use that periodically but the problem is that the eucalyptus can burn the little plants. It is a balancing act. Would love any tips your fruit tree nerds may have thanks Lizzie.

  • jeanie November 4, 2013, 4:14 pm

    I had to turn to Mr Google to check on what slaters were – apparently chooks are your best friends there!!! That and keeping some space between mulch and your babies, as they don’t like being exposed.

    With the leaf curl – on citrus I always remove any affected branches. Tom (our ABC radio talkback gardening guru up here) always uses Oxychloride for such things (this isn’t his page, but where I was reminded – http://www.sgaonline.org.au/peach-leaf-curl/) good luck.

    Heartily wishing we could send some sunshine your way and grab a bit of your rain problem.

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 4, 2013, 8:45 pm

      Yes they are Jeanie but we no longer have any as they did more damage to my garden than the slaters 😉 Good tip on the mulch though as the beds most affected are those that have mulch. Thanks so much for the leaf curl tips I am off to read. It is such a wide land isn’t it that one of us is always dealing with too much of something, or not enough! The great challenge of gardening.

  • Gustoso November 4, 2013, 4:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing your garden with us. It was nice to have an update.

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 4, 2013, 8:42 pm

      My pleasure, I could rave on for hours! Thanks for visiting Gustoso.

  • Barbara Good November 4, 2013, 9:14 pm

    Nice work, especially with your netting. Glad to hear I’m not the only one struggling through the cold and wet here is Victoria. My lemon/lime has leaf curl too, argh, so I’ll be reading your comments to see if anyone had a solution for you.

    Your raised beds certainly do look thoroughly planted! Here’s hoping we get some warmer, sunnier weather to really get these plants going.

  • Jodie November 6, 2013, 6:53 am

    What a bummer about the ‘Slatter’s’!

    I was watching Gardening Australia the other week and they were talking about ‘Slatter’ and earwig problems – a garden stake in your patch with a pot up-turned on the top and scrunched up newspaper squashed inside is supposed to attract them over night. Then, come the morning, you change out the newspaper, full of ‘Slatter’s’ (during the night they are supposed to climb up into the pot with newspaper), and pop it into your compost as ‘Slatter’s’ are awesome little workers in your compost (so they said anyway)…

    Apart from the bug issue, your garden is looking gorgeous… I hope this coming month brings you more Sunny days… 🙂

  • Merryn@merrynsmenu November 15, 2013, 3:01 pm

    Look at those shallots! Your garden is shaping up beautifully. Such clever netting, pest proof but easy to get inside. I hope your peach tree improves. Your greenery has been gorgeous to view 😀

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