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Vegetable Gardening in Spring

Garden Share Collective November 2014

 

Baby Fennel

This update is past of a monthly review of my garden as part of The Garden Share Collective hosted by Strayed from the Table. Gardeners from around the world share their progress in the garden each month.

Spring is almost over and my Summer vegetables are now almost all in the garden and starting to grow. The plants in the raised garden beds are still very small and so the beds look bare and empty. This will last just a short period of time before the abundance of Summer commences (all being well) and the plants spread across the beds, up and overflow out over the edges.

Garden progress:

The fruit is developing perfectly on the apple, apricot, mandarin and feijoa trees. I thought that I had caught the dreaded leaf curl on the peach tree but it has returned again this year, although not as bad as it was last year. As a result I have removed the small fruit that was developing on it and started to remove the leaves.

apricot tree

The raspberries are starting to develop and the fruiting currant also has a small amount of fruit this year which makes me very happy as there were none on it last year.

fruiting currant

I have lost two of the three avocado trees that I had raised from seeds last year, one was lost to the cold and one to heat! The remaining little tree is going well. If it survives I will get it a little friend for pollination in a few years time.

We have just added a Finger Lime to our growing collection of little trees. I loved the fruit when I tried it a little while ago in Queensland at Tamborine Cooking School. I am hoping that it is warm enough for it to grow here.

finger limes

Mr Fresh has moved around the old gate frames so that they are now evenly spread across all of the raised garden beds.  He has also built me a frame over the area that is currently filled with garlic but will transition to tomatoes. These frames will provide climbing space for the large sprawling plants such as the pumpkin and nasturtium to climb up. They will also provide the structure that I can use to add shade cloth as required on an extreme weather day. And that is not all! They are also used to run the strings to grow and support the tomato plants. If you are interested in growing tomatoes on string you can find my instructions in this post I wrote last year.

vegetable garden raised beds

The first Tigeralla tomatoes are ripening on the plant.

first tomatoes

The corn has now been planted, it has also had it’s leaves shredded by slaters. Fortunately it is growing faster than they can eat so most of the plants will pull through. I ended up finding some Diggers Painted Mountain Seedlings so I put them in instead of starting more seeds.

growing corn

Last year I was battling slaters, this year their numbers have decreased but there is a ridiculous number of slugs feasting on the lower garden beds. At this stage (touch wood) the newer upper garden area near the house has almost no pests.  I lost every bean plant I sowed in the lower raised garden beds and at least half of the peas, however the one ones that I planted in the top garden are thriving.

Peas climbing frame

I have been having almost daily slug hunts each morning. The hunt and squish exercise has resulted in a noticeable decrease in the numbers. I estimate that I have killed close to 200 of the fat slimy things – urgghhhhh!   Disgusting.

This week most new plants that have gone into the raised garden beds have been untouched by pests. I am hoping that as we move into the warmer weather, that this stage has now passed.  The small plants are also getting larger and stronger and therefore more resistant to attack.

The majority of the planting for Summer is complete in the garden now. I have a wall of fabulous kale producing beautifully. I will leave half of it in to keep harvesting while it is abundant and will monitor and remove the other half to plant something else in the coming week.

Kale

The broccoli and most of the onions have finished and been removed. Once the garlic, a few leeks and cabbages finish their growing cycles all traces of Winter will be gone from our garden as we welcome an abundance of tomatoes and other glorious Summer produce. My favorites of the year.

cabbage

The top garden bed area (shown below) has had all but the garlic removed from Winter and has been replanted with Summer crops. I love the clean neatness of new plants just beginning to become established.

November Spring Garden

Planting:

It is time to finish off all planting for vegetables that you wish to harvest in Summer.

I have been planting:

  • Basil
  • Beetroot
  • Capsicum
  • Chilli
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel
  • Lettuce
  • Lemongrass
  • Pumpkin
  • Rocket
  • Spring Onions
  • Tomatoes of numerous varieties that I have recorded in my garden Journal (continue reading for example below)
  • Zucchini

new tomato planting

I have had numerous tomatoes sprout from the compost and in pots that I have removed and added in the planting areas designated to tomatoes this year.

Potatoes are beginning to re-sprout among the corn. I wasn’t counting on those but given they were so amazingly good I think that I will leave them and see what happens, provided they are not too vigorous and needing to be banked up deeply .

The plans shown below are my record of the planting in the current vegetable garden beds. With an additional garden bed area this year a plan helps me to determine if I have the correct amount of each vegetable planted. I use this planner, along with a journal to keep track of what I have planted, the variety, the quantity as well as pest encountered, any other issues, planting notes and harvest information.  I find it to be a useful tool to also use to plan rotation of plant families. As the size of my vegetable garden increases one of the major benefits, besides an easy recollection of the variety of each plant that I have planted, is that it helps me to maintain a continuous harvest across the year by sequential planting. Find out more about how I use this journal here.

Planting Plan Image

Harvesting:

Spring Garden harvest

  • Beetroot
  • Blueberries (just a few so far)
  • Chicory
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Rocket
  • Strawberries – a handful or two
  • Spring Onion
  • Herbs – Coriander, Chives, Sage, Basil, Mint, Vietnamese Mint, Spearmint, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary

Grow strawberries in a pot

To do:

  • Monitor, water and feed plants as required to ensure that they are well established
  • Mulch in a few weeks once the plants are  a little more established
  • Continue to set the tomatoes on string as each plant becomes tall enough
  • Weed
  • Slug hunting

 Is your garden fully planted in preparation for Summer? 


Kyrstie

 

 

 

 

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{ 22 comments… add one }
  • lizzie @ strayedtable November 3, 2014, 10:29 am

    I have heard that finger limes grow everywhere in Australia so I am sure you will have plenty of luck with them. I am loving your tigerella tomato they are one of the ones that just don’t seem to do well here. It might be too warm for them. I love your organising sheets, something I really should do instead of using our whiteboard. It gets rather messy.

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 4, 2014, 1:17 pm

      Thanks Liz, it does help me to stay organised and is a handy reference point each season and year. I never seem to recall the varieties I have planted otherwise!

  • Francesca November 3, 2014, 3:02 pm

    I love those little charts- must help you keep organised with crop rotation and so on. Lovely garden.

  • Anna Anderson November 3, 2014, 3:17 pm

    I love the look of your striped tomatoes, they will be really interesting as they ripen. Your garden is looking lovely!

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 4, 2014, 1:16 pm

      They are a great tomato Anna, I grow them each year. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Africanaussie November 3, 2014, 3:39 pm

    Oh wow, your garden is neat and tidy, and you have those marvellous organizing sheets, I am impresssed. Love your peas on that awesome twirly support too!

  • juliesgardenblog November 3, 2014, 4:31 pm

    Your garden is looking fabulous. Love those frames that Mr Fresh has built for you. Why don’t you drop those slugs into a bucket with some detergent? Works a treat. We are organic and sadly get leaf curl on our peaches too. I spray them with seaweed fert and still get by (fingers crossed) with terrific crops of fruit. Loving those strawberries in the bucket 🙂

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 4, 2014, 1:15 pm

      I haven’t tried spraying the peach with seaweed, thanks for the tip Julie.

  • Kate @rosehipsrhubarb November 3, 2014, 9:34 pm

    I am so impressed with your garden planner. I seem to just plant wherever there’s a spare spot.

    I’d love to have a finger lime. What a gorgeous fruit they are.

    Have you grown lemongrass before? Mine dies off over summer but shoots up again over the cooler months.

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 4, 2014, 1:14 pm

      Thanks Kate, it ensures that we always have lovely fresh produce to harvest. I have grown lemongrass previously but I lost two of my big plants when our herb patch had to be dismantled so I have re-planted baby ones this year.

  • Sherri November 4, 2014, 7:46 am

    Your garden is looking great. Finger Limes are on my planting wish list, good luck with yours.

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 4, 2014, 1:12 pm

      Thanks Sherri. I am looking forward to getting some fruit this year (fingers crossed). There are three developing at the moment.

  • e / dig in hobart November 4, 2014, 8:09 am

    your garden looks fabulous and so productive. i’m impressed and inspired, as always!
    sad to hear of your avocado tree losses; it’s heartbreaking when something dies.

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 4, 2014, 1:12 pm

      Thanks e, it is disappointing as it has taken me more than a year to get them to this stage 🙁

  • Rachel and Jamie November 4, 2014, 10:34 am

    Your garden is so beautiful! I hope you enjoy the tigeralla tomatoes; I am not a tomato fan but I love those little beauties. I didn’t buy seeds for them this year and regret it.

  • Bek November 5, 2014, 9:26 am

    What an abundance! You have so much going on in the garden.
    Earwigs are my current bug of doom. The slugs and snails have been systematically fed to the chickens over winter, so arent’ such a problem. I need to think about earwig traps for sure.
    I’m impressed that you have such early tomatoes. Well done! The peas and red cabbages look great.

  • merryn@merrynsmenu November 5, 2014, 3:21 pm

    You have a gorgeous garden. The structure is amazing and hubby has done well with the arrangements. I love your peas, the kale is fantastic and you will have cute tigerella tomatoes before too long. At least one avocado tree survived, they are such pretty trees. You have been very busy and it shows in the state of your garden, very admirable 😀

  • Michelle November 6, 2014, 2:16 pm

    I had to do a little research to figure out what slaters are, we call them sowbugs here. They are hugely destructive in my garden. Thank goodness I don’t have to battle slugs as well. Love the old gate frames, I wish I could find something like them for my garden.

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 6, 2014, 8:00 pm

      Hi Michelle,
      I apologise for not explaining Slaters properly. They are a menace when they grow to large numbers. I love the gates too, they are one of Mr Fresh’s treasures that have laid around for years until a light bulb moment and we knew what to do with them 🙂

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