Vegetable Gardening in Spring
November 3, 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The first Tigeralla tomatoes are ripening on the plant.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is time to finish off all planting for vegetables that you wish to harvest in Summer.
I have been 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.
Is your garden fully planted in preparation for Summer?
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