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Garden Share Collective: March 2014

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Welcome to another round of eager gardeners sharing their veggie patches around Australia and the world. For us here in Australia I am welcoming Autumn in with such delight even though the lack of rainfall has been a bit depressing, more on that later. The Garden Share Collective is a group  of bloggers who get together each month and share their trials and tribulations in their veggie patches. With our online community we manage to problem solve, bitch about the weeds and keep inspired to growing fresh organic food.

This past month on Huthwaite Farm has been go, go, go. With seedlings ready for planting and sown into the soil. Mass weeding and mulching was a priority as the rainfall has been dismal. For those of you who don’t live in south-east Queensland I just want to explain to you the whether we should have been having. Usually the start of the year brings the monsoon rains. Last year we received over 700ml of rain in Jan, 600ml in Feb and 350 in March. So far our totals are looking very dismal with only 100ml  recorded each month. Fingers crossed for March.

We have sown another two trays of seeds for planting in March ready for winter. This next month is all about watering and keeping the seedlings happy and healthy so we will have plenty of food. Last week Roy set up a tap in the garden, this is a huge milestone for us. Not only it is so much easier to keep the garden watered it means that I don’t have to lug 2 watering cans down the paddock each day. I am getting spoiled now that my belly is growing rapidly.

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 Roy proud as punch with our NEW tap. Its gravity fed so we are still using a watering can to spread the water around the garden.

PLANTING:

Seeds that I m planting either direct or into trays before transferring: broccoli, lettuce, Asian greens, kale, beans, zucchini’s, onions, tomatoes, cabbages, silverbeet and more cucumbers.

HARVESTING:

We managed to keep ourselves fed a little from the garden this past month. Harvesting: tomatoes, kale, zucchini’s, eggplants and a few random bits of silverbeet. We had plenty of capsicums and chilis too. Our biggest crop for February was our Jerusalem artichoke, from one plant we had over 3 kilo’s of the stuff. We have been roasting it up and found that it is also great at breaking up our clay. So we may plant more of it in our problem areas in the garden in March.

TO DO:

Watering is my major priority this month, getting the seedlings the best chance at life. I will give a liquid fertilizer twice over the month to encourage growth and root development. Also now I have to do a weekly dipel around the garden to keep the cabbage month and clusterbug at bay. Nothing is more heart breaking than loosing your plants. I also have seedlings to keep an eye on and look after for late planting in March.

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Kale seedlings looking healthy and some mixed tomatoes.

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Our snake beans (climbing), zucchini’s, yellow bush beans and the other rows near the tomatoes is our broad beans.

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One of our raised garden beds. We noticed that the bed was quite moist after it has been neglected for such a long time. We planted out some golden zucchini’s and sliverbeet. 

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Cucumbers on the left row, tomatoes with the stakes and random potatoes that have come up. We will leave them in hopes of spuds in months to come.

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This is how dry it is, the cluster bug that eats the kale has returned early this year.

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The bottom section of the garden freshly weeded, just needs mulch now to cover it.

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Brazilian Spinach – I planted this out in July last year and have never watered it. Its sturdy stuff, great for adding to pies.

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Garden Share Collective Members

AUSTRALIA  NEW ZEALAND  United Kingdom
 Eight Acres - Qld
 Our Wee Farm  Mark’s Veg Plot
 Think Big. Live Simply - Vic  Frog Pond Farm  Alder & Ash
 Sunny Corner Farm - NSW  Living the Good Life  A Whole Plot of Love
 African Aussie – Qld  A Little Bit Country  Spade Fork Spoon
 Dig In Hobart – Tas  Living the Dream  The Garden Deli
 The Life of Clare – Vic  Five Course Garden  Urban Veg Patch
 Bek’s Backyard – Vic
 A Fresh Legacy – Vic
 Chloe’s Garden – Vic
 Dusty Country Road – Vic
 Helarious – NSW
 The New Good Life – Vic
 Chez Skud – Vic
 Flame Tree Flowers – Qld
 Little Woolie – Vic
 Donna Digs – Vic
 Country Life Experiment – NSW
 On the Ning Nang Nong – Vic
 A Kailyard in Adelaide – SA
 Poppy Fox – Vic
 Merryn’s Menu – NSW

 

 

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  • Kyrstie @ A Fresh Legacy March 3, 2014, 6:55 am

    Hooray for the new tap. that will be much easier for you. Watering can be so time consuming. I would love an easier set up at some stage for my garden. I have my fingers crossed you get some decent rain soon for your new plants. Your planting looks great as always. Have a wonderful month and thanks for hosting.

  • e / dig in hobart March 3, 2014, 8:56 am

    we all want rain, don’t we… and even though it’s been a glorious summer for humans, and i don’t want it to end , i really would like some cooler, wetter weather for my garden. anythign that makes watering the garden is a good acheivement – but some realy rain, and plenty of it (nicely spread out) would be just prefection.
    thanks lizzie!

  • Julie Bonner March 3, 2014, 9:42 am

    Hey Lizzie, lots going on in your vege patch. Your raised beds look amazing.
    I have wondered about growing Jerusalem artichoke but have opted for Yacon instead. Which loves taking over!

  • Christina March 3, 2014, 5:14 pm

    I smiled when I read that you are sowing zucchini for a winter crop, it only grows in summer into autumn here in Italy. You might want to think before you plant many more Jerusalem artichokes and they are almost impossible to remove once you have them. That spinach looks interesting, I’d like something that stays in the ground and keeps producing. When yousiad you fertilize, what do you use?

    • Lizzie Moult March 4, 2014, 11:30 am

      Christina I use a pellet fertalizer which is called dynamic lifter for veggies – its organic. I also make up a liquid fertilizer which is from fish for my plants. We didn’t have a problem removing the Jerusalem artichoke from the ground at all but will keep an eye on it in the future.

  • Jo @Countrylifeexperiment March 3, 2014, 5:43 pm

    Love Jerusalem artichokes. I wish they would grow here. Thanks for hosting!

  • Becs :: Think Big Live Simply March 3, 2014, 8:49 pm

    So much happening at your place – everything is growing (including your bubba!). We have a couple of jerusalem arti at our new place – never grown them before…how do you know when to harvest?

    • Lizzie Moult March 4, 2014, 11:31 am

      Becs, the plant flowers then dies back once they are ready to harvest. We left ours in the ground for another month before pulling up as it is better for us to store them in the ground than our hot shed.

  • Mark Willis March 4, 2014, 5:32 am

    Hi Lizzie; Thanks for including me in the Collective. Looking at some of the blogs it is very apparent to me that we all have a shared interest (in gardening) but that we also have very different conditions to cope with, and different approaches to how we go about the task. Diversity is the name of the game! I’m really pleased to have found this community because it includes a lot of very dedicated gardeners. A lot of blogs cover the subject of veg-gardening in a very superficial way.
    BTW the issue of water (lack of / surfeit of) is likely to be a constant theme, I imagine!

    • Lizzie Moult March 4, 2014, 11:32 am

      Mark, it comes and goes the whining about water for me. This year has been especially been bad. Thanks for joining in the GSC and I love your site.

  • Rachel and Jamie March 4, 2014, 10:18 am

    The garden looks great! The tap is an awesome investment, we don’t know how we coped before we put in ours!

  • Jane @ Shady Baker March 4, 2014, 11:39 am

    It looks like you have been busy as usual Lizzie. It that the Jerusalem artichoke in the first photo? At first glance I thought it was ginger. Happy gardening and baby growing too :)

    • Lizzie Moult March 4, 2014, 1:05 pm

      Yes Jane its Jerusalem artichoke in the top shot, I forgot to mention it. I have six weeks left of baby growing so I am getting as much in the veggie patch before bub comes. We will then have plenty of food and won’t need to go out as much.

  • Jacqui March 4, 2014, 8:22 pm

    Wow, I’m still reeling about 600ml of rain. Even 100ml! We got 14 ml… about half of the average. Still, we have dry summers and wet winters.
    Your garden looks so good. Great work getting the tap installed ;-) I remember it became quite difficult to do many garden jobs for a while there. Looking forward to seeing your progress over the next month.

    • Lizzie Moult March 5, 2014, 7:03 am

      Yes 600mm last year was huge but that was because of a tropical cyclone. We only recorded 70ml for feb this year, which is still far better than a lot of others.

  • Christina @ The Hungry Australian March 4, 2014, 8:47 pm

    Impressive work, Lizzie. I’m amazed at how much you are growing up there. How are you feeling now? Not long to go I guess. Do try to take it easy occasionally, won’t you? :)

    • Lizzie Moult March 5, 2014, 7:01 am

      Thanks Christina. I have just started to let my hubby take over the gardening and with not long left trying to keep my feet up.

  • Lisa the Gourmet Wog March 4, 2014, 9:33 pm

    Oh Lizzie, hope March brings more rain than the dismal 100mls you’ve been receiving lately. It’s been so wet in Sydney so here’s hoping those rain clouds drift north!

    • Lizzie Moult March 5, 2014, 7:04 am

      Thanks Lisa, hope you are feeling well

  • Sue Kerr March 5, 2014, 6:33 am

    I was wondering if that first photo was ginger too… I’ve heard Jerusalem artichokes are easy to grow, and break up clay, but that they’re really invasive, so not good for a small garden. I don’t have room to grow them in my garden, but it might be a good crop to sneak in the neglected yard over the fence! They’re amazing roasted alongside potatoes, or in a mash with potatoes. Lovely to see your spacious garden with the promise of plenty of winter food.

  • John@Kitchen Riffs March 6, 2014, 5:07 am

    Your garden is looking great! We have melting snow on the ground at the moment, so it’s still too early to palnt (not for starting seedlings, though). But soon I’ll be digging in the soil too!