Garden Share Collective : September 2014

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Spring is here on our doorstep and for me it’s been one hell of a month. With the garden expansion planted out its now a waiting game to see what comes up. I have worked through the rain to get as much done as possible while Roy was home – his priority was to spend some quality time with Isla. We both win. In the basket above is one of my Farm Gate customers veggies for the week. Our harvesting has slowed at the moment while the garden is in transition but still producing enough to feed five families.

I am pleased to say we got R A I N! Over 100mm for the month which is unheard of for August. Working with the rain I planted out plenty of seeds for the coming months to be transplanted along with direct sowing those that should provide some summer freshness.

After all my efforts in August, I can take it a little easier these coming months and wait for the harvesting to begin. Fingers crossed for watermelons.

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One of the major jobs in the garden this month was to mulch the beds before the rain was to come. It was drizzling on the day it made it a slightly sticky job with the combination of our clay like soil and sugarcane mulch on our shoes. We organised five bales of sugarcane mulch to be delivered at a ridiculously affordable price. turns out the whole garden can be mulched thickly with three bales. Good to know. One of the extra bales is on standby for when the garden expansion bit works – more on that later.

I also got a little carried away at the local plant market here on the coast, I didn’t buy many seedlings, no I just bought 190 curly kale plants – crazy. I sell a fair bit of kale so I am sure it’s not a waste of time. Plus I have spread them through out the garden so if I do get another aphid attack that they don’t take over the place. Since  the rains were on their way, I gave all  the new seedlings a good sprinkle with an organic fertilizer – its like dynamic lifter. All the seedlings have doubled in size with the rain. So we are off to a good start.

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My purple king beans have taken off with the arrival of warmer weather and some rain. Below is one of my rhubarb crowns gone to flower. I thought I would collect the seed and resow if I need too for next year.

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Isla, my garden helper and basket carrier. She loves being outdoors with me. Below the new veggie patch, one bean/pea trellis on the right and working down four rows for spuds, one row is still yet to be planted. Waiting on the spuds to sprout eyes. The bottom half where its bare dirt (or should i say thousands of cobblers peg seedlings) is where I scattered corn, melons, pumpkins, zucchini and cucumber seed and raked it in. I also threw in some old flower seeds I was given. Maybe I will have some snap dragons and carnations up too.

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ABOVE: The snowpeas and beans are up. BELOW: The first of the spuds are up

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Millions of cobblers peg (farmers friends) sprouting through the ground. Once the seeds have germinated in this patch, I will use one of the bales of sugarcane mulch to cover the bare ground to keep the weeds down. Also by then I hope that my spuds have grown enough that I can also cover them with more mulch. Should take a whole bale to do the lot. Just waiting on seeing the seedlings I am after to come up. Maybe I little more rain will help.

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Some of my many cabbages. With the high rainfall we had in a few days many of my cabbages split from the rain. My chooks are not interested in eating them either so it’s all me to find a use for them. Sauerkraut is on the agenda people.

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The heavily mulched bottom section, with the addition of Shane the scarecrow. We built two scarecrows to keep the crows out of the garden to stop them from eating my tomatoes. Turns out two weeks has past and they found their way back yesterday! I found some tomatoes half eaten on the ground in my garden. Not cool. So I may have to move Shaz & Shane around to keep those pesky crows away. Also I might buy some cheap netting for my tomatoes this year too. keep the fruit fly population off them.

The big fella’s below are from our Potato Leaf tomato, they seem to be very huge. I picked them rather early as i discovered caterpillars on the fruit. This way I can ripen the good ones for sale and any that have gone bad I just cut the caterpillar eaten section out and cook them up in numerous ways. We have also had some rodents eating the ripe undiscovered fruit. I am at war again with bugs and critters in the veggie patch.

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The onions are finally looking like they might provide something for us.

Lastly my broadbeans. Honestly I don’t know what went wrong. We have had them in the ground since March they have flowered like mad for months and look we got another two bean pods. Thinking it might be the same plant that produced the first two pods I am wondering if I should keep them for seed and try again. When do you plant out your broadbeans? I need help.

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Planting: This month we planted everything ready for summer – watermelons, rockmelon, pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, rosellas – for jam of course, spuds, snowpeas, beans, more beans, peas, kale, eggplant, sweet peppers, asian greens, okra, silverbeet, onions, a few more cabbages just for fun. Tomatoes a few different varieties went into seed trays.

Harvesting: This month we have had a great tomato harvest with the last of our black russians, we are now picking the potato leaf, cherry cocktails, grosse lisse and soon a roma like variety called Palmwoods. We live ten min away from Palmwoods so hoping they are a great success here. We have had a glut of cabbages, the snowpeas have slowed as too are the half dead looking zucchini’s. The broccoli are just about all done, only picking the side shoots now and have left the rest to flower to promote happy bees. Silverbeet, kale, asian greens and rhubarb have been steady. Our sweet peppers are still going strong too. Our fridge never seems empty.

TO DO:

  • Mulch the new garden area once the seeds have germinated and grown at least two inches.
  • Mulch the spuds at the end of september
  • Plant out the next three trays of seedlings
  • Make a decision on what to do with the broadbeans – pull them out or give them a couple of months of spring.
  • Netting for tomatoes
  • Spraying for caterpillars and cabbage moth
  • Relax and watch the plants grow


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  • Sue Webber September 1, 2014, 6:30 am

    So much going on at your place, I’m envious of your ability to grow tomatoes etc through the winter. Bugs and critters certainly make a growers life a misery don’t they. We planted our broad beans back in May, earlier than we have before and they are looking great, loads of flowers, still waiting for beans. Isla is growing so fast, she’s just lovely.

  • Daphne September 1, 2014, 6:39 am

    Those cabbages look really lovely. I hope to have an over abundance this year. But sometimes they just don’t have time to form up before winter hits. So far they look like they will beat the cold.

  • Kyrstie @ A Fresh Legacy September 1, 2014, 6:48 am

    I hope you win the war with the bugs Liz, so frustrating! Isla is gorgeous, she looks very happy watching you in the garden. It will be all too soon before she is in there digging with you :-) It is wonderful that the fridge never seems empty, a great reward for the hard work you put in. Thanks for hosting this wonderful community.

  • Julie's garden blog September 1, 2014, 7:44 am

    Hey Lizzie … wow, your garden looks amazing. Those pics are just wonderful. How do you find the time to do it all? And I thought I was busy .. I wish I could get my mitts on some sugar cane. We mulch of all things our phoenix palm fronds which makes the best mulch. There is no way I would contemplate growing brassicas from spring onwards .. couldn’t stand sharing them with those pesky white butterflies! Happy gardening

  • Kate @rosehipsrhubarb September 1, 2014, 8:01 am

    Your garden is just so amazingly productive. I am impressed that you can grow so much over the winter. We’re limited to brassicas, greens etc when the weather is cold. It must be fantastic to have homegrown tomatoes in winter.

    I totally hear you about the bugs and critters. Sometimes it can feel like war in the garden!

  • Tracy September 1, 2014, 12:02 pm

    Looking good in your garden Liz. You are just that much further ahead weatherwise than my area that it makes me excited about the tomatoes and other summery goodness to come.
    My chooks never turn their noses up at cabbages. The ducks however won’t eat them.
    I plant my broadbeans in autumn and just have flowers now. Lots of flowers which I hope will in turn become beans. I think the bees are the important factor though.
    Take care.

  • Gillian September 1, 2014, 1:04 pm

    Wow that rhubarb flower is amazing. Funnily enough the kale is what was decimated by critters while I was away. I suppose very garden is different. We had some problems with scrub hens coming into our garden and a plastic kite with a picture of a large hawk on it seems to have done the trick. It is just attached at the top to the branch of a tree, so it looks to them like a large bird flying around. Isla is too cute….

  • Barbara Good September 1, 2014, 1:32 pm

    Oh for tomatoes! But I guess I’m lucky not to have to worry about fruit fly when I do have tomatoes in the summer. Isla looks very content in her pram watching you work – I remember those days! Now my two are keen to dig, get muddy and help plant things. It’s lovely, but also a little frustrating when they don’t plant them where I want them or when I can’t figure out if the seeds have gone in or been thrown somewhere else.
    My broadbeans have not done well this year, they are still only a foot tall and I don’t think they’re going to get to flowering or podding anytime soon. I planted them later than usual, but it was what was recommended for this climate (a newish one for me) on the packet. Next year I think I’ll go with my usual strategy of planting them in early-mid autumn.

  • brenda September 1, 2014, 2:50 pm

    your garden looks amazing and so productive! Your spring to do list looks a lot like ours…we cannot wait to watch the garden grow and fill our bellies with our produce! happy gardening xx

  • Krista September 1, 2014, 4:00 pm

    Love that picture of happy Isla. :-) We’ve been eating asparagus, peas, and radishes this month, and will start on kale and silverbeet this week. :-)

  • Simon September 1, 2014, 5:50 pm

    There looks a lot of great produce on your plot. I always fail to be as productive over the winter. I’ll try to take inspiration from you and get planting! Thanks for organising the link up by the way.

  • Tania @My Kitchen stories September 1, 2014, 8:31 pm

    Lots growing here inclusing your gorgeous baby!

  • Cheryl September 2, 2014, 12:09 am

    What a lovely haul! I have been slowly (very slowly) been improving my harvest since starting with herbs two years ago and yours is definitely worth aspiring to. Mind you, I’m in region 5-6 in Canada, so growing season is rather short.

  • Kathy September 2, 2014, 10:01 am

    Looks like your garden is going to rock this summer with all those wonderful veggies. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

  • e / dig in hobart September 2, 2014, 11:04 am

    190 kale plants to put in! my back aches just thinking about that quantity. you’re on a much larger scale than me, but it’s still hugely inspiring to see the work you do. with your little helper!

  • Julie September 2, 2014, 11:43 pm

    Everything looks amazing Lizzie! So glad to hear you have had good rain, you much be so happy with how things are growing in your garden, and all your expansion plans sound great too. I am always so inspired by your productivity, I feel quite lazy in comparison! Have a great month! Julie xx

  • Michelle September 3, 2014, 5:55 am

    I wonder if the broadbeans you’re trying to grow don’t like your warm climate, perhaps you might try a variety that’s adapted to a warmer climate. Those crows are so smart! Good luck keeping them scared off.

  • Jan September 3, 2014, 5:42 pm

    You have a very cute little garden helper!

  • Jacqui September 4, 2014, 9:37 pm

    I had no luck with the broad beans planted early either. I’ve had much more success planting them about August to be honest. I need to get some in the ground soon. Love the photo of Ilsa helping out. You’re lucky she’s happy to hang out in the garden like that (my little one usually wasn’t..).
    Enjoy your sauerkraut :)

  • Caro September 7, 2014, 10:37 pm

    I’m also wondering about your broad beans, Lizzie. Michelle’s comment would make sense; I had good beans this year but nothing like the crop I had in previous years – the difference being the warmer winter we had this past year. It’s either that or your bees are taking their services elsewhere! You’ve got an amazing amount of veg growing, I hope your kale works out for you, it’s one of my favourite veggies and I wouldn’t want to be without it. Love the look of your cabbages; I’d defo buy one if I lived nearer!
    PS. I seem to have missed the deadline for the link again, sorry. Have put the next date in my diary now!