Garden Share Collective : December 2014

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What a month! Here in South East Queensland the weather has really been putting us to the test with extreme heat of 43’c+ days  and then wild hale storms.  We were lucky to have missed all the hale however we have recorded over 80mm this past week. Which is great for all my cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and zucchini’s. Which were all going yellow due to not having enough water. Welcome to this months round of the Garden Share Collective a group of bloggers who share their trials and tribulations of growing vegetables.

You like my first ever pumpkin? I finally have a few fruits setting I have a couple of butternuts, japs, watermelons and an unknown variety of pumpkin yet to be found out. Thanks to all the rain we should see some more fruits coming on. The weeds are going to go mental in the garden with this rain so I will need trim around the plants so the big leaves can flood the light from the weeds which will hopefully mean less weeding for me. Fingers crossed.

Just after the last garden collective Roy and I put up some shade cloth to protect the rhubarb plants and also on the small leafy green bed which will grow our lettuces, asian greens and rockets. We used a very thick 80% shade cloth which we find works for us. I think if it was any lighter that northern sun would still scorch our plants when it reaches 40’c. I also bought some bird netting to keep the wallabies (not the birds) from eating the tops off my strawberries and they have come back great guns.

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Our shade cloth efforts. I took these two photos at the start of the month. The grass does look a lot drier than the photos I took yesterday. strayedtable-4079 strayedtable-4085

I also put a fence around the sweet potatoes to keep the wallabies out. It is working.strayedtable-4472

So much green. Finally soaking rain has come the weeds and the veggies have taken off with the warm weather that has followed. I am happy to see my garden thriving finally after all that planting out. November and December I generally keep the planting out of seedlings to a very minimum. This way the heat wont kill them instantly. The plants that are in tend to have made a good root system and survive. With the rain our tanks have started to fill again they are not full but they are on there way.

The photo above is a combination of sunflowers, silverbeet, potatoes, tomatillo’s, okra, cabbages, eggplants, zucchini – it looks like a mess but I am now letting any volunteer plants live. Only if they is crowding of the important plants then will I remove them. Come January I plan on planting the base of the sunflowers with silverbeet. Mind you some beans could work depending on how high the sunflowers grow. Below you can see I still kind of have rows which contour the ground making swales for our water.
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The New Area: Looks like a sea of weeds but there is zucchini, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, corn and potatoes in there. This is the area I will cut back and mulch and start protecting my little gems. strayedtable-4475 strayedtable-4478

Rosella flowerstrayedtable-4481My first luffa
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PLANTING: This month I won’t be planting anything. I will be starting my next round of seeds early January depending on the forecast.
HARVESTING: This time of the year all the hard work of previous months starts to really show. We are digging up spuds the last of our beetroots. Picking plenty of tomatoes, silverbeet, kale, sweet peppers, zucchini’s and loads of cucumbers which I have made up my famous Bread & Butter Pickles. Onions have also been harvested this month – I have never had some so sweet before. 

TO DO LIST: Main goal for this month is to weed, weed and more weed. Also start mulching underneath the setting fruit on the pumpkins and melons. Possibly gather some milk crates to cover the fruit to protect from birds and not sure how to keep the mice out just yet but will need to investigate. Maintenance is the key this month so when we start back in the garden in January and February we will be off to a good start.

What has been happening in your garden?

 


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17 Comments

  1. Pingback: Oh it’s December .. | Frog Pond Farm

  2. Hey Lizzie … your garden is looking amazing! I always think that I have so much growing and then I see your garden. It’s looking wonderful after that rain 🙂

  3. had a chuckle that you are diggign up the last of your beetroot – i’m yet to even have the first of mine!
    and that is a fine butternut 🙂

  4. Wow, your garden is looking good. I love the way you have different produce mixed in together. I think that is good – it confuses the pests, and takes different things out of the soil. Funny that your rosella are flowering now, mine only start flowering once the dry season starts.

  5. You pumpkin looks lovely. I am amazed that you have not grown them in previous years Lizzie. They store so well, the more the better I say 🙂 Sunflowers will look amazing in your glorious garden. As with each month I love checking it out. Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful Christmas.

    • Thanks Kyrstie, the last few years we have not had enough water to keep my pumpkins alive. I have planted them but failed to keep them alive. Hope you have a great Christmas too.

  6. I can’t believe you’ve been into the 40’s already. We’ve hit about 35 and I wilted, let alone my garden. Still though, 80ml rain must more than make up for it! Looks like there’s a lot going on in your garden, as always. Pumpkin looks good, hope you get a bumper crop. I’ll try my hand at pumpkins for the first time now too.
    Have a great month of weeding!

  7. We never get so hot as 40 here which for me is good. I’m sure the plants would wilt, but I’d wilt even more. I love looking at all the green you have. Yesterday we were still white with snow.

    • Daphne, I would love to see the snow more. I could never live in it but I love playing in it. Be thankful it doesn’t reach 40’c as the only thing you can do is lye on the floor in the shade and stay cool.

  8. I’m withering at the thought of such heat, anything over 32 or 33 here would be considered HOT, over 38 is a rare event. I’m sure your squash are loving it though. And your Rosella must love it too, I can’t grow it here because it doesn’t like our cool weather. I’ll have to start weeding here pretty soon now that we’re finally getting a bit of rain. Weed season here is winter, no summer rain means no summer weeding!

  9. Pingback: December in the garden – Garden Share Collective | spades, spatulas & spoons

  10. How lush Lizzie. I bet you are enjoying the rain. It is thoughtful to shade the rhubarb as it does seem to wither with too much heat. Great pumpkin and I love your Rosella flower, it is so pretty. Your impressive garden is looking wonderful, as always but it is especially nice to see all of the green grass. I hope we get more rain over December 😀

  11. So that’s a loofah (excuse the spelling). I have heard of growing luffas but they have seemed a little mystical. It is a pretty vine, almost like a cucumber. Thanks for showing this unusual specimen.